Sunday, March 9, 2008

Well, Why Didn't They Say So?

We bought a new front loader washing machine last year, after my Maytag Neptune stopped working. We decided on a GE Adora, with a wonderful sanitize setting, which I love. The washer worked perfectly.... for a while. After several months (keep in mind there are seven of us who live here and we go through a lot of laundry), the final spin cycle was taking longer and longer, and was not spinning enough of the water out of the clothes. A one hour fourteen minute wash should not take more than four hours and leave the clothes dripping wet.

Two weeks ago, I couldn't take it any longer and Robert was ready to call a repairman. Not really wanting to spend money on a service call, I googled "GE front load washer troubleshooting" and clicked on one of the links. It brought me to Fixya.com where I found others with the same problem I was having. The solution, someone suggested, is to take off the front lower panel and empty the filter that is there, and to check the hose that leads to it for backed up gunk too.

Could it be that simple? Actually, it should have been simpler. The washing machine owner's paperwork should have that listed in the troubleshooting guide, but it doesn't. The panel should have a flip-down access panel over that area rather than three screws that are difficult to line up afterwards to screw back on, but it doesn't.

After Robert came home from work that day, we got towels, a shallow pan, a screwdriver and a flashlight. He took the panel off, unscrewed the filter plug slowly, letting the excess water drain into the pan, closing it while he dumped the water and repeated until the water was completely drained. When he pulled the filter plug out, we laughed at what we found. Lint, a pencil, a few paperclips, a hair tie (possibly two), some screws, a zipper pull, a toy ring, change adding up to a couple dollars, a Big Y coin (local grocery store), long dark hair (mine & Doug's), a bra wire, a Nintendo DS stylus, and a flat washer. He clipped a wire hanger, bent the end and grabbed more lint, then got his long needlenose pliers so we could grab the rest of the gunk in the hose. He reconnected the hose to the filter, screwed the filter plug back in, and we struggled to align the front panel back into place and screwed the three screws back in.

Voila! The next load of laundry took one hour, fourteen minutes start to finish, and was not even close to being sopping wet. The washer worked as perfectly as the first load we had washed in it. We will now be checking the filter every two to three months to keep our washer running as good as new.

Honestly, though, why didn't GE just put this little tidbit of information in their owner's guide?