It was a gray and rainy Saturday when the call came in: Frigidaire front-loading washer (stack unit) on the second floor of the house had leaked, enough so that the ceiling beneath the laundry unit was water stained. Samurai International Headquarters went to Defcon 2.
I guzzled the remaining beer in my sumo-sized 64-ounce beer boot and donned my battle garments. Within hours, I was in the Samurai’s Armored Fixite Do Battle Van, careening through school zones to do battle with another insolent appliance.
Upon arrival, I unsheathed my katana and pushed the customer aside as I dashed to the battle scene. This was fight between the Samurai and an appliance who dared to challenge him; the customer was merely collateral damage.
My master and mentor, Miyamoto Musashi, taught me that victory in war is impossible without a sound, well-reasoned strategy. In the battlefield of appliance repair, this means having access to technical information on the appliance you’re battling. With the Appliantology 3000 Total Appliance Awareness Microchip Implant (TAAMI) surgically implanted into the base of my spine, I had total access to all appliance information at the speed of thought.
I quickly consulted TAMMI and was advised to remove the front quarter panel to inspect the pump area for leaks. Closer inspection revealed that the leak originated at the pump suction hose, as seen below:
The leak originated from the pump suction hose (that’s the accordion-looking hose). Click for larger view.
This was odd indeed. I’ve not seen this hose be a source of leaks and TAAMI had no records of it, either. I was flying blind, like a pilot at night without instruments… and no aircraft, either, just flying by the seat of his pants… or something like that. Ok, nevermind. Anyway, I felt around the hose and felt the jagged end of a piece of metal, shown below:
Feeling around the suction hose a bit, I felt something metal poking out. I pulled out this 5″ long, thin piece of metal. Click for larger view.
Hmmm, the heat of the battle was now a raging inferno. It was not safe inside that laundry room for any civilian unprepared to fight to the death. But I am the Samurai, and I live only to battle insolent appliances; if I die in the process, then may the pot-bellied Buddha grant that I die with honor… and holding a cold beer.
So, I pulled out the bomber can of Fosters Lager that I keep in my tool bag for just such emergencies and popped it open. The mere sound of that can of fermented nirvana popping open cleared my head and revealed the source of the problem to me in a sparkling moment of pure satori: the long metal splinter was probably from the support wire from a bra that had worked its way down into the suction boot. Replaced the boot and returned the washer to service.