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RE: Washing machines . . . and a question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by firefighterjake, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Washing machine died this weekend . . . I think the issue is a pump which is a $125-$150 part.

    Here's the question . . . should I make the repair . . . or do I take the chance that this may be the first thing to go on a washing machine that is 10 or 12 years old? I guess what I'm asking is folks' opinion: be frugal and make the repair and keep it going . . . or take the risk that I may throw good money at this thing only to have something else crap out down the line?

    Probably should have mentioned . . . it's a Whirlpool Duet HT washing machine which sold (and newer models comparable to it now sell) for $1,000 or so . . . although my wife would be more inclined to go with a smaller and cheaper Samsung model if we go the new route.

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  2. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    If you're sure the $125 part will fix it, go for it.
    ScotO likes this.
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hi Jake,
    If after exhaustive research especially only online you feel it's the pump I'd take the gamble. Recently my washer started to agitate before filling then the clothes would come out wet. I researched online and found this was commonly caused by a combined level\temp controller so I contacted Square Trade since I had one day left on my warranty and they decided they would refund what I paid for the machine 3 years earlier! So I replaced the part for$74.00 (tax incl.) which took 4 hrs. total because it was a nightmare to get the machine apart but it worked like a charm and got back what I paid for the washer :) Gotta love that! I love Square Trade! Best and cheapest warranty around! ;)

    Ray
    ScotO likes this.
  4. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I have an old Kenmore washer, probably 20- 30 years old ( it was here when I bought the house).
    I have replaced the pump and filter and a few belts and shimmed up the clutch springs.
    It still works OK.
    If you can do the repair yourself go for it.
    They don't make em like they used to.
    Brokenwing and ScotO like this.
  5. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Take it apart first,maybe something got sucked up into the pump or if not maybe you will be able to tell if the pump is shot! I HATE working on washers and dryers!:)

    Gary
  6. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Oh one more thing I had a pump that croaked on an old Whirlpool and the symptom was the washer had water going into the tub all the time so the clothes came out wet.. The seal on the pump door lost its seal causing it to recirc the water..

    Ray
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I'd take it apart and be really sure the pump is bad, not just plugged or jammed. If so, I'd replace the pump.
    I like repairclinic.com for parts, good service, reasonable prices.
  8. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I pushed the numbers and figured a HE washer would save me ~$50/yr on water and >$100/yr on electricity (much of that reduced dryer load from a higher speed spin cycle in the washer), running laundry for 4. So, I just scrapped my still working 11 yo Maytag toploader for a LG frontloader I got for $600 on a cyber monday deal from Home Despot.

    I got this one...http://www.lg.com/us/washers/lg-WM2250CW-front-load-washer
    While Consumer Union is flawed...they liked it and thought it a 'best buy'.

    Edit: Ooops, I now see your unit is also HE...but the online ratings make it sound like the Duet's need a lot of repairs. I might still look for a new unit on a deal.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    The washer I repaired was a 3 year old energy star certified top loader. It spins at high speed and uses less water and I got it at a bargain price of $279.00 hard to complain about that! It even has a s/s drum which I plan to salvage to use as an outdoor wood grill when it finally croaks ;) We try to use the clothesline as much as possible especially for towels to save electricity $$..

    Ray
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  10. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Ray....Only had it two weeks...but the stuff is spun so dry I can just hang up jeans and towels in the (cold) laundry room and they are dry later the same day. And my dryer runs maybe 50% as long as before when I do run a big load.
    raybonz likes this.
  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Yes those front loaders are more frugal with water and spin faster no doubt about it.. My cellar is where the washer/dryer is located and it's like a freezer down there lol.. Maybe I can freeze dry them? :) I do use the clothesline as much as possible to conserve energy and if the clothes feel too damp I respin them.. Reliability of the front loaders is a concern as they seem more complex. I have repaired my washers and dryers on occasion..

    Ray
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I noticed the Duet's are not well liked across the board when looking at various sites . . . maybe I lucked out. Until now the only other "repair" I have had to make was the paddles inside the tub which originally were designed differently than the ones they make today (today's models have a place to screw the paddle to the drum vs. using plastic tabs which can break off.)

    Update: After reading at least one person's opinion here and seeing another comment about gunk getting into the pump I decided to take some time to take the pump off . . . and I found a broken pen, several screws and nails, a whole lot of coins and a few other items. I cleaned the pump out last night and plan to reinstall it today and see what happens . . . who knows I may luck out and just be out some time and effort with this project.
    ScotO and raybonz like this.
  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'm betting you fixed that puppy, Jake. All for just labor. Let us know how she works!
  14. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Odds are when a machines does this, it's a clogged pump. Happens in dishwashers, too.

    Avoid that Samsung.... IMHO.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Working man's laundry. :cool:
    PapaDave, ScotO and firefighterjake like this.
  17. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Had a crayon in the kid's clothes once.. Went through the washer and then into the dryer! Man what a mess!! I got it cleaned up using WD-40 and Shout on the clothes after cleaning the dryer.. Got all the stains out amazingly :) Had to be careful with the dryer as WD-40 is highly flammable..

    Ray
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Reinstalled the pump . . . still hearing a noise . . . thinking it may be something that got into or near the impeller and past the screen . . . going to take it apart another time.
  19. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    If it otherwise worked well I'd fix it.
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I also have a 5 year old duet frontloader jake and removing the screen at the filter head is part of routine maintenance. It is easy and right up front for the frequent operation. Only bummer is that you need to plan on draining off the water. I've found nails, coins, socks, undies, etc. and what tells me that I need to look at the screen is an error code displayed that when looked up tells you to clean the screen. When you remove the screen, you can see the impeller right there. Look at it, spin it, verify that it is fine. There are lots of vibrations and noises that this pump makes with normal operation and the plumbing to and from the pump rattle and buzz on the cabinet.

    Probably because of that 16d sinker, I have a water leak from somewhere up high when the drum is really spinning fast. I'm calling the repair man out to fix the leak.

    I've also had a belt shred. We do not like the freqent repairs/maintenance of the washer but this appears to be the way these things are.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I noticed a lot of Duets have had issues . . . as mentioned until a couple of days ago the only issues I had was with the paddles breaking off once in a while. Maybe we got lucky.
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Checked again . . . impeller spins fine and then "hitches" up on something . . . not sure if there is a bearing going or something has worked its way past the filter (which until yesterday I never realized was there . . . guess I'll be checking that more often.)

    In any case, hooked it back up and the noise is just as bad and I get a SUD code indicating that the pump isn't working right. Opted to order a new pump on line for $138 with two day shipping (unfortunately it appears as though a lot of the companies are taking a long weekend with Christmas Eve and Christmas as many said the parts would ship out Wednesday) . . . figured $138 is much cheaper than $600-$1,000.
    heat seeker, raybonz and ScotO like this.
  23. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The people that fix these machines seem to think that the duet is the machine they would want in their homes. It must be due to the ease of repairs and parts price/availability.
    ScotO likes this.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Not a fan of Samsung dish washers . . . I sense a story?
  25. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'm all about working on my own stuff. I've always done it that way, and it works for me. Ease of repair, and parts availability......that's what I look for when I buy stuff. Everything is bound to break or act up eventually, so I've already succomed to the fact that I will be working on it at some point right from the get-go....;)

    That said, my Roper washer and dryer are going on their 14th year of service. I've worked on both of them, and they've more than paid for themselves many times over...
    woodgeek and raybonz like this.

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