Thread Number: 77619  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
A Second Chance for a Rusty Maytag A408
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Post# 1016214   11/29/2018 at 11:07 (207 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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So I was browsing the regional classifieds, when a pair of center-dial Maytags popped up:
- A harvest gold A806, non-working (wouldn't drain), rough shape, make offer.
- A white A408, non-working (unknown reasons), OK shape from the picture, FREE.

Bingo! There's everything I needed to make a white A806 to match my DE806!

I follow up on both, but the A806 had already been sold. Can't beat the low low price of free, so we decided to go pick up the a408 anyway. :) Didn't know what was wrong, but we would figure that out once we got it.


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Post# 1016215 , Reply# 1   11/29/2018 at 11:12 (207 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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Met with the seller yesterday, a nice young fellow who listed it for his grandma, who had bought it new. We decided to use our Subaru this time instead of the truck... which meant that we would need to pull the front panel and pad the tub before tipping it onto its side. That's where we started figuring out what we were getting into... It left a pile of rust flakes on their driveway, in the car, and on every step of the stairs leading down to our basement. :D

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Post# 1016216 , Reply# 2   11/29/2018 at 11:18 (207 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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Back at home, and tucked into place.

It needs a good cleaning, but actually looks relatively good inside, no hard water stains or anything on the white tub, just really gunky on the inaccessible top tub edge. The lint filter was clean, so that's a good sign. The tag doesn't have any printing left, but the stamped model and serial number are visible, with an "AR" code indicating a September 1978 production date.



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Post# 1016218 , Reply# 3   11/29/2018 at 11:26 (207 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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The inside is where things get interesting. So apparently Grandma said it actually still works fine(!), it just leaks a lot of water, and has for a long time. That would explain the interior rust. She was probably just going to use it until it died, and... it never did. :D

My parents came over last night to take a look, and Dad commented that the rust and corrosion inside was very uniformly distributed, so it didn't quite look like a pump, hose, or outer tub leak... His theory is that possibly it has been overfilling and splashing out the top of the tub for a long time?

My first step of course is to hit it with the shop vac and a brush to clean up the piles of rust inside... After that, I suppose I'll hook it up and look for clues, but if you have any thoughts on what else to check, I'm all ears. (Thanks in advance!)


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Post# 1016222 , Reply# 4   11/29/2018 at 12:11 (207 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Im willing to bet the tub seal went on this. I have an 806 that was just like this when I went to restore it and it was the tub seal, or some part of it anyways. 


Post# 1016226 , Reply# 5   11/29/2018 at 13:06 (207 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Wow!  I'm glad it found a good home.  I look forward to seeing the restoration when it's completed!


Post# 1016230 , Reply# 6   11/29/2018 at 14:09 (207 days old) by Kafooty06 (washington )        
Mine does that same thing

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I have a Maytag like yours and got it free owner said it broke .I got it to work great but mine leaks too . Your dad may be right in a way. I had a member that told me if there is too much water in the tub but not enough clothing it will spill out from the sides and top of the tub when it goes into spin . Good luck , these are nicer Maytags !

Post# 1016238 , Reply# 7   11/29/2018 at 16:04 (207 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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Thanks for the encouragement!

I gave the inside a pass with the shop vac, using the crevice tool to scrape anything that looked loose. A lot of big flakes and debris came free, especially that rear corner (probably where it collected when tipped on its side), and I clogged the vacuum hose several times in the process. It's obviously damaged, but looks more manageable now... I was vacuuming up pen caps, bandaids, and other stuff like that, so I think at least some of it must be tub overflow... or this thing has a *serious* tub seal issue! :D

The inner tub I just gave a quick wipe with wet paper towels. There's a few small stains, but not bad at all as you can see.

I think before I hook this up to the water line to test, I'll have to pick up one of those washer drip pans with the drain. We have a floor drain quite close, but I'm realizing now that even if the water finds its way safely, it's still going to leave a massive rust water stain on the floor if I run it as-is.


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Post# 1016240 , Reply# 8   11/29/2018 at 16:17 (207 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Was it sitting on someone's back porch? 


Post# 1016247 , Reply# 9   11/29/2018 at 18:04 (207 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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>> Was it sitting on someone's back porch?

