Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tip #203-DIY Saves Money

I went to rotate the laundry yesterday and noticed the clothes felt rather wet for having finished the washer cycle.  Especially since they'd been sitting in the washer for a few hours.  I checked the dial and it definitely finished the cycle, so it wasn't a balance issue.  Stumped, I ended up running a spin cycle to get them the rest of the way dry and threw them into the dryer.

Now that I had an empty washer, I noticed water dripping out of the fill spot (you'll notice my technical wording abilities).  I dried it off with a towel to see if that'd stop it.  Drip, drip.  I got a bowl and put it under the drip spot and walked away.  An hour later I came back and the bowl was almost full.  Huh.  I emptied the bowl and put it back and then turned off the water valve at the wall.  Came back a few hours later and the bowl was overflowing.  Double huh.  I looked behind the washer again and realized there were two water shut-off valves.  Of course there are.  One for hot, one for cold.  I dumped the bowl, replaced it, turned off the second valve and went to bed.

This morning the bowl was empty (which is a good thing or else we'd really have a problem).  Contemplating a $75 plus parts repair bill, I started the internet hunt to figure out if it is a repair I can do myself.  I started with the very technical search of "washer water leaking into the tub."  My ignorance was rewarded with several sites that told me it was the water inlet valve.  I even found a Youtube video that told me how to fix it myself step by step!  I watched the whole video and decided it looks simple enough, so I went ahead and ordered the part.

But first I had to find the best deal on the part.  I tried the obvious choice-the store where I bought the washer.  I searched for a coupon code and found one for 10% off.  Fabulous.  And then I got to the shipping.  $10.99!!!!  For one little part???  I continued my search.  I typed the part number into the search engine and found the place with the cheapest price.  I searched for a coupon code and found one for 5% off--not awesome, but better than nothing.  Shipping, while more than I'd like, was only $7.99.  Making my part now $14 cheaper than through the first site.

Total investment to date-$28.96.  If all goes well, I will have saved us $75+ by fixing the washer myself (with a bit of help from Hubby if I can't do it by myself).  If all does not go well, I will call the repair man, pay the $75 service charge, and hand him the replacement part.  I still won't be out any more money than I would be if I had called for a repairman in the first place.

I also will be saving money by fixing a water leak I didn't even know we had.  Our water pressure has been a bit low this summer and we couldn't figure out why.  We have well water, so I admit I was a little worried we'd be digging a new, deeper well when we were at the height of the drought this summer.  Now, I'm thinking that the washer has been the culprit all this time.  My electric bill should be happier next month without all that added water pumping.

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