Thursday, April 19, 2012

Suburban householder pain-in-butt #965

For crying out loud - if it's not one consumer thing, it's another.  A few days after we got done resolving a dead microwave that was almost brand new, our almost-brand-new Samsung washing machine went on the fritz.  Specifically, it started spewing water from some initially-unknown location.
Mmmm, sexy!!
Like many folks, we recently traded up our ugly old top-loading clunker for one of these stainless steel beauties.  These things are so pretty (as major appliances go) that Americans with smaller, older housing are now starting to follow the established European practice of integrating them into their kitchens, instead of squirreling them away in basements, garages, and other hard-to-get-to spaces.  Do a Google image search for 'washing machine in kitchen' and you'll see what I mean.
The problem with a front-loading washing machine leaking water is that you have to find the source of the leak, and those can be small enough and slow enough to be very elusive.  After a couple of different investigations failed to produce results, we found ours in a place I would not have anticipated:
Let me say that again with emphasis:
In the front door seal at the bottom, there are a couple of very tiny drainage holes which you can see more clearly if you gently pull back the rim of the rubber gasket. Those holes apparently convey water that splashes against the door back into the reservoir of the machine. It turns out that the drainage holes in our machine were plugged with accumulated lint snot, which was causing the water to overflow the seal and make it look like the seal itself was leaking. 

I didn't even realize those holes were there, or I would have checked this and cleaned it out before our laundry room got saturated. 

So anyway, there you have a more painless type of appliance resolution than we recently experienced with our microwave.  Moral of the story: If your fancy front-loader starts leaking, check this area first, before calling a repair company.  Better still, check it as a form of preventative maintenance and avoid the issue altogether.

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