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Appliance Repair Nightmare! Don’t Let It Happen to You!
Equipment repair safety. While on a call recently, I ran into a situation that is every appliance repairman’s worst nightmare. I responded to a washing machine call by a desperate housewife with three children who had piles of laundry.
After removing the front screws and removing the front cover I quickly realized that the last person to service this washing machine is either a rank hobbyist or a tinkerer with a penchant for improvised engineering.
The reason this particular washing machine refused to go through the spin cycle was because the wire leading to the lid switch had shorted out, burned in two, although luckily no other part of the washer was affected.
However, the biggest problem was that someone in the past bypassed the lid switch completely, while those of you not in the appliance repair trade may not realize the consequences of such a dangerous move, as any professional appliance repairman worth their salt will tell you. It’s not a huge one, no!
To clarify, the purpose of the lid switch, which is usually not built into the lid locking mechanism, is to keep the washer lid securely closed when the machine is spinning at high speed, which can reach hundreds of RPM (revolutions per minute). This is the period when your washer presents the greatest danger to your family or anyone using the machine.
Not a year goes by that some unfortunate individual foolishly decides to put their hand up to a machine that is spinning at high speed in a misguided attempt to slow it down or stop it. The results are always tragic.
Clothes in the washer often trap the person’s arm and then literally twist it. The best case scenario is that the arm is broken in multiple places, in some of the worst cases, the arm is detached from the body, an event that is almost too terrifying to imagine.
To top it off, the purpose of your lid switch is to ensure that this doesn’t happen to anyone using the washer or passing by. Under no circumstances should the lid switch be bypassedNor should you make any other repairs to the switch bypassed unit.
In the handful of instances I’ve encountered this problem, homeowners were upset to learn that a key safety feature of their appliance had been bypassed and were more than happy to pay a small additional cost to make the lid’s safety system work properly.
How can you check to make sure your washer is working properly? Place a load in your washer and start it and let it fill with water. Most washers allow you to open the lid during the spin cycle so you can add detergent and softener.
Now with the machine full of water, open the lid and increase the time for the spin cycle. On any properly functioning washing machine, Do not rotate the washer with the lid open!!
If you’re doing a washer, call your local appliance repairman. As the old saying goes, “Prevention is a pound of cure.”
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