Minnesota mother suffers concussion after her Whirlpool washer explodes

A Minnesota woman said she was knocked unconscious after her Whirpool Duet washing machine exploded.

Sara Van Beck was injured after she went to investigate a "high, howl, whistling noise" coming from her washing machine. Shortly after, she said the machine exploded during its spin cycle.

“From the force, I fell backwards and hit my head,” Van Beck told KARE News.

RELATED: 12 tips to make appliances last longer

12 Tips to Make Appliances Last Longer
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12 Tips to Make Appliances Last Longer

A simple way to make your washing machine last longer is by checking to make sure the pockets of your clothing are empty before you wash them. Coins and other objects that go through your laundry cycle end up doing a great deal of damage to your machine over time. Also, refrain from overloading your machine. Too much clothing in one cycle puts a strain on your machine and will cause it to break faster.

By cleaning the lint trap in your dryer everyday, you'd be amazed the years it adds to its life. Leaving the lint in the machine will eventually damage your dryer and also is a fire hazard.

Besides from cleaning the interior and exterior of your refrigerator regularly, there are a couple other things you can do to lengthen its life. For instance, you should vacuum the condenser coil multiple times a year. Doing so keeps your refrigerator colder.

Another thing many homeowners don’t realize is that the frequency in which a fridge is opened and how much food is kept inside can also affect its lifespan. The more you open your fridge or the more stuffed it is, the harder it is for your machine to maintain a stable temperature. This extra strain on the machine will prevent it from lasting a long life.

Cleaning your dishwasher may sound crazy, but it’s necessary! For instance, if you don’t clean the part of the dishwasher that seals underneath the counter, you should! This area of the dishwasher gets extremely dirty over time and plays a huge role in how well your machine seals when closed. If you don’t clean this frequently, your dishwasher may start to leak and eventually lead to  the need for a replacement.

It may seem obvious, but keeping your microwave clean is the best way to make it last longer. Not only will it keep your microwave from smelling foul, it will lengthen its life if you keep it sparkly clean.

If you have a regular stove element, according to Canadian Finance Blog, it’s important to keep the rip pans clean. Avoid covering them with tinfoil because it will result in a short circuit. Be careful when setting pots and pans on your stovetop and keep it clean to make it last to its full potential.

To get the most out of your furnace, remember to change the filter regularly. Though it isn’t an easy task, changing the filter once a month is a great way to make this appliance last longer.

According to scapenow.com, the average lifespan of a new LCD TV is anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 hours of use. In this time, the brightness of the screen will begin to dim. However, by not leaving your TV on when it’s not being watched you are actually doing a great deal to lengthen its life. Additionally, adjusting the brightness level prior to use can also help.

The one mistake that most PC and laptop owners make is overcharging their machine. Typically these machines are only able to last a certain amount of recharges so when you overcharge your machine, it’s wasting a cycle.

There are several ways to help your cell phone’s battery last longer. Like a laptop, you should be sure to not over charge your cell phone as it ruins its battery life. Wait until it's at the end of it's battery life to plug it into the charger and unplug it once it reaches 100%.

Washing the outside of your unit once a month is a great way to lengthen its lifespan. Additionally, installing a thermostat in the room where your unit is placed will also help. The thermostat will allow you to monitor the temperature and set the unit to the appropriate degrees. When the unit is set to a temperature colder than it should be, the machine has to work harder and thus, lives shorter.

One common mistake you may be making that is taking years off your appliances is choosing to use extension cords. Surprisingly, many appliances work better when they are plugged directly into a wall. Using extension cords for certain appliances put an extra strain on your machine.


“I got as far as the utility sink and it exploded, sending ball bearings and pieces at me,” she also wrote in a Facebook post. “My feet went out from under me and I dropped on our bench and cabinets hitting my head pretty hard.”

The mother of five said she suffered a concussion from the force of the explosion. She also said there were “ball bearings all over the room” and they hit her like “shrapnel,” the local outlet reported.

Van Beck said her dryer also caved in as a result of the incident.

She added that she purchased the washer just three years ago and has not yet seen a recall for the model. She is just grateful that none of her kids were injured.

"It would have been deadly,” she said. “And that's what scares my husband and I the most.”

And after sharing her experience on social media, Van Beck has heard from other Facebook users across the country who have shared similar experiences.

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