Thread Number: 79846  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Need Help Quick with Maytag A612 Washing Machine
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1037448   7/7/2019 at 22:01 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

I'm in a bit of a bind with the Maytag A612 washer that's in my cabin. The renter who was in there last week called me late last night and told me the machine just shut off in the middle of a load and they couldn't restart it. They said they would try to get it working again and would call me back. I didn't hear from them afterwards so I assumed they got it started up again and everything was okay.

It turns out they didn't get it going and my next set of renters came in today (Sunday) and found a load of towels and water in the machine and another load of bedding and towels in the basket waiting to get washed. I HAVE to get that machine working again so my renters can wash their bedding and towels. The problem is, I'm 400 miles away and can't get out there to look at it.

My guess is that the load got unbalanced and this is why the machine shut down. I got the new renters to take the load out and move the drum around and try to restart it but that didn't work. They also tried unplugging and plugging it in a couple times but that didn't work either. I don't think the breaker has blown as the lights in the utility room are working and I think they're on the same fuse as the 120V outlet that powers the washing machine.

Is there a specific reset procedure for those old machines? If yes, what is it? If there is no reset procedure for those machines then what else might be the problem? They've tried moving the dial around and pushing it in but the machine shows no sidn of life. I'm really hoping it just needs to be reset because my cabin is in a bit of a remote location and finding a repair technician who will go out there is going to be difficult and costly.


Post# 1037451 , Reply# 1   7/7/2019 at 22:42 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
load got unbalanced

Sounds like it shut down during agitation since it was found with water in the machine. Unbalanced loads typically occur during the spin cycle and are easy to correct i.e. redistribute the clothing and restart.

This isn't likely something your renters are going to be willing and able to fix.

Probably cheaper to bite the bullet and have a new machine delivered out there and work on the Maytag later.

Post# 1037453 , Reply# 2   7/7/2019 at 22:53 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture
Have your renters turn the dial all the way to the final spin position, and see if it shows signs of life when the knob is pulled?

It's not likely that it tripped the imbalance switch, as opening and closing the lid again would have reset this.
It's not likely to be the motor overload tripping, as the renters would have commented on the obvious squealing or buzzing sounds that would accompany this (or the conditions which would cause it).

So what else will stop the motor? Not satisfying the fill level switch would. Not enough water, and the switch wouldn't energize the motor to agitate, nor would the timer advance, so it would effectively be dead (and silently dead). So that could either be a wiring fault, or perhaps a fault of the fill valve? Shutting off the house water supply would also have the same effect. The final spin doesn't care what the water level is, that's why I suggested that test.

And of course, checking the fuse would be a good first step, even if you do believe it is shared, just to rule that out.

Post# 1037454 , Reply# 3   7/7/2019 at 23:03 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

What are the chances the lid switch has gone faulty?

Post# 1037460 , Reply# 4   7/8/2019 at 00:22 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

The drum or whatever you call it is about 2/3 full of water with the laundry out so it got enough water in there. If the fill level switch was not detecting the water was there, wouldn't it keep filling it because it wouldn't know when to stop?

If the lid safety switch crapped out, wouldn't that cause these problems? From what I can find elsewhere on the net, it seems that this type of problem is often caused by a faulty lid safety switch so it would seem that this is the most likely cause or at least a likely cause. Agree?

I've found the part number for the lid switch for the A612. Where on that machine is that switch? What do you have to do in order to get at it? I have a friend out there who might be able to work on it for me tomorrow and bypass the switch to get the machine working until I get out there in a couple weeks.

Post# 1037461 , Reply# 5   7/8/2019 at 00:56 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

If it helps you to know where the switch is located, the lid switch part number for that machine was 205415 but has been superceded by W10820036. The link goes to the page where you can see the parts diagram.


Post# 1037482 , Reply# 6   7/8/2019 at 08:12 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture

To be clear, I was helping brainstorming possibilities, not providing a diagnosis.

It could be the lid switch, and it could be any number of other things. You will have to be on-site and open up the machine to diagnose, otherwise you are just firing the parts cannon and hoping for the best. If it was the lid switch, you could tell definitively in just a few minutes with a multimeter.

>> I have a friend out there who might be able to work on it for me tomorrow and
>> bypass the switch to get the machine working until I get out there in a couple weeks.

Please don't do this. The machine would no longer be able to shut itself down if it goes unbalanced again, nor would it have a functioning safety interlock to keep it from starting unexpectedly when your tenants have their arms in the tub. It might be something that folks here do to their own machines, knowing the risks, so that they can watch them run with the lid open. But for a rental property? No way.

Post# 1037497 , Reply# 7   7/8/2019 at 12:11 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

The current renter's son owns his own auto repair facility so he's pretty handy mechanically. At my request, he got into the control panel and bypassed the lid switch and got the machine working again. At least they can now finish the bedding and towel loads left behind by the previous renters. I will get a new switch out to them ASAP. They won't have to do anymore loads until next weekend when they're finishing up their stay so they should be able to get the new switch installed before they have to do anymore washing besides the two loads that have to get done right now. Crisis averted.

In the meantime, to mitigate the risks, I will tell them about the machine not being able to shut off when the load is unbalanced and to make sure the load has completely finished all cycles before reaching into the machine and to be extra safe by always unplugging the machine before reaching into it.

Post# 1037501 , Reply# 8   7/8/2019 at 12:23 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

Also, are we wure that machine won't still shut down in an unbalance situation with the lid switch bypassed? The switch for that machine is just a single switch that is also used as a dryer door switch. It's not one of those units that also comes integrated with another micro-switch and a fuse. (See photo)

  View Full Size
Post# 1037506 , Reply# 9   7/8/2019 at 13:16 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

I didn't realize that the lid switch and the OOB switch were the same thing.  They strike me as entirely unrelated components that would be triggered by entirely different circumstances.

