Thread Number: 79734  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Kenmore All in One AKA Frigidaire Skinny Mini
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Post# 1036332   6/25/2019 at 05:01 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

The last few weeks were quite interesting thanks to a broken leg.

As I'm stuck in boredom, one of my new favorite things to use my free time is go windowshopping on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.

Yesterday I've found not 1, but two interesting machines.

1 is a frigidaire gallery laundry center (that one with a front load washer) and a Kenmore all in one, which is basically a Frigidaire Skinny Mini with a regular drum and agitator instead of the famous "agitub".

The mini laundry center is in great condition, the paint looks great, it works perfectly but I'm kinda curious.

Does anybody happen to have a user manual or a service manual?

1) I want to bypass the lid switch.
2) I'm kinda curious to know if it's a safety feature to limit the amps or if my timer is being temperamental.

Mine is 110v and if I'm running the washer and the dryer at the same time, it heats only when the washer is filling or off.

It looks like an older model and some of the design forms remind me early to mid 1980s. Can anybody date it for me?

The lint filter... is it really that weak?

The drain pump.... how long should it take to drain. Mine starts the spin rinse with some water in the tub.

Better if I make videos... I'll do it as soon as I can.

Oh, and when it's washing, I can see bubbles. Does this thing have some kind of "Whirlpool bathtub effect" drain pump? I ran just one load with detergent, a super small dose, and it caused a suds lock.


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Post# 1036333 , Reply# 1   6/25/2019 at 05:04 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        



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Post# 1036335 , Reply# 2   6/25/2019 at 06:33 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

That pos washer is famous for sudslocking. If you look at the way the pump is configured, it is obvious as to why. It is normal operation for the 110 volt model to prevent dryer heater operation when the washer motor is on. A 20 amp circuit can only handle so much load. 


Post# 1036337 , Reply# 3   6/25/2019 at 06:46 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
WCI Kenmore All In One

combo52's profile picture
Hi Thomas, This machine has a relay that cuts off the dryers heater and timer motor whenever the washers motor is running, it is built this way so the entire machine can run on a 120 volt 15 Amp outlet.

This washer still has a main motor driven water pump so it only does a spin drain, WCI had a terrible time getting these washers to pump out as the pump would air-lock easily, when they finely switched to an electric drain pump in the early 90s it really helped this problem.

Your machine was built in December of 1987, All WCI-FD major appliances have the manufacturing date printed on the model # tag, they have since some time in the 80s, didn't you work for FD at one time?

Note: There were no 110 volt washers built after some time in the 1950s, using the correct terminology is important if you want to sound credible to the hundreds of people who might read your posts.

John L.




This post was last edited 06/25/2019 at 07:05
Post# 1036358 , Reply# 4   6/25/2019 at 13:41 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

LOL... It reminds a huge issue we had with our spin dryers...

The power cord had a tag "120 volts". We had dozens of customers wanting to return it because the voltage was wrong and their homes is "110v"

Then i had the stupid idea to put 100~127V

TONS of people didn't understand that the unit can actually be connected to anything between those numbers. Lots of people complaining that their homes is not "100~127", only "110".

We finally changed the tag again to 110V, it made people happy and we created a mantra here in the company... never mention, 120, never mention 120, never mention 120.


Post# 1036391 , Reply# 5   6/26/2019 at 01:30 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

Update.

Draining was a pain and this washer was the queen of suds lock/ water lock.

It would actually lock even empty (no clothes) and only with water on low water level!


Than something came in my mind... Lots of people talked about the Hotpoint/GE portable suds locking for nothing and I never had that issue, until the day i moved the washer and used the stand pipe instead of the laundry sink. Of course, the drain hose height made a huge difference.

Anyway, I just switched the drain hose to the sink (much lower) and it now drains much faster. and NO SUDS LOCK!

I ran a load minutes ago and intentionally overdosed Tide, just to see what happens. It suffered a little bit but NO SUDS LOCK! Before the first spin rinse the tub was completely empty.


Now the zillion dollar question continues. How to I bypass the lid switch? I mean, how do I reach it? The washer has a chrome frame around almost everything and I have absolutely no idea how to remove the top or the front panel to access the lid switch and lock (front left corner).

I want to bypass it in a way that I don't need to put anything there to make it run with the lid open.


Question 2:

How difficult it is to replace the pump belt? It's draining OK, but maybe a new belt could give it a boost and make it drain even faster.


Post# 1036392 , Reply# 6   6/26/2019 at 01:37 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

110-120V depends on how far down the distribution line you are-and how the primary taps are set on your homes and other homes stepdown transformers-so "110" V can still be with us it is still a LEGAL voltage.The specs are 105V-130V for the US.During severe brownouts the voltage can drop to 105V and even lower.The 240V can drop as low as 210-200V and still be legal.Most appliances are designed to withstand these tolerances.

