This has been the month of failing appliances. My oven gave up the ghost on broiling about two years ago, followed by the entire panel refusing to operate in any way that makes sense. At least until last week, I could still bake in it. My freezer's temperature has been wildly fluctuating, resulting in melted and refrozen ice cream, suspicious smelling chicken (thrown out now) and a near-constant puddle of water under the unit.
The old washer was banging so much that it jumped out of its laundry closet and onto the hallway floor during a rinsing cycle.
So first things first - I replaced the washer. The new one had nice capacity, basic features and the price was right. It didn't occur to me to consider the kind of noise it would make. Which turned out to be like a duck is fighting for his life in there.
Clearly I'm not the only one who feels this way, because GE has devoted a webpage to "Top Load Washer Normal Sounds" complete with sound clips. Scroll down to the agitation cycles, hit "play" and then and imagine that noise amplified so that you can easily hear it two rooms away.
At least now I know that the sound of dying water fowl as I wash the clothes is perfectly normal.