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More water woes

Posted by joeabbott on November 24, 2016

If you’d asked me, I would have said I’m a “good person” but the second I craft a post about our water problems being behind us, we get hit with another. That is living a bit closer to a karmic balance than I would have thought!

This past Sunday Suzy was doing laundry when I noticed she was a bit longer in the laundry room than usual and called out to see if everything was OK. It wasn’t. Now, she was being a hero not to bother me on my birthday and with a bunch of wet rags in hand she was trying to stop our washer from being on an ever-cycling rinse\fill step. Upon investigating further we noticed error code “FE” on the display and were both surprised that, upon unplugging the machine, it continued to fill.

No surprise with this next revelation: the FE code said something was wrong with our water intake valve. We had to stop the water at the intake hose.

On the plus side, we caught the problem before much water was spilled, had the washer manual nearby to quickly convert “FE” into an actionable plan, and did some quick mopping up. On the minus side, our washer was out of action. And, it wasn’t clear how a bad water intake valve translated to water outside the machine. Oh, as it was Thanksgiving week, we had a full schedule and no time for waiting on repair men.

So I turned to the Internet. First I went through the steps with LG (our washing machine brand) to get service but, as our machine was more than a year old … well, I was on my own. Next I turned to YouTube and found a number of videos on replacing a water intake valve … heck, even I could do that! But, I needed a part. On EBay (and other sites) the part ran for a low of $61 to over $100. I wasn’t happy with those prices but they wouldn’t break the bank. But, I didn’t like waiting on delivery or the inflated mailing charges. So I did what I often do in these cases … I slept on it.

The next day I headed to HomeDepot (where we bought the unit) and while they didn’t have parts, they could order them … or, the clerk said, if we needed it now, I could check up the road at Reliable Parts. I did, they had it, and after confirming it was the right part, Suzy and I picked it up on the way to other errands.

WIN_20161121_15_50_17_ProUpon getting home, we rolled up our sleeves, managed to pull the washer out from under the counter, and while I worked on repairing, Suzy took care of cleaning up.

Here’s what I had to do:

  • remove two screws to get the top off
  • bang repeatedly on the sides of the top to loosen it
  • remove said top
  • pull off four color-coded wires
  • remove four hoses
  • unscrew main intake hose
  • remove two more screws holding the intake valve to the back
  • remove unit
  • insert new unit and undo the above steps

Pretty easy, actually. The intake valve was right at the top, all the parts seemed new and solid, and nothing leaked upon making it right.

By the time I finished my part, Suzy was done with the cleaning and inspection … everything looked great and, while not ideal to have had water sitting under the washer, no significant damage was done. We pushed the washer back, energized the water, and ran through a few cycles. While it was running, I hung around to make sure any leaks would be addressed immediately, and it gave me a chance to take apart the old unit and see how it functioned. Just like our irrigation system!

So, I can now enter the pantheon of people who can repair their own major appliances and, best yet, we were able to complete our laundry before hosting Suzy’s family for Thanksgiving. While I continue to crow at our handling of all the many water issues we have, you may have noticed we had plenty of towels and rags on hand, and a practiced look to our handling of this emergency. Something here about a good defense being a good offense.

Now, let’s get back to enjoying the pitter patter of water on the outside of the house. Thanks for dropping by.


One Response to “More water woes”

  1. At first I wanted to cry… But that would’ve added to the water issue at hand. I’m glad you got the problem taken care of. I have been no one to replace a dryer belt and also a furnace part. There’s nothing better than fixing something yourself. Happy Thanksgiving Joe

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