Our Maytag clothes dryer was making a series of unusual staccato sounds that I once thought (in an unguarded moment) were communications from aliens. However, when these sounds became loud and threatening, who you gonna call, yes, you guessed it – Jeff the Maytag man. Jeff is a craggy sort of northern Englishman, not a man to be trifled with (he doesn’t smile like Amram the plumber).
I had taken a back plate off the dryer to check that the motor was still running properly and the belt that turns the dryer drum was still intact (I once replaced one of these myself). But, Jeff when he came was disturbed by this. He said that usually it costs more to repair the mistakes made by clever amateurs than to fix the actual problem. He obviously does not like Professors or other educated people. I hope I redeemed myself by pointing out that my father was a carpenter, so I am handy with tools.
Anyway he told me that you can only service a Maytag washing machine from the front. Whereupon he unscrewed two hidden screws from the bottom front and took off the front and exposed the interior. he also confirmed that the motor and the drum belt were OK, but then he pointed out the mess where the blower mechanism should be. It was crammed with dirt, and when he cleaned it out he saw that the blower itself, a plastic cylinder with shafts that turn it when the air blows through, was actually broken and so because it was not working properly, the dirt built up and stopped it altogether. He removed this, then I washed the front piece of the machine to get rid of the accumulated dirt and then he put in a new blower and put it all back together, and then apart from some testing and cleaning, it worked fine.
Although our machine is 20 years old, he said they can last at least twice that. But he charged me NIS 690 ($192), which he justified by saying that he came specially to Netanya for this job, that he had the right piece of equipment (American and not available in Israel) and that he fixed it in just over an hour (he charges NIS 200 just to come). Anyway, now we can go back to silent running. I had told him that I had cleaned out the outlet tube from the dryer (with the vacuum cleaner) that I had cleaned the inlet from the drum to the outlet, but I couldn’t clean in between. That was where the blower was, and now that I know what is there and how to get to it, next time I can clean it all. Nothing can stop me now. Unless I screw something up and have to call Jeff back
(Note: There are a series of books called “The Dyer Mysteries.”)