Thread Number: 45485
Kenmore Laundry Center Looks Like a Speed Queen
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Post# 665897   3/14/2013 at 19:20 (3,490 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        

My mom works for the cutest little old couple, they are in their late 70's/early 80's, and adorable, they actually insist everyone calls them Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw. They are from the generation that never gets rid of anything, and when Paw-Paw found out I like old washers, he said he had 2 in the barn I could have, he wanted someone to take them who would fix them and use them, not send them to the scrap yard.

I went today, and found a beautiful old Maytag Center Dial auto top loader, Paw-Paw said they purchased it around 1970, and it went to the barn when the belt wore out.

Deeper in the barn I found an AWESOME Kenmore laundry center. Harvest gold, compact size, adorable! It's condition isnt as good as the Maytag, but I couldn't pass it up, it had to come home TODAY!! Paw-Paw says it went to the barn when he broke the agitator trying to get it out because something was hung underneath it. He got out the cloth, but broke the agitator getting it. :(

Looking at it, the laundry center appears to be upper MOL if not TOL. It also looks like it was made by Speed Queen, judging by the agitator. See for yourselves....

Post# 665898 , Reply# 1   3/14/2013 at 19:21 (3,490 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        
Control Panel

The controls seem to have lots of options, which combined with all the chrome trim makes me think this model must have been at least upper MOL, especially since the dryer has auto-dry settings, not just timed dry..

Post# 665900 , Reply# 2   3/14/2013 at 19:25 (3,490 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        

The dryer is definately not Whirlpool made, it has a front lint filter, instead of the weird little kidny bean shaped one Whirlpool always put in the back of their compact dryers. Also, the drum isnt full depth, the first 1/4 of the drum is actually a plastic peice the drum rides within. Also, the door is plastic, not metal, another thing I have never seen from Whirlpool.

Sadly, the door seal for the dryer has disintegrated with time, but I think I can manufacture a replacement. The missing lint filter however, has me stumped. Maybe someone has one in their parts stash they will sell me.

The drum apears to have some light rust, (it looks worse in the picture than it is.) I'm hoping to sand it and repaint the interior, but I'm not sure what type of paint to use, any suggestions?

Post# 665901 , Reply# 3   3/14/2013 at 19:32 (3,490 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        

The washer was my first clue that it must have been made for Kenmore by Speed Queen. The agitator looks SOOO Speed Queen, but little and cute. Unfortunately, as Paw-Paw said, the agitator is broken, and non functional. I am open to suggestions as far as repair, or will gladly buy one if another member has one in their parts stash.

Also it at one time had a bed of nails filter, but of course the filter is missing. Anyone want to sell me one, or point me in the right direction?

Post# 665907 , Reply# 4   3/14/2013 at 19:43 (3,490 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        
And the back..

Last pic for today, More to come in the morning, but I wanted to get started checking the machine out while I had daylight.

The model plate must have rusted off ages ago, I cant find one anywhere on the machine, and the washer base is getting pretty heavily rusted, but still appears sturdy and functional. I tore in, looked at all the wires to make sure it was safe, cleaned out as much debris and bird/mouse nests as I could, and tried it with electricity.

The dryer is fully functional as far as I can tell. All I will have to do is sand and paint the drum, make a replacement door seal, and locate a lint filter.

The washer seems jammed. The motor will hum for a moment, and then trip the breaker. Tomorrow I will remove the belt, and try to see if the problem is the motor or the transmission. Of course I still need to locate a bed of nails filter, and either repair or replace the agtitator. Looking at how badly it is broken, I think repair will be the last resort, and I should set my sights on a replacement agitator.

Overall, the machine is faded and filthy, but in fairly good condition. If I can get it clean and get the washer functional, this little doll is going in the kitchen as my new daily driver.

What do you guys think? Questions, comments, suggestions?

More pics coming tomorrow!!

Post# 665908 , Reply# 5   3/14/2013 at 19:44 (3,490 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

golittlesport's profile picture
That unit was manufactured by WCI Frigidaire. There were a lot of that style stacked unit made under various brand names, including Frigidaire, General Electric, Kenmore and maybe a couple others. You should be able to find an agitator and lint filter for it.

Post# 665910 , Reply# 6   3/14/2013 at 19:47 (3,490 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        

Awesome!!! Thank you sooo much Rich, I had never seen a compact Frigidaire of this age before, and had not a clue. I never would have guessed. ^__^

Post# 665990 , Reply# 7   3/15/2013 at 05:58 (3,489 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Unless you really need a 24" stacked washer and dryer, you would do better focusing your energy on the center dial Maytag. If you do need a 24" stacked washer and dryer, you would be better off looking for the portable WP washer and 24" dryer.

Post# 666020 , Reply# 8   3/15/2013 at 09:49 (3,489 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

The agitator is very similar to the ones WCI put in Kelvinator branded machines in the early 1980's. I think they had 5 vanes. alr

Post# 666022 , Reply# 9   3/15/2013 at 10:18 (3,489 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        
need a stacked set

Actually for the kitchen, I really do need a stacked set, and I have a sort of soft spot for these old laundry centers, they were rare in this area, and I would really like to get this one functional.

