A Lethbridge family is steering clear of their basement after they say their washing machine spontaneously exploded three days before Christmas.
Brittany Lewis said she was upstairs with her husband and her two young daughters when they heard a startling noise.
“It sounded like someone had just thrown a bowling ball down my basement stairs and it exploded into a million pieces,” she said.
“My washing machine exploded, from the inside out.”
Lewis was doing a load of bed sheets at the time. She said the damage was extensive.
According to Lewis, the explosion blew apart wiring, the sides and back, and knocked the machine into her dryer as well as the hot water taps, as it rotated a full 90 degrees.
“It blew the dial right off,” she said, pointing to a small bin on the floor.
“We didn’t know what to do, so we just threw it in the trash.”
Lewis said she feels lucky it was on a spin cycle, which prevented any water damage.
“I mean, we had all our Christmas gifts down there for the kids,” she said.
“Lots of keepsakes and things.”
Lewis said the manufacturer, GE Appliances, was able to send someone out to inspect it the next day.
“It seemed like he had been doing this a really long time… and he hadn’t seen anything like this.”
GE’s website says model GTWS10SSJ1WS has been discontinued, but not recalled.
Global News reached out to the company for clarification but has not yet received a response.
“They were thinking that they would maybe replace the washing machine, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet,” Lewis said.
“We expressed that we’re a little concerned about getting the same brand again and having something similar happen.”
Lewis is hoping to instead receive a refund on her washer as well as her dryer, which was damaged in the incident.
She said a phone representative told her that would be unlikely.
“There’s not a lot that can prepare you for a malfunction like this,” Lewis said.
Lewis is hoping her model will be recalled soon.
“I wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody else,” she said.
“You trust that these things are going to work like they’re supposed to. You put your clothes in the wash and you don’t expect that anything like this will happen.”
On Tuesday Lewis said she heard from GE and told Global News her family will be sent a cheque to refund the cost of their washing machine, as well as their dryer that was damaged.
She said they’re also receiving $200 compensation for their time spent doing laundry elsewhere in the days since the machine malfunctioned.
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