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I fixed my washing machine, ta-dah!!!
Old 10-25-2012, 04:44 PM   #1
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I fixed my washing machine, ta-dah!!!

Mon morning our 19 year old Whirlpool quit during the first spin cycle. I could hear the motor running, and water was filling and draining, but no spin and the agitator wouldn't turn. DW and I concluded I'd be buying us a new washing machine this week. Did some research online and concluded that new washing machines can be expected to last 3-7 years, no matter what you spend. That seems criminal IMO. A new one like we'd want would be $750 or more.

So while researching I decide, since the washing machine seems to be dead, why not take it apart and see if I could figure out/fix it. If I can't, no worse off anyway. So I layed it down in the kitchen, removed the agitator, water pump, wiring harness, gear case and motor. When I separated the gear case from the motor, I could see the coupling was shot. Went online, found the part at a local appliance parts store, replaced and put it all back together and voila, it runs like a top again. Did a load of towels to confirm.

The new coupling cost $23 with tax. The motor and gear case are heavy duty, I am sure they don't make them like that anymore.

Needless to say I'm thrilled. DW was impressed, though it's a good thing she didn't see the kitchen during the day. Must be true, 'simple things amuse simple minds...'
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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Good job. It's a very satisfying feeling to fix something that would cost some bucks to replace. I fixed my DVR recorder awhile back when the capacitors blew. I figured I couldn't do any more harm to it and it only cost me $3.00 to try. Didn't even know what a capacitor was. But YouTube and the Internet are awesome for finding people to share instruction.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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What is this with everybody's washing machine breaking this week? I"m beginning to think I should research a replacement machine in case mine is next. It is only a little over ten years old, but I guess they don't last long these days.

Oh, and good job! Saved yourself some money and aggravation both, by getting that done.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yea, but in the process you have interrupted the gravitational field.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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I fixed a tall cool adult beverage.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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Came home last Saturday morning after my grandson's baseball game to an upset wife, the washing machine would not spin out. After a little investigation, google search, a few u tube videos, I deducted the lid switch was the culprit. Took the thing apart and went to Lowes and they didn't have a replacement switch harness. I by-passed the switch so DW could do the laundry (she thinks I'm a genius). Found a new switch assembly on Amazon for $8, which arrived today. Saturday prior to the college games, I will fix the damn thing right. The sad thing is a repair person would probably charge at least $100 for a simple repair to some poor unsuspecting soul. When things break around the casa del frayne, I man up and tackle the $%^&* thing with gusto, testosterone and the help of the internet.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:56 PM   #7
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But YouTube and the Internet are awesome for finding people to share instruction.
Wholeheartedly agree. I didn't know exactly what I was getting into and it turned out to be something different than the video (wait, my coupling doesn't look like that any more, ah-hah) and I could not have done it without Google and YouTube. I actually had my iPad with a video sitting on top of the washer following along as I went. Wunderbar!
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Just today, my new old style washer was delivered. Two years ago I bought an HE front loader Kenmore, which was highly recommended by Consumer Reports. A bearing went out and due to the design of these new machines, it costs between 500 and 600 to fix it. Every repair place we called gave the same prices. Plus it didn't wash that we'll to begin with. We went back to an old style. I kept hearing from all the repairmen that the new machines last from 2-6 years and then are thrown out because they cost too much to fix.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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The new coupling cost $23 with tax. The motor and gear case are heavy duty, I am sure they don't make them like that anymore.
Impressive! I am more of a lightweight than you; about two years ago my 20+ year old Kenmore washer started acting up and stopping in the middle of the cycle. I explained it away as "suds lock", but it just got worse and more frequent over time. I gave up and got the guy to come in. He was great and chatty, and commented on how he loved to work on that kind of machine, 'cause it was so durable (he did not have such kind words for today's models). Once he had it open, I was impressed with its simplicity. Kind of reminded me of an old VW Rabbit I used to drive.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Mon morning our 19 year old Whirlpool quit during the first spin cycle...Went online, found the part at a local appliance parts store, replaced and put it all back together and voila, it runs like a top again.
Eh, at 19 years, yours was just getting broken in.

This reminded me that I replaced mine a few years ago. I do not remember the date, but as I remember mentioning this "significant event" on this forum, I searched and found out that it was in 2008.

So, mine lasted 28 years. I had fixed it once before, something like replacing a belt. But that last time, as I turned it over for examination, a rusted and broken mounting bracket fell out. Yep, it was beyond hope, so I let it go.

The companion Kenmore dryer that I bought in 2000 as a newlywed is still running fine, after 32 years of service to our family of 4. Could you believe that?
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:08 PM   #11
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Eh, at 19 years, yours was just getting broken in.
I hope you're right, nothing would make me happier (in the realm of appliances at least...)
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #12
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How's that CP/M machine of yours doing? Do you have any 8" floppy disk to share with me?