Post# 1036410 , Reply# 7   6/26/2019 at 06:42 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
if I am correct, there should be two screws at the bottom of the front panel, remove them, the panel should slide down a bit, and then remove....full front access

Post# 1036414 , Reply# 8   6/26/2019 at 07:52 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Removing The Washers front panel

combo52's profile picture

In addition to Martins good advice you also have to pry the aluminum top trim off and remove the four screws at the front. The later models without the top trim you only have to remove the two lower front panel screws.

 

John L.


Post# 1036444 , Reply# 9   6/26/2019 at 17:42 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

How's the aluminum trim secured? just a sticky tape or there is any sort of clamp?

I mean, I'm asking everything because i don't want to ruin the aluminum thing as the washer looks in absolutely perfect cosmetic (and operational) conditions.

But I want to bypass the lid lock.


Post# 1036447 , Reply# 10   6/26/2019 at 18:11 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
the trim should just be snapped in place over a "U" channel....

Post# 1036453 , Reply# 11   6/26/2019 at 18:47 by Wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        
Thomas...

This the original agi-tub version. Don't know if yours is still the same.

Trim snaps over the nylon washer under the screws. Pry carefully. You don't want to bend the trim.

Hope this helps.

Bill



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Post# 1036460 , Reply# 12   6/26/2019 at 22:39 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

WOW. Thank you so much!

Mine is not the Agitub (I wish it was) but it is enough to give me some ideas.


Post# 1036465 , Reply# 13   6/27/2019 at 02:33 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

YAY!

Lid switch bypassed... Finally!


Post# 1036473 , Reply# 14   6/27/2019 at 06:53 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Yay, Lid Sw Bypassed

combo52's profile picture

Now you can watch the pathetic turn-over as it tries to turn over larger items with its silly indexing tub.

 

We saved one of the first 24" SMs and one of the last with the electric drain pump for the museum, but I skipped over this generation because the pump will suds-lock too easily [ even with plain water in it, it struggles to pump out at times ] WCIs cure was to make the last spin cycle almost 15 minutes long and if the machine struggles long enough it seems to eventually get the final water out, with the spin after the wash cycle they just let it start the deep rinse with the outer tub full of suds.

 

Does yours have the really long final spin cycle ? Once WCI starting building these with the GE name on them GE went over to WCI and tried to improve the product. After they started making the GE machines GE insisted the plastic top, lid and door on the dryer be replaced with metal because of all the serious fires that these machines had caused.

 

The main washer motors would overheat and melt the plastic splash cover set it on fire and then the entire outer tub would be ablaze then the washers top & lid, the dryer door and then good by to your home, the smoke damage alone was terrible from more than 10 pounds of burning plastic.

 

I remember in the 80s when we were buying returned-damaged appliances from a local Sears outlet and there was a corner with a 1/2 dozen of these KM All-In-Ones with yellow tape all over and around them that had caught fire, we were told not to touch them as they were in litigation etc.

 

John L.




This post was last edited 06/27/2019 at 07:09
Post# 1036476 , Reply# 15   6/27/2019 at 08:08 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Have you tried to do anything with the stack pair with the front load washer? Except for the tendency of problems with the drum spider, that should be a better machine.

 

Voltages:  I remember Consumer Report issues rating air conditioners in the late 50s/early 60s talking about their extreme conditions testing with high heat and reduced voltages to simulate brownouts.


Post# 1036555 , Reply# 16   6/28/2019 at 01:55 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

Is it the very best washer ever? Nope, not at all!
Lots of us (including me) HATE Frigidaire after it was taken over by WCI. However, they are fun machines to play with.
I don't expect a fantastic performance, for that I have an not so old LG washer-dryer that does a fantastic job cleaning and rinsing properly the clothes and with a wonderful final spin speed that any top load can ever dream about reaching. I have a Magic Chef portable... It's small but does a WONDERFUL job cleaning.
I also won't have this washer as a daily driver... well, maybe... I always have some not so relevant small loads, so why not?

The thing is. It's a fun washer to play with, even with it's (i have to agree) HORRIBLE drain or the "angel's wing" agitator that does a terrible rollover.


Truth be said, absolutely no washing machine (actually no machine ever) is 100% perfect. A frigidaire Unimatic WO-65 is a great washer, but it has it's cons too. A vintage Maytag, known for being extremely reliable and built to last almost forever (and in fact it is) also has it's negative side. One or other thing that doesn't make people really happy.

