...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My washing machine adventure

So I had a miraculous adventure this week that involved my washing machine.

Yeah, I've pretty much never thought of washing machines as adventures before, but that's how it turned out.

Here's the story.

I started a load of laundry just like every other day (I have to do two loads a day just to keep up with clothes, towels, wash cloths, rugs, blankets etc that are dirtied by our family of eight).  Then I took the kids to the dentist (now that's an adventure all on its own).
My happy, now working, washing machine!
When I got back the washing machine was blinking E20 on its face and I knew we had trouble.  I also knew that we really don't have the funds to pay a repair person to come and fix it (which we've already had to do twice this year -- each time the guy pulled stuff out of the drain hose, stuff like plastic bracelets, coins, and Barbie clothes which quietly get into the laundry and then work their way down the drain).

So, I decided to see if I could handle the problem on my own.  Thank you Internet fix-it pros.  I Googled my fancy E20 error message and found that -- surprise surprise -- the coin trap and drain hose were likely clogged.  Awesome.

I read up on how to fix the problem, slid the machine away from the wall and opened up the back panel (if you have the choice, this issue is much easier fixed from the front, but my washer has a dryer stacked on top and I would have had to take the dryer down to get to the screws to release the front panel which really isn't in my realm of ability).

Anyway, I open the thing up and look inside and see a whole new world before me.  This is not a world I have ever played in before.  I got the lay of the land and plunged in to the job.

This is the part I needed to focus on, it's called the coin trap (I learned this).  I loosened the screw holding the gasket which attached the top tube of the rubber piece to the washer drum.  I ran my fingers inside (as Mr. Online Repair Person told me to do) and found a toothpick (seriously kids?  Why are we washing toothpicks?) but that was all.  That seemed odd because in the past the repair guys have pulled much more than that out.

Well, I was stumped.  I had done what I was instructed, but I knew that just wasn't it.

So here's my miracle.

washing machine guts...this picture is from the front
not the back
I muttered a quick prayer (or, actually, several of them over and over as I sort of chatted it through with my Heavenly Father) mentioning my stupidity when it came to the internal working of washing machines and the fact that I know God knows how they work.  I asked if there was something more that needed to be done to please let me know.  I was willing to do the work and put in the time, I just had no idea what to do.

I waited a bit.  I looked at everything.  And then I knew just what to do.  I KNEW how to open a section of the coin trap that I hadn't thought of before even though it opened differently than any clamp I've ever seen before in my life.  I KNEW how to clean it out and how to maneuver the thing so that I could clear everything that was in there (which turned out to be $1.43 in change, two Barbie shirts and the pad from a girls swimming suit...oh, and the toothpick).  Then I was able to put it all back together (reattaching the hoses was a bit of pain), close up the back and slide everything back into place.

And it worked.

No leaking water on the floor (so everything is connected tightly) and no E20 error code!

I do have some paper cut type slices on the back of my arm (where it rubbed against the side of the machine) and a few bumps and bruises, but that's a small price to pay for a working washing machine.

So, here's the truth of the matter.

I do not know how these machines work.  I do not know how to repair them.  But my Father in Heaven does.  And for one afternoon, He allowed me just a smidgen of His understanding so that I could take care of a problem and bless my family.

I am ever thankful for a God who cares about His children and is concerned with even the small things, like tight budgets and broken washing machines.  I knew long before this event that He cared about me (and you) and that He hears and answers prayers, but this was a pretty amazing reminder for me.

Yeah, I'm pretty grateful.

And I feel pretty blessed.

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