Replacing the Shutoff Tap on the Washing Machine

So we’ve had a fairly traditional washing machine for almost a year now.  It has been working quite well for us.  We can do a very full load on about a full tank of water here in the cabin, for both a wash and a single rinse.

Shortly before Christmas we ran out of our soap nuts detergent.  For a week or so I resorted to using “all purpose cleanser” – but I doubt if that’s really an appropriate appropriation of their description.

While at my parent’s house though, I overheard my sister say something about how she was all in with baking soda and vinegar for her laundry.  I consulted Google slightly and thought I’d give it a try for our cleaning needs.  I knew that mixing the soda and vinegar would neutralize both, so I decided that the soda should be for washing, and the vinegar for rinsing if desired.

I can say that it seems to work pretty good.  I suspect that as with many cleaning rituals we are involved in, it’s mostly the agitation and water that does the work, but adding something else still feels “right”.  So there we are.

And a chance to really make use of the detergent cup!

But I get ahead of myself – the first load I attempted to do in the washer, as soon as I turned on the water, I could feel it spraying out at me from behind the machine.

I turned off the shutoff tap and retightened the hoses.

Again, as soon as I turned on the shutoff tap water was spitting at me.

Close examination revealed that it was the tap itself leaking – and not at any fitting – directly through the side of the brass!

It seems that when I drained the water lines, the valve on the washing machine was shut, and held an “air lock”, preventing THAT line from draining.  When the cabin froze, the tap didn’t have any give the way my plastic plumbing does, and so it cracked.  Thankfully, it didn’t leak, just as long as we didn’t turn it on.

I did that particular load of laundry the old fashioned way – buckets filled at the sink and poured into the top of the washing machine.

I promptly purchased a new valve – this time with a lever handle and ball joint rather than the original tap.  I don’t see that there is a big difference – I just have to remember next year to remove the hose from the washing machine after I drain the water lines to allow the water to drain out of that section too.

Draining the water from the line correctly for once.
Looks fine right now.
Oh wait, there, on the left side of the rectangle, NOW I see it.
Out with the old, in with the new.

Looks just fine right here.

All hooked up and insulated again.

With everything hooked back up, I left the washing machine out from the wall for the next load so we could monitor it.  I’m pleased to say that everything went just fine this time around, and we’re now back in business!

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