Thread Number: 33718
Plastic spiders on Hotpoint washing machines
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Post# 506706   3/25/2011 at 10:47 (4,643 days old) by robliverpool (england Liverpool)        

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Hi guys

As some of you know I had a swan 9Kg steam washer and its dies after 5 months and 3 engineers visists couldnt fix it so opted for a hotpoint to tide me over.

Had to take the back plate off this morning to undo the transit bolts and the spider is made of plastic (think its called a spider) big wheel at back of the drum with belt that connects to the motor.

OMG how long this will last i dont know. I personally think they have gone too far now in a bid to save money on building them.

Anyone else noticed this and sorry in advance for not takin a pic to show was that desperate for the machine to be used I forgot

Post# 506714 , Reply# 1   3/25/2011 at 11:05 (4,643 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

On this side of the pond, many of the manufacturers use aluminum spiders. It saves a few dollars over stainless steel. ;) Depending on how much the machines are abused by their owners, aluminum may corrode and lead to failure in an otherwise healthy machine. For example, Frigidaire does not sell the spider as a separate replacement part. If it fails, you must replace the spider and steel basket as a single unit. The replacement part is c. $250 plus labor----at which point it may be a better deal to just buy a new one. A real waste when you consider the rest of the machine (controls, motor) may still have many years of service left. Bad for the environment because some of these machines end up in landfills all because one aluminum part---that should have been made of steel---corroded and failed.

There have been arguments ad infinitum here about what corrodes aluminum the most. Many feel that liquid chlorine bleach is partly responsible. Americans are accustomed to using liquid chlorine bleach in their toploaders, and if the manufacturer provides a space in the dispenser drawer for liquid bleach, it must be safe, right? ;)

My FL Frigidaire is five years old and works fine. I used bleach in it a few times until learning from this forum that it might be harmful to the spider. Since then, rarely I'll use OxyClean (oxygen bleach) but mostly I rely on hot water and good detergent to get whites clean.

I believe some of the manufacturers here RECOMMEND a periodic cleaning cycle on the machine with bleach. I have friends with a discontinued-KitchenAid FL (rebadged Whirlpool, appears to be a Bauknecht product) and the manual recommends cleaning the machine with bleach once a month. I don't know what their spider is made of. I clean quarterly with hot water and some citric acid powder, but no bleach.

Post# 506721 , Reply# 2   3/25/2011 at 11:13 (4,643 days old) by electron1100 (England)        
Dont Panic

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British machines have been using ABS plastic spiders since the 1980s, they are ok, providing the locking tab washer on the drum shaft bolt doesnt work loose they give no trouble

This a 1300 computer control logoc from the late 1980s sporting its
ABS spider

Post# 506733 , Reply# 3   3/25/2011 at 11:59 (4,643 days old) by hoover1100 (U.K.)        
Is that the spider?

I thought the spider attached to the inner drum inside the outer tub. I thought that was the pulley?

Either way, my Granddad's Hoover Ecologic has a plastic pulley/spider, and I've seen older Hoovers and Hotpoint's with them too.

The 5 month old Indesit in the flat I rent has decided to start ripping clothes recently, not sure why, I can't feel anything sharp in the drum (apart from the cheap nasty drum weld, but that's always been like that). I'd be on the lookout for things like that with Indesit products.


Post# 506771 , Reply# 4   3/25/2011 at 13:55 (4,642 days old) by zodawash (Lincolnshire,United Kingdom)        
drum pulley

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I think you mean drum pulley lol. The spider is the part on the other side holding the drum to the shaft. Plastic drum pulleys have been in use for a very long time and are fine.

Post# 506772 , Reply# 5   3/25/2011 at 13:58 (4,642 days old) by electron1100 (England)        

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Yup ABS spider = pulley ;-)

Post# 506804 , Reply# 6   3/25/2011 at 15:32 (4,642 days old) by limey ()        
Spider location

The spider is the piece that connects the inner drum to pulley and cannot be seen unless the outer drum is dismantled.
The situation is slightly complicated on the Miel machines as there is, in addition to the spider inside the outer drum, another spider affixed to the back of the outer drum, presumeably to stiffen it. This outer, stationary spider, also houses the inner spider's shaft bearings.

To PassatDoc.
Please remember Affresh is principally sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium percarbonate, both of which are corrosive to aluminum should the required concentrations be reached. Now I do not believe that the sodium percarbonate will ever reach such a concentration that it will, as sodium percarbonate, corrode the aluminum spider. My reasoning being this, the interation between the sodium percarbonate and water produces oxygen, the cleaning agent, and sodium carbonate. In addition to the sodium carbonate left from the initial mixture and that produced by this reaction, it (sodium carbonate) is hygroscopic, which means that, in air, it is always going to be wet, so leaving the door open will allow any of this chemical remaining in the recesses of the spider to attract water and thereby produce the concentrations required for corrosion.

