Girl Vs. Washing Machine

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Everyone has a favorite household chore. Even those who hate housework in general may not mind the rhythm of running the vacuum cleaner or the sense of accomplishment when a dishwasher is emptied. My favorite chore is laundry. I like to lug it all down to the basement, sort it, put it in the washing machine, push all the buttons that make cool beeping noises, move it to the dryer, push more fun beeping buttons,  pull the warm good smelling clothes out and then fold them. I don’t like putting them away. I purposefully fold laundry on my bed so I must put it away before I can go to sleep. My stuff goes in the drawers, the kid’s stuff gets handed to them, and My Man’s stuff is folded and placed on his side of the bed. He can put his own stuff away.

When one of the main tools of my favorite chore starts acting all wonky I am not a happy girl. I have a  front loading, high-efficiency washing machine that seems fancy and I think, as cool as a washing machine can get. I know I already mentioned cool beeping buttons… but seriously… it’s like playing a video game or something when I get it rolling. Well, my washing machine has some sort of super computer in it and when things go wrong I get a code number. In this case I got a F21. If My Man had been home (he was out-of-town) I would have had him take a look (seeing as I really just do not like trying to fix things mechanical) but I was on my own. I pulled out my trusty owners manual, went to the TROUBLESHOOTING section and found F21. This is a drain problem and the steps I were given to fix it were:

  1. Unplug washing machine
  2. Be sure the drain hose on the back is not kinked, frozen, clogged and that it is no more than 96″ above the ground.
  3.  After checking out the drain hose from all angles, plug-in the washer and press start.
  4. If problem remains, call for service

So I did these things. I even took the drain hose off the back and ran water through it to make sure it was clear. Then I had such a hard time reattaching that damn hose (which became its new name)  that I screamed at my washing machine (which caused my kids to come running to make sure I wasn’t hurt) and I got cuts on both hands. Once the drain hose was attached, I plugged my machine in, hit start and ta da… F21. Crap. When I talked to My Man on the phone that night I said I was going to call for service the next day (such wonderful conversations we have when we are separated by thousands of miles). He told me that sounded like exactly what I should do.

I felt defeated that I didn’t fix the problem and pissed off that I was going to have to pay money to have my washing machine serviced. And then I had an “ah ha” moment. I googled Whirlpool Duet F21 and found myself headed to YouTube…. and Roger. He had a video that showed what he did when his washing machine had that code! I watched it. It looked kind of easy. Unscrew the front panel, get lots of towels, unscrew this drain catch thingy, water comes out, you find some things in the catch thingy (in this case loose change and old socks) and ta da. Fixed washing machine.  Then I watched this dude (this is my favorite – I love his accent – Canada maybe? Or North Dakota?) fix his washing machine (he had a thong and a bunch of lint in his drain catch thingy). Then I watched this woman fix hers and I knew if she could do it, I could too! And I did! I followed the directions and found one of my socks that I don’t think I’ve worn for at least 6 months in my drain catch thingy. I put the parts all back together and voila! Working washing machine.

Now, not only did I fix my washing machine, but I found the secret that repair folks don’t want you to know. Inside the workings of my washing machine is another manual. On it are explicit directions that it is for a service technician only and that I am not to remove or destroy said manual. You bet your bottom I removed it. It’s the Rosetta Stone of washing machine codes. In this manual it explained EXACTLY how to fix my problem… it didn’t give me some check your hose nonsense and call a technician. I now have in my possession the key  to be able fix my washing machine! I feel powerful and wonderful and capable.

Because of my secret ninja manual I can follow the directions on paper to fix future washing machine problems, but I’ll probalby still consult YouTube as well. Not only is it nice to have a visual but it’s entertaining! Enjoy my favorite YouTube video on how to fix an F21 code on a Whirlpool Duet. Hello YouTubers…


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