Right now, I have gotten far enough to see that my main problem, (other than the broken agitator), is a stuck motor. The transmission seems fine, but even with the belt removed, the motor will only hum, and I cannot even move the pulley by hand. Any advice?

Also, if anyone has model number or part nmber info I would greatly appreciate is, I am having no luck searching parts online without this info.

Post# 666056 , Reply# 10   3/15/2013 at 13:13 (3,489 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
jammed motor

motor probably has some rust built up between the rotor and stator-might need to get some vicegrips or channelock pliers on the pulley to get the motor broke loose and turning again.Also i kinda remember combo52 mentioned some of these came with the wrong dryer motor pulley causing the dryer to rotate too fast and hold the clothes against drum instead of tumbling through the air stream-resulting in poor drying performance.My 1989 montgomery ward"franklin style"washer has the same basic "angel wing"agitator-larger with 5 vanes though.

Post# 666069 , Reply# 11   3/15/2013 at 14:47 (3,489 days old) by TwinTubber (Toronto)        
I Have Some Literature On This Unit

In 1990 Frigidaire (in Canada mind you) labelled this model-FLC240
In 1990 White-Westinghouse (also in Canada) labelled this model-WLC240
In 1993 White-Westinghouse (again, Canada) labelled this model-BLC240

Here's the rundown:


-Family-size capacity and durable polypropylene tub
-Multi-Vane Agitator and Tri-Action wash system
-Lift assist lid with EnduraGuard finish
-7 multipurpose wash programs
-Self-Cleaning Lint Filter

*FLC240 features 4 wash/rinse temp. selections and 3 water levels
*WLC240 features 3 wash/rinse temp. selections and 3 water levels
*BLC240 features 4 wash/rinse temp. selections and infinite water levels. This model also features a Bleach dispenser


-Family-size capacity drum with rugged EnduraGuard finish
-6 Auto-Dry and Timed drying programs with Auto Cool Down (FLC240 & BLC240)
-4 Auto Dry and Timed drying programs with Auto Cool Down (WLC240)
-Safety start button and end of cycle signal

*FLC240 & BLC240 features 4 manually adjustable dry temp. selections
*WLC240 features no manually adjustable dry temp. selections. They are built into the timer and cycles.

Additional Specs from BLC240 Brochure:


-Cycles=Heavy/Normal/Short/Rinse/Spin/Permanent Press/Delicates
-Cascade Spray Fill/Rinse
-Lock 'N' Spin safety lid
-Sure Spin suspension system
-Front panel service access
-Heavy Duty motor
-Agitator speed (strokes/minute)=70
-Spin speed (rpm) normal/gentle=570
-Washer load capacity (cu ft)=1.6


-Cycles=Auto Permanent Press/Timed Permanent Press/Auto Normal/Timed Normal/Knits & Delicates/Air
-Push to start button
-Cross Vane Tumble Action
-Easy access Lint Filter
-Acrylic finish drum
-Six foot dryer cord
-Front panel service access
-Heavy Duty motor
-Dryer drum capacity (cu ft)=3.5

Dimensions (IN/CM):

FLC240 & WLC240- BLC240-

-H=65.85/167.26 H=65.78/167
-W=24/60.69 W=24/61
-D=20.5/66.4 D=27.18/68.9

Weight (Lb/Kg):


I hope some of that helps you out a bit.
If anything, now you know all about it`s features and functions.
But hopefully the model numbers can lead you down the path to finding the one for or close to yours.
BTW, there is another style of agitator for this unit which IMHO is much better than the winged one you have one. It`s a 6 Vane agitator-3 top to bottom and three mid to skirt for a total of 6 fins.
Unfortunately the upper `wings` on your agitator never get submerged so they have absolutely NO effect on washing action whatsoever. It is a cute little agitator yes, but totally ineffective.
Good luck with your new little Baby. Whatever the reason for YOUR passion in this machine, you should enjoy the experience all the way!!!

Post# 666105 , Reply# 12   3/15/2013 at 18:34 (3,489 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

tecnopolis's profile picture
What a coincidence. I was looking at a similar machine this morning. Unfortunately it was 220V. and I don't have an available outlet for it. This one is a Kenmore " All-In-One". Dig the wood grain and gold tone trim.

Post# 666106 , Reply# 13   3/15/2013 at 18:35 (3,489 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

tecnopolis's profile picture
The seller wants $229.00.

Post# 666110 , Reply# 14   3/15/2013 at 18:40 (3,489 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

tecnopolis's profile picture
There was also another one available in Daytona Beach that was listed for $99.00, except they would end up costing about the same once you add in for gas and time to pick up.

Post# 666111 , Reply# 15   3/15/2013 at 18:40 (3,489 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

tecnopolis's profile picture
The money...

Post# 666113 , Reply# 16   3/15/2013 at 18:42 (3,489 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

tecnopolis's profile picture
Looks like a newer model judging from the different dryer interior.

