A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Wash

OK fellows, It's time to show my wife-mate the power of blogging. It seems as though our washer went kaput right in the middle of the cycle. The big bowl will not drain. I siphoned out about half the water and took off the agitator. that is about as far as I got.

Here are the facts. It stopped after the rinse wash cycle. I know this because the water is still slick with detergent. Nothing appears to be obstructed, but the large valve underneath the big bowl thing doesn't seem to want to open. I found nothing underneath the agitator. The electronics seem to still be working, and water will still pour in if the knob is placed on start.

It is a Frigidare Gallery commercial washer. If anyone knows of a website or a resource, or even where to go from here, please let me know. I can get back to it in a couple of days.

Thank you,
Xavier

First resource

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27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably the lid switch. It will not spin or drain if the lid switch is broken. The lid switch is either on the right side of where the lid sits or in the console. If the lid switch is working you should be able to hear a faint click when you set the lid down.

Stop trying to take the tub apart only sorrow lies on that path.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier,

The pump is (probably) not working, or clogged. This article shows some of the details.

http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-repair-a-washing-machine3.htm

Easy enough to fix -- or replace.
Greg

5:11 PM  
Blogger Mark Miller said...

Most common problem is a bad lid switch. It's also the easiest to fix. Locate the switch that verifies that the lid is closed. Jumper the lead wires together and restart the cycle where it left off. If it empties, you have a bad switch. Replace it.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

It sounds like you have narrowed it down to the valve. Siphon out the rest of the water manually, go to Partselect.com, find the valve, order it, install it, and look like a mechanical genius.

Two years agon, the brass bolt holding the heater coil in my ancient dryer sheared off. Partselect had the OEM replacement bolts for only $3.75. It's worked fine every since, and may it long continue to do so. Unlike modern appliances, old appliances are built sturdily enough that repairing them is worth the hassle.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Xavier,
I really enjoy reading your blog. It has changed alot in the past year, but I still enjoy Sundays, and your range reports.
We had something similar happen in our home. Try looking in the pump. A whole sock was sucked into ours. It was locked up, and would not drain the water either. Our washer was out for a week while we waited for a replacement.
Best of luck, T

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Is the valve that drains the bowl a solenoid valve? Check to see if it has power energized/available.

If it does have power, then the valve actuator could have burned out. If not, and the valve should be opening (play with the timer knob to get the valve to the "drain" portion of the cycle), then it's something more intimately electronic, and you're probably better off getting a new washer, or having a factory repair guy fix it for you.

Alternately, there could be a chunky blocking the valve from opening, in which case, you'd have to remove the wiring, disassemble the valve, clean it, and reassemble everything.

Hope that helped, sorry for your troubles!

Peter

5:46 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

I've had some success fixing appliances using the Samurai Appliace repair sources at http://fixitnow.com/washing-machine-repair-faq/.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Ed Skinner said...

Nothing's wrong with it. It has simply morphed from a clothes washer to a target.

7:52 PM  
Blogger luca said...

LID SWITCH!

My roommate once paid 150 dollars to fix it. I was pissed. It's a simple fix.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Phillip said...

The site I've had good luck with is www.repairclinic.com when I have something go out. They have a fairly good evaluation system, and will tell you when something just needs a repair person, because some things shouldn't be messed with unless you know what you're doing.

Can't recommend the site enough. Rough times since my accident have caused a money shortage, and I was able to keep a washer going for almost two years using their advice.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

I have the same problem with my Kenmore "Heavy Duty" 70 series washer, except just a little different.

When it gets to the spin cycle ... it doesn't spin. All of the water gets pumped out (or drains out) at the end, but the laundry load ends up soggy and full of soap.

My solution: buy a new washer ... as soon as I clear a path through the garage so the delivery people can run the old washer out and replace it with a new washer.

In the meantime, I hand-wring the residual water and soap out of the laundry and slam it into the washer.

Not the best solution, but I've only been living with the problem for 3 months. In another 3 months, I will probably buy a new washer.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has happened three times to our Maytag. Same fix everytime. Our son would wash his clothes with money in his pockets.

A quarter will fit in the drain hose but not make it through the pump. Remove the pump. Remove the quarter.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Kristopher said...

Check lid switch, as stated above.

Next item to check would be the timer/on switch mechanism.

Then the valve solenoid.

Finally the pump.

Each of these items ( except the timer ) can be checked by jumperiong or applying voltage.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a large load becomes unbalanced inside the drum, the washer may stop before the final rinse and spin. Sometimes all you have to do is rearrange the load and the machine will resume operation.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Pawpaw said...

I'd bet the pump's gone.

However, Kristopher has it right, it could be one of three things, timer, lid switch, or pump.

