Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How-to: Replacing a Clothes Washer

A washer and dryer. These are two essential items for any college house. I mean, how are you otherwise going to wash your clothes? Take them to a laundromat? Hah, I don't think so. You'll wind up going quadruple-duty on that Star Wars shirt you got when you were 12, skimping out on an undershirt with dress shirts (who are you, Magnum PI?), and worst of all, eventually stealing your roommates socks. After all, they are always the first to run out. Let's not even start on underwear.

Up until yesterday, we had a washer that only kind of worked. It washed everything just fine, except it didn't move itself through the different cycles. So basically, you had to manually change the setting from wash, to rinse, to spin, etc, every 10 min or so. That sure was a pain.

So we got the washer and dryer from our old house and hauled it over (the new people that moved in were going to buy it but didn't pay up, so we repoed it). Here is how to go about replacing a washer:

First of all, unplug / disconnect everything. It's usually just a power cord (do that first), a hot and cold water connection, and a drain tube. You'll probably spill some water, but don't worry about it.

Next, muscle that sucker out of there. This will probably be the hardest part. Washers are a lot heavier than dryers. It's definitely a two person job. We had to haul it down some steps too. It would be awesome to have a hand truck for this part.

Notice the drain pipe on the bottom-left. That usually just pulls right out of another pipe in the wall with no problem.

Whao! What is that nastiness on the bottom of the wall?

Looks like we could have some water damage. Let's take a closer look...

Do I even want to take a closer look?

Yep, water damage. I would say that this picture actually does do it justice. That's just nasty. See that pipe right in the center with the "residue" on it? That's the drain for the two toilets in the house. I'll leave it at that.

But seriously, it's not *that* gross. The toilet drain wasn't leaking. All that mess is from a leaking water pipe. That will be another blog sometime, but for now, I'm going to hide all of this with the replacement washer. If I can move it...

New and old washers side by side. Not shown: my hernia.

Ironically, the new washer is the exact same model as the old one. Two of my three roommates probably won't even realize I replaced it and will figure it magically replaced itself.

All that's left to do now is reconnect everything. Make sure you get the hot and cold connections right. It's probably a good idea to try to get it somewhat level, too If it's really out of whack, it could get damaged by spinning off center. Now, after all this work, will you get the old one out of there?

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