Thread Number: 75395  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
1978 Maytag A806 sending water up the bleach hose during spin
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Post# 992374   4/28/2018 at 13:01 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        

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I recently bought a 1978 Maytag A806/DE808 pair in almond and have been in the process of refurbishing them with plenty of guidance from Ben (Swestoyz) and from past posts on this forum. I will share my story here soon, but for now I'll just say that the dryer is up and running and the washer is 95 percent there.

The problem I am still trying to resolve with the washer is that during the spin cycles, water will back up my bleach dispenser tube and overflow from the bleach dispenser funnel on the top. It comes up slowly during the beginning of the spin and then once the water has drained from the tub, it recedes from the funnel as well - but not before the funnel overflows. The overflow is enough that it is draining down the sides of the outer tub and down to the base.

I searched in this forum (and Ben also advised) that in most cases this is caused by the bleach deflector at the bottom of the tub pointing in the wrong direction. It should point counterclockwise so that it doesn't "scoop" the water during the spin cycle.

I removed my bleach hose and inserted a tie strap into the inlet of the bleach deflector (see pic) and I can only get the tie strap to go in a counterclockwise direction, which is correct.

I'm still using the original bleach dispenser hose (see pic) because it is still flexible and not hard like my drain hose was before I replaced it. I did shorten it about 3/4 of an inch at the tub end to get some fresh rubber under the clamp since the old rubber there was quite thin and hardened. The hose still retains the "crease" about 3 inches from the tub inlet which I'm not sure is there by design to impede backflow or just because it takes a sharp turn upwards at that point.

I did replace the water pump with one from Amazon that was described as "Fits OEM Standards! Guaranteed to Exceed OEM Requirements". Also replaced the belts and adjusted according to service manual specs. But I wonder if it just isn't draining fast enough during the spin?

I have tried loads on both Large and Extra Large fill settings and it backs up the bleach dispenser for both. I don't remember it backing up at all when I ran my initial test for leaks with just a small load of water without clothes.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Thanks - Jeff

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Post# 992376 , Reply# 1   4/28/2018 at 13:32 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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granted my bleach dispenser for the 1972 806 is on the right hand side with the reservoir, linked to my pump....

the machine sat for about 12 years unused.....for several loads, the water would back up coming out of the port as you mentioned....but soon resolved itself, now functions as it should....

I thought I might have had an issue as I later changed out the pulley to the 50hz, which increases spin speed and pump out rates....but all has been working properly so far...

never had an issue from machines with your type of setup....

Post# 992380 , Reply# 2   4/28/2018 at 13:39 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
retains the "crease

That crease is not a design feature, try a new hose.

Next, confirm the bleach deflector is intact and correctly installed which may require removing the inner tub if the problem persists.

Post# 992495 , Reply# 3   4/29/2018 at 13:33 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Making some progress...

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Thank you for the responses and advice. I ordered a new bleach dispenser hose, but it will be a week before it arrives.

In the meantime, my gut feeling tells me that the tub is just not draining fast enough during the spin cycle. I can see the water rising centrifugally as the spin speed picks up and I'm getting water splashing at the top of the tub during the early stages of the spin. I think the water level rising like that would also cause water to rise in the bleach dispenser at the same time.

In the 1984 washer service manual, it says that a slow pump out could be caused by a kinked drain hose, too long or too high of a drain hose, object blocking the outer tub outlet, inadequate home plumbing or reversed motor carriage.

1) I verified no kinks in the drain hose.

2) I did have a longer drain hose than I needed. I bought an 8 foot plastic ribbed drain hose from Home Depot for this machine. I cut off two feet of it and now it has a straight shot up from the back of the machine to the ox box. Could the plastic ribbed drain hose be slowing down my drain flow? Would rubber have been a better choice?

3) I removed the tub drain hose and poked my finger up the drain outlet - nothing appears to be blocking the tub outlet.

4) I have had problems with lint in my drain line before so I snaked it out 25 feet again this morning.

5) Reversed motor carriage: I'm attaching some photos of my motor carriage to this post. I admit that I didn't take good photos of it before I dismantled the machine for the rebuild. Please let me know if you think I have it on backwards.

Anyway, I ran another large and extra large load today after checking the items above and making the changes I mentioned. I also tightened by water pump pulley just a tad bit. Results: I did not get any backup through the bleach dispenser during the large load. However, I still had some backup during the extra large load, although it was slower to rise and less overflowed. I checked the flow coming out of the drain hose at the ox box and it seemed to be pretty good.