Not that I'm aware of. The grandson had told us about how he had helped lug it out of the basement, so I'm sure it spent most of its life down there. The schematic sticker on the back is also in good shape, so I don't think it has been outside in the elements much aside from just moving it in/out and to/from their garage...


Post# 1016260 , Reply# 10   11/29/2018 at 20:25 (207 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Very Sad A408

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The rust damage you see is a combination of a very damp basement and very frequent OVERSUDSING, suds have spilled over the tub cover many, many times.

 

This machine at best is a parts donor, The tubs and transmission may be good, as well as the controls. Often when the base-plates are this rusted on Maytag's they will just crack and break, but for free you at least got some parts and more experience with an older washer.

 

John L.


Post# 1016606 , Reply# 11   12/2/2018 at 23:05 (204 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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Thanks John, that would explain it. No worries if this one doesn't last, I only expected it to be for parts anyway. But after picking it up and being given the surprise information that the "broken" washer actually still functions, it *is* sort of interesting to follow through and see about fixing it... at least to use until I find the right A806.

If I were to look for a replacement base plate from a donor washer, how new of a machine could I get? Is it just the similar Ax06/07/08 models, or would the Ax10/12 models (and others?) also be compatible?

Thanks as always for the help.


Post# 1016967 , Reply# 12   12/5/2018 at 17:36 (201 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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... and we're washing!! :D

The source of the leak appears to be the injector / air gap component.

We pulled some plastic sheeting under the machine to avoid rust staining the freshly painted floor, and I hooked the cold supply up to our utility sink faucet as we don't have proper hookups yet after the basement remodel. Running the washer with the front panel off, I quickly found that water would spray out the air gap if the faucet tap was any past about 1/3 of the way open.

By reducing the flow on the supply side, the washer operates 100% as expected. All four fill levels work (Extra Large filling up to the 2nd row of holes in the inner tub), and I ran it through five wash cycles of different settings without a problem. No drips from the outer tub, no dampness underneath, no moisture on the top of the transmission, nothing. But as soon as you turn the water up, it comes out the side of the injector.


This is both great and sad news at the same time. Great news in that the tub seal appears to be fine, and everything else on the machine functions. Sad news that someone used this a long time with a very inexpensively repairable fault, causing more damage in the process...


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Post# 1016970 , Reply# 13   12/5/2018 at 17:46 (201 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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Additional photos - the injector/air-gap assembly from above, and from below with water dripping from it while running.

The top of the outer tub was caked in soapy filth, proving John's theory on the oversudsing and likely also Steve's theory on using too much water for the load. So in the end there were two issues at hand, one with the machine, and one with the way in which it was used.

I won't post the "before" picture of the outer tub, but you can see that it cleaned up reasonably well. there is quite a bit of rust on the metal tab that trips the unbalance switch, so this top area was wet quite often. It won't ever be seen, so I'll live with that for now. I'm just happy that the leak(s) are understood.


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Post# 1016973 , Reply# 14   12/5/2018 at 17:54 (201 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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The only other thing I thought was interesting was the fill valve assembly. As I mentioned, I only hooked up the cold side to the sink faucet with a single hose. However, if the tap was opened up too much, water would begin flowing out from the hot water inlet connection on the washer. For now, I just hooked up a second hose and let it drain back into the utility sink while I was testing the other functions of the washer.

Is this indicative of a faulty valve assembly, or is this expected? I know there are some internal check valves and the like to assist the mixing when "warm" water is selected, but I'm not familiar enough to know if, for example, the inlet valves rely on some amount of constant water pressure from the outside to stay seated/closed when the solenoids are not energized. Perhaps the non-normal situation of having full pressure on the cold side with zero pressure on hot was enough to force the hot valve open against its spring?


Post# 1016981 , Reply# 15   12/5/2018 at 18:40 (201 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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each valve is a little different, if one side is hooked up, you can get a varying degree of situations from the other side.....nothing, a dribble, or a full flow...

most likely you hooked it up to the cold side, and selected cold.....sometimes by selecting warm, it will cut off the dribble...other times, not....

but yeah, mains pressure is what keeps the valve closed when not in use, or unplugged...


Post# 1017996 , Reply# 16   12/14/2018 at 11:22 (192 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

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My parts came in, and with the injector repaired, the washer is now leak-free even with the water supply fully opened!

