Thread Number: 13715
I think my washer just died...
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Post# 236362   9/12/2007 at 23:09 (4,393 days old) by dixieland (Memphis)        

Ok so hopefully someone can impart some wisdom on me here. My Whirlpool Ultimate Care II (approx. 4 years old) stopped performing tonight... I had a medium-sized load of clothes in it. Upon completion of the cycles the clothes were still quite wet (to the point that I could wring water out of them). "Ok" I thought and just turned on another spin cycle - which appeared to be working. When the extra spin was complete the clothes were just as wet and the washer had a "hot" smell to it. I immediately unplugged the machine and emptied its contents into a laundry basket.

I'm hoping to not have to buy a new one. Any ideas as to what might be happening here? I have no idea. Do washers still have belts? Mine always has made a loud bang sound when it finished any of its different cycles so I've never considered that to be abnormal.

Should I call in a repairman or is this something I can look at myself? I can take anything apart, it's the putting back together that may be tricky.

Post# 236364 , Reply# 1   9/12/2007 at 23:18 (4,393 days old) by accapp ()        

Will it agitate? If not the coupler between the motor and transmission is broken, very simple repair. If the coupler is intact the next likely culprit is the drive block atop the spin tube, these are a known failure issue but very much more complicated. Could also be the clutch or the transmission. These washers are very simply built and easy to service.

Post# 236368 , Reply# 2   9/12/2007 at 23:49 (4,393 days old) by dixieland (Memphis)        

The machin will not spin (basket or agitator). I have not attempted to fill it back up and see if it will agitate or not for fear of not being able to drain, plus I live on the third floor and my a/c already backed up this summer and flooded the people below me.... would hate for that to happen again. LOL

Post# 236373 , Reply# 3   9/13/2007 at 00:33 (4,393 days old) by dadoes (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
dixieland, if the motor runs at all with the timer in the spin position, it should drain. Your machine does not have a belt. The motor runs the transmission and spin clutch via the aforementioned drive coupler through a shaft on one end. The pump attaches directly to a 2nd shaft on the other end of the motor. The motor runs one direction for agitation (the basket does not spin while it agitates and the pump forces the water back into the tub instead of to the drain hose), and the other direction for drain and spin (the agitator spins with the basket and clothes due to friction on the agitator shaft from the spin tube and seal but it is not driven directly and can be grabbed and held still while the clothes continue to spin). The reason accapp asked if the machine will agitate is to narrow the possibilities of what's at fault.

In order to properly diagnose the problem from afar, VERY detailed information is needed as to what the machine does and does not do. I had a similar situation a few months ago with a friend. She told me her Kenmore toploader wouldn't drain. I asked if the motor runs with the timer set at spin, she said it did, and that it also agitates. That confused me greatly because if the motor runs for spin, the machine kinda has no choice but to drain because the pump connects directly to the motor shaft. Turns out the lid switch was broken, and the motor did run at spin, but only for a few seconds when the lid switch was first depressed, then it stopped when the lid switch shut off again. She neglected to outline that particular detail. :-) When I drove to her house at the next town over, I quickly found the problem.

Post# 236397 , Reply# 4   9/13/2007 at 07:13 (4,392 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        
lid switch trama

laundromat's profile picture
I can't tell you how many times I replaced(or recommended the customer to) a lid switch in a Whirlpool manufactured direct drive washer.It is one of the most common problems they acquire.The washer fills ,agitates until the final 3 minutes of the wash cycle then shuts down completely.The clothes are wet,the tub is full of the water at the selected level and the user is pissed assuming they're going to spend a fortune either repairing or replacing the unit.The lid switch retails for $4.95 at Sears and is a quick fix pretty much.

Post# 236433 , Reply# 5   9/13/2007 at 10:09 (4,392 days old) by dixieland (Memphis)        

Unfortunately I cannot look at this until tonight as I am at work. I did test the spin cycle by starting the machine, closing the lid and then opening it again. I saw no trace of movement. I will need to really get into the machine and try to get the spin cycle going with the lid up by depressing the switch w/o the lid down. I will also run an agitation cycle to test that as well. Thanks for the help! I'll report back with my findings.

(I was secretly hoping that if all else failed I'd have to buy a new machine and have been looking at Fisher & Paykel)

Post# 236512 , Reply# 6   9/13/2007 at 19:32 (4,392 days old) by funguy10 ()        

Ooh. A broken drive coupler is what murdered my Kenmore-branded Whirlpool Top-Loader after only 5 years!

Post# 236516 , Reply# 7   9/13/2007 at 20:31 (4,392 days old) by dadoes (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Broken drive couplers are *far* from murder!

Post# 236594 , Reply# 8   9/14/2007 at 09:14 (4,391 days old) by dixieland (Memphis)        

OK so here's what's happening...

The Machine agitates just fine (as a matter of fact its agitated the hell out of me - couldn't resist) but the spin cycle just was not happening the other night.

Yesterday afternoon when I got home I plugged the machine in and set it to a small load to watch. The agitation was good but then something happened... it started to spin when it got to the spin cycle. It's makes some noises and honestly, the agitiation is less than normal but I took the opportunity to use the machine anyway.

Not sure what's going on with I've been shopping!

I did look at a new Kenmore Oasis TL yesterday at Sears... anyone have experience with that model? It certainly looks nice. The saleslady told me that the cabrio and any other TL without an agitator was bad news. I already knew that but it was nice she was honest with me.

As long as my current machine is some state of working order it'll stay in use.

Post# 236637 , Reply# 9   9/14/2007 at 13:20 (4,391 days old) by liamwa ()        

Sounds like your machine has a bad coupler. You should definitely change it, its only a $10 or $12 part and your machine will run like new afterwards. I really wouldn't keep running the washer when it has problems.

Just my two cents.

Post# 236665 , Reply# 10   9/14/2007 at 19:14 (4,391 days old) by irishwashguy (Salem,Oregon.............A Capital City)        
Fix it, you will thank yourself later

irishwashguy's profile picture
Although, I love appliance shopping as well as you do, I would fix it, and keep your eye open. Four years is not very long for any washer. What kind of machine could you buy for 12 dollars?

Post# 236770 , Reply# 11   9/15/2007 at 15:03 (4,390 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
Timer or Motor

pierreandreply4's profile picture

sometime it might be the motor or the timer that as a probleme i use to own a 1993 inglis superb 2 washer and the motor broke then the timer now i own a whirlpool duet washer and dryer have the motor or timer check it might be the motor or just the timer that need to be replace.

tank you

Post# 237003 , Reply# 12   9/17/2007 at 17:30 (4,388 days old) by mixedup ()        

We just replaced the coupler on our direct drive kenmore earlier this year. If the coupler is completely gone it will not agitate or spin at all. But if the coupler is only partway gone I would think it may try to agitate some. We had the burned rubber smell too when ours went. A easy thing to check for is look under the machine & if you see black "dust" or black chunks it is the coupler. Trust me if it is the coupler it is a pretty easy fix. My husband & I had no prior experience working on washers, but we found good instructions online & didn't have any trouble fixing it. Good Luck

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