RIP: Washing machine

It turns out that our washing machine has sprung a leak. I took the front panel off (after disconnecting and removing the dryer) to find that the main tub seal is bad. Here’s what has to say about it:

Main tub seal – The main tub seal is located between the transmission and the outer tub. It’s the primary water seal in the outer tub for the transmission-shaft entry point. If this seal leaks, you can see the leak by opening up the machine’s main access panel while the machine is full of water with a small amount of detergent in it. The leak appears at the underside of the outer tub, at or near the center. This seal is difficult to replace. You probably should call a qualified appliance repair technician.

If I was brave, and eager to get dirty, I might try to take it apart enough to see if I could replace the seal on my own. Unfortunately, that’s not the only problem with the washing machine. There are holes that have been worn in the porcelain, so if we leave a white load in the washer too long (over night) our close can end up with rust spots. My socks don’t mind, but it’s killer on white shirts.

I figure that our washing machine has already lasted over 20 years. If our next one even lasts half that long and costs $600, then that comes to $60 per year. So, whatever repairs I (or someone else) make would have to cost less than $60 per year to be worth it. Let’s say I spend 3 hours working on the thing and $10 on parts, and the leak returns after six months (something that seems quote probable), then that means my time is worth $6.66 per hour. (LOL I just looked online and minimum wage is currently $6.75.) Of course, the repair could go a lot faster (doubtful) or last for years (see the rust spot problem above), but I doubt it. So, we’ve decided to get a new washing machine (and possibly a new dryer while we’re at it). I hope wherever it is taken, it gets recycled and used for another 20 years.