Part numbers for future reference:
"Sleeve Injector" - 22213057
"Valve" - 12001677

I likely would have been fine with just the rubber part of the valve, which would have made it an extremely cheap fix (less than $6). But I knew I would have to replace one of the clamps (too rusty to loosen), and wanted to update to the revised vent tube with the splash guard while I had it apart, so I splurged and spent about $13 total. :D


With them side-by-side, you can see how stretched the old rubber tube was, but also how much shorter it was (or became) than the new replacement. It's easy to see now how the water, once deflected off of the flared tip of the plastic part, could spray backwards and out the vents.

Simple and quick fix, the only "gotcha" is that you have to be careful that the flange on the new rubber piece doesn't bunch up when inserted into the water supply hose.


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Post# 1018000 , Reply# 17   12/14/2018 at 11:40 (192 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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That's great!  Success delayed is that best!


Post# 1018026 , Reply# 18   12/14/2018 at 17:15 (192 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Great save of the A408! It's amazing that such a little problem was not solved earlier. Glad you were able to keep the washer alive.

Post# 1018031 , Reply# 19   12/14/2018 at 17:36 (192 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Nice job!  Far from a parts donor machine anymore!


Post# 1018055 , Reply# 20   12/14/2018 at 20:33 (192 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        
Ralph

ken's profile picture
Your avatar pic...LOL

Post# 1018062 , Reply# 21   12/14/2018 at 21:12 (192 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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Name that oven!


Post# 1018063 , Reply# 22   12/14/2018 at 21:26 (192 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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I have no idea!

Post# 1018064 , Reply# 23   12/14/2018 at 21:30 (192 days old) by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I don't either!


Post# 1019337 , Reply# 24   12/28/2018 at 21:00 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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It's been a long couple of weeks, but I've been making good progress on getting our "new" laundry area set up.

Our house originally had basement laundry (based on the presence of a drain standpipe by the utility sink), however the water lines had been cut, electrical removed, and there was no evidence of a dryer vent ever being run to the outside. There were also typical clueless DIY issues like the laundry drain running UPHILL, the sink being too low, the standpipe being too short, cracked and patched PVC fittings, etc. All of the supply plumbing that was there just hung from the ceiling. So in order to actually use these now functional machines, I've had to fix all of those issues.

So now we have all new drain plumbing, proper water line routing and shutoff valves, and all of the other plumbing issues are sorted. I also made an insert to replace the window, which provides an outlet for the dryer vent (and a blank space for a second), and ran a solid vent pipe to the DE806.

Our plan then is to bring the two newer machines from the 2nd floor back down to the basement, placing them to the right of the utility sink, and to reclaim the upstairs "laundry room" to use as a nursery. It will be a little snug, but should all fit.


Next up is electrical...


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Post# 1019338 , Reply# 25   12/28/2018 at 21:02 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Half way there... :D

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Post# 1019362 , Reply# 26   12/29/2018 at 09:08 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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very neatly done....I like the window idea...

those sinks are always too low for me, hurts my back to bend over while using the sink.....I raised mine up on a platform even with the washer's top...

keep us posted


Post# 1019777 , Reply# 27   1/1/2019 at 22:56 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Thanks Martin. I can't take full credit for the idea, as it's the same concept as one of Maytag's recommendations in the Halo of Heat service manual (photo below). Maytag's intention was that you would remove a pane of glass from an existing window, and replace it with a pre-cut plate in which to mount the vent. (Maytag part number 59133 for a 12x18 plate, and 59134 for a 15x20 plate.)

In my case, I didn't want to remove glass panes from my nearly 100-year-old windows, as I know how long the glazing putty takes to cure, and didn't want to go that route in our below-freezing weather. I'm also considering the window exhaust to be somewhat temporary while we figure out the laundry layout, then hopefully cutting the "real" holes and replacing the original window sometime next spring or summer when the weather is better for it.


I did take steps to ensure that my new insert retained the expected "window" functionality though - it's still on hinges, and latches securely from inside instead of being permanently fastened. So in an emergency, it would still be a suitable egress window.


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Post# 1019877 , Reply# 28   1/2/2019 at 20:36 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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Nice work! A laundry install always looks better with fresh and corrected water supply lines/sink/drain, etc. Also, the fit and finish of the dryer exhaust looks top notch.

The previous owners of my 1930's bungalow did the same and I'll be emulating it on a few more windows one of these days.

Ben





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