Replacing the seal on a washing machine…

rubber duckMy AEG washing machine comes of age this year.  That’s right, it’s reached twenty-one.  So, its possibly not unreasonable that the rubber seal around the door has taken the opportunity to celebrate by springing a leak.

It’s only a little one.

I was quite happy to put a towel on the floor and use a mop until it deteriorated a bit further.  HWIOO became concerned about damp, the state of the floor, the state of the units on either side of the washing machine, silver fish and the time spent mopping.  He didn’t actually mention that we might end up with ducks coming for a paddle but you get the gist of it I’m sure.

I was duly dispatched to research where to buy a seal and how to replace it. E-spares very helpfully provide a video on U-Tube of a washing machine repair man removing the seal and then replacing it with a new one.  Simples.

My washing machine was so old that I couldn’t find the part on line but their chat facility solved that problem and hey presto one new rubber seal arrived on the doorstep within forty-eight hours.

Removing the old seal was easy.  I’d have to say that the retaining bands on my machine aren’t plastic, they’re metal springs which actually came as a bit of a relief as I had imagined having to order a new one if the plastic had become brittle.  Removing the seal was very straight forward having watched the video. The work of minutes.  Yippee.

Then we tried to put the new seal into place.  Sadly I neither have thumbs of steel nor several pairs of spare hands.  HWIOO couldn’t fit the inner edge of the seal into the lip whereas I could but only quarter of the way round before I couldn’t hold the seal and stretch it and fit it.  We tried doing the job  a deux.  The video said an assistant might be needed to hold the seal out of the way whilst the inner edge was being fitted. On the video the washing machine is all by its own…at no point did anyone mention contortionist as a useful skill nor having to balance on the work surface and lean down, hold the seal tight to the upper rim of the machine whilst leaving enough space for the person trying to fit the seal  to work the seal into position.  Odd that because that’s what I ended up doing shortly before HWIOO caught his thumb on the metal edge of the machine necessitating a visit to the bathroom cupboard for a plaster.

We headed to a coffee shop  and fired up the wifi, re-watched the video for additional clues and then re-read the reviews of the product.  There was one we’d wilfully ignored up until that moment.  One man must have virtually dismantled his washing machine in order to fit the seal…which seems slightly excessive.  Our estimation of a couple of hours from start to finish suddenly seemed a tad optimistic.

At which point we  looked at one another and arrived at the conclusion that sometimes its better to let someone else do it.  We rang a washing machine engineer who wasn’t surprised that we had a new seal or that we’d removed the old one nor was he terribly surprised that we couldn’t fit the new seal.

I wonder how much he’s going to charge?  After all, we now know that there’s a knack and we don’t have it!


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