Thread Number: 71814  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
'84 Maytag LA712 Relieves '84 Whirlpool LA5530XKN2 of Duty
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Post# 950009   7/25/2017 at 13:58 by realvanman (Southern California)        

This will be my first time placing the Maytag in service. It was free to me from friends. I repaired the timer, then stored the machine. Those former owners had evidently been unaware of the presence of the lint filter, and thus had never cleaned it, so it STUNK when I first got it wet! I have cleaned all of the soft yucky stuff off of it, but now need to clean the hard crusty stuff. Any ideas?

I had just repaired the Whirlpool by replacing it's shift solenoids. What I hadn't realized is that the solenoid had failed in the first place due to a small water leak. So the Whirlpool is out of service until that can be addressed.

I had seen the evidence of water on the old solenoids, but didn't realize that the leak was as bad as it is, until I reviewed this video. I hadn't seen the water dripping in person, it was too hard for me to see under there.


Post# 950012 , Reply# 1   7/25/2017 at 14:14 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I like these models, nicely featured....especially the speed combos

soaking in CLR works for most hard water grit....some use a vinegar soak as well...some have success, some not....

personal preference for something like this, especially the filter, POWER WASHER! could probably use one at the car wash, although not as powerful....keep your foot on it, it will fly away....

the agitator should have a set screw, usually on the same side as the air hole, a little play is not will want to pull it and clean under it as well...

Post# 950016 , Reply# 2   7/25/2017 at 15:24 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I'll hazard a guess that your Whirlpool may be permanently out to pasture once you've had the full-featured 712 experience.


This past May I got a 1987 LA712 that looks identical to yours.  The filter was in just about as bad of shape.  I thought soaking it in water would help, but no.  I ended up drizzling Lime Away over it, half the circumference at a time, and letting it go to work.  It still took a lot of tedious scrubbing with a wire brush and some poking through stubborn spots with a short length of "piano" wire.

Post# 950093 , Reply# 3   7/26/2017 at 02:07 by realvanman (Southern California)        
Laundry is stacking up!

I finally got a chance to pick up some CLR and work on the Maytag tonight.

I'm very glad I removed the agitator, as was recommended. Wow, there are some tough deposits under there! They smell unmistakably like a campfire??

I don't want to scratch or otherwise harm the enamel, so I haven't used anything too aggressive, but I've tried a stiff brush, a tooth brush, and a plastic spoon lol. Made very little progress.

So I filled it up with water and CLR to just below the transmission seal, hoping that, by tomorrow, at least some of it may be ready to come off.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 950094 , Reply# 4   7/26/2017 at 02:22 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Brass wire wheel on an electric drill will make quick work of that brown shizz under the agitator imo..

Post# 950104 , Reply# 5   7/26/2017 at 03:37 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
You will

Go back to the Whirlpool after you baby sit the Maytag a few times as it vibrates and walks all over!At least if you put it on a wood floor.

Post# 950109 , Reply# 6   7/26/2017 at 06:35 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Got To Get The Laundry Done

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And the Whirlpool needs some serious repair but the WP washer is a superior performer compared to the Maytag.

Post# 950145 , Reply# 7   7/26/2017 at 12:47 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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If a Maytag starts to walk, it's not the washer's fault.


My 712 was rock solid and didn't budge on my patio pavers even though they're not perfectly laid and so there's some irregularity to the patio surface.   When I decided to put a resin tray under it, which I thought would be better for the leveling feet to sit on, even though the washer felt like it was on a secure footing, it wanted to walk across the patio during spin.


I eliminated the tray from the scenario and the machine went back to staying put.


If you have any appreciation for tank-like build quality and simple, yet effective mechanics that smoothly, quietly, quickly, easily and yes, capably process a load of laundry, you're going to forget about that Whirlpool real quick.  You'll also have more control over how you want each load handled, with a full set of options for wash/rinse temperature, infinite water level selection, and speed combinations.  You can't beat a 712 or its predecessor, the 806 for flexibility, or the engineering behind vintage Maytag washers for dependability and longevity that quickly became --and still is -- legendary in the field of automatic washers.

Post# 950187 , Reply# 8   7/26/2017 at 22:24 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I have had 3

Maytags over the years, None would stay in balance , Mother bought one of them new in 86, after 1 year of getting 1 out of 3 loads completed without attention, She sent me to get a washer that would work, a Filter Flo replaced it and NEVER ONCE got out of balance, Maytags are just like GM cars, I never had any luck with them.

Post# 950230 , Reply# 9   7/27/2017 at 07:07 by Bigterkc (Kansas City)        
Never had a Maytag walk!

