Saturday, November 23, 2013

Lessons in Thankfulness from a Broken Washer

About a week ago, our washer stopped working.  I'd been ignoring the signs that it was dying--popping error codes randomly, and taking forever to spin out--and just continued pushing it.  Finally on a Thursday morning, it gave a new error code.  And stopped spinning.

I took note of the code, and turned to Google.  Faulty drain pump appeared to be the problem. seems that often the trouble can be fixed by simply clearing away a coin trap that acts as a protector for the pump.  

Wanting to dig right in, I found a tutorial explaining how to check the trap. It explained it clearly, and looked pretty simple. Except...I couldn't find the screws on it to remove the bottom panel.  

I began to despair. Laundry in our house happens daily.  Well, to be honest, it happens multi-daily.  In order to keep from being buried under dirty laundry, I wash at least two loads a day.  Owen's g-tube leaks onto clothes.  Simon spits up.  Owen floods the bathroom when he takes a bath.  Lots of laundry.  And I couldn't find two screws...ugh!

Thankfully, I have a handy husband.  He's been putting in extra hours at work, and even though the hour hand was clearly past the eight when he got home that night, he cheerfully tore the washer apart for me.  Those screws were hiding under our pedestal drawer. Oops!

Bryan followed the directions on the tutorial, and we found a bunch of junk on the trap.  He emptied it out, and then decided to clear out the hoses since he already had it apart.  The plumbing in our old house leaves something to be desired, and each hose he removed required a good bit of water to clean out.

Once everything got reassembled, Bryan and I eagerly turned it to a rinse and spin cycle.  Filled up with water just fine.  And then...error code.  Same one.  But then, on the next worked!  We decided to leave it unplugged overnight to reset and try again the next night.

I spent time that day researching the error again.  I found two other possibilities--loose wire and a bad pressure switch. When Bryan got home, he agreed to try, and found his multi-meter.  The power was spot on where it should be.  He also tested the pressure switch.  It was working.  At this point, it was rather late and he told me to order the part.

I did.  And then we waited for it to arrive.  During that time, I might have pouted.  And whined. More than a little... Until the Lord brought to my attention all of the good that had come from this situation.  I had to choose to be thankful.

So here are some lessons in Thankfulness from a broken washer:

1.  My husband was capable of diagnosisng and fixing the problem, so we didn't have to call an expensive repair man
2. My parents (who live across the road) gave us free access to their washer and dryer while waiting on the part.  I took them up on this...a lot!  
3. Because we had access to a washer (see number 2), we didn't have to pay the ridiculous fee of $50 for expedited shipping. We could just pay for normal delivery and allow the part some time to arrive.
4. It was the first time in several years that this washer broke.  And it was a FIXABLE problem!
5.  I learned the importance of not ignoring warning signs from appliances.  Error codes are not normal--even if they go away on their own.
6.  We learned how to clean out the coin trap.  We are going to start doing that on a regular basis.
7. Since I was going across the road to do laundry, I managed to not do it on Sunday.  And we survived.  And no one was running around naked.  I've always WANTED to not do laundry on Sundays since we're so busy from church, but always decided that we HAD to do it anyways.  I learned this past week that life went on just fine without it.  Going to keep that one up!
8. My husband put up with all of my diagnosing theories and patiently tried them all late at night for me.  I sure love him! And am very thankful for him.
9.  One day, when I didn't get over to get my laundry from my parents before nightfall...they had it all dried and folded...waiting for me.  Folded laundry.  What's not to be thankful for there?
10.  My mom had foot surgery a few days before our washer went out.  We were able to spend Friday with her doing laundry and visiting and cleaning, helping her out.

So even though I felt frantic at the thought of our washer being broken, the Lord worked everything out.  Seems to be a recurring theme in my life...maybe at some point I will learn from these lessons and stop being frantic altogether.  Choosing to be thankful does not come naturally to me....but I am learning!  And hopefully my children are learning alongside me and will not deal with this as much as I do when they are older!

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