Sunday, August 27, 2006

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog...

...for this public service announcement:


We spent $1,000 on a Kenmore Calypso (AKA Whirlpool Calypso) just barely three years ago and it crapped out on us on Tuesday, as I was trying to sneak in a last minute washload before a short vacation.

Buoyed by success with ball rod replacement, we tried to fix the problem ourselves.

The machine's LED gave us an error message "Ld" which is supposed to mean the drain hose is clogged, and theoretically you should clean it.

However, this means you have to remove the hose from the machine, causing all the water trapped in the washer to gush out.

Luckily, we were prepared. The water filled up a 16 gallon shop vac and then some.

Although the inside of the drain hose was gooky (technical term) it wasn't clogged. And nothing else appeared amiss.

So we reattached it and the machine drained properly. But the clothing inside was still soapy, so logically that meant running a rinse/spin cycle.

Which didn't work.

It's always nice to be up until 2 AM squeezing water out of an unfinished load of laundry and mopping up wet floors, isn't it?

Plus, laundry is the only domestic duty I have the least bit of interest in. Maybe because it involves clothing and I'm into fashion, or maybe because it involves isolating myself in a little room where I can watch TV that's not Cartoon Network. Luckily, the typical week finds me doing an average of a load of laundry per day.

So, I have more than a casual interest in getting this machine working again - and fast.

When our semi-vacation (using the term "vacation" loosely for reasons I shan't go into here) concluded, much internet searching ensued -- most of which brought me to the first line of this post.

Despite its Consumer Reports glowing review (the reason for our purchase of this model) this is one lousy machine. There's a class action suit settlement -- but it only covers breakdowns within 18 months of purchase.

Does this mean we should consider ourselves lucky that our one-grand bought us 3 years?

Information gleaned from various complaints gave me a glimmer of hope that there was still a chance we might be able to fix it ourselves.

I found the diagnostic codes for the machine and the service manual online. It was kinda fun to punch in the "Key Dance" and make the machine do various tasks (well, not do them in most cases.)

So, yesterday, we shop vac-ed out all the water again (this particular machine as a holding tank inside, so you can't just bail out the basket) and turned the washer over on its side.

We don't have a proper laundry room, just appliances in a closet in the upstairs bath, so we were effectively being held captive in the room by a giant metal box. Our only escape route was blocked.

Took the bottom off the washer, hoping to find some obvious obstruction (errant gerbil?) was screwing things up with the drain pump. No such luck. No bra underwire (an item frequently mentioned in posts as being found inside.) Not even a lost sock.

Since he went through all the trouble of flipping the darn thing over, my Esteemed Husband removed two more drain motor hoses and I rinsed out the gelatinous deposits inside.

Once reassembled and uprighted, I did the diagnostic sequence Key Dance. It cycled through and everything worked! Did it again - it worked again. And again.

We didn't know exactly what we did to fix it, but I patted our collective backs anyway.

Put in a small load of towels to actually wash. The machine started to fill.

And then it stopped.

One $260 phone call later, we now have a two year service contract that covers unlimited repairs.

Thankfully, internet posts revealed that Sears would sell an extended warranty to someone whose washer was already broken.

I just supplied my mastercard number to the lovely lady on the telephone (who first tried to sell me a $600 five-year plan, then a $380 three-year plan...) and simply had to wait until the next day to schedule the repair.

So...Thursday, sometime in the exceedingly narrow window of 8 AM - 5 PM a "technician" will show up to look at our washer.

Surely I will spend most of the day anxiously anticipating his visit...only to find he will leave as quickly as he arrives, with a vague promise to return another day with the needed part.

I'm leaning towards the motherboard being the problem, so that means he'll probably replace the drain motor first.

In the meantime, the Esteemed Husband is taking three bags of dirty laundry over to his mom's today while I'm at work.

Which is all well and good, but it means I'll be washing my undies in the sink. Because some part of my psyche just can't deal with my 85-year-old mother-in-law handling my V-strings.

And forgive me if I temporarily disappear from this forum. Impending poverty tends to spoil my sense of humor.


At August 29, 2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Merujo said...

I wonder if this is why my sister was able to pick up one of those things at her local Goodwill for $50? (Considering that she lives on a chicken farm, I guess whatever service she gets out of it will be worth the $50...)

I totally understand the sudden loss of moolah = sudden loss of humor. It will come back. I'll send you a pirate eye patch and some Depp-i-fied cereal, and all will be better. (Until the sugar high wears off.)

At August 29, 2006 6:26 PM, Blogger Rev. Smokin Steve said...

$260 for two years?

I could do a years worth of laundry at the laundromat for that.

Granted, I do my laundry as infrequently as possible. I have lots of pairs of underwear.

At August 30, 2006 11:06 AM, Blogger Cyn said...

Thanks for the patch offer -- but I believe we already have some Pirates' eye patches punched out from McD's Happy Meal boxes floating around the house (the Deppnotism continues...) I'll have to give the patch-wearing a try. Especially since I just shelled out another $40 for cat meds, some of which they only gave me a weeks' supply of.

I think your sister's $50 expense was just about right for a Calypso.

Laundromats appear to be outlawed in this neck of suburbia. We've got three (soon to be four) Targets within a ten-minute drive, but I've yet to see laundromat 'round here.

At April 29, 2008 10:14 PM, Blogger tim said...

I have the infamous kenmore calypso and will NEVER buy another hirlpool or Kenmore product aa long as I live, they don't stand behind their products!'


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