When I got there, the customer let me find my way to the laundry room – we were old pals by now.
There was a load of unwashed laundry in the washer waiting impatiently for my repair. I took the clothes out of the washer and went to work.
The door hook was easy, but I realized in order to install the door latch, which was electronic, I couldn’t really unplug the washer the way they had it stacked in a tight little alcove. I would have had to remove the dryer from on top, and I wasn’t about to do that.
I made a calculated decision. Knowing that the door latch plugged into a wiring harness, it wasn’t about to blow out the entire system. I’d have to repair it without unplugging it at all.
First, I detached the boot. It had a retainer spring under it that I could get off well enough, but I worried about getting it back on and making a tight seal later. I figured I probably could do it, and kept on going.
Once I had the boot out of the way, I removed the old door latch, and simple enough, installed the new one. I thought to myself, I got pretty lucky on this first call with something so cut and dried.
With a little struggle, I got the retainer spring and the boot back into place, but I was still nervous if I had gotten it back right.
OK, now I had to test the machine. I will admit, I am not a wizard with electronic gadgets. But I loved this washer because it had an analog selector knob that ran all the electronic controls. I closed the door, and turned the selector to “Normal” and pressed “Start.”
A bunch of the display lights came on. I heard the door click and the water started. So far so good…
Then it stopped.
I turned the machine to “Drain,” waited for it to drain, and tried again.
All the time, I was having a small cow. I kept thinking, what if they sent me a defective part?? I know I installed it right…at least I think I’m sure…
Back on “Normal” went the selector. The door clicked. The water started.
Then it stopped again.
I stood there in a daze for a moment, not exactly sure what I would have to do next. Apparently it was just long enough, because the door clicked locked and the water start flowing again.
At this point, I figured that must be part of the locking cycle, but wasn’t at all sure about that. I drained it out again, and put the unwashed load of laundry back inside.
I admit I looked over the washer for a couple of minutes just to explore it. I had never had my hands on one, so I thought I’d familiarize myself a little bit while I had the chance.
After packing my tools, I went out to write up the invoice. Actually, I already had it written up. I just fiddled around with my clipboard for a minute or two, then came back inside.
“Looks like this is the damage,” I said handing the customer my first invoice ever!
“Who do you want me to make the check out to?” he asked without batting an eye.
There it was, my first ever paycheck in appliance repair! I was so far up in the clouds, I forgot to leave him a business card.
When I got home, I celebrated.
I made a copy of the check to keep in my “files.” A couple of days later, I was in town and deposited the check in my brand new business account I had opened a week earlier at the local bank.
The other day I was glancing through the repair manual for that model and it clearly states:
DOOR LOCKING AND UNLOCKING
The Door Locking Routine will only start if the door is securely closed and the Door Switch Contact is CLOSED.
1. The Door Lock Relay is energized whenever a wash cycle is started. The relay is operated for 40 milliseconds.
2. During the next three (3) seconds, the contacts on the door lock are checked by the central control unit
a. If the contacts are CLOSED, this routine is finished.
b. If the contacts are still open after 3 seconds, the Central Control Unit energizes the Door Lock Relay for 40 ms and then checks the door lock contacts for 3 seconds. This will occur a maximum of 6 times. If the door is not locked after 6 trials, the Central Control Unit will enter a failure mode and the digital display will show FdL.