Friday, July 11, 2008

The great flood of 2008

We went a week and a half without doing laundry and lived to tell the tale. Actually, we tried to do laundry last weekend but the washer got stuck on the same wash cycle, over and over again.

After spending some time perusing and, Mark ordered a new burn timer (pictured above) online and paid for 2-3 day shipping. He had successfully repaired our circa 1997 dryer last year using the wisdom of the web. (A laptop and wi-fi are wonderful things when you need to see how to take apart a large household applicance.) We were both feeling confident.

The part came on Wednesday. He installed it. The timer worked, but no hot water came in. Further perusal of troubleshooting webpages and examination of our washer suggested we needed a new hot water valve. (11 years is a good run for a hot water valve. It was probably already in creaky condition and gave out when we took the washer apart.)

We did not want to order online again. We ccould not go a second weekend without a working washer. Additionally, Mark removed the entire washer shell in order to inspect all the other parts for signs of failure. The inner carcass of the washer rested in its usual location in the laundry room, the exoskeleton stood in the middle of the kitchen, add piles of laundry everywhere and even Mark was disturbed by the mess.

The Sears Appliance Center in Culver City had the part we needed in stock. Dare we brave the dreaded I-405 to fetch it? Mark was low enough on socks and underwear to volunteer to drive there at lunch on Thursday. Thursday is the highest traffic day in LA, which gives an indication of his desperation.

That evening, we had dinner downtown and saw the Drowsy Chaperone. When we got home, he changed and went right to work at 11 PM. He needed my help for some parts of the reassembly process, but mostly worked alone. Shortly after midnight, we were able to start a load of rags in hot water and watch the timer rotate through the wash cycle.

Success! He began to clean up. I went upstairs to the shower. Before I even stepped in the shower, I heard, "Oh, no! Oh, sh!t!, Oh, [insert stronger expletive]! I ran downstairs as he yelled, "Quick, throw me some rags!"

One look at the sheet of water flowing out of the kitchen and heading to the front door and I didn't think we had enough rags to stem the tide. I ran out to the garage and brought in 2 string mops (to form a dam) and a bucket. We worked for a few minutes, settling into a rhythm where he mopped and I wrung the mops into the bucket. Then we exchanged the wet and dry mops.

After 2/3 of the water was mopped up, I asked, "Do you think we should have used the shop-vac?"

BTW, the washer repair was fine. He just forgot to reconnect the drain hose. When the washer hit the first drain/spin cycle, the water shot out across the floor from the laundry room through the kitchen and into the hallway. By 1 AM, we put away the mops and shop-vac, and headed upstairs to a hot shower and slumber.


  1. Oh, I can so see something similar happening in our house. I'll save this as a warning for when Hubby inevitably tries to fix our washer at some point in the future.

  2. It's always those kinds of things that get you. It sounds like something that would happen at our house.

  3. I remember arriving on the scene of a lab flood as my advisor was attempting to stem the tide with a package of newborn-sized diapers. The Shop-Vac worked much better!

    I have absolutely no idea where the diapers came from, or why they would have been the first thing at hand.