Brooding On

Out with the Old and in with the New-Fangled

My old washer died.  I knew it was about to happen.  For the past week or so, I'd been having to run the final spin cycle several times per load to get the water out of clothes.  But, I was willing to work with the inconvenience.

Then, however, it just died.  And, I went into full crisis mode.  You've got to understand.  I do A LOT of laundry.  Obviously, we're a family of five, so that involves a certain amount of laundry anyway.  But, add to that the softball uniforms, dance tights, and farm work clothes, and it really piles up.  The fact that we've basically done away with disposables adds cloth napkins and lots of dishtowels to the heap as well.  On a usual day, I'd do 3 loads of wash and (if it's a good day to use the laundry line) 1 load of drying. 

So, I messaged John who was at the bank --  "the washer is dead" -- and anxiously awaited his response, a little fearful that it might be "I'll bring home some quarters for the laundromat."  What he did, though, was call to tell me that he was taking off early to take me shopping for a new one. 
(Sidenote:  We've been reading the Harry Potter series to the kids, so I guess I have it on the brain, but I can't help but want to award John with Hubby Points toward winning the House Cup.  For example, he came home with 3 gallons of blackberries for me -- 5 Hubby Points!  He recognized the immediate need for a new washer -- 10 Hubby Points!)

My days of washing 3 or 4 loads of laundry are over, though.
Meet my new ENORMOUS washing machine.   

Because we plan to move in the not-so-distant future and wanted the option of stacking, I went to the store expecting to shop for a front loader.  While there were lots of great options, the key feature I was looking for was a large washtub.  The largest front-loader we could find that cost less than 4-digits (seriously?  for a washing machine?!)  was 4.1 cu. ft.  While that's a good deal larger than the maybe 3.5 cu. ft. I'm used to, I really wanted to prioritize size and wasn't that interested in some of the other bells and whistles involved in the front loaders I was looking at. 

Then, we discovered this beauty.  She's 5 cu. ft.!  Seriously.  The wash drum is like a bottomless pit.  To run the first load, I dropped in all the colored clothing from the laundry basket . . . then a set of sheets . . . then a few towels.  Finally, it felt like I'd filled it full enough to justify running a load. 

In our current setup, the washer and dryer have to both fit in this small hall closet.  We measured the washer in the store and John let me know that "it will probably fit."
Ummm.  Okay.

We removed both old washer and dryer, put new washer into place, pushed dryer close enough to reconnect the dryer vent hose (is that the right technical term?), dropped Girl 2 into the hole, handed her a screwdriver, and had her reattach the hose.  Pretty good for a 6-year-old, if you ask me! (5 Daughter Points for her!)

Then, we tried to get the dryer in place.  It was a no go.  It seemed the new washer was 1/8" too big.  You've got to be kidding me!

While I promptly relaunched crisis mode, John very level-headedly began prying away the baseboard on the side of the closet.  And, voila -- just the wiggle room we needed!  Isn't he something? (10 more  Hubby Points for him!)

The kids love the clear top.  "Haha, now it's your undies on top!"  Apparently, watching to see which article of clothing comes swishing up to the top is endlessly entertaining.  (Obviously, we don't have a gaming system at our house.)

So, I may not spend all day peering down into the wash basin, but I am just as excited about how the increased capacity will revolutionize my laundry routine. I do love an efficiently-run household!

Speaking of efficiency, since the new washer is Energy Star Certified at Tier-3, it will use about 80% less water than our old washer and at least 50% less electricity.  Wow! 

I told John that it feels very "mid-life" to be this excited about a new appliance.  His response: "Well, ummmm."  :(       (Even if I subtract 5 Hubby Points for that one, he still comes out on top with this whole new-washer thing!)