PS. Never mind. I found a Web site that claims they have them. What scares me is that they do not list the price and say to call. They are probably going to ask "How much money ya have?".

PPS. In this fast evolving world, I need to put myself back 32 years to be in the era where I bought my long-lasting dryer. It was scary to recall that so many things that I bought back then have been long gone. Besides the CP/M computer which I used at work (could not afford one for home), I can still picture my proud 25" color console TV, which was the envy of my friends because it had a newer and flatter CRT tube.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Came home last Saturday morning after my grandson's baseball game to an upset wife, the washing machine would not spin out. After a little investigation, google search, a few u tube videos, I deducted the lid switch was the culprit. Took the thing apart and went to Lowes and they didn't have a replacement switch harness. I by-passed the switch so DW could do the laundry (she thinks I'm a genius). Found a new switch assembly on Amazon for $8, which arrived today. Saturday prior to the college games, I will fix the damn thing right. The sad thing is a repair person would probably charge at least $100 for a simple repair to some poor unsuspecting soul. When things break around the casa del frayne, I man up and tackle the $%^&* thing with gusto, testosterone and the help of the internet.
I had a small well problem, fixed it with a #10 wire connector. Ms G wanted it fixed the way it was 4 new insulated splice connectors $45, OUCH.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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Midpack,

That same coupling is $8 on ebay shipped free in 2 day priority mail! I know because I naively bought the coupling from the local appliance store and it was $25 plus tax. Then I returned it once I saw the identical brand (Jason??) on ebay for 1/3 the price and no tax.

Luckily ours broke on the last load of laundry on a Sunday evening, so I had the part delivered by Wednesday and fixed by Thursday, 2 days before the next "laundry day".

The way I look at it, I either saved $150 for an appliance service call, or $400-500 plus many hours of research of buying a new washer.

I have since fixed our dryer 2x, and spent $5-10 each time on parts and no more than 3 hours total troubleshooting, spec'ing and ordering part, installing and verifying it works.

I also fixed my MIL's oven. $75 control circuit went bad. Well, $75 from ebay or $300 from the Sears service people. Took about 15 minutes to install (8 screws to undo/rescrew and 1 piece to plug in on the back of the stove). Maybe another 30 minutes to research and buy the right part and get the model # off the stove.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #15
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Thanks to research on the net and links suggested on this forum to parts sites, DH has kept the machines we got as housewarming gifts from his parents going for these past 19 years. Still going, just not pretty anymore!
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #16
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I love the spirit that everyone is showing here!

I kept our last washer going for 20 yrs, replaced the timer once and fixed the wig-wag and other oddities, but eventually it just got too rusted out, and then some gear oil or whatever was leaking from the tranny.

We bought a cheap upright and its going for 7 yrs now with no problems. The more I read about the front loads, the less I want one.

I've also become an expert at fixing the dishwasher. Mostly, it is goofball little plastic parts inside that need replacing. The soap door took a $1 spring. I have admit, that dollar nearly took a day off my life, it was a tricky thing to install! But it saved the D/W. Too many of these appliances are thrown out for the most trivial stuff.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post

So while researching I decide, since the washing machine seems to be dead, why not take it apart and see if I could figure out/fix it. If I can't, no worse off anyway. So I layed it down in the kitchen, removed the agitator, water pump, wiring harness, gear case and motor. When I separated the gear case from the motor, I could see the coupling was shot. Went online, found the part at a local appliance parts store, replaced and put it all back together and voila, it runs like a top again. Did a load of towels to confirm.
Sounds like work to me.

I think I will open up my old Whirlpool as it was running fine last time I used it. Texas Proud had a good suggestion in the thread I started. Doubt I will figure it out, but who knows. I have been known to get lucky.

If I can't fix it, going to buy the cheapest model I can find. If the new ones today only last 3-7 years, no need to buy all the extras.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #18
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Sounds like work to me.
Yeah, but Midpack is (was?) a mechanical engineer. If an EE like myself can poke around machines and work on cars (even rebuilt a few engines in my early and poor years), surely an ME can fix a washing machine.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #19
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Yeah, but Midpack is (was?) a mechanical engineer. If an EE like myself can poke around machines and work on cars (even rebuilt a few engines in my early and poor years), surely an ME can fix a washing machine.
with youtube videos walking you through the repairs, even a caveman can do it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #20
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Two years ago my ten year old washer started not pumping out . I was already to get a new one but I discovered it only happened if I did multiple loads . So for the last two years I only do one load a day and it works fine .
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