I might try putting on my old water pump next to see if it is any better than the new one I installed. Are these supposed to be lubricated and if so, what is the proper method for doing so?

If anyone else has more ideas to try, please let me know. Also, please verify that I have the motor carriage installed correctly.

Thanks - Jeff

(The last photo is a bit blurry and unfortunately upside down, but was taken of the back of the motor carriage from inside the machine)

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Post# 992501 , Reply# 4   4/29/2018 at 14:17 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        

Try applying pressure with your foot or something outward on the motor carriage during the spin, be careful of the rotating transmission.

If that helps an additional third spring could be used in the center position on the motor carriage and/or the pump belt may need further adjustment.

Post# 992604 , Reply# 5   4/30/2018 at 09:00 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Going to try the old belts tonight

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My motor carriage only has two holes drilled for the springs, but I suppose I could drill a third one and use one of the old springs I took off. I've seen videos where the "middle" hole is actually closer to the right side on the newer Maytag motor carriages.

In my mind, two things could be happening - pump is not draining fast enough or tub is spinning too fast initially instead of slowly building up speed using the drive belt clutching design. I've read posts where some Maytag belt kits being sold are not true Maytag belts but substitutes. I got mine from Amazon (see link) which describes them as "a manufacturer's substitution" but also as "Genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part". Who knows... They are marked with the proper Maytag part number.

Still I'm going to throw on the old belts and see if that changes anything. I'm hoping for more slippage early on for the drive belt so that the pump can get ahead and drain more water before the spin gets up to speed and centrifugally raises the water level to the point where it backs up the bleach dispensing hose.


Post# 992607 , Reply# 6   4/30/2018 at 09:12 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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That's a really interesting observation about the belts. If the belt doesn't say that it's an FSP or Maytag belt or it didn't come in an FSP or Maytag bag, there is a chance that the "OEM replacement" drive isn't a clutching belt.

IIRC, the tub should be up to full speed in about 45 seconds. Your motor glide looks good.


Post# 992615 , Reply# 7   4/30/2018 at 09:53 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Bad link...

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Something happened with that link - here it is again:


Post# 992621 , Reply# 8   4/30/2018 at 10:41 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

The picture in the link you posted does show the Maytag logo on the belt. Picture is a picture, but this seller on Amazon appears to be the Maytag company itself. What do your belts have on them?


I would definitely try tightening the water pump. According to the book of Maytag, there is supposed to be a 1/4 deflection, ie if you grab the pump belt and squeeze it in the middle, its supposed to be 1/4 inch distance between each other before your squeezing action starts to move the motor carriage. Sounds to me like the pump belt is slipping too much and the drive belt is grabbing too much. 

Post# 992627 , Reply# 9   4/30/2018 at 11:57 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Belts and glides

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I will check the belts tonight when I get home. I know the proper Maytag part numbers are on the belt, I don't recall if the Maytag name and/or logo was on them.

Right now the water pump is positioned as far to the right as it will go. I can still get a 1/4 in gap when squeezing them. When doing so, the motor carriage will just start to move (not necessarily slide in the tracks, but it makes a slight upward movement.)

If changing the belts back to the originals doesn't help tonight, I might try putting in the old round motor glides again just to see if the new square glides are binding too much. I used plenty of silicone lube in the tracks. But I did notice that the new square glides had some residual material on the edges from the molding process. I used a razor blade to remove as much of it as I could. I still think that the motor glided easier with the original round rollers. It was a looser fit with the round rollers, which appeared to still be soft and not brittle.

Post# 992629 , Reply# 10   4/30/2018 at 12:40 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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you can drill new holes for the third spring....

but not always necessary, some just clip the spring over each edge....just don't get in the way of the motor shaft...

Post# 992671 , Reply# 11   4/30/2018 at 19:34 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Maytag Washer with water backing up bleach dispenser

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It sounds like it may be accelerating a little too fast, but I would replace the kinked BDH first [ you can get this at a hardware store for a few bucks ]


One thing to keep in mind for anyone trying to put an older appliance back in regular use is to NOT replace things that are not bad.


On a MT washer like this the motor rollers and springs never go bad, the pump belt almost never fails, and do not replace the main drive belt unless it is worn and glazed. Likewise don't replace things like the water pump unless there is something wrong with it.


Do Replace the inlet valve if it is over about 20 years old and maybe the little rubber thingy in the inlet air break. Other than  that clean up the machine, lubricate the damper and maybe new inlet hoses and drain hose if needed.


The problem with replacing good parts is new parts are often not as good as the old ones already on the machine, and unless you are an expert on repairing this particular machine it can be hard to get it to work correctly with new slightly different parts.


