It was a lazy summer afternoon when the call came in on the Samurai Hotline. I awoke from my saké-induced slumber and reached for my iPhone.
“Who gave you this number?” I demanded and then immediately hacked up a hairball. Musta been playing with the cats again whilst I was under the influence of the saké. But being a consummate master of customer relations, I swallowed it back down instead of spitting it out. See, attention to detail like that can make or break a service bidness. Finesse, man, finesse– that’s the name o’ dis game.
“Uhh, hello? Samurai?” the voice asked. “It’s your neighbor, Lucretia. I’m having a problem with the washing machine at my shop in town but it sounds like this is a bad time to call so I’ll just call back after you’ve sober…, er, I mean, when you have more time.”
Ah, sweet Lucretia. She runs the local powder puff shop where high power executives and money managers go to get their bottoms powdered. As you can imagine, her bidness generates lots of towels that need to be washed throughout the day so the washing machine is a critical piece of equipment for her shop.
“No, no, I’m fine,” I croaked, hacking up another hair ball and reaching for a cigarette butt in the ash tray. “I was just performing the essential inner eyelid inspection, looking for pinholes, dontcha know?”
“Uhh, OK…” she sounded unconvinced but persevered anyway. “Anyway, my washing machine is filled with water and won’t pump out. The dirty towels are piling up and I need help! Can you come today and fix it for me?”
“Ain’t no thang, little lady,” I assured her in my smoothest lounge lizard voice. “Lemme take a leak and I’ll come over taco-pronto to whup that bad boy back into shape fer ya!”
“Oh, thank you, Samurai! I knew I could count on you,” she exclaimed. “And if you get here within an hour, I’ll have an ice cold oil can of Foster’s Special Bitter waiting for you.”
Shazzam! Nothing like an offer for free beer to really get the Samurai gears a-grindin’! I bolted out of my easy chair and stumbled down to the Samurai Fixit Mobile with the cigarette butt I rescued from the ashtray. I lit the cigarette as I was peeling out of the driveway so I could look real important to the neighbors. One of my neighbors was out doing yard work and waved her fist at me in a show of solidarity as I sped by. I waved back, realizing that I would have looked *really* cool if I had lit the correct end of the cigarette. When you’re running an appliance service bidness, you have to always be working on improving your image. Details, Hoss– it’s all about the details.
When I arrived at Lucretia’s powder puff shop, I found the washer just like she said: full of water and wouldn’t pump out. Since this was one o’ them fancy-pants Whirlpool Duet Sport front-loaders, I knowed that the problem was likely a jammed pump.
So I pulled off the toe panel underneath the door so I could get to the pump cleanout lid, shown here. Usually, I find all kinds of goodies in there: coins, bobby pins, ear rings, tongue studs, nails, pebbles, used condoms just to name a few of the cherished treasures I’ve recovered. But this time was a little different.
I noticed a little piece of white ribbon sticking out of the pump suction port in the cleanout tube. “YES!” I thought to myself, in my best Engrish, “Easy fix! I’ll clear this, slap it back together and snag that cold Foster’s Bitter that Lucretia promised me.” Ahh, grasshoppah, but here is where the plot thickens.
I tugged on the ribbon and… it wouldn’t budge! Dayyam! The ribbon was wrapped around the pump impeller and, to remove it, the pump itself was going to have to taken apart and cleaned out. A simple three-minute repair just turned into an eight-minute nightmare! “AHHHH!” Don’t worry, I screamed inside my head so’s not to frighten Lucretia; after all, I *am* a professional! But all that screaming in my head made my ears ring. Or maybe it was from smoking the filter on that cigarette butt. Or could be more symptoms of the DTs.
But I digress. I was gonna have to pull the hoses off the pump, unbolt it and remove it completely from the machine so I could doctor on it up close and personal-like. It would take an extra five minutes and I was starting to get jazz hands from thinking about that Foster’s. In desperation, I summoned the gods of appliantology to steady my hands long enough to get the pump out to complete the repair.
The gods of appliantology made my hammer mighty and empowered me to remove the pump and pull it apart to unwind the ribbon from around the pump impeller. You can see the emancipated pump in its two main pieces here: the impeller on the rotor shaft and the pump housing with the stator winding. I reassembled the pump, slapped it back in the washer and checked for proper operation. Problem solved!
True to her word, Lucretia handed me a Foster’s Special Bitter that was so cold it almost cracked my last remaining tooth. After a few slugs, my hands steadied enough that I could drive the Samurai Fixit Mobile to the local brewpub and complete my fermentation therapy.
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