Sunday, January 5, 2020

Repairing our Sonya SYW-70S Washing Machine

So!  We've been enjoying this machine for an amazing four years now!  I'm definitely at the point where if it blew up and I had to re-purchase, I'd consider it to have saved us in hassle and costs compared to hitting up the laundromat or something similar.

Last year though, when we left for Christmas, I made the error of not disconnecting the incoming water line from the machine.  I guess I felt that draining the house water lines would also drain water out of the solenoid valve of the machine, but perhaps that wasn't to be.  When we returned and I attempted to do a load of laundry, lo and behold, no satisfying click, followed by the sound of water trickling into the washer.

I left it for a bit to see if it just was taking awhile to thaw out, but eventually gave up and decided that I had permanently damaged the solenoid.

My big brain came up with a great solution - just move the cold water connection to the hot water input, and then do hot water washes from now on (or at least, ask the machine to do hot water washes).  This worked just fine, but did have a few down sides.  The first was, previously, you could just pick your programme and press start.  But now you had to preselect hot water before your programme.  This also had trickle down effects all the way to the end of the cycle - even with a hot water wash selected, it defaulted to a cold water rinse.  So we had to remember wjen we washed a load to cancel the programme and re-run another cycle without detergent to do the rinse.  This also meant that the cycle ended prematurely, so AGAIN we had to finally run a programme of just spinning before we could hang the laundry.

Left is "cold" water input, right is "hot".  We've been on "hot" for a year now.
This was all much easier than washing by hand or even the smaller loads but equal hassle of the Panda machine.  Still, it was a bit disappointing compared to what we had been use to.

We worked this way for all of 2019 - until we returned again from our Christmas vacation in Southern Ontario.  This time the machine was already pulled out from the wall, and I had correctly remembered to disconnect the hose and ensure everything was properly drained.  I noted the screws holding down the plate over the solenoids, so I removed them to just glance inside.  It looked like there were more screws holding both the hot and cold solenoids in place, and perhaps they were physically pressed into the bracket - not that fun of a job.  I delayed for a day when I knew I had a fair bit of time to cipher out a way to exchange the solenoids.

Still pulled out from Christmas Break
The next day I unplugged the machine (Safety first!  Or at least eventually...) and removed the cover again.  As I brandished the screwdriver towards the machine threateningly, I had a sudden realization.  The wires controlling the solenoids were attached with standard blade type connectors...

Rats, this looks like a finicky job.
Why would I swap solenoids, when I could just swap the wires and "trick" the machine into opening the hot solenoid using the cold wires, and perhaps vice versa...

Just swap wires!  Why didn't I think of that a year ago??
I simply removed all the wires, and connected back up the hot water solenoid to the cold water wiring (I did have to cut the tie wrap holding the wires to get a couple of centimetres of slack).  Truth be told, I didn't bother connecting the hot water wires to the cold water side - that solenoid still seems to be a lost cause, and we don't have access to hot water anyway).

Looks like it was meant to be.
Whelp, it worked a charm.  Took maybe three minutes work in total.  Solved a problem we had just endured for a year.

I wish I was rich in money so I could just pay other people to fix problems as they occur.  Then again, better yet, I'm rich in that I have a loving, patient family willing to put up with minor annoyances with few complaints.

We have water!  Note the extreme iron staining.  Sigh.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Storm Windows Again

Whelp, this year now that the cabin framing has been completed, I decided that even if they are scratched and dirty, I'll put the acrylic storm windows back up and see how well they work.  I put some of the thin film on the patio door, and it bulged in like a balloon right away!  I guess those patio doors are VERY leaky!

Because of the new trim and framing around the windows - the old pieces generally didn't fit without some tweaking.  I tried doing that with a combination of my circular saw and my band saw.  Maybe I shouldn't have sold my unopened, brand new table saw to the fellows who did the trim work!

I think my face says it all here.  Grrr.

Moved further from the saw, that helps.  Note the bright sun and light snow - the snow on the porch roof was melting and creating lots of ice-cold run off at that perimeter.
In any case, in spite of one chipped corner, and loud squeals, and tiny flying chips of acrylic, the cutting didn't go horrifyingly bad.

The tough parts are trying to install them in the upper windows of the main cabin - I really need to build a catwalk out to those areas in future I think.  I wonder...???

Capturing my best side.
Still a tight fit.  Using the old fist hammer to get it in place.
Something I tried previously, and went all-in on this year was putting Dollarama drapery tension rods in the window frames to help hold the acrylic in place - the tape sometimes was wanting when it came to the entire piece, especially when there was air pressure and dampness involved.

Taping the edges with painter's tape - I splurged on cream coloured tape this year rather than the cheap green stuff - So decadent!  Nota bene: the drip marks down my back from the ice water off the porch roof.
I'm going to order a few new pieces - during me bringing the old ones out of storage, several fell and broke - Kenny can attest to my near curses and cries of "no no NO NO!" as they fell like dominoes and shattered.

Hopefully I can come up with improvements each year.

Oh yeah, we're already 10% into our woodpile.

Cleaning the filthy panes on our bed - only a guy would do something like that, right?  At least if you look carefully, you can see old bath towels underneath!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pizza Topology

So we had a late Thanksgiving Dinner this year (late by Canadian Standards - it was the last weekend in October).  It was awesome.  Mummu and Grandpa and E! visited us, and we made mashed potatoes, turkey roll with stuffing, gravy, roasted turnip, rice, and rolls, and our guests brought cake and cheesecake for dessert.

A night or two later, I was ready for leftovers, but Kenny wanted pizza.  I compromised - pizza, but I get to put the leftovers on it!  Thanksgiving Pizza!  Outrageous!

Kenny wanted just plain pepperoni - I didn't want either of us to wait for our pizzas to be ready - but the pan clearly couldn't accommodate two pizzas at the same time - or could it?

Creative pre-cutting to the rescue!

Pretty much the whole deal, right here.

But now with mashed potatoes on one.

And turkey/stuffing just dumped on.

Donna wanted the turnip on a bit - she can have it.  Who am I?  Baldrick?


I am so smrt!