October 7, 2019 by phicks2012
The other day one of my rental tenants complained to my Property Manager that her new washer was not filling with water, and asked if someone could come by and find out what was wrong with the plumbing.
I’m guessing she meant “a plumber”, and was, of course, assuming that the problem was with the plumbing. This came as no great surprise to me, since tenants always seem to assume that their problems relate to something the landlord is responsible for, and the washer (being her own) did not fit into the category.
Plumbers cost money — often rather a lot — so Jason and I decided to go by and check it out ourselves, because, well, a washer is generally a simple appliance, right? If something had been wrong with the plumbing, that would have been easy enough to find out, after all, so on the morning of September 12th we arranged to drop by and have a look.
The first thing Jason noticed was that the hoses were hooked up ass-backwards. The hot water hose was hooked up to the cold water intake on the washer, and cold to hot. When he disconnected them and turned the water back on, both worked perfectly. Hot water (VERY hot) came rushing out of the hot water hose, and cold water out of the cold water hose. No problem at all, so the issue clearly wasn’t with the plumbing. It had to be with the washer.
The second thing we noticed was that while the washer definitely was not brand new, it was one of those highly computerized models. After we hooked the hoses back up (properly this time) we couldn’t really tell if the tub was filling correctly with water because the washer would not turn on with the lid open, and if the the lid was closed it locked as soon as we turned the washer on. Thus, no looking inside to see if the water was flowing in as intended.
Thinking about it, we figured the washer probably had sensors that wouldn’t allow hot water in (through the cold water intake) when the machine was set for a cold wash. Well, that at least would make some sense. The only thing we really could do though, other than reconnect the hoses and turn the water back on, was to unplug the washer and hope that would force a hard reboot of the internal computer.
You know what they say about computers. If it doesn’t work, the first thing to do is to turn it off and then on again. That generally will reset everything.
We left it unplugged for her to plug in again herself though. The idea was that either it was going to work, or it wasn’t, but the problem (in any case) was not with anything I was responsible for. Plumbing = Me. Washer = Not Me.
But in the course of this I found myself wondering why the HELL anyone would want a washer that difficult to deal with. What is the point of having the lid lock as soon as the washer starts? Isn’t it enough to have the drum stop spinning (as my own does) when the lid is opened? And even if the drum didn’t stop, what harm would that do? It’s not like a washer contains a temporal vortex that will suck the user in or transport him or her to the Horsehead Nebula!
If you forget to toss something into the wash and want to add it a bit later, how do you do that if the bloody lid is locked? How do you add fabric softener if you forget to do that at the onset? From what we saw, the only way to get the lid on this particular washer open again was to turn the washer off entirely, thus totally interrupting the wash cycle and forcing the user to start it over again. How is that in any way convenient?
In any case, it was a learning experience for me, because if I ever need to get a new washer I’ll move heaven and earth NOT to get one that over-complicated and impractical — or one that (like the microwave I briefly owned before returning it) will not work at all without Alexa telling it what to do.
Smart technology is all well and good if it’s also practical, but that sort of thing frankly verges on the ridiculous. Wait! Did I say “verges on the ridiculous”? Make that “crosses the line into the absurd”, and it will be far more accurate, thank you. For myself, I subscribe to the KISS principle — “Keep It Simple Stupid” — and figure I’ll continue to do so.