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I've worked on dozens of different Maytags in many settings, unlevel basements, pitched garage floors, unlevel driveways as well as gravel driveways and have never once had a Maytag try to walk!.
And I'm prone to overload a machine with jeans and pants, and still never had one walk on me. I've had a couple almost go out of balance, but managed to stay balanced enough to get to full speed and get the cycle done.
My mother had a Hotpoint when I was growing up and dad rigged brackets on the floor to keep it corralled to it's spot in the kitchen, it walked so much. My sister had a GE filter-flo that would walk to the wall and bump into it and we could hear it "knocking" an go downstairs and put it back.
But my Maytags in service in my various houses and trailers never walked and were so quiet.

Post# 950249 , Reply# 10   7/27/2017 at 09:10 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Thats whyThey make all kinds,

I'm a firm believer if the clothes are all tangled up, as in a Frigidaire, Philco or Slant Front WH, they have really been washed, others think differently, but if you can get a Maytag not to jump around...I sure wont fight you over any of them...You can HAVE them,because just like a GM car, I never want another one! LOL

Post# 950540 , Reply# 11   7/29/2017 at 00:44 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Tangled clothes-as an old Maytag add in B&H Gardens magazine from the 50's stated---"Whipped Wash!"

Post# 950624 , Reply# 12   7/29/2017 at 13:56 by realvanman (Southern California)        
Torn Shorts, Confusion, and Rock Hard Deposits!

It has been very interesting reading all of your replies! It has a feel sort of like a Chevy vs Ford discussion lol. :) All in good fun, of course, but this is the source of my confusion! :O

As one who has spend his entire life with Kenmore / Whirlpool, I really don't know any different. Indeed my Whirlpool is the very same one that showed up at my parent's house when I was 11, passed down and living on. Albeit now in storage in the back yard, with a water leak of unknown origin. I believe that, in 1984, it had replaced a white colored machine, almost certainly a Kenmore. So the Maytag will be an interesting experiment for me.

I can say a couple of things so far. I like the Maytag's controls better. It has a warm rinse option, while the Whirlpool doesn't. And it has the option of slow agitation and fast spin. Again, the Whirlpool does not.

Which brings me to my shorts. It is very difficult to find shorts these days. What they pass off for "shorts" I call "Flood Pants". No thigh, no knee, barely any calf muscle showing. Those are PANTS, not shorts. I grew up with shorts. I remember shorts. Everyone had them. What has gone so wrong with our society? People still have them in other countries. I've seen pictures. So when I do find some that I like, or can at least live with, I want them to last as long as possible. They are hard to find!

But they all eventually fail in the same spot- right at the base of the zipper, and I believe it's the Whirlpool's aggressive agitation that hastens their demise. So I started being more careful with them. Not pulling them apart with my knees when sitting in the bathroom. I now zip them up, button them, and turn them wrong side out before washing, but still, eventually, that same hole appears, and they are demoted to "working around the house" shorts.

To mitigate this I ran the Whirlpool on Delicates for the wash cycle, then moved the timer to Regular for rinse and spin. A slow speed spin merely puts more wear and tear on my Whirlpool dryer (an '87, I believe?), more wear and tear on the clothes themselves, and of course costs more in energy. The Maytag will be nice to use, at least in this regard.

Now, about that Maytag. Those deposits in the bottom of the basket are Rock Hard!! I tried a stiff bristled brush, and some CLR, and nothing happened. I don't want to damage the enamel, but I carefully tried a wire wheel in a drill motor, and it pretty much just polished them up. I think it's laughing at me lol.

I thought about getting out the angle grinder, and it's wire wheel, but that's *really* aggressive. I have noticed that the deposits really aren't adhered all that well to the enamel. I could chip them off, but need to figure out how to do it without also chipping the enamel.

I shall carefully experiment some more today.


Post# 950641 , Reply# 13   7/29/2017 at 15:51 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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those stains may be in bedded so far in, nothing will remove it....

some have used an SOS pad, while others have used a Widget/razor blade to slice into the grunge......

and may be one of those things, your not going to win.....

yeah, the option for slow wash/fast spin has come in handy more times than one can count....I have always opted for a high speed spin.....

funny you mention shorts, I can't deal with shorts costing almost twice what the whole pants do....most of mine started out as full length pants, cut to the length I want, and then hemmed up.....

I chuckle too at people paying outrageous prices for pants with rips and holes.....I can do that at home for free....

my 806 has the 50hz pulley setup....switched out the agitator....which still gives a gentle wash if needed....loving the higher speed spin......

keep us posted....lots of luck with your new toy

Post# 950731 , Reply# 14   7/30/2017 at 02:27 by realvanman (Southern California)        
A Hard Fought Battle

But I got *most* of these hard-as-a-rock deposits removed.

