Column Steven: 5 cents, our house’s Evergreen

A jammed washing machine is at least as annoying as a blocked channel. At least.
Steven Snijders Foto Guy Ackermans

The Evergreen’s container vessel had a detrimental effect on global logistics when it blocked the Suez channel in 2021 for six days. A five-cent coin had a similar effect, albeit on a different scale, in my student household. It was blocking the filter of our washing machine, which caused the whole machine to grind to a halt. While over ten people depend on this crucial piece of infrastructure. One of the pillars of our comfortable living standard. This called for resolute action.

Conservative tradition dictates that this is a job for the house elder, who has the most knowledge and wisdom. Sadly, my house does not favour conservative traditions, so I was charged with the task. Luckily, with the help of my Italian neighbour. To remove the blockage, we had to disassemble the entire washing machine. How difficult can that be?

To remove the blockage, we had to disassemble the entire washing machine. How difficult can that be?

But our washing machine is not just any washing machine. This is a state-of-the-art modern device with a touch screen, illuminated drum and automatic detergent dispenser. This intelligent machine weighs how much laundry you have and adds the correct amount of detergent. Not that anyone ever uses these functions. It is just as easy to toss the detergent in yourself. All these added options only make repairs more complicated. Overly complicated.

The washing machine in question.

With the help of YouTube tutorials, we managed to disassemble the machine. I was able to remove the five cents coin responsible for jamming the machine. We also managed to reassemble the machine, although I had four screws left. However, it still works without these four screws. As I said: overly complicated.

The drum can once again spin like an autumn leaf in a storm, the detergent can flow freely like a creek in a mountain meadow, and we were up and running again. Until recently.

After several weeks, a crack appeared in a piece of plastic that connects the water supply. The water hose is now leaking water and a lot of it. If we don’t intervene, we will have our very own Suez channel at home. I wanted to use our 5 cents Evergreen to block the water hose, but it had suddenly lost its disruptive properties. A new repair has been planned. To be continued.

Steven is doing a Master’s degree in Economics and Policy and enjoys hitting the squash court. He is always up for a game of squash and a good conversation. You can email him here.

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