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21-5-2016 16:40:38  #1


Midnight Appliance Repair

At about 12:30, about the time I normally get home after work, I decided I would find out once and for all why my washing machine leaked water onto the floor whenever it started the washing cycle.  It would leak only at this time.  So, with tools in hand, I took the shell off, leaving the framework and inside mechanicals in full view.  The first thing I noticed was the basket was sitting askew toward my left (its right).  Further investigation underneath revealed a missing screw that held a bracket which held a support spring.  I got another screw--a bigger self-tapping screw, and installed that.  The tub basket now sat more level.  I then decided to put in a load of clothes and run it through its cycles to see why it was leaking.  I was thinking it would be the pump (again).  As I was filling the tub basket with water, I noticed it was getting higher and higher--almost to the point of overfilling.  It did this several times, and each time, I had to bail out the excess water by hand with a jar--not easy making those several trips back and forth to the bathroom toilet where I emptied the jar.  I lifted the top control panel, and I saw a clear hose had disconnected from a pressure switch.  I reinstalled that, and realized that if I didn't empty the tub basket all the way, I would get the same result because there would be no change in pressure.  Realizing that fact, I dreaded using that quart jar for what seemed like endless trips to the bathroom.  So I got the bright idea into my dunder head that I would turn the cycle dial down to where the washer would drain itself, and lo and behold, it worked!!  All those trips for nothing, right?  Well, anyway, I emptied the whole basket full of water, and started over.  It worked.  It started the washing cycle.  I was looking at the pump to see if it was going to leak again.  I had another washer of the same brand that every so often I would have to replace a pump because it would leak and then stop leaking for the rest of the time.  Only this time, there were no leaks.  About the only thing I could conclude was that the tub basket was sitting askew had sloshed water onto the floor until it was low enough where it wouldn't anymore.  I put the washing machine back together and successfully washed several more loads while my kitchen floor stayed dry.  By the time I was done, it was 2 AM.  Good thing I go to work at 4 PM.  And this was a very minor repair.  I once completely changed out a tub basket--inner and outer--in another washing machine some years ago.  That middle seal that went around the agitator shaft had my cussing a blue streak, let me tell ya.

So, for all you repair people out there.  Are there any stories about other things besides typewriters you have had to repair?  Any unruly stoves, washers, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, automobiles, or just about anything made by man give anyone challenge?  I know that over the years, I have had to translate what I've learned about the mechanics of typewriters to the repair of just about everything else around the house--including the car.  I'm not like a lot of rich people--I have to make these repairs myself, and as our economy is growing ever more sour, I feel there are going to be more budding "mechanics" out there.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

21-5-2016 19:20:14  #2


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

Washer floods can be a real catastrophe. Usually it's the rubber supply hoses that can fail after a couple years. I replaced mine with metal-braided replacements, and shut off the supply valves if I'm going to be gone for days.
Out of ballance loads can rattle the crap out of your machine so it's a good idea to stop it and re-arrange the load if it starts walking around.
Like you, I can't afford our throw-away society so I fix stuff, after consulting the internet, of course. Most car stuff is too technical these days, but I did do an alternator and a window motor recently.
 

 

21-5-2016 21:18:23  #3


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

I have metal-braided hoses on my washer too.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

21-5-2016 22:49:40  #4


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

I worked as a TV repairman for over a decade, mainly in the 1980s. Lots of stories to tell. There was the Mitsubishi HS-330UR VCR from the Navajo Reservation ( funny how you can remember the model numbers...) I took off the top cover, saw insects crawling around inside, quickly replaced the cover, took it out back and blew out the bugs with the air compressor, then had to clean and service it. Yuk.

Another VCR of the same make and model had been hit by lightning, it had foil traces vaporized off the PCB boards. Took weeks to get it working, lots of chips and other parts replaced. Luckily it was under warranty.

Did a home service call on a projection TV once, the customer was a physicist from Sandia Labs, eastern European, claimed to have known Dr. Edward Tellar. Kept telling me how clever he was. Funny thing was I was the one who got his machine working and adjusted.

Another customer was a courtroom lawyer, deep barrister's voice, enjoyed when I'd come over to look at his VCR, he had an entire library of tapes recorded off PBS, of operas. He had a maid who would serve me a cold glass of iced tea. "Mercedes, give the young man some tea," he would exclaim, in his booming courtroom voice. He owned the entire fifth floor of his condo.

Lots more stories like that. The people were more interesting than the technical problems.

~Joe

 

21-5-2016 23:02:23  #5


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

JoeV wrote:

I worked as a TV repairman for over a decade, mainly in the 1980s. Lots of stories to tell. There was the Mitsubishi HS-330UR VCR from the Navajo Reservation ( funny how you can remember the model numbers...) I took off the top cover, saw insects crawling around inside, quickly replaced the cover, took it out back and blew out the bugs with the air compressor, then had to clean and service it. Yuk.

Another VCR of the same make and model had been hit by lightning, it had foil traces vaporized off the PCB boards. Took weeks to get it working, lots of chips and other parts replaced. Luckily it was under warranty.

