Thread Number: 74517  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Kenmore / Whirlpool Catalyst
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Post# 983196   2/17/2018 at 20:53 (218 days old) by richimaor (Baja California, Mexico)        

Im just curious of how Kenmore/WP catalyst washers work, more specific which is the plastic insert function, the one located in the back of the tub...
Id be very grateful for the information and maybe I can start to hunt down one of those machines :)

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Post# 983199 , Reply# 1   2/17/2018 at 22:18 (218 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 983201 , Reply# 2   2/17/2018 at 22:42 (218 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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That's a direct-drive? Wow! That is amazing as to how they managed to combine all that modern technology with the old DD design.

Post# 983203 , Reply# 3   2/17/2018 at 22:49 (218 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Seems like a great idea.  I've never seen one of these.


I take it these were the highest-end DDs?

Post# 983247 , Reply# 4   2/18/2018 at 10:31 (217 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Thank you, Glenn, for the great videos. I remember when these machines were introduced.

I have borrowed this principle with my KitchenAid and Maytag top loaders when I wash things like car floor mats. I fill the tub with a small amount of water, add detergent, place the mats around the tub with the carpet side facing in. I remove the drain hose from the standpipe and hold it in the tub opening and start the washer on spin. It is an amazingly effective way to wash the mats without damaging them or the machine. To rinse, I use the spin spray rinse and repeat the recirculating process with clear water a couple of times.

I really don't have clothing or any other fabrics that are soiled heavily enough to make the Catalyst system necessary, but it is very effective because of forcing a concentrated detergent solution through fabrics. Kelvinator tried this in a top loader with the "Magic Minute." It's possible that the APEX bouncing tub could be said to attempt this also.

Post# 983250 , Reply# 5   2/18/2018 at 11:00 (217 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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whipping the detergent up into a concentrated lather has probably been the best idea of stain removal, at least by automatic standards...the only other choice has been to pretreat and rub into each stain individually....

this definitely shows you how effective your detergent really is....

and this Catalyst treatment is very effective for heavily soiled clothing, like greasy mechanics clothes....

as an experiment, never thought to let them pretreat, soak for about 20 minutes, and then go right into a spray rinse, just to see how much of the stains are removed before agitation ever begins, or if it is needed at all....

in the Calypso, the lathered waterfall is continuous during all phases of nutation....

many HE TLers whip up the detergent and spin/sprays the load after their auto fill balancing begins before agitation starts...

Tom's method can work for just about any machine if you want to give Catalyst Cleaning a shot....saturate, let soak for a bit, then let the machine continue to fill and complete its cycle....

Post# 983253 , Reply# 6   2/18/2018 at 11:10 (217 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Surprised too, this machine was the basic setup for their "Resource Saver" machine....

if added, this Catalyst machine could have been rated as an HE Eco type, full wash levels, and Spin/Spray rinsing....

almost a shame we couldn't alter/reprogram it ourselves....

Post# 983258 , Reply# 7   2/18/2018 at 11:43 (217 days old) by richimaor (Baja California, Mexico)        

After watching the video I think these are probably the best DD washers out there, theyre are totally amazing and well thought

Post# 983263 , Reply# 8   2/18/2018 at 12:42 (217 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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I don't think they're "out there" all that much any longer. Mine was found in 2011 (or maybe 2010) via local CraigsList. I refurbed it at the time, it was used at one of RJ's rental properties for 5 years until a couple problems developed and we pulled it out (matching dryer is still there). I'm fully refurbing it again (new bearings/tub support, basket drive/brake) for my collection.

The drain/recirculate valve and console button-panel are NLA, possibly the control board by now, and probably a few miscellaneous items such as dispenser hoses. The basic mechanism is a standard DD but it can't be a Catalyst without the valve. I've (as yet) seen no valves on eBay.

Post# 983265 , Reply# 9   2/18/2018 at 13:32 (217 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

That sure seems like a good idea. The Catalyst system seems to do what modern TL would like to do.

Post# 983362 , Reply# 10   2/19/2018 at 09:21 (216 days old) by Whatsername (Loveland, CO)        

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Well now I want one. I can vouch for this method's effectiveness in part, the LG TurboWash FLs do the same thing at the beginning of most cycles--slow detergent flush coupled with a low speed spin and just enough water to keep the recirc pump from cavitating. The spin ramps up until the machine can't keep balance, then the process repeats one or two more times. I never pretreat anything going into this machine, which is great as I always hated cleaning up the overspray from Shout and the like.

Post# 983375 , Reply# 11   2/19/2018 at 09:49 (216 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

John said they even took the recirculating rinse out of the later Resource Savers and just relied on the spin spray rinses, but the valve was the same one used in the Kenmore combos for the recirculate/drain and the switch from wash stream to the balance feed so he bought a few extras. I think the newer ones had a plastic flipper valve inside instead of the pot metal one in the original design.

