Maintenance
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Reader's Tip: Winterizing a Washing Machine

As submitted by Dave Johnson, via e-mail
Published: December 1, 2006
webwashingmachine
Photo by Johanna Goodyear/ dreamstime.com
As I begin the annual process of closing down my cabin for the winter, I thought I would share my experience with our clothes washer that we keep in an unheated shed near our cabin in the far north.
    
After installing the washer two years ago, I called the manufacturer to find out what I should do to winterize the unit. The customer support person said that I needed only to run the final spin dry cycle one last time to purge any leftover water from the unit. This proved to be bad advice. The next spring I discovered the water intake valve had burst from ice in the system.  
    
Last year, to prevent another costly repair, I poured a few gallons of RV antifreeze into a 5-gallon bucket and attached two “splitter” valves to a small sump pump in the bucket. This allowed me to connect the two water intake hoses and a third hose to allow the antifreeze to circulate in the bucket when the liquid wasn’t entering the washer.
   
I then turned on the pump, set the water setting to warm, the load setting to small and turned on the washer. After the washer had filled with antifreeze and the wash cycle started, I turned the dial to the final spin cycle and let the washer drain out the antifreeze.  When it shut off, only residual antifreeze remained in the washer for the winter.
   
Problem solved!
    
Come spring, all we needed to do was connect the hoses to the water lines and run the washer through a few full cycles to flush the antifreeze out and we were back in the clothes washing business.
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