WATS strikes again!

or appliance buyer beware of the fine print on the extended warranty plan being sold to you . . .

or how BW became a little more self sufficient today.

Freezing temperatures.  No clothesline.  Under those conditions, which appliance does NOT need to get broken?

If you guessed clothes dryer, you guessed correctly.  This would be the dryer we purchased with “contents insurance” claim money after the flooding associated with Hurricane Ike did a number on my most favorite ever front-loading washer and matching dryer.  And mine became disabled about three weeks ago.  Here’s the story.

A certain teen-aged boy had gone hunting and gotten all his hunting clothes wet, of course.  We’re talking insulated coveralls, pants, and jacket, plus insulated underwear, shirts and socks.  He’s been warned not to overload the dryer before.  I think telling him once is enough, especially when the correction is followed by a “yes ma’am”.

Not so with Termite the Tenacious.  Overloading with towels is one thing, but overloading with heavy hunting clothes with all kinds of zippers and pulls is another.  It’s downright detrimental to a dryer, that’s what it is.  About fifteen minutes into the load (with him off on another adventure) I heard a loud scraping noise, which got louder and louder.  Of course you already know where the sound was coming from — the dryer.

Upon closer inspection, I found a few white plastic strips floating around in the dryer with his clothes, which were so jam packed in there they moved like one huge solid mass of insulated camouflage. And ladies, I was not a happy BW at that moment.

Service calls are bad enough when you live in the city, but just ask them what the price of a service call is if you drive down the bayou.  Oh, and they charge coming down and going back up . . . that’s a one-hour labor charge right off the bat.  I was dreading it, because it’s a very tight time for us right now.

This little episode was proving to me that I was not as unscathed by the 2008 storm season as I had myself convinced.  This was evidence by the fact that I could not remember if I had purchased an extended warranty plan with these appliances, although it had only been thirteen months since I bought them.  Further, having to evacuate, then flooding, and then living elsewhere out of cardboard boxes for a couple months contributed to my lack of organization.  Where WAS that *%#! receipt?

I had a friend once that I jokingly called “Forever Searching”, because she always went on a hunt when she needed to find something important.  It seems that her lack of organization came to rest upon me somewhere along the way.  Having once been so organized that I alphabetized the videos on the shelves, not being so comes as a shock and continued surprise to me.

The store where I purchased the set only keeps receipts in the computer for six months, so they were no help at all.  It was after days of hauling freshly washed clothes to a friend’s house to dry them before I finally found that stupid receipt.

Yes!  I had purchased an extended warranty.  I’m sure this will prompt more than one comment about how doing so is a rip off.  But I’ve weighed this out over the years, and for us, it has really paid off.   Living so far from town and considering The Captain is neither mechanically nor electrically inclined are two very good reasons to purchase the warranty.

It took them almost a week to tell me that they do not have a certified repair center near my town.  Say what?  By this time, my dryer had been out two weeks, and I was way beyond unhappy BW.  To give you the short version, I was told that the conditions of my contract say that if they cannot repair the appliance, they will refund the purchase price.

Tell me, friends, do you think they still make the same dryer only one year later?  NO!  Do you think the model that replaces mine can be purchased for the same price I paid a year ago?  NO.  And when I presented my dilemma to the warranty people, they pointed me back to the fine print.

Then the assistant manager in the appliance department called with great joy to see if I had heard I would be getting a refund for the purchase price.  Oh, yes, that young man got an ear full.  So tell me, folks, who is going to come up with the extra $200 it would take to get the same dryer now that I had before?  Not me.  Not them.  He talked to his manager, and the best they could do was a $100 difference.

So I thought I would take the refund and pay a repairman to fix my dryer and keep it.  I mean, it’s not an old appliance, and it seems to be a minor repair.   I mean, why come up with more money to go back to the same store to buy an appliance with a warranty that is no good?

Then I started looking at the broken pieces and figuring out exactly what happened and thinking how simple it would be to repair.  After more online research (somehow I’ve lost the manual for the dryer in all the moving), I figured out this might be what is called a “drum guide”, used a magnifying glass and found a part number on the broken part.  Then I decided to call the local store where I’ve bought parts before, and low and behold, they had the part.  I took the old one with me to make sure they had the right part.  They did.

Termite and I tried to repair it ourselves, but we failed miserably.  To start with, we didn’t have the right tool to remove the front of the dryer with.  He just about climbed inside the drum trying to put the new part in, but it just wouldn’t work that way.  So, I called a local repair company on Friday.  They were closed until Monday.  I went to the camp and got my tools and let them sit while I stewed about it over the weekend.

This morning, this Woman Armed with ToolS (WATS) decided it was time to stop stewing and start repairing.  I am proud to tell you that the dryer is at this very moment drying the first load of clothes in three weeks.  When the refund check comes, I surely hope it is in my name only.  And I hope the man at the store who ordered the replacement dryer won’t be too upset when I tell him I don’t want it.

So, it’s a good Monday.  When I walked outside early this morning, I heard three different things hammering–a red bellied woodpecker, a downy woodpecker, and a human.  A human?  Yep.  Two men were in the backyard knocking the braces off the pilings.

Guess what they were about to do?

To be continued with the answer and a few pics!

Happy Monday!


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  1. Well co-inc-a-dink-ly enuf Blu had some dryer repairs this am too. A certain doggie who will remain nameless tried getting her biscuits without human help. Ka boonk my heavy little ironing board thing that was precariouslt balanced on back of dryer took out the dryer venting stuff, thru wall tube and the flexi hose. Well pre icefishing I spun down to Menards and got repairs. And a little duct tape on the side and we are rocking rolling and in high spin mode. Gonna replace the outside vent flapper in a minute. ! ran that flexi tube all the way across garage ceiling when I moved in cause previously vented in garage. Yuk and Humidity.