Post# 983382 , Reply# 12   2/19/2018 at 11:01 (216 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

Given that should be just a common place 3-way Y valve, one surely could rig up something with a valve from a HVAC supply shop or so. These valves are used in some systems here in Europe tp switch between hot water and heating.

Post# 983576 , Reply# 13   2/20/2018 at 10:43 (215 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

I have been saying this to myself for years! I wish that they would have kept this design, but required HE detergent. This would have allowed for far better washing, rinsing, and time efficiency of a "modern HE TL". With the Resource Saver machine, it performed 6 spray rinses which were incredibly effective. However, using an HE detergent, one could get away with 2-3 rinses. This would provider far superior rinsing to the anemic spray rinses that these new HE TLs use that simply spray them with water after the wash.
It would also be nice to see the Catalyst system applied to some of the new Cabrios. This would allow for the Catalyst treatment, and the recirculation to occur during the rinses.

Post# 983578 , Reply# 14   2/20/2018 at 11:06 (215 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
It was

There were literal fights on this site trying to tell this people. Even video evidence wasn't enough to make people understand.

Post# 983583 , Reply# 15   2/20/2018 at 12:08 (215 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I was about to say, my Cabrio XL does a saturation lather on a number of starts with a slow spin to saturate the load, and then a high spin to pull it through the items...usually 3 or 4 times....then filling continues and wash begins...

also with this machine if you watch closely, no matter what you select, the softener will flush/dispense, and the sprinkler comes on and recirculates rinse water over the load as a spin spray, using minimal water......but if you select the 'softener' option, it will fill for a deep rinse....if you select 'extra rinse', it will do a spin/spray and a deep rinse

the Calypso does a similar saturation spray at the beginning of all cycles...

in thinking about it, Tom's method would work really well for pillows, as some can get distorted from tumbling or agitation....a series of sprays and soaks, then on to a few rinses the same way...and a final spin...

Post# 983738 , Reply# 16   2/21/2018 at 17:19 (214 days old) by mielerod69 (Australia)        
Whirlpool Resource Saver Washer

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I like the Whirlpool catalyst washer. All they needed to do is add the resource saver rinse system and it would've been the perfect HE washer.

Here is a full video of the resource saver rinse.


Post# 983868 , Reply# 17   2/22/2018 at 16:29 (213 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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ironic....we talking about this....and one pops up for sale

I actually thought the Catalyst machines were only in digital....

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Yogitunes's LINK on Southjersey Craigslist

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Post# 983889 , Reply# 18   2/22/2018 at 18:24 (213 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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After I read this thread I looked up the user manual for this machine and found the mechanical timer one.


The downside is that to get the catalyst action you have to use the longest possible wash time (the catalyst portion of the cycle being first on the timer) unless you wanted to manually intervene.



Post# 983895 , Reply# 19   2/22/2018 at 19:19 (213 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Martin, are you basing that on the style of the tub cover? Some later KA machines had that style, and the three dispensers. I once questioned if one of them was a Catalyst and was advised by someone that it's not, that WP had excess stock of the tub covers and was trying to use them up.

The WP Catalyst (electronic) has a time-line cycle progress display with integrated button to select the Catalyst function on any cycle. Also a separate Soak option on any cycle, and Extra Rinse and Extra Spin toward the end. Soak, Rinse/Spin, and Spin-Only can also be selected as stand-alone cycles (by pressing them directly when the machine is Off without first selecting a Fabric Cycle).

Presumably the Kenmore version has the same choices, and maybe something extra being that KM always had to be a step above WP for marketing purposes.

The 2nd picture is a cycle / options chart I composed.

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Post# 983896 , Reply# 20   2/22/2018 at 19:21 (213 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Jim ... interesting. Can you provide a link to that manual for the non-electronic model?

Post# 983898 , Reply# 21   2/22/2018 at 19:34 (213 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
WP Non-Electronic Catalyst Washer

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I don't know about Kenmore but we have a catalyst WP machine at the warehouse that is not electronic, unfortunately it is buried at the moment or I would take a picture.


John L.

Post# 983900 , Reply# 22   2/22/2018 at 19:43 (213 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        
Timer Catalyst

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The model number is GSX9750PW.  Catalyst feature looks to be available on the Normal and Whites cycles only.


Post# 983907 , Reply# 23   2/22/2018 at 20:38 (213 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Martin, I found a set EXACTLY like that on Kijiji up here for $200, matched Catalyst. I shouldve bought it and I regret it to this say.

Glenn, I love your machine. I always wanted one!

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