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Washing Machine Blues

March 8, 2012

You are going to either love me for this or hate me for finding yet another filter/screen for you to clean. I know, I know – where do I find all these tips and tricks that I pass on to you? I can’t stop reading and researching. It even drives me crazy sometimes. I can’t believe we have so many screens and filters lurking around our houses. Jeez, what did we ever do before we had all these things to take care of? (Oh yeah, soap).

For those of you who are having trouble with a slow filling washing machine, you are going to love me because I have a cure for you and you won’t have to call a plumber. This is a simple fix you can do yourself.

The problem is most likely your inlet screens. Inlet screens are little screens located inside the inlet valve holes which are found on the back of the washing machine where the hot and cold water hoses connect to the machine. The screens are there to protect the machine from sediment in the water. Sediment gets trapped in the screen and then it stops the water from flowing in quickly. That’s when you need to clean it. (Another yearly maintenance check off item – yahoo).

Now, if you can’t find these screens it might be because you don’t have them or they are placed in an area where they are very hard to find. You may have to check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer. However, I am going to continue as if you can find them.

Unplug the washing machine so you don’t get shocked (of course I really don’t have to tell you this because you know better than to work with any appliance plugged in around water). And, turn off the water so you don’t get wet when you take the hoses apart.

It is wise to mark the hoses hot and cold when you take them off so you are sure to put them back on correctly (hot on the left and cold on the right – unless someone connected them wrong in the first place – but, let’s not go there). Now, loosen the coupling nuts on the hoses by turning them counterclockwise (have a bucket underneath to catch the water in the hoses). You will see the screens inside the valves. Pop them out with a dental pick or a fingernail file (carefully – don’t poke through them – pretend you are playing the game Operation).

You can soak the screens in white vinegar for 10 minutes or so, you can scrub them gently with a toothbrush and rinse them with hot water, or you can replace them with new ones. You choose how much of clean freak you want to be.

Now reconnect the hoses tightly so you have no leaks (clockwise) – don’t over tighten though. Turn the water back on, plug the washing machine back in and you are back in business with full water pressure.

And now you have checked off another of your maintenance items. One down and six-hundred fifty-five more to go. Whew – being a woman on a mission of DIY is a tough job but I know you are up for it. Hang in there. I am right there along side of you.

To women holding hammers (and taking care of business),

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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