Post# 1037507 , Reply# 10   7/8/2019 at 13:21 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture

Fewer parts = simpler machine, less wiring, lower unit cost, lower assembly costs, and improved reliability. It's a clever system, just with the downside that *everything* stops when you open the lid, even filling with water.

One additional benefit is that your out-of-balance switch gets regular "exercise"/testing. So if it fails closed (letting the machine run), you're likely to notice it in a way that you might not, until it's too late, with a dedicated OOB switch.

Post# 1037509 , Reply# 11   7/8/2019 at 13:31 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

rp2813's profile picture

Cool.  Somehow they worked it on the 12 series (maybe the 10s too?) so you can leave the lid open while the tub is filling.  I like that feature on my 712.

Post# 1037512 , Reply# 12   7/8/2019 at 14:08 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
Filling with the lid open - Maytag style

swestoyz's profile picture
Ralph - you're spot on. Starting with the 10 series in 1980, the lid can be lifted while filling. I agree that it is quite useful and I wish Maytag had done the same starting with the 06 series machines in '66.


Post# 1037513 , Reply# 13   7/8/2019 at 14:37 by peteski50 (New York)        

peteski50's profile picture
My family had a A810 purchased in 1981 and it stopped when the lid was open during the Fill period! I think it was the mid 80's when this was changed!

Post# 1037515 , Reply# 14   7/8/2019 at 14:53 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

Iím far from being the Maytag guru but Iím pretty sure filling with the lid open started with the 12 series. I have a 1984 LA 710 that does nothing with the lid open and a 1987 A412 that does let the machine fill with the lid open. The 1987 A412 also still has the pitman transmission. This changed to the orbital soon afterward. As to the original post topic, glad you were able to get your Maytag back in service.

Post# 1037516 , Reply# 15   7/8/2019 at 15:04 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
Whoops! April 1984 LTS

swestoyz's profile picture
Well it looks like I'm caught with my foot in mouth. Y'all are correct - the fill with lid open feature didn't start till the 12 series. I must have been dreaming that the 10 series did this as well!

And - to the OP, I'm glad it was an easy solution that the tenant was able to self-serve. Those lid switches can be pesky and a real head-scratcher.


  View Full Size
Post# 1037517 , Reply# 16   7/8/2019 at 15:07 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
I played with an A810 12 years ago and remember the water valve cutting off with a triggered lid switch. As far as I know, the open lid water fill feature wasn't available until the 12 series washers unless Maytag introduced that feature on the very short lived 11 series machines (yet to play with one of those).

Post# 1037519 , Reply# 17   7/8/2019 at 15:13 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
35 years ago I wound wire to the drain outlet to keep the lid switch connection open so everything works on my 511, lid open or closed, its always open when in use. If by chance it goes off balance, it slams the open lid into the timer and kills everything until you redistribute the load and pull the timer out to resume the cycle but I am always right there when I have any appliance running.

Post# 1037521 , Reply# 18   7/8/2019 at 15:30 by peteski50 (New York)        

peteski50's profile picture
Ben thanks for sharing that chart - it has a lot of great info!

Post# 1037548 , Reply# 19   7/8/2019 at 20:19 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

Ummm... I think my thread sort of got hijacked. This discussion is supposed to be about how I can deal with this lid switch problem from afar and allow my renters to do their washing until I can get the faulty lid switch replaced. I asked a question several posts ago which to my mind hasn't been clearly answered.

Given the type of lid safety switch that my A612 has (see previously posted photo), is the lid switch also responsible for OOB shut off as well?

Post# 1037556 , Reply# 20   7/8/2019 at 22:26 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

There is a spring loaded armature, for lack of the correct term, that is between the lid and the switch. There is a piece of metal that sticks up on top of the tub cover. If the machine gets out of balance that piece of metal that sticks up contacts this armature and removes contact from the lid switch shutting the machine down. Opening and closing the lid after this happens resets the armature so when the lid is closed again it allows the lid switch to be satisfied and assumes the operator has redistributed the out of balance load. So if the switch is bypassed the machine will not stop for an out of balance load.

Post# 1037564 , Reply# 21   7/8/2019 at 23:26 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

Ummm... I think my thread sort of got hijacked. This discussion is supposed to be about how I can deal with this lid switch problem from afar and allow my renters to do their washing until I can get the faulty lid switch replaced. I asked a question several posts ago which to my mind hasn't been clearly answered.

Given the type of lid safety switch that my A612 has (see previously posted photo), is the lid switch also responsible for OOB shut off as well?

Post# 1037567 , Reply# 22   7/8/2019 at 23:29 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        
Please ignore last post

I reposted the same thing above by accident. I'd delete it but I don't have those priveleges. Please ignore it.

Thanks RepairGuy for the answer to my question.

Post# 1037664 , Reply# 23   7/9/2019 at 19:39 by bendixmark (Winchester Mass)        

The lidswitch may be ok the lidswitch armature may be out of adjustment there is an adjustment screw.Also being in a cabin the voltage to the machine could be low and the motor is quitting when it goes into spin.

Post# 1037669 , Reply# 24   7/9/2019 at 21:15 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture
The low voltage observation made me recall the trouble I had with my '51 Frigidaire that would not spin - I was powering it through a power strip with a weak breaker and it kept popping when the machine tried to spin.

Could the machine be hooked up using an extension cord? If so, try using something of a heavier gauge.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy