Friday, July 26, 2013


hi there

well, that was fun. today, much like the entire week, did not go either as i had intended nor as wildly as i could have possibly imagined. hey ho. i was today going to sort through the last of my books. i was doing this very thing, admiring the rather large volumes of The David Bowie Black Book and The Columbia Story, when Mr Washing Machine made a most peculiar noise. a peculiar, unfamiliar and certainly unhappy noise. off i went to investigate.

the washing machine, a Samsung no less (more later) (or just now), was flashing SE for some reason. it was also full of water which normally it would have drained. this has happened before, and the fix i learned was to switch it off, switch it on, select the "spin" cycle and the machine will do its thing and drain the water. except this time, alas, it did not.

regular readers will recall the simply amazing time i had the last timeneeded help off of Samsung. you can click and read that if you like, but the short version is it did not go at all well and Samsung were of very little help in that instance.  in this case, things went slightly better as, unlike with monitors, Samsung actually list their washing machines by the same make and model number as it written on the machine. what a novelty!

that said, fat lot of good that was. here, for your pleasure, is all that Samsung are prepared to offer for assistance in trying to work out what's wrong with the machine.

there are only two things that can go wrong with a washing machine itself, assuming that power and water are a constant. well, those two are not a constant in South Africa, but let's pretend. with the machine, either the belt and/or the motor goes or the drainage thing gets blocked. for all the fancy computer stuff, that's it for the machine.

the simplistic ways of a washing machine are expressed above by Samsung, so well done on that front. what is less than impressive is that Samsung's version of troubleshooting is "ask questions about what might be wrong and don't offer any solutions".

as water does not drain was the issue, i tried my best to work out what to do from Samsung's ace help. after a bit of psychoanalysis i established that the hose was not "down" as such, if anything it did have some pump and was quite chipper. also, and please do not see me as any expert in this regard, i established that it was not somehow frozen. i can only assume that in the world of Samsung they believe consumers of their products regularly take items off their devices, freeze them, put them back and then forget that they have done this. i am quite certain i would remember, but it does not hurt to check.

must be blocked, then, yeah? i took it apart to have a look and it did indeed seem to be somewhat blocked.

after taking the hose off, and using the first two of many towels to mop up the water which spewed out, i blasted the drainage hose as best as i could. this is to say it got blasted with a "power thrust" of water until it seemed all clear.

going back to the towels thing and water all over the floor, yes i did think to empty the washing machine out before taking off the drainage hose. i may not be Mr DIY, but i am not stupid. a good 30 minutes was spent gathering the water into a bucket to take it out and then, when the water level was below the bucket's reach, a cup. my that was fun.

anyway, having given the hose a ruddy good blast, i re-attached it, put some water into the washing machine and did that thing where you set it to spin to drain the excess fluid. i was confident that this would be cool, having eliminated depression and being frozen as reasons for it not draining.

alas, no. it was still not draining. it was making a rather sombre, bass-loaded grumble noise as it had a bash at draining. as it would usually make a high precision, sharp, sort of "Terminator of the washing machines" like noise as it drains who knows, perhaps it is a touch depressed.

hang on, what's that black circle thingie next to where the drainage pipe goes? let us consult the official Samsung manual for the WA13G7Q1 machine. helpfully this part is nowhere near the troubleshooting section of the manual, so one would not have spotted it if they were trying to solve a problem like mine.

you see how it makes references to being part of the drainage system of the machine, yeah? you will also note that at no point in their exhaustive list of suggestions for why the machine won't be draining do they suggest cleaning the filter for the drainage pump. cheers for that.

at this point, as i was increasingly looking at either an expensive repair type chap or lady or an uber-expensive replacement machine, i figured nothing ventured, nothing gained and had a go at cleaning this filter thing out.

sorry, didn't take any pictures, but there is nothing to see. there is no "mesh" or any sort of netting that you would normally associate with something that is called a filter. perhaps there was such a thing attached to it and Mum & Dad have it in New Zealand for some reason. what that black circle thing does unscrew to reveal is just a sort of plastic holder thing.

holder for what? something that, surprisingly, Samsung didn't mention. at all. as i unscrewed and took that part out, out popped a white, small four-bladed thingie that looks like a fan head or propeller. my apologies for not taking any pictures, but it is about the size of your thumb if that helps. if it also helps i have done some top level google work and found images that are quite similar to it.