Post# 666114 , Reply# 17   3/15/2013 at 18:42 (3,489 days old) by TwinTubber (Toronto)        
What a Beauty tecnopolis.....

Such an AWESOME looking machine!
I also dig that woodgrain and gold trim-very Luxurious.
Looks to be in excellent shape too.
Maybe our friend vintagekitchen could have it shipped? Keep the one he has for parts?
Just sayin'

Post# 666120 , Reply# 18   3/15/2013 at 19:13 (3,489 days old) by vintagekitchen ()        

The dryer in mine was a simple fix, but the washer portion is trashed. I have tried every trick I can think of, including vice grips and a LARGE hammer, to break the motor loose, but it is locked tight, and covered in residue from oversudsing, which tells me why it locked so tight.

Between the condition of the motor and the condition of the agitator, along with the severe rusting of the baseplate, Ive decided to gut the washer and let loose my inner Dr. Frankenstein, lol..

I am going this weekend to check with a shop that had several portable Kenmore washers in the back. I will purchase one that has a beat up cabinet, but runs well, and remove the cabinet.

Then I will put the now naked Kenmore portable washer into the gutted Laundry Center cabinet. A bit of work with the wiring, perhaps a timer swap, and I should have a functional Laundry Center.

What do you guys think?

Post# 666124 , Reply# 19   3/15/2013 at 19:28 (3,489 days old) by tecnopolis (Ocala/Dunnellon, Florida 34481)        

tecnopolis's profile picture
DO you have an available 220 outlet?

Post# 666131 , Reply# 20   3/15/2013 at 19:59 (3,489 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

This just has disaster written all over it. The laundry center was a POS product to begin with when it was new and now it's a tired, rusty, broken down old POS. Take it back to poppa daddy if you don't want to junk it yourself and it can sit and wait for the barn emptying sale after they leave. WP made a much better 24" laundry setup. If the Maytag is free, you should probably get that for the future when nobody will be able to buy a top loader.

Post# 666156 , Reply# 21   3/15/2013 at 22:31 (3,489 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
I had one of these

stan's profile picture
Back in the 80s. I didn't think is was a POS
It was used when I got it, and it ran for ten years without any problems! It had a 220 plug.
The only reason I got rid of it was because it was too small.

Kevin gets a A for effort!

Post# 666377 , Reply# 22   3/16/2013 at 21:14 (3,488 days old) by tnmike (Knoxville, Tennessee)        

tnmike's profile picture
We have one of these units on a boat. It's a 87 model. It is OK for weekend trips; few towels mainly. I have to wash king size sheets seperately to get a good cleaning. Spin speed is SLOW and an small basket means for low G forces. Everything is significantly wetter than our home front loader. There are a few college guys who live on smaller boats at the marina and use the machine for their clothes, but they could care less about how their clothes look. I saw one of them putting in detergent and fabric softner in machine together, then his clothes, closed the lid, and turned it on. I told him he should have just put the laundry basket in the lake and pulled it back in.

Post# 1040026 , Reply# 23   7/30/2019 at 14:36 (1,161 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

I have exactly the same model as replies #14, #15 and #16.

When I got this washer, there was a rain of people saying it was a POS, that I shouldn't waste my time, blah, blah, blah.

It turned out that the washer was not only working perfectly, but also very clean (like new condition) and it behaved very well.

I noticed that if I kept the drain hose in the stand pipe, it would take forever to drain but once I lowered the drain hose to the laundry sink, it drains reasonably fast and no water lock happens. It's the second time that only 5 inches made a huge difference. (Many people also said the Hotpoint portable made by Hitachi was the queen of the suds lock and I never had one even with detergent overdosing).

The performance could and should be better with a better agitator and no indexing tub, HOWEVER it's not bad. it cleans very well. I'm happy with it.

Truth be said, no manufacturer deliberately puts on the market a washer that will be a total disaster. It may happen, of course, but people will return the product.
The way some people talk about it here on AWO sounds like the clothes will come out dirtier that before the wash and the washer won't last a week before breaking.
The WCI Skinni-Mini is not a top performer, but it's far from being a POS. It's possible to have decent results and they are somewhat dependable, otherwise we wouldn't see them popping up on Craigslist, Facebook, Offerup and Letgo once in a while, 30 years after they were originally sold.

And they're fun to play with.

Post# 1040111 , Reply# 24   7/31/2019 at 07:20 (1,160 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
WCI Kenmore All In One

combo52's profile picture

Hi Thomas, you should have had to work on these the last 30 years and also have had to listen to a few hundred owners thoughts on this machine then you might appreciate why I would call it a POS.


Yes you are absolutely correct that any machine ever sold has at least some merits and I an glad you have gotten some 1st hand experience with this machine, we have even saved one for the museum that people can run and play with, however I would never have one in my home laundry, We saw too many of these go up in flames and I do not have a sprinkler system at home but we do at the museum.


John L.

Post# 1040174 , Reply# 25   7/31/2019 at 15:07 (1,160 days old) by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

I totally agree with you, John!

If I had ONLY the Kenmore "" I wouldn't hate it, but I'd definitely look forward for the day I could buy something better.

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