John L.

Post# 992713 , Reply# 12   5/1/2018 at 09:34 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Thanks for the wisdom!

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John - thank you for your wisdom and advice. Fortunately I have kept all the old parts. You are right - it is hard to navigate the online world of Maytag repair parts and decide what is real Maytag and what is real crap. The Amazon Prime belts I ordered did not have Maytag-logos and I'm sending them back. I put the old Maytag originals back on last night and ran an extra-large load. The water still seeped up the bleach hose but stopped about a 1/4 inch shy of overflowing the funnel. So progress was made there.

I cleaned up the old water pump and installed it last night and ran a quick leak test - it passed. I will run an extra large load tonight to see if that improves things as well. I still have the original round motor rollers and will clean them up and install them next to see if that also helps.

When I got this machine (along with its matching DE808 dryer), it was a real mess inside the cabinet. It was used for the past 40 years at a summer home on a lake in NW Iowa. So it probably got some heavy use for 3 months a year and then would sit idle until the next year. There were signs of previous leaks and over-sudsing everywhere. There was a lot of rust on the base (especially around the motor mount and water pump) and along the bottom edges of the cabinet which I used a grinder wheel on and then treated with KBS rust sealant.

In addition to the items previously mentioned, I replaced the inlet valve, injection valve, and the tub-to-pump hose. The damper pads were intact and looked good, but I re-lubricated them with silicone lube.

I want this to become my daily washer and just wanted to make sure it was updated mechanically. But you are right, some of the replacement parts are of less quality than what I've taken off.

Post# 992846 , Reply# 13   5/2/2018 at 09:43 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Think I found the problem...

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Last night I ran an extra-large load with the old water pump and the water backed up the bleach filter into the funnel but stopped short of overflowing - so the old water pump didn't really improve anything.

Next I replaced the corrugated plastic drain hose I bought from Home Depot with a "heavy duty" rubber one from Menards. The increase in water flow out of the rubber drain hose was dramatic. Too dramatic. My ox box overflowed. As did the bleach dispenser. Although I had snaked out the ox box drain last weekend, it was obvious that the house plumbing still was unable to handle the surge of drain water from the 806.

So I snaked it out once again from the ox box, much more meticulously this time. I also went to the cleanup access further down the line and snaked it out as well.

Ran another XL load and this time the house plumbing kept up with the 806's water pump and I had no backup in the bleach dispenser!

I believe that using the corrugated plastic drain hose slowed my drain flow enough to cause the water level in the tub to rise and cause the overflow in the bleach dispenser. Because the plastic drain hose was also about 12 inches into the ox box drain, I also did not see that it was probably also being slowed by the partial blockage of my house plumbing.

The other good news is that I used hot water for the last XL load (hoping to better clean out the house drain after I snaked it.) I tried popping off my agitator (which previously would not budge) and she came off easily! Now I have 40 years of gunk to clean out under the agitator and in the stem area...

Post# 992854 , Reply# 14   5/2/2018 at 10:01 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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Yay! This is great news! Who would have thought that the turbulence from the corrugated hose would have caused such an issue? Great job troubleshooting this one through to the end.

Lots of HOT HOT water will do wonders for the house drain, and will help clean up the insides of your A806. How does the agitator shaft look, besides probably being dirty?


Post# 992857 , Reply# 15   5/2/2018 at 10:20 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Agitator shaft pictures

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It was dirty (mostly dried up fabric softener) but otherwise I thought it looked pretty good. Some corrosion on the metal, but nothing significant. I lightly scrubbed with a wire brush to get off the big chunks and then more vigorously with a toothbrush to clean it up. I wasn't trying to be fanatical about it because the last thing I wanted to do was cause a new leak (and it was also 2 AM in the morning!) So far, my tub seals seem to be good.

I also cleaned out the shaft hole at the bottom of the agitator and lightly lubed the shaft and hole with some silicone lube. It popped back on easily. Let me know if I should have used something else to lube it (or shouldn't have lubed it at all) or if you see something amiss with the shaft.

Below are a before/after shot before I put the agitator back on.

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Post# 992869 , Reply# 16   5/2/2018 at 11:58 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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I'd say everything looks great, in fact the factory paint is still in tact on the shaft. Most of the original gunk appears to be layers of detergent and softener residue.

A light coat of lubricant on the agitator shaft is a good idea to aid in future agitator removal. I typically use a white lithium grease - mileage may vary.


Post# 992893 , Reply# 17   5/2/2018 at 16:11 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Sounds like you solved the problem. Many happy years of Maytagging for you!

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