I’m no handy man and I don’t pretend to be either.  I’ve already written about this in the past, so no need to degrade myself one more time.  However, I do want to share a recent experience I had.

I call this post the battle of the machines (or perhaps more accurately error 45).

For those of you, who have not worked in tech support.  Error 45 is an IT joke (yes nerds can joke too) that the error is actually 45 cm behind the monitor, i.e. the user.

We have kids!  3 of them in fact, so the amount of laundry on a daily basis reminds you of a launderette.  The washer and dryer are constantly on.  The last thing we turn ON before going to bed is the dryer.

My dearest wife, bless her spirit for trying to do household tasks, has a fairly logical approach to washing machines.  They are built to be used, so fill it with clothes and wash.  The drum should of course be filled to the top, with all colours.  Little did we know that it mightn’t exactly work that way.  Everything apparently has it’s limits.

Now, my mum, the housewife from another dimension, taught me that you can never mix colours and only fill the damn thing up half to make sure the clothes get clean.  That’s the same woman who strongly advised me to iron my boxers!

Anyway, washing machines have several programs, depending on what you need to wash.  Most of these are fairly self-explanatory; light, really dirty, delicates and quick wash.  Each of these adjust the wash time and water used.

That was a quick little introduction to the mecanics of washer.

My wife filled up the washer with all kinds of clothes, ranging from various levels of dirtiness and colours.  It was probably a little over half full.  Then she selected delicate program, which normally soaks the clothes in water.  It’s meant for small loads and light clothes.

Halfway through the washing cycle, the machine started to argue and stopped.  Error ‘oU’ was in the display.  I frantically searched for the user manual, hoping the troubleshooting section would give me some clues as to the cause of the error.

Who the hell made up these error codes and who wrote the manual.  He/She should be forced to troubleshoot using that manual.

I had some idea as to why the machine stopped.  There was too much heavy clothes in there and the washer was half full of water.  I.e. the washer was having difficulties spinning with such a heavy load.

For the next 34 minutes I worked my way through each troubleshooting step listed in the God forsaken manual, only to hit one dead-end after another.

In the end, with all options exhausted, I had to drain the washer manually.  Only challenge was, how did I do that?

After a few minutes of looking, I finally found the bloody manual drain hatch.  Well, it was just a tube that had to be detached from the hose going to the drain, and then let the water flow into a bucket.  Just one minor detail, the water didn’t flow as expected.

From my days of emptying my aquarium, I placed my lips on the hose and sucked.  The idea was to generate a natural flow, I just had to kickstart it.

One suck.  Nothing!  A second suck, still nothing!  Third try.  I sucked extra hard, just in case something was stuck.  Suddenly a large lump pf dirt hit my mouth and the water started to flow freely.  I almost choked and spit it into the bucket.  At least the water started to drain.

2 gallons later and I could open the door.  We got the soaked clothes out and placed it in the tub.  My wife started to handwash and rinse it, to make sure it didn’t start to smell.

Meanwhile, back in the utility room, I started the washer again, just to see how it behaved.  The washer started, filled up with water and then nothing.  I left it for almost 10 minutes, and still nothing.  Damn!  I had to drain the fecking machine again.  Another 2.5 gallons later, a few dirt lumps and the washer was drained again.

I decided to unplug it from the mains and leave it over night.  It was Sunday anyway, so had to wait for the plumper.

The next morning I started another test wash, and the bloody machine went through the entire cycle no problem.  I guess a power reset did the trick.

I can’t really take credit for fixing the machine.  I think it was fixed all along, and just decided to pretend not to work while I was draining the water – the machine came alive just like in “Maximum Overdrive”, only to laugh at me as I swallowed the lumps.

Thankfully it works again and we can get the dirty laundry washed … and also our clothes washed 🙂

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