We had to buy a new washing machine recently. The old one had reached the stage of doing the old squealing like a stuck pig, leaking soapy water all over the floor and leaving the clothes soggy, trick. Yeah, it’s a tedious party piece. Of course, because there’s an engineer in the house, we had to run through the trick more than once, you know, just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off.
Right after the engineer had mopped up, the non-engineer in the house informed me (that is, the engineer) that replacing the washer on its own wasn’t going to cut it, we needed a washer and a dryer (which, of course, got the sock vote too).
Minutes later we head out, credit card tightly grasped. I didn’t do a completely scientific appraisal of the market for washing machines, but there are roughly a gazillion different types. All of them advertising that our lives will be immeasurably changed, butterflies will swirl in happy dances over our heads, and bunny rabbits will line the streets as we pass by (boy, was my journey home a disappointment, but I digress).
We walked the aisles, admiring row after row of white boxes adorned with buttons, lights, and copious advertising. It was a difficult decision. I mean, how do you compare eco-friendly, low temperature wash capabilities with another which has a picture of a duck holding an umbrella? And what about self-leveling feet (the washing machine, not the duck)? Are they more important than a little blue light that turns on at the end of the spin cycle? Oh, accursed decisions.
Eventually we determine there are expensive white boxes and cheap white boxes. Now, you may call me Mr Middle of the Road, but we chose the average price ones. They were made by Samsung, looked like they had something of a grin on their faces, and bore a sign encouraging us to “Imagine the Possibilities.”
Now, I’m not trying to boast, I think my imagination is ok, but I stared long and hard at “Imagine the Possibilities,” and the only (printable) thing that came to me involved dirty laundry going in and clean clothes coming out (less the odd vacationing sock). The thing that swung it in the Samsung’s favor was the note on the front that they were quieter than the competition, and we “don’t call me middle of the road”, middle-of-the-roaders, like quiet.
The next day the washer and dryer were installed. The old ones were dragged away to silicon heaven (along with all the packaging) and we stood, dirty laundry in hand, still trying to “Imagine the Possibilities.”
So, what of the washer? Yes, it washes very quietly – no stuck pigs, leaking water, or soggy washing – and everything is cleaned to perfection. The dryer? That’s a success too; warm air and gentle tumbling leaves our clothes feeling soft and fluffy. It’s all very good, in a no sign of butterflies, bunny rabbits, or ducks with umbrellas sort of way. (I’m still a tad miffed about that bit).
Despite disappointment on the fluffy animal front, I now fully understand the meaning of “Imagine the Possibilities” – at least when Samsung applies it to a washer and dryer. I have to admit, I’m in awe of their superior imagination, or at least in the lengths their imagination will go to, in the laundry appliance world.
These machines ding, dong and bleep at every opportunity (and, I’m sure, at times that aren’t at all opportune). They’re a cross between Motley Crue, an angst filled teenager with a new cell phone, and the London Philharmonic B team. There isn’t a button you can press without being greeted with a few bars of something to let you know you pressed that button. Even the OFF button sets in motion a few stanzas before turning out the lights. If you should ignore the end-of-cycle aria, you get a chorus every few minutes until you finally open the door. But just as you think you’ve shut the *&^%$ thing up, you find out that Samsung “Imagined the Possibility” of a tune to go with opening the door.
With all this enforced musicality, there was a suggestion in the household that I should put a sock in it. Needless to say, that caused a bit of a riot, and I had to go bare foot for a couple of days until things calmed down.
Just in case you think I’m exaggerating, I’ll leave you with a rendition of The Trout Quintet, by Franz Schubert.
Or as Samsung knows it, the twenty-eight second end of wash signal.
(Image courtesy of Lowes)
WOW! You bought an upscale model from ours. I only get the tune when the washer stops. Nothing, Nada, Zip when I open the door.
You’d think that would be worth at least one “Hallelujah.”
When we got our first front-loader, the grandkids were winky.-dink. I caught them sitting on the floor in the laundry room watching the clothes go ’round. Gotta love how kids find wonder in anything new.
