Monday, December 07, 2009


Yesterday I did a pretty big load of laundry, as I hadn't done laundry since Thanksgiving.
After the machine stopped, I went down to transfer the clothes to the dryer and noticed an odd smell in the bathroom (where the washer is located), and that the clothes seemed considerably wetter than usual.
But, shrugging it off, I hauled the extremely heavy load outside to the shed attached to the back of the house where my dryer is located.
When I was buying the house, I found the laundry set up rather strange and inconvenient, but the house had enough other things going for it, so I decided I could live with it, not realizing just how much of a pain in the ass it was going to be, and since that time I've kept my unconscious mind working in the background to try to find a solution to my laundry quandary.
In any case, after finishing with the clothes I decided to wash some towels. While I was upstairs I heard a noise that made me say, "That can't be good," but it went away before I got around to investigating. After the washer had stopped I went to the bathroom to transfer the towels to the dryer and found that the bathroom was full of smoke and the smell of burning electrical components, and that water level inside the washer had not gone down at all.
A quick Googling showed that the two most likely causes for a washing machine not draining were a clogged hose or a problem with the drain pump motor.
It seemed unlikely that the a clogged hose would fill a room with smoke and the smell of a burned out motor.
Further Googling showed that drain pump motors aren't terribly expensive, and I supposed that, after a comedy of errors, it might be possible to replace the motor with Scott's assistance, but I decided to rule that out immediately.
The idea of calling someone to repair it isn't especially appealing either, considering how much it would likely cost and the fact that the washer is probably at least as old as I am, so who knows how long it will be before the other components decide to give out.
So that leaves me with the option of buying a new washer, which, beyond the obvious issue of cost comes with some challenges.
For one thing, it seemed like the washer is too big to fit through the bathroom door, looking as though it was first put in place, and then the bathroom was constructed around it.
I did some measuring, and it seems that the washer will fit through the door, but it won't fit past the toilet, which would mean having to lift the thing a few feet into the air and actually carrying it out the door, or else removing the toilet and then reinstalling it after the new washer is put in place.
I'm not sure that I could find anyone willing to do either of those things without paying a lot of money.
(In the alternative, I suppose I could pick up a Sawzall and cut the thing up, which might be sort of therapeutic.)
One of the potential solutions to the inconvenient laundry set up I've considered for a while is knocking down the wall between the two back bedrooms and turning the whole works into a large master suite with a walk-in closet and a larger master bath, and turning the current - very small - master bath into a laundry room. Not only would I no longer have the inconvenience of having to haul clothes outside to dry, I wouldn't even have to haul them downstairs to wash them.
And while I'd be losing a bedroom, from what I've leanred about real estate from watching HGTV and talking to my Realtor, going from four bedrooms down to three has little to no impact on resale value, and adding a nice, modern master bath would actually provide a boost. The loss of the old master bath wouldn't matter much either, as the construction of the new master bath would mean no change in the current number of bathrooms in the house.
Also, having convenient laundry facilities has to count for something.
Barring that ambitious option, with the smaller, modern versions, there is enough room in the downstairs bathroom for a washer and a dryer, and while I'd still have to carry laundry up and down the stairs, that option still would be more convenient than the current set up.
The only problem there is that there's no way that I can see to actually vent the dryer from there, and beyond that, the bathroom isn't wired for a dryer.
I can afford to buy a new washer, but since I can't really afford to have the work done that would actually improve my set up - and there's still the issue of removing the old washer - I have a hard time bringing myself to do it.
And, while there's nothing wrong with the old (and I do mean old) dryer, if I'm going to buy a new washer, I might as well buy a new dryer at the same time.
But, again, I hate to spend that much money just to return to the status quo.
So I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do.
Should I get the old washer repaired? Try to find a way to remove the old washer and just buy a new one? Buy a washer and a dryer just so that I have matching appliances, even though they're located in completely separate areas? Bring in a contractor to give me an estimate on what it would cost - or determine if it's even possible - to put in a vent and outlet for a dryer in the bathroom? Get an estimate on my more ambitious renovation plan? Or, given that there's room for it, see what it would cost to have washer and dryer hook ups put in the back bedroom? Aftet all, it shares a wall with the guest bathroom - and, in the mostly-unused closet, the master bath - so it would be relatively easy (though not cheap) to make the necessary plumbing changes. At most I'd be losing a closet and a little bit of space in the bedroom, but it's just me here, and maybe down the road I could afford my more ambitious plan, or find some other solution.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Offers of donations to help me pay for it all?
As far as what else has been going on since last I posted, I've been trying - and failing - to do some drawing, and I've yet to get back to working on reviewing and editing my novel. Verizon gave me free HBO and Cinemax for three months, so a lot of my time has been spent watching movies (and softcore porn).
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I went to the Room Store and bought some bedroom furniture, as I've gotten tired of keeping all of my clothes in the closet and not having a proper mirror. It was a pretty good deal, but I had to make some changes to it in order to make it work.
The deal was $900 for a bed, the dresser, and the mirror, and a free nightstand. Of course, I didn't need a bed, just the dresser, mirror, and nightstand. I thought about buying it anyway, and just moving my current bed into one of the other bedrooms, but then I'd have to buy a new mattress set in order to make it useful. The salesman told me that I could substitute another nightstand for the bed, or the matching chest. I opted for the chest, figuring that I could put that in the guest bedroom, and that having another dresser was more useful than having another bed.
Naturally there were no delivery windows open close to that date, so I won't be getting it until this Saturday.
Oh, and I never mentioned that I had Thanksgiving dinner at Jamie and Casey's house, along with Scott and Stacy and the kids, as well as some friends of theirs. Well, I did.
Anyway, that'll do it for now.
Seriously, I'm open to any reasonable suggestions for solving my washing machine problem.


lbugsh2 said...

You know I am opinated so here goes. First send your laundry home on wednesday with Scott and I can wash dry it and return it with Scott on friday just pick it up from him at lunch. That gives you time for the second option which is get a estimate (a free one) on what it would cost to have that done. While that is being done price the washers and dryers if all else fails sears cards a great thing you can pay for it slowly over time. If all that does not meet what you want then call us and we will get the washer out of the bathroom. Scott and I helping and you can get just a new one of those for now and work on the rest later.
That is my vote.

Merlin T Wizard said...

I say get a new washer and dryer installed upstairs in the closet with an eye towards the remodel of your master room and bath.

Also, Stacy is perturbed at your word verification for comments. Just thought I'd share.

Heimdall said...

Stacy: I appreciate the offer, but there is one problem with it which I can't get past: you don't fall into the category of "People whom I'd feel comfortable allowing to handle my underwear."
Also, after only three days I don't really accumulate that much dirty laundry.
Scott: Your suggestion is actually what I'm leaning towards at this point. Now it's just a matter of finding a contractor to come in and tell me how much it would cost to do that.
Scott and/or Stacy: What's so perturbing about the word verification? Was it the particular random word it generated, or just having to deal with word verification at all?

Merlin T Wizard said...

It is word verification in general I dislike. And frankly underware is underware as long as its not a thong I dont care.
This is Stacy btw not scott.

Heimdall said...

as long as its not a thong I dont care
Well, then we have a problem...
I kid, I kid.
Anyway, it's not you caring that's the issue.
I appreciate the offer, but honestly, given that everything else works, just manually draining the water as an interim solution seems easier.
And sorry, but word verification isn't going away.