It's actually fairly easy to replace the pump. I replaced two this year, the impeller being made of plastic, any grit in the wash will erode the impeller.

Drain/siphon the machine. Put machine on it's back. Disconnect the hoses, unplug electrical lines. Remove clips, remove pump. Reassemble in reverse order.

8:54 AM  
Blogger repairman phil said...

45 years appliance and refrigeration repair. I too suspect lid switch. However Frigidaire's lid switch works on a bi-metal so is difficult to by-pass. Jumpering the motor circut to activate spin/drain is easier/safer.
BTW I enjoy your blog.
Good luck, God Bless
repairman phil

11:41 AM  
Blogger Retired Rick said...

You didn't say how old it was. Sounds like a bad solenoid switch. Turning the timer and listening for the solenoid to operate will let you know if it is operating. Once it opens then the pump can operate to remove the water. If the pump is working and not removing water then it could be plugged. When some appliances break you have to put aside the male genes that say I can fix anything and buy a new one. It's not designed like some old gun s and motorcycles that can be modified or rebuilt and last forever.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a Lily!!!

Matthew 6:28

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found this website helpful for most appliance repair problems

http://www.repairclinic.com/RepairHelp/RepairHelp.aspx

Good luck

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Esteve said...

I vote lid safety switch. It's only job is to stop the spin cycle if the lid is open. No spin, no water pump. At least check it first. Mine has been broken for six months on my Kenmore and I have it jury rigged. Works great.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Ed Rasimus said...

Yep, lid switch. Usually the switch is operated by a simple plastic finger on the side of the lid that fits into a slot along the edge of the top when closed. If that plastic finger has broken off or popped out of its socket, no switching.

Put the control into "spin" cycle and then insert a screwdriver or flat blade into the slot to pry the fingers of the switch apart to contact the actual switch itself. That will confirm the diagnosis if it starts spinning.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude,just start doing laundry at work. surely you know someone in that dept. When home just wear paper gowns. Take pics. Ha!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Our 20+ year old washer had the lid switch fry out due to kitty-cat target practice (don't ask). Took the switch out and bypassed it. Was still working fine when we got a new front-loading set.

That said, 21 years ago I had to fix a leak in the pump, due to an opened up paper clip our son left in his pants pocket. Super glue covered by scotch tape. So it could also be a sock or quarter or something else stuck in the pump.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

I'm not sure if your model works this way, but if it does, I don't see anyone making this suggestion yet. Mine went out recently, with similar symptoms to yours, but it would make a nasty grinding sound if you asked it to perform any spinning task. There is a small plastic-and-rubber thingie whose purpose is to sacrifice itself first if the motor and transmission don't agree on what to do next. These wear out after a while, and it's a relatively easy and cheap part to replace. Here's the first link I found to one:

http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail.aspx?s=t-motor+coupler-%3d%3di1195967&PartID=1195967

Hmm, actually, in this case, the water should still drain, IIRC, as the pump is driven by the motor shaft, where this coupler does not come into play. In any case, there's another suggestion if nothing else pans out....

12:33 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

For the magnetic reed switch type lid switches, sometimes the reed becomes stuck open (magnet no longer strong enough to pull it closed). An appliance repair guy that I spoke with when mine went out (as it turned out mine was not a bad switch but a transmission that was toast. the cost of repair exceeded the cost of a new washer) suggested finding a very strong (neodymium iron or samarium cobalt) magnet and placing it over top of the reed switch for a couple minutes and moving it back and forth over the switch. He said it will often resolve the problem.

According to Consumer Reports, the Roper commercial washers with mechanical timers are some of the most reliable around. No electronics to fail, just simple on/off contacts in the timer.
Reliability engineering has determined that generally the more components that are in the system, the more likely the system is to fail. Example: Say you have 1000 resistors in a circuit. Each resistor has a .1% probability of failure at any given time. that means one of the resistors is likely to have failed already. (.1% x 1000 = 100%). The higher the probability of the component to fail and the more components there are, the higher the likelihood for failure.

So when choosing an appliance (or anything for that matter) look for the simplest unit that will do the job and you'll usually end up with the most reliable. Every bell and whistle is just something else to go bad.

2:18 PM  
Blogger GEM said...

+1 on Repairclinic.com. I've dealt with them for parts and repairs for years. In addition to the suggested machine components that might be bad, check your plumbing. If the drain line is clogged, the washer isn't going to be able to pump out anything.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous valve actuator said...

More complex control systems using valves requiring automatic control based on an external input require an actuator. An actuator will stroke the valve depending on its input and set-up, allowing the valve to be positioned accurately, and allowing control over a variety of requirements.

2:29 AM  

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