The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!
The washing machine stopped working yesterday. It just stopped with 13 mins to run on the cycle and refused to start again. It wouldn’t let me cancel the programme, it just sat there like a stubborn 3 year old refusing to do anything. The little light just kept flashing at me but it wouldn’t move on. Inside the machine were trapped Naomi’s duvet cover, which she really wanted back on her bed before night-time, the sheet, undercover and a few other sundry items to fill up for a full load.
Like any sensible woman, I decided to consult the manual. Unfortunately it would appear that the manual was written by a complete idiot and was not really much help. There was no solution to the machine refusing to do anything!
I took the dramatic step of turning it off and back on again. It jumped from having 13 min left on the cycle to having 21 min left on the cycle!!! And still refused to do anything.
I turned it off again, waited for the door lock to release and released the captive washing. It was all rather soggy but I hung it out to dry. After that the machine decided that it would co-operate but only after I’d bailed out all the excess water.
The manual suggested that the problem might be an imbalance of the washing in the machine and, since it was mainly just the bedding I thought that perhaps this was the reason why the machine had refused to spin. It also showed how to drain the machine so, having taken most of the kitchen apart to access the drainage port (why would anybody put the washing machine in a sealed cupboard?) I duly flooded the kitchen floor with water.
In hope, more than faith, I put another small load of washing into the machine and started it going again to see what would happen. In hindsight, this wasn’t necessarily a good idea. It did kind of wash the clothes but the machine didn’t drain and so, for the second time, I found myself bailing out the washing machine and hanging soggy washing to dry and flooding the kitchen floor. Good way of washing the kitchen floor – not.
All of this might not have been so bad but for the fact that it coincided with our decision to try to potty train Daniel. I can’t say that the potty training has been a roaring success although he only had one accident at the nursery on Friday – and four at home. Saturday had a result of Potty 0 Floor 5 and Sunday we went to the Archdeacon’s for lunch so that was a complete failure as we had to put him in pull-ups. However, the result is more washing than normal and now we’ve got going with the potty training we don’t want to let little problems like a faulty washing machine stop us.
The manual suggested cleaning the filter – although it failed to tell you how to do it. So, ripping apart the kitchen for a second time, I got down on my knees to see if the filter looked blocked. What I discovered was something far worse!! A rubber band had got caught around the part that turns round to let the water out thus preventing it turning round. It is extraordinarily difficult to remove a rubber band caught around a turning round part of a washing machine even if you have got pretty thin fingers. I managed to pull the rubber band off eventually but I wasn’t convinced that I had got it all.
However, not to be held back in my quest to do the washing, I put a few small items in and tried it on the 30 degree wash (only 14 min). It did actually drain mid-way through the cycle but then it got stuck again on 5 min remaining and refused to move. By this stage I had worked out how not to flood the kitchen floor but I still had to remove the excess water from the washing machine.
I tried again but the machine just went round and round and didn’t really move on. I turned it off after and bailed it out then started it up again. To my horror, the first thing it did was fill up with water again and then refuse to spin or drain! So I had to bail it out yet again.
I had another look at the filter and found the other part of the rubber band and managed somehow to pull it out. Then I put the machine back on. Success!!! It finally did the whole cycle! Encouraged and excited by this progress, I put all the wet washing from yesterday back in and managed to spin that too. The whole thing was enormously frustrating and took most of the evening (in between trying to get Daniel to sit on the potty, cooking tea, eating tea and supervising Daniel eating ice-cream very, very slowly – I gave up in the end with which he put a massive bit of ice cream in his mouth, cried because it was too cold, spat it out and then cried because he was covered in ice cream) but at least I think that I’ve got rid of all the rubber band now.
The rubber bands, by the way, are due to Dominic. He keeps picking them up where the postman has dropped them and putting them in his pockets then he doesn’t take them out of his pockets before putting his trousers in the wash. So, from now on we will be doing a rubber band check before we do the washing because it wasn’t really a whole lot of fun trying to get the stupid machine to work again.
Nobody warns you about these things before you have kids!