Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Just what every busy mother needs at the start of summer. A few months back, our washer started acting funny. Couldn't pin point it, it just wasn't quite "right." I mentioned it to Tony. I'd smell kind of a greasy smell occasionally. Clothes were getting clean but had a slight smell, unlike how they had been looking and smelling wonderfully fresh and clean since I started using Watkins new laundry detergent months back.

Then it happened. Thankfully, on my last load of clothes last Monday. I went to put the clothes in the dryer and noticed the floor was sopping wet. Tony looked it over, called the local appliance whiz, took the bottom apart, and discovered the belt had come off and something else didn't seem right. He strapped and cinched the washer to a dolly (not one of Susanna's), and lugged that big ole thing up ten steps and into the back of the van and took it in to town to be repaired. (side note -- my husband may not look like a body builder, but he is STRONG and MUSCULAR and GORGEOUS and FANTASTIC and INCREDIBLE!)

No news for several days. Finally, he called yesterday to find out what was going on. I mean, we were running out of clean overnight underwear...tragic! (for the kids, not us...ours are holding out quite well, thank you very much!) Transformer is completely blown. Belt area is completely shot. We were told it would probably be cheaper to buy a new machine than to pay for the repairs...that may or may not work.

Sigh. I love my washing machine. It has a huge drum in it and could handle very large loads of clothes. It had so many different selections for water temperature, load size, wash cycles. Well, in I went to town. We have a great appliance store in town that occasionally runs a bit more expensive than if we'd go to the nearest huge appliance discount store (Home Depot, Lowes, etc. -- both between one to two hours away), but they delivery free, haul away free, connect new appliances, give great price breaks when buying more than one appliance, and are always willing to walk one through a problem on the phone, so you won't have to have someone come out or haul in an appliance if it's something they can tell you how to do over the phone. So the price usually balances out or is a better bargain that those big stores. Plus, they're local, good, honest folk.

The closest comperable machine to what we had is $500. On sale. And doesn't have near the selection that mine does. Did. Well, does, but can't do any more. Then Burt showed me the HEs. Wow, for just a hundred more, an option is getting a machine that uses 1/3 of the water, 1/2 of the electricity, 1/4 of the detergent, wrings out 96% of the water in the clothes which in turn cuts drying time in at least half. Between the savings on electricity and detergent, the time saved by doing even less loads ("this thing can handle at least 16 pairs of Tony's jeans, no problem!"), it would pretty much pay for itself in a year or two. We don't have to worry too much about water or sewage -- we have a well (although water is always a concern) and a septic. Plus, the door is low and on the front...I could have the kids load the washer then transfer the clothes into the dryer! Tony kinda freaked out....that much money for a washing machine? Even the "cheap" one? Sigh. So I still don't have a washing machine. But I did my homework...did some internet "window shopping" yesterday afternoon, printed out several options to compare from several stores, had the info on the two machines from our appliance store, and Tony is looking them over to compare.

Yes, there are cheaper machines. He showed me the only used machine they have available... a 25-year GE for $125 that has less than half the capacity mine did. Does. Whatever. One water temperature. One washing cycle option. But while I'm not holding out for "the best," the two things I definitely need in a washer is something with a big capacity....I'm already doing between 7-10 loads of laundry every two weeks during the winter...that increases some in the summer...and something that is heavy duty, especially considering the jeans and things that Tony goes through with farming.

Some of the options he's thinking of....using the washing machine down at his sister's place (since she's in the Phillipines and not using it herself!)...and using his mother's machine. But do I have time to do that? I mean, realistically? Running back and forth between the Ponderosa and here or the farm and here. It would be different if I wasn't doing so many other things, but.... well, we'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, our clothes are piling up. This is one of those times I'm really thankful for all the garage saling my mom does in getting an abundance of clothes for the kids. Eventually we'll need some more clean underwear. And if you're near us and smell something funny, just be polite and ignore it. Okay. It isn't that bad.


1 comment:

Martha said...

Get the HE!!!! Tony, please read this ... IT IS WORTH IT! We have one and I would have a hard time going back to a top loader. Plus, the Watkins detergent really works well in here, too. :) Yes, the kids can help load. Christopher often fills the machine with boots, shoes, toys, Cheerios, toilet paper, oh yes ... and dirty clothes, too. GET THE HE!!!!!!!!!!