Post# 506807 , Reply# 7   3/25/2011 at 15:46 (4,642 days old) by dyson2drums (United Kingdom)        

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that's not long at all, 5 months...

yeah as people have already clarified it usually is made of plastic, the pulley wheel.

What model is the new hotpoint?
i like hotpoint machines, many people would disagree but I have family and feiends whom mostly buy hotpoint, most have good luck with them. Many still going strong after many years of heavy use day in day out.

Hope the new machine serves well

Post# 506808 , Reply# 8   3/25/2011 at 15:46 (4,642 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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You can also clean your washer By having your washer fill then it pause and put in the water thats in the water tub a cup of vinigar and then restart the washer and let it finish its cycle

Post# 506828 , Reply# 9   3/25/2011 at 16:57 (4,642 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

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Why DON'T they make the inner pulley out of plastic? It seems to not have all the problems aluminum would.

Post# 506838 , Reply# 10   3/25/2011 at 17:33 (4,642 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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Good question Bob...


....and my bet is that they have tried to get it to work, but can't make it reliable enough....that is, last the warranty....

Post# 506839 , Reply# 11   3/25/2011 at 17:34 (4,642 days old) by Haxisfan (Europe - UK / Italy)        

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The inner spider is required to be as strong as possible and plastic wouldn't satisfy such requirement. The whole wait of a full load of clothes + water is propped up by this together with the rest of the components that hold the bearings... whereas the pulley does not need to be so strong as it only transmits the power from one axis to another and it doesn't actually support anything.

That's why disaster strikes when the spider breaks... the inner drum must be severely constricted to run around its predesigned plane keeping equidistant from the plane occupied by the outer tub and for this to happen you need a real strong support: a front loader constantly fights against gravity.

Post# 506840 , Reply# 12   3/25/2011 at 17:37 (4,642 days old) by dj-gabriele ()        

Because the spider is a weight bearing component and making it of plastic that is sturdy enough would cost more than having it done in cast aluminum or other metals, also the pole that goes to the bearing, wouldn't be easily attached to a plastic spider but with a plastic wheel is as easy as having an indentation on the shaft because it just have to transmit the motion and not bear any weight other than the (relatively small) tension from the pulley

Post# 506845 , Reply# 13   3/25/2011 at 18:00 (4,642 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        

A plastic spider is possible; but one would have to make out of say polycarb that is glass filled. Then its cost would be higher than an aluminum casting.

Post# 506869 , Reply# 14   3/25/2011 at 19:56 (4,642 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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and the plastic also needs to be very sturdy and solid as well or it would also mean replacing it ofen as the plastic would crack and break with use and the plastic would need to be of a sturdy material like with a fiberglass material in it to be very sturdy.

Post# 506926 , Reply# 15   3/26/2011 at 07:37 (4,642 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        
Plastics for a structural part with cyclic loading are not a

To get a "Plastics" to be stiffer on adds fiberglass filler. By stiffness I mean the "E" in mechanical engineering; which is about 30 million for steel, 10 million in Aluminum and often 300k to 1 million in unfilled plastics (in english units).

Thus to get plastics to deflect less (be stiffer) ; one dopes them with fiberglass to bump up the stiffness. This is done with pulleys, camera bodies, structural parts.

Glass filled plastics cause the cycling time in molding to increase. If one has to machine off a reference surface or bore a hole in glass filled plastics; one has hell to pay. The glass fibers tear up the cutters and reamers in sort order.

Once one bores a hole in a glass filled plastic, the fibers are now exposed. If one has a sliding or rotating shaft in this bored hole; it will wear the shaft like made and often squeak. In the 1970's at one place I worked we had to use whale sperm oils to stop sqeaks, until the oils got banned. Alternate oils by Nye? worked but not as well, they had a crazy price too like 400 bucks per ounce. Thus we had to add a metal insert in our pieces for shafts and add metal pieces to be machined off for precision reference surfaces. This caused the mold cycle time to triple. ie the mold folks had to reach into a hot mold and add these several brass pieces for each part molded. Once the whole part worked well the mold vendor would try to mold more pieces per hour; thus the parts would warp and we would have to reject most.

A high tech plastic *structural* part can sometimes cost a lot more than a metal part.

Plastic have there *own* ways too of crapping out in the field too. The part can be molded with damp plastic pellets and the part will warp and break with time. The mold guy can use regrind spues and runners in the mix and the part's strength will drop with time. The mold guys can use recycled plastics were it is not allowed and the part's strength drops with time and one has a massive problem in the field 1 to 6 years later.

Plastics have a poor fatigue strength in a cyclic load in a hot washer too.

Post# 506994 , Reply# 16   3/26/2011 at 14:02 (4,641 days old) by limey ()        
Plasic Spiders and Capillary Action

In addition to what 3beltwesty says about fibre reinforced plastics being difficult to machine the exposed ends of any fibres immersed, or frequently exposed to most liquids will promote capillary action with all the attendant problems that can cause.

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