Did a home service call on a projection TV once, the customer was a physicist from Sandia Labs, eastern European, claimed to have known Dr. Edward Tellar. Kept telling me how clever he was. Funny thing was I was the one who got his machine working and adjusted.

Another customer was a courtroom lawyer, deep barrister's voice, enjoyed when I'd come over to look at his VCR, he had an entire library of tapes recorded off PBS, of operas. He had a maid who would serve me a cold glass of iced tea. "Mercedes, give the young man some tea," he would exclaim, in his booming courtroom voice. He owned the entire fifth floor of his condo.

Lots more stories like that. The people were more interesting than the technical problems.

~Joe

Amen to that!  I've fixed a lot of stuff--typewriters and otherewise (including TVs and VCRs myself), and have found a lot of characters out there.  And, yes, VCRs are ROACH MAGNETS.  A "stupid repairman" story I have I'll share with you now is the time I tried to remove some steel sheathing from outside a 25" picture tube I hadn't knocked off the neck yet.  I was astraddle of this thing, with vice-grips in hand, tugging on the metal around this huge picture tube.  The next thing I knew, the tube had imploded--BETWEEN MY LEGS!!  While I was standing there, shaking like a leaf, a neighbor on the next block two houses down came out to his back yard, exclaiming, "What the hell was that?!"  I must have been out there a good twenty minutes before I decided to see if I still had a deep voice.
 


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

22-5-2016 10:08:44  #6


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

JoeV wrote:

I worked as a TV repairman for over a decade, mainly in the 1980s. Lots of stories to tell. There was the Mitsubishi HS-330UR VCR from the Navajo Reservation ( funny how you can remember the model numbers...) I took off the top cover, saw insects crawling around inside, quickly replaced the cover, took it out back and blew out the bugs with the air compressor, then had to clean and service it.

Had written longish reply to this yesterday which apparently was deleted when I logged out before submitting, but this reminded me of the "first computer bug" story, and when I researched the latter I found the usual version passed down that early computer guru Grace Hopper had found a real bug in a computer and thereby created the term was a typically distorted creation myth:

1) there was a moth discovered between the contacts of a relay (must have been one humongous relay) on an early computer, but...
2) the term but was clearly already in use because the comment in the log book next to the taped in moth was "first actual case of bug being found", and...
3) Grace Hopper was involved in the project and given anecdotal credit as best known person handy, but the specimen and comment were the work of some her less well known male colleagues.

Ref: http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2013/09/18/the-very-first-computer-bug/#gref

To illustrate the persistent quality of word-of-mouth distortion the author of the page chose to leave every apparent error in the original page intact after appending the correction: that the incident was from 1945 not '47, that Grace Hopper found it, and that she recorded the event in her "diary"! Engineers keep logs, girls keep diaries?

Grace Hopper was an amazing woman who advanced early to top levels in the still male dominated professions of naval officer and computer geek... excuse me "engineer"... but it was not her witticism.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

22-5-2016 11:02:23  #7


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

TypewriterKing wrote:

At about 12:30, about the time I normally get home after work, I decided I would find out once and for all why my washing machine leaked water onto the floor whenever it started the washing cycle...

Minor washing machine story: I live downstairs from a semi-permanent washing machine install which was leaking more and more water on the floor - which dripped down into my living space. At first I thought it as one of the hoses to the sink, but I pulled it out and finally found the water shooting in a steady stream from a crack in a fitting combining hot and cold connections at machine to single hose to faucet.

I considered epoxy repair in place (poor idea) but eventually removed fitting and against landlord's woeful prediction that this would require special order from manufacturer took it to local hardware store there where they immediately took same part off wall: cost ~ $5. Also had to replace a length of hose because piece attached to fitting was corrosion welded on so hard that I finally hack-sawed off a stub of hose. In-situ repair would have been very bad idea because aluminum fitting was corroded out from inside and the fell apart while removing it - complete failure and major flood would have been result of leaving it in place.

Another household repair victory: portable window air conditioner making horrible noise which I felt was a bearing. After speaking with a few repair shops and getting expected "We will have to replace the entire compressor... hundreds of dollars... throw it out and buy a new one...". I took it apart and improvised a bearing puller from some C- clamps and wood and pulled the obviously corroded bearing off the shaft. At that time there were still actual industrial flavored suppliers in the traditional part of now wall-to-wall trendy Manhattan - I took the bearing in and replaced it for canonical price of... $5!  All easy repairs cost $5. 
 


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

07-11-2016 07:10:48  #8


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

Gabby Johnson wrote:

snip
Out of ballance loads can rattle the crap out of your machine so it's a good idea to stop it and re-arrange the load if it starts walking around.
snip
 

Our old GE machine from '08 does that. One time, it got so far the the main supply hoses literally almost disconnected from the back of the machine! Total distance moved: ~3 feet.


tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-TAP-tap-ding!
 

09-11-2016 18:51:38  #9


Re: Midnight Appliance Repair

Sounds like that sucker was doin' the do-se-do in your washroom--or was it the schottische?  The Texas Two-Step?


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

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