Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Washer & Dryer Story


IMG_4077The boat came with a one piece washer/dryer stack, like you see in condos or small apartments.  Essentially—it was too small for us.  We have been making do, and it works fine, but realistically with our family size and the dynamics of a boat—not always having power and water—it was just too small.  So we needed to upgrade.  We measured the space where it would go, and found a regular size washer and dryer would fit with minor adjustments.  The question was how to get it to the space.  The laundry area is at the bottom of a curved staircase that is only 26 inches wide in most places.  Full size washersIMG_4082 and Dryers are at their narrowest 27 inches wide—too big.  David watched a few Youtube videos on Washer/Dryer repairs and how to take them apart.  His idea—to dismantle them, carry them downstairs piece by piece, put them back together.  I thought he was crazy—but the need for a bigger washer and dryer convinced me he could do it—he is smart. 

Getting them on the boat was a task in itself.  It was a super windy day with high tide when the units were delivered. The dryer was light enough for the 2 delivery guys to lift up over their heads to hand to David IMG_4093on the back of the boat, but the washer was too heavy.  I wish I had gotten a picture, but was too busy helping.  We had to tie the washer up and lift it with the crane that we use for the dinghy to raise it up to the back deck of the boat.  I was watching it swing in the air as the boat was rocking thinking, if the rope snaps, there goes my brand new washer.  It made it on.

We brought the washer in first and started taking it apart. We sent Kylynn with all the kids to a McDonalds with a play area for lunch.  They stayed until it was nap time for Matthew, we didn’t want him getting into all the little pieces. 

Did you know that there is literally cement bricks inside your washing machine?  I had no idea.  That’s what makes the thing so heavy, 3 large cement bricks had to be removed.  It’s what holds the tub steady for it to spin.IMG_4129  Once we took the front frame and door off, plus the back frame, we just had to unscrew a few other accessories that were sticking out and push them in, and it was time to take it downstairs.  We couldn’t believe how easy it was.  We still had to get it back together, but it didn’t take nearly as long as we thought.

We wanted to check out the dryer before we put the washer back together, just to make sure we could get it down the stairs. IMG_4146 It looked like it wouldn’t be too hard, so we put the washer back together.  After only a bit we had it up and running, washing a load to make sure it wouldn’t leak.  Off to take down the dryer!

The dryer, while simpler, required taking it all the way apart.  Even the drum had to come out to get it down stairs.IMG_4156


The kids had come back to the boat so they were able to help with the dryer.  We needed hands to hold up the sides as David unhooked all the IMG_4166components. 

Soon it was apart, in pieces, and it was time to take it down stairs to put it back together.

But first the kids needed to take a ride in the drum.

Once they were put together, we had to wire an outlet for the washer, as the other unit, being a whole piece, only needed one plug.  Plus we need another ground wire—something to do with the boat.

The Finished product…IMG_4180

I was expecting it to take all weekend, and we started on Thursday at lunch time. I expected lots of complications.  I was pleasantly surprised to have it all done and working with in 24 hours.  By lunch time Friday our first load from the day before was dry! It is more than twice the size of the old one!  Yeah!   Hopefully we will feel confident enough from this experience to do any repairs on it in the future should it need any (we hope not!).  David is amazing!

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