Fixing a Jammed Coin-Operated Washer

Perhaps my decision to purchase a coin-operated washer is coming back to bite me. I was out of town all weekend, and came back to a note on my door, saying that the coin slot on the washing machine was jammed, and wouldn’t turn on the washing machine, or pull out. The tenants said that they put in the correct amount of money (they had just gotten a new roll of quarters from the bank, even), and weren’t trying to pull anything (i.e. putting the quarters in pantyhose to pull them back out, or a similar trick like that).

When the washing machine was brand new, the coin slot had been a little sticky, and was fixed by a simple dousing of WD-40. So, I figured that this would be a simple fix.

However, no amount of WD-40 and jiggling would get this coin slot to budge. One of my guy-friends came over to take a look at it with me and he too was stumped. It appeared at first as though one of the six coin slots was missing its coin — however, after further inspection with a flashlight, we discovered that there WAS a coin in that slot, but it had tipped to the side, and was preventing the coin slot from moving. A nickel?? Some sort of coin-like subway token??

In order to fix the problem, we needed some way to push the tilted coin upright. A wire? A knife? There wasn’t a lot of room to work with, but an x-acto blade, slid into the slot next to the coin, was able to move the coin upright. The coin slot went in, deposited its coins, and started the wash.

I had emptied the coins from the washing machine while figuring out the problem, so that I could see exactly what had been sitting in the slot, jamming it up. When we pulled out the coin tray… it was a CANADIAN quarter! A Canadian quarter that was a slightly different size, a slightly different weight; just enough to cause the coin to tilt in the slot. What surprises me the most, though, isn’t the fact that my Whirlpool doesn’t accept Canadian quarters — the fact that the BANK is putting CANADIAN quarters in its rolls! Seriously! Aren’t those supposed to be sent back up north, across the border???

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7 thoughts on “Fixing a Jammed Coin-Operated Washer

  1. It’s ironic that Canadian quarters are worth more than US quarters now. I think some STATE quarters are funky, too.
    Anyway–an x-acto knife, huh?

  2. Yep. Anything the thickness of a sharp blade would likely work.. I’m a graphic designer by day, so X-acto knives are kind of my one-size-fits all tool of choice (as long as there are plenty of sharp blades still around for when I need to use one for what it’s actually for, cutting paper….)

  3. Whirlpool coin operated washer 3 months old…. Same thing happened to me yesterday. Jammed coin slot. Yes one coin was tipped alittle. I used a little jig saw blade, straightened coin out and it was a canadian quarter also as the culprit!!!!

  4. Thanks for your post. I just googled my problem and up came the perfect answer. I got out an x-acto knife and retrieved my canadian quarter.

  5. Thank you. This totally worked. I was so angry because I had jammed it, and didn’t want to call my landlord, but already had soaked my clothes in detergent.

    Got a hand on my roomates pallette knife, and sure enough – one of the coins was tilted!

    Googled it, this came up. Thank you… I got it out.

    my culprit was a coin with Queen Elizabeth on it. Thanks laundromat for spitting that out to me.

  6. I had the same problem 10 minutes ago, googled, found this and just fixed it. thanks for posting! There was a Canadian quarter in the roll I got from the bank.

  7. Same thing happened to me! I had wet clothes at 1:30am and panicked when the coin slot jammed. Couldn’t even call the landlord at this hour to save my clothes. In case anyone out there doesn’t have an X-Acto knife or jig saw blade on hand I was able to use a paper-clip in the gap and work the coin into an upright position. A headlamp or other light makes it much easier to see. Thanks so much for posting. Freakin Candian Quarters!!

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