¡Si, Se Puede! (Yes, you can!)

Lately it seems that I have been teaching myself to do a lot of things I never thought I could manage. Over the past year I perfected the art of cutting in paint, fixed my dryer and dishwasher, and most recently my washer.

Sometimes when I am working on a new project I have to admit I’ve lost it.  In my frustration with the unfamiliar task, I found that I cried, swore, and to my chagrin, even stomped out of the room looking and sounding scary enough to make the dogs run and cower, but I didn’t give up!

Yesterday in my mudroom I stood looking at a week and a half of laundry that included a pile of wet and muddy towels from the recent rain and muddy dogs.  I really wanted to just let Bob fix it, but he works all day and I didn’t want to wait.  So, I took matters into my own hands and fixed my washing machine.

This was hard. 

It required strength, unorthodox tools, and an extra bit of shouting to get the job done.  But hey! I fixed my washing machine that two men on the PartsSelect website had said was impossible!  So, you just can’t imagine how good I felt!

This morning after reading a friends post I realized that we as women are given all the wrong messages as we grow up.   We are taught that some jobs are just not possible to do unless you are a man.

We all have this list of excuses for not trying…

  1. It’s too hard
  2. I don’t know how
  3. I can let my husband/boyfriend do it
  4. I can call the repairman

And I counter…

  1. It might be easier than you think
  2. You can learn
  3. Maybe they don’t know how, don’t have time, or don’t want to
  4. The repairman is expen$ive!

Now you have a choice to make.   You can live with the problem or tackle it. What is the worst that can happen?  You might find that you really couldn’t do it?  Well, in that case you can pick up the phone and call in the professional.

It’s time for us to realize what we are capable of and then go do it!   You can find really good instruction for any task or job on Youtube, but beware, some are more brilliant than others, so watch several!

For my task I liked this one best.

A word to the owners of the General Electric Washer (model:  WJRE5550H1WW)  Life is too short, so BUY THE INSTALLATION TOOL when you order the replacement belt!

Now in my case I had to improvise and adapt the instructions given in this video.  If you didn’t purchase the special tool (I should have!) then you will need to do the following to make the job more simple and less dangerous!

  1. Turn off the water, disconnect the power, water hoses and drain tube.
  2. If you didn’t buy the tool, then don’t bother pulling off the front panel.  Put down a rug or blanket and lay the front of the machine flat onto the floor.  This will allow you enough room to muscle on that belt because you didn’t buy the tool!
  3. Remove the bolts holding the bottom panel.  NOTE: the panel will not come all the way off, but you can easily flex it down to get inside. THIS WILL GIVE YOU A LOT MORE ROOM TO MANEUVER!
  4. Now, place the new belt onto the lower shaft.
  5. Pull the belt onto the larger wheel (it won’t go far) and zip tie it into place.
  6. Rotate the wheel a bit further, and feed the belt on.  Add another zip tie.   I had to add a total of three zip ties.
  7. Now comes the hard part!  Keep slowly rotating while watching to make sure the belt does not leave the lower shaft.  If it is coming off, then rock the wheel back and forth while forcing the belt back onto the shaft and keeping your fingers out of the works!  😐
  8. Continue slowly turning the wheel and force the belt to stay onto the wheel.
  9. You will now have to snip the first zip tie, rotate, snip the second zip tie, rotate, remove the last zip tie.
  10. Now you will notice that the belt is not fully aligned into the grooves, so slowly turn and push on the belt to get it to align completely with those grooves.  (Being completely honest, this is where I found that grunting and swearing helped to relieve the frustration of this task.   😳 )
  11. Replace the bottom panel making sure that there are no leftover screws.
  12. Put the machine into the upright position.
  13. Reconnect the hoses and drain pipe, then turn on the water and plug in the machine.
  14. If necessary, re-level the machine by turning the pegs in front (up or down as needed)  I found that tilting the machine back and placing a broom handle under the front was a great assist in this process. 😉
  15. Here comes the easy part.  WASH THAT MOUNTAIN OF CLOTHES!

Start with the small stuff and work yourself up to the more detailed and complicated tasks.  You’ll never know what you can accomplish if you never try!

Now go fix something!


¡Si, Se Puede!