Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Washer...

Friday night, Sandra put a small load of laundry into the washer.  I was in the kitchen cooking when I heard what sounded like the motor going into overdrive.  "Nuts," I thought, "the pulley fell off again."  I unplugged the washer, opened the bottom panel, and took a look.  The pulley was nowhere to be found. Strange, when it falls off, it's usually sitting right underneath... Then I noticed something else: a whole lot of little, black, plastic shards, and all the way toward the back of the washer was what was left of the pulley!  Or at least what I thought was the entire pulley.  I looked at the belt, and it took was a bit ragged and cracked.  I figured both would need to be replaced, and I also figured I could do it myself.  Yes, I know, dangerous last words. 

Saturday morning, I looked up the washer information.  It was an Amana NAV3330EWW.  The website was good enough to list local parts suppliers, so I started calling them.  Everyone was closed on the weekends, and for some reason they all transferred to their cell phones ... so they could tell me they were closed till Monday.  One woman, though, was at home with access to the store's inventory!  I gave her the make and model of the washer, she gave me the part numbers for the pulley and the belt, and was able to verify that it was in stock!  Monday, during lunch, I walked the 3 blocks to pick up the two parts.  At roughly $50, the parts were non-returnable once opened.  :-/  They better work.

We went to the Giants game after work, so I didn't get started on the washer till a little after 10 PM.  I looked at the motor, the pulley lever, and the belt, and thought how nice it'd be if it could all just come out.  It turned out that's what I needed to do to replace either the pulley or the belt!  Four bolts held the motor in.  They were easy to remove (bad sign), then the motor took a little finesse to take out.  I left the electrical cords connected, since I had unplugged the washer from the wall.  I also had to disconnect the two hoses (get a towel because water will come out even if the water is shut off).  I had to remove the top part of the motor - three screws - to replace the belt.  If you're doing this, make sure you make a mental note of how the belt is run.  I didn't, so I did it twice. 

The new pulley, I noticed, had a brass interior.  The one that kept falling out of my washer didn't.  I thought it was an improvement - false.  It was that the plastic disconnected from the brass, and that's why it kept falling off!  Removing the brass fitting form the pulley lever was a pain.  It has a clip very similar to the clip that holds the chain to the speed bag in the garage, but much smaller and harder to remove.  I used a set of needle nosed pliers to slowly and forcefully open the clip then slide it over the pulley lever.  It took me about 9 attempts to get this right.  In the process, I once pushed a little too hard, resulting in the pliers pinching my finger.  What's a little DIY without blood, right?  Once it was off, I noticed how stiff it all was.  I put lithium grease inside the new pulley, and greased the washers.  This assembly was really easy to put back together. 

The plastic cover went back on smoothly.  Getting everything back into the washer was a little harder.  I ended up lifting the bucket from inside the machine to make more room on the bottom.  This allowed me to put the motor back easily.  Getting the holes to line back up to bolt it back - not so easy.  I think this literally took me about 45 minutes, all the while I thought this was due to the time I moved it from upstairs, and it hare-goshi'ed me.  I was so frustrated that I thought about calling a repairman, just to rebolt the motor.  What I ended up doing was putting a 45 pound Olympic weight on the bucket to hold it down, then lifting the motor and manually screwing in the top two bolts as much as I could.  The bottom still didn't align!  I could forcibly lift the motor and get the right side in, but the left side was about 1/2 an inch off!  I kept thinking I bent it when I removed it.  I needed a lever or jack of some sort to hold this dang thing up just to get a good angle!  What I ended up using was a hammer head!  It was pretty much perfect to bracing the bracket and leveraging the motor up.  With all the bolts in, I grabbed a wrench and tightened them even more - as much as I could.  I reconnected the hoses, closed it all up, plugged it in, then made a note of the time: 12:18 AM.  Great, roughly two hours had gone by.  This better work.  To test it, I put the bloodied towel and laundry room rug in.  IT WORKED!  Not only did it work, but the spin cycle worked so well that both items were damn near dry!  Not bad for my first time!  I should moonlight as a repairman!

No comments:

Post a Comment