I don’t know if you’re like me, but I never was much of a handy guy. Still, when I got married in my 20’s I felt it was my job to take care of all the minor breakdowns around the house – or at least take a stab at them. Sure I could re-nail baseboards and paint rooms but my biggest concern was more along the lines of that which could kill (or severely injure) me. Electricity and I were not the best of friends ever since a ceiling fan install numbed up my arm for an hour. I’ll be honest, the thought of performing my own appliance repairs scared me – just a little.
Our neighbor was a maintenance foreman so I swallowed my pride and asked him to teach me the ropes. All I can say is it’s nice to have good neighbors (and the Internet). With his instruction on the basics – turn off the electricity, have a system for remembering where pieces that you take off go and always give yourself twice as long as you think it should take (three times as long if you are working from experts timed instructions) and a good handle on how to search the web for how-to’s, I became a virtual master of the home repair.
My last major appliance repair was the drive belt on my washing machine. I overloaded the washing machine (something my wife was forever complaining about) and this time the belt just couldn’t take it.
Sure it had slipped in the past and left the laundry room smelling like a drag race, but this time it snapped. The washer just quit spinning. I had to remove the clothes and then turn the machine to access the back where the diver belt was located. I unplugged it first (the cord was so short it wouldn’t have let me turn it without doing so – brilliant design feature, I must say) and then removed the base cover with my trusty multi-head electric driver. I made sure to have a piece of masking tape with me to stick the screws to (tip courtesy of my neighbor).
Replacing the belt was as simple as removing the broken one and sliding the new belt over the transmission pulley (the larger one) and then the drive unit pulley (the smaller one). Make sure to tighten the motor pulley with the adjustable screw. I forgot to the first time and had to give the entire process a do over. Re-secure the base cover and set the machine back up. Voila, you’ve just saved at least $75 and you get your man card re-punched, at least for a few days. But hey, if you’re still stuck after all the help from your neighbor, it’s worth getting an appliance repairs company out to help save your sanity and sometimes your life – or at least the feeling in your arm.
How-To Video: Replace Washing Machine Drive Belt
Photo by RLHyde via Flickr