Yesterday Jan started the Candy washing machine on the final fast spin cycle when it suddenly started to make horrible noises. I frantically called out from the bedroom “Turn it off….. turn it off!” Jan managed to quickly reach the inverter and kill the 240V power. After the two minute mandatory wait the washing machine door unlocked and she was able to remove the clothing. Then Jan showed me the steel washer she had found inside the drum. “Must have been in your jeans pocket” she said. It didn’t look like any washer I’d recently seen!
This morning we tested out the machine and the noise was still present. It’s a horrible grinding sound. After examining the machine in-situ I came to the conclusion there was little I could do from the front and it would have to be removed from its cubbyhole. Of course everyone knows how easy it is to remove a washing machine in a boat. Eventually we managed to “jiggle” it out and into the aisle. This allowed me to disconnect the 240V plug, water supply and waste hoses. The machine still had water in it and the drain is at floor level. We know that if the drain plug is removed up to two litres of water will run out (don’t ask how we know!). The machine needs to be raised in order to catch all the water. But then I had a clever idea (doesn’t often happen). We have a step down between the back cabin and the galley. The washing machine is in the back cabin. So by moving the machine forward we could position the drain plug over the step and catch the water in a container placed on the lower galley floor. That worked.
I was then able to remove the back panel and examine the inside. Unfortunately this wasn’t much help. The entire drum assembly isn’t accessible from the rear or front. We were left with two options. Move the machine into the saloon where there is more room and strip it down in an effort to find and rectify the problem. Or we could buy a replacement.
Disassembling the washing machine in the saloon and attempting to fix the fault would have really constricted our living space with no guarantee of a successful outcome. Consequentially we’ve opted for a new machine and decided to move the old washer out of the boat. Now we thought of this situation when designing the boat. All our large appliances will fit through the side hatches. However Jan didn’t want to do this as it would involve moving the washer over her galley granite worktops. She decided it would go out through the rear doors. There are four steps to be negotiated and the area is rather restricted. There’s also a fair amount of nice joinery, so this needed to be done with great care. The obvious solution was for Jan to carry the washer out whilst I supervised to ensure the joinery didn’t get damaged. I have a bad back and didn’t want Jan to have the same straining to lift the machine. That’s when I got the bright idea of strapping the washing machine to our small sack trolley. The plan got even better when I thought of laying the two mats over the steps. So with Jan heaving on the trolley and me supervising we managed to get the washer onto the back deck.
Yes dear… you can have a short rest now!
I know some readers might think the division of labour might have been unfair. But in my defence, she is younger than me! And exercise is good for you!
After lunch I walked to Currys in the nearby retail park to look for a suitable replacement washer. They had a Beko which would have been ideal. Obviously we need it delivered and the old one recycled. Currys could do this but they needed a postcode for the delivery. We are moored beside the park which also has a car park. I thought this would be an ideal delivery location but Currys have other ideas. They wanted either a physical address or a marina. We’re now exploring a Tesco option.
It’s been four years since the washing machine was installed and since we we’ve removed it we might as well check everything in the compartment is OK. I’d actually forgotten how I’d configured all the services.
The light grey hose is the cold water and it runs to an isolation valve in the wet locker. The waste hose is the white one. I’ve taped a plastic bag over the end of the pipe and secured it with black duct tape. The wast discharges through the side of the boat and into the canal. I remember thinking I wanted all the waste connections that exit the boat through the lower hull to have a ‘U’ loop in them. The idea being it would ensure canal water didn’t come back into the boat through the hose. I’ve also noticed the electrical cables have dropped down and will need to be resecured. It will have to be done tomorrow as I’m exhausted after all that supervision.