Those of you have read my columns know that I have a natural aversion to technology and change. One of the things that I have grown to love though is YouTube because of all of the handyman lessons that are on the videos. It is a great way for the less handy among us to learn how to fix something and save a buck or two.
In the last three years, I’ve made repairs on the washer and dryer. I replaced the heating element in the dryer and had to buy a set of dogs for the washer. Who knew washers even had dogs? The latest repair took me back to the washer. After replacing the easy and inexpensive part, I checked it, and it had the same symptoms, draining and clicking without spinning. Two repairmen and YouTube advised me that the source of my woes was the washer’s transmission. I was told that it was time to purchase a new washer. My bride has to have matching machines so it was time for a new dryer too.
Our old washer and dryer had lasted 17 years before being pronounced dead. That was the last time we were in the market, and things sure have changed a lot in those 17 years. Now washers do not have an agitator. There are front loaders and top loaders, but no agitators. My wife said that we needed a front loader. The salesman told me that you have to keep the door to this dag blasted thing open to prevent it from getting moldy and nasty inside. Now I have to check it for wayward critters that might be nesting in there before I start the laundry. In addition, we are now to clean the washing machine with a special cleaner once a month. The salesman asked how long we have had our current machines. I told him 17 years. Then he told me not to expect 17 years from this washer. He said that the average life on one of these washers is just 5 years. The cost of the new washer was considerably higher than what we had paid back in the day.
With all of the persnickety characteristics of the new washer, it is rated Energy Star, High Efficiency, and whatever other label that the environmentalists can put on the darn thing. It is the greenest white washer that I’ve ever seen. However, I cannot figure out how a washer that will be placed in the junk pile every 5 years is more friendly to the environment than my old 17 year old water hog.
Once the washer and dryer were delivered, it looked like two space ships had landed in the laundry room. During the spin cycle, the washer sounds like it is about to take off. Their shape looks very modern, they have about as many lights as our Christmas tree, and they make chime melodies when starting and stopping.
It is not all bad. I have seen a noticeable difference in how clean our clothes are compared to the water hog. The laundry gets done a lot quicker too. My son couldn’t wait to run a load every time the machine was emptied, but that only lasted until the newness was over. We have come a long way since the old scrub board, wash tub, and lye soap. That cannot be denied. I’d be a little intimidated to lift the hood and check the transmission on the new washer, but that too may be a plus.
Written by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.