I was able to scrape them off the porcelain enamel with a sharp chisel (not used as a chisel though!). The wire wheel and the chisel left slight metal deposits, which the CLR easily removed.

Getting those hard deposits completely out of the filter has thus far proven elusive. I got most of it out, and certainly it will function now. I can easily toy with cleaning it some more later.

For now I've had CLR running in it, while completely full. It's been in there for two or three hours, every now and then I let it agitate for a few minutes. Now I'm going to let it complete the cycle so it can drain and rinse, etc.


Post# 950792 , Reply# 15   7/30/2017 at 13:34 by realvanman (Southern California)        
Wrong Link

Here, this is better...

Post# 950805 , Reply# 16   7/30/2017 at 16:25 by realvanman (Southern California)        
The 'Tag is in Service!!

I've done two loads in it so far.

Maiden Wash

First Spin

Rinse and Spin

Post# 950809 , Reply# 17   7/30/2017 at 16:53 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Tip:  underloading or using too high of a water level for the load size can cause off-balance to occur on spin-drain machines due to the clothes floating loosely and getting bunched together as the load starts to rotate.  This is less likely to occur on neutal-drain machines because the clothes (distributed by agitation) settle down in the drum before spin begins.

Post# 950821 , Reply# 18   7/30/2017 at 18:46 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Your Maytag runs just like mine but I have a container to put a last rinse in the final spin. Just an idea that has worked for me for 35 years as I never leave any appliance without being right there.

Post# 950860 , Reply# 19   7/31/2017 at 01:49 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I agree that a final spray rinse would make these machines absolutely perfect.  I think the best thing to do is to learn the correct detergent dosage to effect minimal residue after the generous single spray rinse.  I will generally select a warm rinse so the spray delivers maximum water volume, then switch to cold after the spray action has ended.


The remarks about underloading/overly high water level are timely.  I washed king size sheets yesterday in my 712 and let the tub fill to the top.   After agitation had started, I checked for turnover and saw that I could have gotten away with a lower fill level.   I didn't know then that this could cause balance problems, but sure enough, the load wasn't balanced going into the first spin.  I lowered the water level for the rinse and it went into final spin with ease. 


And to all of those who insist that Maytags like to walk off with your laundry, take a good look at that tea cup!

Post# 950991 , Reply# 20   7/31/2017 at 22:12 by leefree (Los Angeles)        
Cleaning the lint filter

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I didn't want to scratch it up with a scouring pad or scraper so I uncharacteristically went with patience. On my 512, I had to soak it (full tub of hot water with three or four...ok six, Cascade platinum pods (for dishwasher) and a small bottle of white vinegar) agitated until everything dissolved and then left overnight to sit. That was just to get filter out. Once out, an old toothbrush cleaned up the inside of the still-wet agitator. Then I coated the disgusting filter inside and out with a layer of straight Dawn and put it in a tall cup of half vinegar & water. Two days later did the trick. Again, old toothbrush poked out stubborn holes. My "new" 712 had a better life. Its filter only took an overnight soak in vinegar and cleaning with toothbrush. That chore once,let alone twice, will cure you of ever using fabric softener or too much laundry soap! I love using my 712.

Post# 951015 , Reply# 21   8/1/2017 at 05:35 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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I have used multiple Maytag washers. NEVER have had one of them walk. Makes me wonder if the machine had the rubber feet covers on it that prevent that. I did see a friend's Maytag vibrate excessively and it was because the legs were screwed out to the max. After screwing them completely in and adjusting to level the machine, it worked perfectly. Every Maytag I have ever had or used has an unbalance switch that shuts it down if it becomes too unbalanced.

Post# 951025 , Reply# 22   8/1/2017 at 06:45 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Crusty Clogged MT Lint Filters

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Are not caused by using too much laundry detergent, but rather just the opposite.


Too little detergent for water hardness conditions, cheap detergent etc are the only thing that causes this problem.


Fabric softener will leave a gummy deposit, never a hard crusty one.


Best way to clean a crusty lint filter is to soak it in straight CLR or another similar brand, or maybe straight vinegar, heating the solution can also help.


John L.

Post# 951054 , Reply# 23   8/1/2017 at 09:15 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
We have a laundry sink next to the GE washer. I've often attached a piece of hose to the faucet and made the first spin a spray rinse. As far as Im concerned both spins should have this like many did years ago. Not just the final spin.

This post was last edited 08/01/2017 at 10:27

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