perhaps this bit is what Samsung consider to be a filter? it just sort of pops on to a pin behind the black circle thing - doesn't screw on at all, so it's quite an art to put it back on and get the black circle thingie back in without it falling off and making a sort of "ding" noise on the bottom of the washing machine.

by the way, their "put a rug down" thing? yeah, do that. but put 3 or 4 towels down instead of a rug. no matter how well you think you have managed to get rid of the water inside the machine with the drainage system down (psychologically or otherwise), this machine seems to harvest and harbour water like nobody's business.

if for some reason you want another look at what a four bladed propeller fan head type thing in a Samsung WA13G7Q1 washing machine looks like, here you go.

Samsung are the ones that ran an advert for their phones or iTwat variants that featured as a selling point you being able to draw a hotel on a beach coast as a business idea, are they not? they certainly have an interesting view on just what it is their consumers do with their time. how many hotels can you build on beaches, and do you really need a phone thingie to do it?

moving on, and after getting the propeller thing to stay on, i got the black circle thingie back in all nice. would it now work? i had my doubts, since there was very little indeed to clean out of that section of the machine. 

to my surprise, it worked! the machine drained and went on to do another was cycle! nice one! strange that, really. although i did find certain items on the floor that might have been in that filter thing and fell out when i took it apart. like, for instance, these two 10c coins, which are worth next to nothing anywhere else in the world but nearly cost me a new washing machine.

they were probably in the pocket of one of my cowboy look pants, or possibly even in a pair of William's strides, for he has taken quite a shine to having shiny things in his pockets. i am not too bothered about the who and the when to be honest, just glad to have seemingly fixed the problem without either consulting a professional or just buying a new one.

the above victory was very, very short lived. why? well, in the short term, the reality i thought i faced was washing several towels used in the mopping up of the "minimal" water Samsung reckoned would come out of the machine. i cannot imagine too many of you are either enthusiastic or excited about seeing a bath full of soaked towels, but if such a thing floats your boat, here you go.

yeah, i know the above it a bit blurred. in my defence, i was stood barefoot on a mildly damp surface next to some electric stuff, electric stuff that i thought i might not have disconnected as much as i perhaps should have.

the failure of the victory was complete when i started another small, simple load in the washing machine. yep, that's right, as per the below picture (the last you may be pleased to note) the machine did its thing again and flat refused to drain. bugger.

as the motor was clearly working and cleaning the filter and drainage pipe had initial succes, i figured there was probably just some more gunk or rubbish (or coins) stuck in it somewhere. as taking the entire machine apart seemed quite a job and one that would result in me not being able to put it back together again i took the approach of doing what i had done above with the filter thing and the drainage pipe a few times. this would surely "flush out" whatever was lurking in the machine.

this eventually, it seems, worked. i hooked the drainage pipe hose thingie to a bucket to test. at first the water just sort of trickled out as i put some in the machine and tried the spin trick. after 3 or 4 rounds of this it started blasting the water out, like it should. i gave it another 3 or 4 goes after that to make sure it would keep blasting out, and it did. covering with water the last remaining towels in our house, but never mind.

i have a rather full day of washing ahead of me tomorrow, then, since that which would have been done today has not been done. hopefully the machine holds out and does what it should!

what have we learned here? well, if you have a piece of equipment that is insolent and you are on the verge of either calling the menders or the shop for a new one, have a fiddle. don't go taking it apart or removing things that are clearly not meant to be removed, but have a muck around with the parts that you can. what is there to lose? if it's broken you cannot make it worse, so long as you stay within what i suggest. i mean, i did tilt the washing machine to have a look at the engine and electronics underneath, but one glance said "this is not for your eyes".

this is coming from someone who is of no use usually with DIY things. it's years of being told that i am no good at it, and thus going in to such tasks with a mind set on failure, if you like. that would be why all banal things i have shared here, be they installing a toilet flush or putting up a towel rack, get celebrated the way they do by your humble narrator. have a go, i guess, is what we have learned.

to all of you who have sought help from the internet and found this page, i can only hope this has helped and good luck with your efforts to fix the machine. to Samsung - thanks again for empowering me to try and sort out a problem with your devices by refusing to give much more than a basic acknowledgement that yes indeed you did make this product. a rough idea of what the bits are was most helpful.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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