How We Go About Figuring Things Out

By July 28, 2019 Appliances, Problem Solving

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 11 seconds

Natural Gas

I feel so good when people call me to help fix things. My brother called last night from a clients home where the gas stove was only able to muster one burner, when the next burner was lit the flame was weak and the third one would not light.

They had been working on the gas lines in another part of the home which should not have affected this line. I immediately said “look for an obstruction, follow the line back to the source (meter) and you will find the problem”.

10 minutes later he called. All is well, fixed! He noticed that the meter shut-off was not fully on and he manually operated several ball valves, confirmed that there were no kinks in the line and it was done. Seems simple, should he have called? Why did he bother to call me? Isn’t this how other people think and resolve problems?

GE Front loader

The Washing Machine From Hell

This is what my wife called it until I fixed it. My suspicion is that it was screwed up for years but she just didn’t want to bother me with it because it was an intermittent problem.

I love solving these things. Was she consciously keeping me from experiencing the joy and satisfaction of fixing it for her? Looking back, I recall years ago when it wasn’t draining properly I discovered that it had a full debris filter. Once I relieved it of the junk it had collected it worked again but it never really was right after that. I checked the filter periodically and removed hair pins small plastic things etc. She hated that machine because it wasn’t working properly for years.

I finally asked her “Honey, what are the symptoms?” something she as a PA could relate to.

  1. The cycles are taking longer than the machine says they should.
  2. Sometimes the load just turns off and there is still water in it.
  3. It smells bad.

This lead to research on the internet. “Replace the door lock” one guy said, so I did it and replaced the rubber gasket at the same time. No better. I learned that the machine is smart and has self diagnostics. I read the codes then I had a choice to make. It was either the inlet valve or the pump. I was into the fix for $75 for the lock so far, I wanted to be right. The bad smell could be related I thought.

I found another guy that said using liquid detergent was not good. To clean it, he suggested running a load with powder dish washing soap. I did it after washing the soap tray area with a green scrubby and blowing out the softener tray that was clogged. Smells good now.

Not being an appliance repair guy for a living, I called one to share my story and help me rule out what part I should replace. Incidentally, these are the same guys who have identified the problem as they walked into the room, making me feel like a dope in the past.

The pump

Here is What He Said

“Joe, he said, if you had an inlet issue, do you think you would have left over water in the tub? The machine is smart enough to elongate the cycle and is surely won’t spin unless all the water is out”. DUH, I thought, it’s the pump, that makes sense, I knew it!

$60 bucks and a 10 minute fix. Shazam, the thing is good as new. Now my wife texts me every time it works! I could have / should have been able to figure it out on my own, but I got advice from a knowledgeable person who helped confirm my suspicions and allowed me to figure it out on my own.

Everyone Has Problem Solving Skills

Blond star is my favorite problem solving video. I am the guy on the speaker most of the time. Every now and again I feel like I am the the blond stuck on the inside. I sent a card with my heart felt thanks to the guy who let me figure it out.

The bottom Line…Don’t be afraid to ask for help, with any luck you will reach a humble guy that will let you figure it out on your own and learn a thing or two.


Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about fixing stuff, click here to email me directly, or call 208-639-1808

I do these things during non-Levco time to be sure it doesn’t interfere with the Remodeling business. Repairing things and understanding homes is just another passion of mine.

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Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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