This might be a bit of a long story, as we’ve certainly learnt a few lessons along the way, financial and otherwise. You might, or might not, remember my post back in 2016 When Murphy comes knocking on your door where I wrote, among other things, about our washing machine, which wasn’t even 2 years old at the time, but had decided to pack up. The motor had ceased, and we had to have it replaced. As the machine was still under warranty, the motor was replaced for us free of charge. We honestly thought, at the time, that the washing machine would last us a long time afterwards. How wrong we were…

Fast forward just a couple of months later, or maybe even just a few weeks later, and the washing machine started giving us problems again. This time, it was the shock absorbers that had given up. We called in a technician who had over the years done a couple of repairs for us, and very well at that too. He came round to have a look but left a short while later, saying that he would first have to find the spare parts, and then he would be back to replace them. Several weeks later there were still no spare original manufacturer parts available in Johannesburg. We trusted the information he provided us, and so thought there would be no point in calling anyone else in. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to buy a new washing machine, and so we did. We kept the now ‘old’ washing machine, having been assured by the technician that when the spare parts do become available, he would source them, replace them and we would keep that washing machine as a spare.  

Now two years later, in 2018, and we still hadn’t heard back from the technician. It was now our ‘new’ machine that had decided to pack up, just two years later, and just as the machine had gone past its warranty. We phoned the same technician again, and a few days later he came round with the shock absorbers for the ‘old’ washing machine. He replaced those, and the machine worked for a day before it started making the most monumental racket when spinning. It was now the bearings that needed to be replaced. A few more phone calls to the same technician, but with no luck as he never came back. After about a week we stopped calling him, and I decided to look for someone else.

And was that a nightmare! We were now sitting with 2 washing machines, both of which needed repairs. We had no idea where to look for a reputable technician. We wanted to have at least one of our washing machines fixed, and it didn’t matter which one. Eventually, after some online searching, I found a couple of potential contacts. I phoned one technician who agreed to come and repair both of our machines. He promised he would come the one day, and then he didn’t. He then said he would come the next day, in the morning, and then he didn’t. He then said he would come in the afternoon, and then he didn’t. He never pitched. We wasted about a week calling him and waiting for him to come. The funny thing is, he kept insisting that he would be there to do the job but, alas!  

We then contacted another technician on my list, and sure enough he came round the next day. We were a bit hesitant to be honest when he said that he would have to take the washing machine back to his workshop to have the bearings replaced (we had no references for his work whatsoever), but at that point, we were so desperate that we agreed. He quoted us R 1500.00 for each machine. We didn’t really think this was cheap by any means, but we weighed this against the cost of buying a new washing machine, yet again, and so we agreed to the quote and let him take our ‘old’ washing machine – we could only afford to fix one machine at that price. And sure enough, our machine was returned to us the next day. It was such major excitement watching it spinning quietly as we ran the test cycle. We thought all was well and good, and we paid the technician the agreed amount.

Unfortunately for us, the washing machine started making the same horrendous noise the very next day! At that point I was actually glad that we didn’t agree for him to take both our washing machines! So I called the technician to ask him to have a look at it again; after all, we just paid him R 1500.00 to have it repaired. He promised he would come the next day, and then he didn’t. He then said he would come on another day, and then he didn’t. A week later, and he still hadn’t pitched. And there we were, back to square one. We were once again sitting with two washing machines that we couldn’t use. What were we to do? We just spent R 1500.00 for nothing. We weren’t really in a position to be looking at buying a new washing machine. How could we fix either one of our two washing machines? Who should we call? I was tired of calling and calling and calling and getting nowhere. I couldn’t believe that it was so difficult to find someone to repair a washing machine!

Having given it some thought, we finally decided that we were not going to call anyone else and that my hubby would give it a go – he would pull the machine apart and try to replace the bearings himself. My husband knows nothing about washing machines. He likes to fix things in general, although he’s never attempted to fix a washing machine before! But he gave it his best. He started by watching loads and loads of videos on YouTube, and learning as much as he could in the process. When he felt confident enough that he would be able to do it, he pulled the machine apart, making note of each piece and how and where it fits. This took him a whole 2 days, and all his inexperience with fixing washing machines considered, this was no small feat. It took him a few more days to find a good spares shop, but he found one. And we learnt that the bearing costs only R113.00.

It took my husband another weekend to put the machine back together, but he managed. We were both a bit apprehensive before switching it on for the first time and were wondering if the machine would work, but it did! Our washing machine has now been working for a good few weeks. Does it still wash nicely? Yes. Does it make any noise? A little, but that is to be expected as some of the inner parts looked pretty worn; it’s certainly not making a horrendous racket, which could previously be heard a good 50-100 metres down the road. It makes some noise, but for just a few moments, and then it quietens down so all in all, I’m super pleased.  

What have we learnt from all of this? We lost so much time – weeks and eventually a few months went by without a washing machine at home. We mostly relied on a laundromat to have our laundry done, which cost us money each week. We also lost R 1500.00 of our hard-earned money, paid to someone who didn’t fix the machine properly as he had agreed to do. When my husband pulled the machine apart, he discovered that the technician replaced the outer bearing (an easy, half-an-hour’s job), but not the inner bearing; in other words, he never pulled the machine apart because if he had, he would have seen the broken inner bearing and replaced that instead.

But all in all, this was a bit of a happy ending for us after all the trouble we’d gone through. I think both our washing machines (yes, my hubby managed to fix both) will be up and running for quite some time now. Will we consider the DIY option in future? Perhaps, or we might just get a new washing machine…

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