A plastic item wrapped in fabric was placed in the washing machine. It was a piece of a child’s play mat to be given away soon. The plastic piece punctured the rubber wall of the front-loading washing machine door gasket, upon which we placed duct tape. Everything seemed to be in order.
It wasn’t. Some time later, evidence of water damage was seen creeping up the side of the wooden built-in pantry next to the machine — indicating indubitable trouble. Water had pooled beneath both machine and pantry. Both had to be removed to determine damage.
The floor had to be replaced, along with the pantry. For some time, our food was stored in paper bags upon small tables. We replaced the tiles and sealed what needed to be sealed. A new door gasket arrived via UPS and the process of installing it should not be wished upon anyone. Numerous folds of rubber, two springy metal bands, a large amount of regrettable profanity, pinched fingers and the idea of using string and the torque of a hand-turned screwdriver to pull the band into place and it was done.
We purchased a new pantry from IKEA and after were poorer by two hours and about $400. Better than the man in line next to us who had spent six and a half hours there. We drove the flat boxes home and shoved their mighty weight into the garage until the opportunity for its construction.
There was a slight recollection of pinging sounds in the IKEA parking lot as we loaded the boxes. Were those metal objects falling from the boxes necessary for our pending task?
They were. The construction opportunity arrived at nap time, not ours, but our daughter’s, and we were immediately immersed in the arduous task of constructing this 8-foot monstrosity on our kitchen floor to be lifted into place upon completion. Like home burglars trying to complete a task before the home owner awakened — we were silent and quick in our movements. The deed was nearly done when our daughter awoke and we quickly placed her in front of the television for us to complete the job. It was not the ideal situation, but necessary. The parking lot pings were pegs to hold the shelves and those would have to be ordered. They arrived eventually and the shelves were installed and our food was replaced back into an orderly fashion — albeit diminished in quantity. The doors would be installed later.
A few weeks later, there was a rattle within the confines of the washer which eventually subsided. One might presume the rattle somehow was fixed but a wiser person would know it was not. A few days later, water made a return appearance on the floor. To the gasket I returned and replaced both springy bands with considerable trouble.
All seemed to be well. Until two mysterious warning lights appeared. The Internet explained that drainage was blocked and that a pump area at the bottom of the machine had to be cleared of debris. After draining small bowl after small bowl into larger bucket after larger bucket, the debris was found — two pennies and a paper clip. They were discarded, the area was cleaned and everything was back in order. Until the machine stopped draining. Perhaps it was the pump itself. An upbeat British man on YouTube described its replacement as easy can be — provided you pull the machine apart and put it on its side.
I wanted to try one more thing. A stick would surely work. And with this stick, I cleared the area of debris and spun the pump around several times both clockwise and anti-clockwise (as the British man said). And that, my friends, did the trick.
Or perhaps it is again temporary, and there will be need for professional intervention — as likely should have been the case from the start.
Jon Mays is the editor in chief of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jon on Twitter @jonmays.