So, this morning… the worst thing in a cloth diaperer’s world happened. My laundry machine stopped working! I mean, it still made noise, so I knew the fuse wasn’t blown, and it would fill with water, and the middle spinner would work… but it wouldn’t drain! I first noticed it yesterday morning, and I thought maybe I had been the one to make the mistake – maybe i picked a presoak instead of a regular wash? So, overnight, I just rewashed it and thought nothing more of it. This morning, the washing machine had dirty grey water in it, and my poor clothes were just sitting in it… Needless to say, I was sad.
My immediate reaction was “now what”? We hadn’t budgeted for a new washer and dryer this month (our dryer is almost on the fritz too, so may as well get a set), and I wasn’t sure what was wrong exactly, and didn’t know a handyman off the top of my head. So, what did I do? Headed over to good old YouTube. However, I still wasn’t too sure what the problem was, so I started researching what could cause the machine to stop draining. I found out that it is generally one of two things: a clogged or burned out pump, or a faulty lid switch. Neither seemed too incredibly hard to fix, but being pregnant, I needed to keep lifting at a minimum. After spending a quick 5 minutes with the machine, I decided I would try to check the switch out first. Luckily for me, after taking out the screws on the side of the lid, the switch literally broke into two pieces, so I figured it was a fair guess that this was my problem.
- star screwdriver
- flat-edge screwdriver
- zip tie (medium size)
So, first thing to do is unplug the machine!
Next, take off the screws of the electrical panel at the top. The screws are located in different places depending on the brand, (my screws were in the back). Sometimes they are in the front, and sometimes they are inside the plastic panel on the ends.
Once this panel is flipped up, unplug the power cord on the inside (the plastic plug that all the wires are going into). Blown up photo found here:
There are two to remove – one on the left, and one on the right. I used a flat edge screwdriver to lift it off.
Once these two screws are removed, the whole white case should pull apart from the panel, and the washing basin (which is full of water). This is the heaviest part, and mine felt like about 20 lbs.
Ok, so once the cover is off, we can start working on the inside of the lid. First, remove the two screws holding the switch to the lid. The switch should simply slide out, and this is what it looks like:
Mine was falling apart, and this is being the switches are glued together, not screwed, so over time, this glue wears out. So, to reinforce this glue, use your zip tie to hold the two together. This is what it should look like after the zip tie is attaching them together:
You can test the switch to make sure it works – press down on the grey tab, and you should hear a click. Once you have tested it, and it is clicking properly, it’s time to put everything back together.
Summary of Reconnecting Washing Machine
- Reattach the two screws of the switch to the lid
- Put the case back onto the machine.
- Reattach the gold clips,
- Plug in the internal power cord,
- Flip back down the electrical panel and reattach with the screws
- Plug in the machine!
If this doesn’t work, and the machine still doesn’t drain, it might be a clogged pump, but we will look at fixing that ourselves that another time.