As far as I know, even Robert has an impressive collection of super rare vintage washers and just like many of us he doesn't really like modern washers but he also has a modern washer hidden in his basement simply because we can't risk wearing out our "treasures" by using them as daily drivers. If he kills a modern washer, who cares? it can easily be fixed or replaced, it hurts the wallet but not the feelings. What if he kills his super rare Apex just because he decided to run a load of jeans in it and the old parts didn't resist? He can have all the money in the world, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to fix, because parts are NLA.

If the Skinny Mini was the only washer I had, I'd definitely HATE it and dream about the day that POS would be thrown in the crusher, however, it's just "one more" washer in my collection, that has a terrible performance for some loads and an acceptable performance for other loads. It's cute (it's impossible to deny the design is VERY elegant) and I AM an industrial designer, of course I love cosmetic design.

It also gave me some inspiration, you guys know I love bringing things back from the past and hanks to that specific Skinny mini that is now sitting in my laundry room, I had the brilliant idea to make the smallest stacked washer-dryer ever made in the world. A Silk Lux mounted together with a Mojave dryer. Won't that be cute? a tiny top load with a tiny dryer, 70% smaller than the skinny mini. (and with the same capacity and a much better performance than the SM.

I am glad that I was lucky to find a SM. it is a vintage washer, I know it's not a great washer, or even a good washer, but anyway, it's a fun washer to play with and I AM happy with it. I came here not only to exchange information or to learn (yes, every day is a new opportunity to learn) with you, and also to share my happiness with all of you. And even knowing the bad things about it, it's also positive. It helps me understand more about the American history of washing machines, now I know that our country had a washer that was a PAIN in WCI's ass. Maybe that was the last drop missing to prevent me from repeating the same mistake and making a washer with the same POS drain or POS agitation.

So.... let's play and have fun with our washers, vintage, modern, great performers, terrible performers, Who cares? as soon as we can still have fun. And please guys, let's all stop ridicularizing other washers. Washing machines is exactly what made we get together. Thanks to washing machines this website exists! Actually, thanks to a washing machine and thanks to AWO I ended up meeting Darryl and exactly today we're celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary.


And yep... the Skinny mini performance is, indeed, catastrophic. LOL. But I love that little washer. It's so cute.... and temperamental Hahahah

Yesterday I washed a load of white towels... the performance was great. But of course, to achieve that "great" result I had to rinse "only" 4 times before the final rinse with fabric softener, stop and start the washer maybe 30 or 40 times to get rid of the airlock, etc. Anyway, it was kinda fun dealing with that.

If I was in a hurry and wanted my towels clean, first I wouldn't have started a load with only 4 bath towels, I'd have waited 1 or 2 days more then I'd have a bigger load to wash in the speed queen or in the neptune or in the Niagara. I'd toss the load in the washer, set and walk away. I'd have a great result, but I wouldn't have the fun of interacting with the washer, laughing at it struggling to drain, rolling eyes after seeing suds in the washer after the 3rd rinse on maximum level.


Post# 1036556 , Reply# 17   6/28/2019 at 02:12 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

The frigidaire Gallery stacked is a long story.

I'll have to create a new thread about that washer.

Actually, two of them.... And that thread will be better than a Mexican Soap Opera plot. hahahah Starring Thomasortega, Spiralator60 and Revvinkevin.

And like all Mexican soap operas, It will have a surprising and dramatic plot twist.

Maria del Barrio or La Usurpadora or Marimar is nothing compared to those TWO frigidaire gallery FL stacked combos. Wait and You'll see... ROFL!
----------------------

John.... I'd give an arm and a leg (not the broken one) to have you here using your talent with ALL my vintage washers. (Others, please don't be jealous) It's very difficult to find somebody as talented as John to have vintage washers running like new. Of course I am more than sure that AWO has many talented people and I can see that every day. I'll wait until my collection has even more washers and I'll probably end up bringing you to LA just to do a preventive maintenance and fix one or other thing in all of my washers.


Post# 1036558 , Reply# 18   6/28/2019 at 02:24 by thomasortega (We have a famous sign, earthquakes, bushfires and weed)        

Now a more serious question.

How long should it take to drain, average?

It takes almost 3 minutes to drain (i mean, before the pump starts air locking).

Then the spin rinse starts, the drum is still full of water. It makes no sense to spray water on water.

Strangely I'm not having much trouble with airlocks It happens, but not so horrible as mentioned by more than one person above. I mean, it airlocks, but the pump manages to prime again in a couple of seconds.

I'm starting to think my pump is weak... maybe new belts? A service manual would be very helpful.

I noticed the Ephemera has a service manual, but for the solid tub GM Skinny Mini. Does anybody have a service manual to share? Robert, do you have something that you can upload to the Ephemera? I'd me more than happy to purchase.





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