Btw, we need to start a campaign demanding WordPress put spell check back in comments.
LOL, Gloria. I had a cat once that used to watch the washing going round. I think he was just grateful he wasn’t inside.
If you’re worried about the tunes, for a small fee I could rig up something that makes tunes if you like.
Is won-key still busted?
I replaced our washer and dryer a few months ago, too, shortly after they became old enough to vote in any state or province. Fortunately, the washer had yet to suffer incontinence, but I could tell it was only a matter of time.
I guess it must be a geek thing – I bought Samsung, too. I don’t know about your model, but ours has the ability to disable the irritating tunes, which I promptly did. The washer and dryer do a great job on the clothes, but silencing them came in a close second on the satisfaction scale.
Yes, our washer does a good job on the clothes, and yes, there is a button to silence the noises, but then you don’t get the useful signals, like when it’s finished (esp as the new one is way quieter than our old washer). I suppose it’s only a matter of time before iTunes has washing machine jingles to download and randomly assign to “laundry specific trigger points.”
Ours don’t serenade us, but the do have loud enough buzzers for us to hear when a cycle is over. Our last dryer made no noise to let you know it was done – and naturally it lasted for years and years beyond the day I wanted to replace it. Now, if the dishwasher would just ding when it wstarts the dry cycle so we’d know when to drain excess water from the cups . . .
Hi David. Yes, out old washer/dryer had a buzzer. It was kind of loud but only buzzed for a second or so. Our dishwasher oh ther other hand doesn’t make a sound. It also leaves the upturned cups wet. We can put a man on the moon but we can’t …
Ah, I have a late model, with an ear-pleasing single-note tone to signify the cycle’s end – on either machine.
And the option to turn the tone off, which I haven’t yet felt the need to exercise.
Perhaps I didn’t go as upscale middle of the road as you, Nigel, and can’t help but wonder, on the more expensive models, do you have an option of music, perhaps downloadable iTunes? You strike me as a Britney Spears kind of guy. Especially on those days when the bottle of bleach slips and you add too much.
‘Oops, I did it again!’
“upscale middle of the road.” Wow, I never knew there was a upscale version. It’s kind of like average but better. The whole theory of Kalman filers could be rewritten around the idea of the optimal and the really-optimal solution. I like it.
Worrying though is the idea that you think I’m a Brittany Spears kind of guy. Hopefully it’s not because you think I wear her kind of cut off jeans! “Oops I did it again” is so appropriate for her.
I’ll get back to the laundry now.
Hi NIgel. I went with a Maytag recently. The sounds are all boring but my sons decided to convert the sound system to some pleasant adult female vocalizations. I told them that THEY will pay for the replacement washer. if their project climaxes in a dead or injured dryer.
That information seems to have taken their project off of their priority list so the boring sounds continue fir now.
Given that she lives with three men my wife has a remarkable patience. She’s the calmest person I know.
I have to admire you family’s attitude to challenges, Holmes. Well, that and your wife’s patience.
An older style washer with a mechanical timer would be quite easy to modify. I think what this post has demonstrated the most is that there is a pent-up market for customizable washing tones. An entire new iWasher ecosystem could spring up around the idea. Then there’s Facebook integration, twitter, likes, mentions. In fact, you could even friend other peoples washing machines. How are you at filling out patent applications?
Hi Nigel, “How are you at filling out patent applications?”
Piper knows patent law so I would leave it to her. The problem with patents is thsat you have to build a working model.
I still have a gorgeous T.I. dual trace Osciliscpoe and the nicest analog Simpson meter ever made. If my wife ever grows tired of my sons and and takes an extended vacation from us I will sleep next to the Simpson meter at night.
My enthusiasm for circuit design is such that I once called Piper’s husband to explain a basic noise filter design calculation to me. I could have done it..wirh time…but there sat the phone….
Ha, I was right with you about building a model until you said “working.” And as for you multimeter, I wonder if it should be called “Mrs Simpson”? Though hopefully you won’t have to abdicate.