Sand in the Pump


2016-03-03 – We recently bought a washing machine.

Before I tell you about the new machine, I want to tell you why we bought it. Before the purchase we had a different washing machine. In the last few months of its tenure, the old machine was doing a poor job of getting the water out of the clothes it washed. The clothes were clean but sopping wet. The dryer didn’t like the sopping wet cloth, so it took two or three cycles to get the clothes dry. If we forgot the routine, the dryer would stop and the clothes would begin to ferment. Then we would have to rewash the clothes, starting the process all over again.

Our objective in buying the new washer was to get a machine that would deliver clean, dryable clothes.

The (first) new machine was digital. By that, I mean that the controls of the machine were digital. The rest of the machine seemed entirely conventional: a wash tub with an agitator. But it was far from conventional. You see, the new machine did not tolerate fabrics of different weights.

Orthodox Judaism has a peculiar concept called shatnez (שַׁעַטְנֵז). This is the biblical prohibition against wearing two types of fiber in one garment (specifically wool and linen, Lev. 19:19). I never really understood the reasoning behind this prohibition, but our digital washer seemed to get it entirely.

If we put different-weight fabrics together in one load, the wash tub would become wildly unbalanced on the spin cycle and the entire machine would make an industrial racket and start walking across the floor. It took the manufacturer two-service calls before it decided to replace the digital washer with a different one.

The (second) new machine had analog controls. That is, the particular wash-plan (yes, washers now have wash plans) is determined by how you set five dials and a couple of buttons. I did the math and found that the controls on this machine can program a minimum of 7,020 wash plans. I say “minimum” because I’m not sure about whether the toggle of one of the buttons is additive or multiplicative. Depending on how that “issue” is resolved, our (second) new machine can either do 7,021 or 14,040 wash plans.

The (second) new machine worked fairly well until last Friday when I went to move the completed wash load to the dryer and found it sopping wet. It took two dryer cycles to get the clothes dry.

At first I was in a state of denial. So I did another load. This time, the wash plan ended with the clothes submerged under about a foot of water. In short, the (second) new machine wasn’t draining at all.

Another service call.

It seems that the pump was stopped up with sand. In other words: “dirt.”

Apparently, this (second) new washer was designed only to wash clean clothes—14,040 different ways.

* * *

One more thing: before the service guy left the house, he used the opportunity to download to our new washer an update to the operating system.

We asked him if we could just get a simple machine that had maybe two settings. He told us that they don’t make them anymore.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s