    Happy MLK day….

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your dryer! I hope it all works out for the best!

    We got our new washer and dryer installed here. First load the whole washer load ran all over the floor. Something about the drain pipe being clogged….ah, the joys of preowned homes.

    1. Well, it’s still working eight hours and almost as many loads later! And I am so proud of me for repairing it! Oh no, Kim. I”m sorry to hear that. Maybe there’s a rat living in the drain pipe!

  3. Way to go BW! Just be glad you didn’t have the same dryer problem I had. Turn on the dryer, the drum is in a bind. Got to be the belt on the drum right? Wrong. Tried 3 times… same noise. Unlike you though, I waited for Hubby to get home to take a look. He tried it several times…same noise, so he goes out to get some tools and notices our cat staring at the ground next to the exhaust vent. He took a closer look and found a dazed and cut Ground Rattler! How many people do you know that fixes a dryer with a shovel? Cut the head off that snake, came inside, turned on the dryer and it has been working perfectly since then. Never had to unscrew the first screw. So my best advice when it comes to dryer repairs…go kill a snake and your dryer will then work properly.

      1. He was totally in there ALL DAY long at least. For those of you who may not know, a Ground Rattler isn’t but about 12” long, but they are poisonous. I get goose bumps thinking about it still. I HATE SNAKES!

  4. Steffi,

    Wish I could take a shovel and kill the snake that broke my dryer last week. But alas, not in the stars for me. It’s a family member that broke my dryer’s back so I’m kinda stuck with a still broken dryer.

    Cuz., I’m plum tickled and proud as punch you fixed the problem but not surprised at all. You are the Wonder Woman of the Bayou!

    1. All I can say is “move over Captain” because I am in LOVE with my dryer. I tried to live without it for three long weeks, and now that it’s working again, I never, ever want it to “go out” on me again! It really is true love.

  5. BW, glad you got the dryer going. Did you feel like sticking Termite in it and turning it on for a few minutes??? LOL! Actually, it is fun to spin in an old laundry tub. My grandmother had a tub from an old wringer washer she used to cover her baby chicks with. Us kids would lay it on its side, one would sit curled up in it and the other would push it all over the yard! What a blast…until we tried to get out and walk. Whooppeeee!
    Steffi, that poor snake was just trying to keep warm. Wonder how long it had been hibernating in your dryer??

    1. That “POOR” snake was trying to get into the air conditioned house. It was about 90 degrees outside.

  6. My dryer hasn’t worked right in over a year. It takes two cycles to dry anything and sometimes three. How has MrCoach helped? He stopped bringing home uniforms for me to wash. Big help. I may have to break out the tools and take a whack at the dryer myself.

    1. Hm. Sounds like the heating element. See? I’m a pro already! And how was that delicious food you cooked the other day and didn’t tell us a squeak about? Did you take photos? Remember, the guest cooking post I mentioned?

      1. Everyone should also take out their lint traps and scrub them with a toothbrush. Did you know that if you take a lint trap and run water on it, usually the water won’t even go through the screen?!? The dryer sheets put a coating on it so that not even air can pass through. I’ve read that it’s a fire hazard. So, everyone break out the old toothbrushes!

        1. RE: Dotter’s comment about cleaning filter: Remember, folks, you read it right here on Life in the La. Wetlands!!!! I guess you just never know what you might find here from our well informed readers! Thanks, Dotter!

  7. I didn’t take photos my camera was out in the Jeep and it’s a mud pit to get out there. I did write down the measurements. I will get that done ASAP though. The food was really good!

  8. Uh wait till you dry a half a box of .22 shorts. Not my fault I never put coat in the wash.

    A buddy washed a box of brads (them little nails) took the seal ring out of the week old washer. Took several attempts to get it on right. Bad dryers don’t leave a lake in half your house.

  9. OK-doke. It took some time, but here’s a link for your files:


    These folks provide owner’s manuals for 5,600 brands, and they have something like 1,800,000 owners’s manuals. Free. Downloadable. Good, no? I’ll bet your dryer manual’s in there. I found my coffee maker that I’d forgotten how to program to turn itself on for me in the morning.

    Now, back to that danged dryer. Good for you! It’s amazing how one malfunctioning machine can completely disrupt life.

    I have no dryer stories but I have a brief washer story. I was living in West Africa in a compound that did have electricity and water. I came home one afternoon and the washer was making that caCHUNKcaCHUNKAcaCLUNK they make when they’re out of balance.

    I asked Phillip, my house boy (I know, I know – but that’s how the kids got their school uniforms, tuition, etc) what was up. He just grinned. I opened the washer and there, before my very eyes, were four huge West African tree snail, stripped from their shells.
    They’re eaten all the time, but they’re tough, like conch. Phillip had decided those washing machine paddles could do the job of tenderizing for him.

    I suppose I could be glad he didn’t put my lingerie in with them 😉 A toast to the machines!

    1. Now that is one of the most outrageous and original stories I have heard in my life. Thanks for sharing with us! And please tell us, Shoreacres, what were you doing in West Africa?

    1. It doesn’t matter. While this was going on, I tried to find my manual on the Frigidaire site, but it only had operating instructions, not schematics, etc. Once I got the bottom front panel off, and pulled on the upper panel, popping it out enough to get to the inside edge of the drum, I was good to go! But this link may come in handy in the future!