anne_mikolay_2012_120After an all too brief, two year relationship, my washing machine and I have parted ways. In fact, the high energy, allegedly super efficient model passed away today after a quick, sudden illness.

The first hint that something was amiss with my machine was the water slowly trickling from beneath it. Ever the pro-active consumer, I consulted the trouble-shooting pages of my owner's manual and followed the directions to clear the filter. The operation was successful! No more leaks!

Then came the smell, though a far more appropriate word is “stink.” I opened the washing machine door of my stackable, high energy model one morning and nearly feinted from what greeted my sniffer. Had something crawled into my machine, died, and decayed?? I wondered. Thankfully, a hasty check inside the machine proved that ghastly assumption incorrect, so I did what every confused homeowner does: I consulted friends on facebook, who advised rinsing the inside of the machine with a solution of two parts white vinegar to one part water. I did, and the stink vanished – for a few days, only to return in full offensive force. Additional facebook consultations suggested a product called Affresh, specifically designed to clean the mold that forms in high energy washers. I used Affresh as directed. Problem solved! No more stinkies! Then the hot water cycle rebelled.

Suddenly, whenever I used the washer's hot water cycle, steam emerged from the machine along with a new smell akin to burning rubber. Well, I thought, that can't be good! The cold water cycle, however, presented no problems; thus, I cheated fate and did a few loads of laundry in cold water. Alas, all cheaters get caught somehow; a new clanking/clunking sound was my punishment for gambling. I'm no expert in high energy home appliances, but I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to shake, rattle, and roll. Enough was enough! I put in a service call.

A very efficient (and honest!) repairman arrived at my home, and after a ten minute or so diagnostic review, delivered the bad news. The machine could be fixed, he said, but the parts in question were no longer warrantied. The total cost of a new drum and motor thingie (okay, so I'm not that proactive) was $150.00. Not too bad, but the labor, the repairman warned, was another matter entirely. Since my washing machine is a stackable unit, two repairmen would be required to lift the dryer off the machine before removing the very heavy drum from within the washer. The task, I was warned, was a three hour minimum job at a cost of $75.00 per hour per man. Holy spinning agitator, Batman, but that's a heck of a lot of cash! The new parts were only guaranteed for a month; if the problem recurred, I would be right back where I started from. As the repairman correctly pointed out, I could probably purchase a brand new washer for less than the cost of repairing this one.

Thus, my high energy, stackable, fancy schmancy washing machine bit the dust after only two years! In case you're wondering, my departed washing machine (may it rest in peace wherever junk is laid to rest), was made by a very popular home appliance manufacturer, and when purchased, was touted as the best, most efficient model in that company's line of contemporary washers. I believe that's what me fellow Irish folk call a bunch of malarkey.

I've learned my lesson. New and complicated isn't always better. Tomorrow, I'm marching right out to Sears to purchase a  reliable Kenmore washer, something simple and basic, without all those deceptive bells and whistles!