Problem solving the laundry dilema

pod1

In my attempt to green my lifestyle (don’t laugh- I still qualify as attempting), I’m learning that I’m restricted by my climate.

It is FRIGID in Maine. In fact, just this week alone we got nearly two feet of snow. The energy consumption happening in this house is embarrassing. For one, we can’t really cook outside- we’re not allowed to have ovens or fire pits, only grills. Secondly, we can’t and don’t have alternative indoor heat sources- which means we’re using the oil heat provided by the landlord. While it is abounding, we do what we can to conserve.

And then there’s laundry. It used to be during summer hours, that I would wake up before the hot baking sun and wash clothes on the deck with this bugger, my laundry pod. If this looks like something you’d like to try, you can check them out here. Washing clothes and being all wet and soggy is not really a big deal in the summer, but I began to notice it’s toll on me as the temperatures dropped.

My Christmas present from mum- a metal drying rack!

My Christmas present from mum- a metal drying rack!

Now I’ve got a dilemma. I injured my back about a month ago, and the vertebrae between my shoulder blades are chronically inflamed. So now I’ve got to do laundry in a machine…and my washing machine (which I had to scour when I bought it to remove chemical residue), broke.

I was really convinced it was the pump, but when I called a fix-it man on Craigslist, he told me that it sounded like a lid switch. I’m going to be honest- I had no idea what a lid switch was. After an afternoon on Google, I learned what it was, and peaked up underneath the washer lid to discover that indeed, it was broken.

I also learned that it was a seemingly easy fix- if I could get to it. I figured that if I could order the part for $37 and fix it myself, that it would be far cheaper than replacing it with a new used washer for $200. So I ordered the part from RepairClinic.com, and it was here in a couple of weeks. They also had a video telling me how to replace the part. Here’s what happened:

washer

In order to get to the lid switch, you have to flip back the panel on the top where the knobs are, and remove the washer casing.

lidswitch

That’s the lid switch. What you see in the right is where it broke off. There are two little casings that screws go into, and the constant vibrating of the washer sometimes causes them to break and become unattached, which means there is no pressure from the lid telling it to activate.

The fix was simple- it was getting the washer apart and back together that was a challenge. Dare I say that most people probably would not have adequate tools. I spent 6yrs in a sculpture studio, so I didn’t do too bad myself, but I still needed a ratchet, and was able to borrow one from my maintenance man.

I finally got my washer up and running, and my back is on the mend, but the moral of the story is that sometimes you have to adapt for your disability, and that most of the time, diy is going to be cheaper with repairs.

pod2

And what of the laundry pod? I use it when my kid is having an ADHD moment- I fill it with some of her clothes and let her wash them to get out some of her energy 🙂 She takes pride in washing them, and it’s meditative rhythm helps calm her down. Win win.

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2 thoughts on “Problem solving the laundry dilema

  1. love the little washer. I lived in Maine for 20 years I was born there. My son was born there. I used a five gal. bucket and a new toilet plunger to wash his clothes. I now live in Ga. make my own soap use vinegar in rinse cycle no fabric softener because the vinegar takes care of that and you probably won’t need to strip again. I also make four styles of sanitary pads.

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