This afternoon the Internet and screwdriver set saved me from a $150 appliance repair call and a day of vacation time.

2:00pm – I start the wash cycle of some clothes that had been soaking.

2:02pm – Washer makes strange cracking noise followed by whirring noise.  I peek inside the lid and nothing is moving.

I immediately know something is broken and begin to run the scenario through my head.  Calling the 800 number for Sears on the lid of the washer, them scheduling a “four hour window” on the most inconvenient day for me to be home from work, writing the repair guy a huge check so he can tell me that it needs to be replaced, having to go shopping for a new washer, which will of course not match the existing dryer, which will then have to be replaced costing us our entire tax return and our summer trip to Costa Rica.

The most abhorrent of these thoughts is taking the time off from work to sit around and be available during a four hour window in the middle of the week.  So I turned to the Internet and did a quick search for “kenmore washer doesn’t agitate” and found the following article: http://www.goongie.com/house/kenwash.html, which described the exact problem my I was experiencing with my clothes washer.

2:17pm – I start tearing apart my washing machine according to Mr.Sannerud’s instructions.  After disassembling the washer, I find that my washer has indeed broken it’s drive motor coupling.  I call a local appliance repair store and locate the part I need for $15.  FYI, same part could have been purchased from Amazon for $3.97 plus shipping, but I don’t have time to wait.

3:47pm – Washer is reassembled with new “drive coupler” installed, my son’s bedsheets are loaded back into the tub and a new wash cycle begins.  Disaster averted.

While you may not care about my clothes washer, I seldom think about it myself, I and you should be continually amazed at the wealth of information provided to us by our computers and the Internet.  I am by no means a “Tim the Toolman Taylor” who believes I have to do everything myself, but today I was empowered by the knowledge that can be found on the World Wide Web.  This type of empowerment is the embodiment of what is great about the Internet.  So the next time you hear about corporations or government wanting to limit the Internet, remember that along with the vice and piracy there is a wealth of knowledge and information that enriches our lives and we too often take for granted.