Thread Number: 83449  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Replacing porcelain tub with stainless steel
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Post# 1077685   6/18/2020 at 10:39 (1,269 days old) by PatD (PA)        

My wife has been complaining that our washer stinks. So figured I'd take it apart and clean it. I knew it would have all kinds of fun gunk under the hood.

But I didn't expect the amount of rust on the tub shaft. Wow! Really bad. To me, that's even worse than the smell - our clothes are getting cleaned in rust!

Machine works great, so I'm hard pressed to replace. It's a Kenmore 110.20882990. Correct replacement tub appears to be W10389328. But I imagine it'll rust again.

Did some digging around and looks like I may be able to replace with a stainless steel tub from a Maytag Centennial, part number W10006327.

Anyone know if this would be a direct replacement? Appliance store near me can order the SS for about $100, which is cheaper than the porcelain!

Post# 1077695 , Reply# 1   6/18/2020 at 11:52 (1,269 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Rusty-Stinky Washer

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You can use the SS tub to replace your porcelain tub, we have done it.


Keep in mind that the reason the tub is rusting and the washer stinks is you are using way too little detergent for water conditions in your area.


This is the reason TL washers don't clean as well as FL machines, most people do not use enough hot water and detergent.


The only way I will use a TL washer is if I can reuse the wash water to wash another load because by the time you invest in enough water softener detergent etc it is just to costly and wasteful to use a TL washer properly.


John L.

Post# 1077710 , Reply# 2   6/18/2020 at 13:20 (1,269 days old) by PatD (PA)        

Thanks - those part numbers I listed are right then?

Interesting info on the reason for the rust. Never heard that before (Never bothered to investigate either.) Wife would prefer a front-loader because it's "more economical." But I keep hearing about issues with them. And I did the math for water and electric - while they definitely are more economical, the price for a good one will never give a good ROI long term vs swapping out our existing set. And these I can easily fix.

She DEFINITELY uses enough detergent. Trust me on this! I try to get her to use less! But we only wash in cold water. No water softener.

Post# 1077711 , Reply# 3   6/18/2020 at 13:27 (1,269 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture

Washing only in cold water is another one of your problem causes as to why it stinks so bad.  I have a Whirlpool Duet front loader and I only wash on temperature settings of sanitize, allergen, hot and warm.  95% of the time I use cycles that has the heater engage to maintain water temps.  My washer has no odor!!!  I have very hard water.  

Post# 1077714 , Reply# 4   6/18/2020 at 13:55 (1,269 days old) by PatD (PA)        

Thanks for the info. Good to know. The amount of gunk on the outer tub at the top is crazy!

Post# 1077744 , Reply# 5   6/18/2020 at 18:04 (1,269 days old) by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        
Cold Water Wash------

Is a BIG problem. It will be even worse with a front-loader. Turns the machines into cesspools. The so-called Cold Water detergent manufacturers have perpetuated a situation that makes them more money and costs the consumer. Big surprise.
Won't make a bit of difference enamel or SS tub with cold water.

Be sure and scrub all the (black) bacteria laden, body oil and kitchen grease deposits from the inner tub and under the agitator,etc.
Make a habit of leaving the lid open in between washes.

If you don't expect your dishes,glasses and flatware to come clean in cold water why would you think your laundry would? Just 'sayin.
Best to do at least warm washes with a hot wash once a month. A hot wash with Clorox is even better!

And, there are two sides to the top-loader vs front-loader argument.

If you only get office dust on your clothes a front-loader might be just the thing. However, don't expect to see a real savings from it if you don't do at least three loads of wash every day. A front-loader costs considerably more than a top-loader in initial purchase price. So if you only do three loads a week you are looking at ten years or so to save any money and were not talking HUNDREDs of dollars here.

Also, it is very rare that ANY modern machine even lasts ten years!
You will be lucky to get five and you had better buy as much extended warranty as you can get! The Speed Queen machines have a good warranty. I think the Maytags do too, although it might be certain models.

If you work a blue-collar job and get clothes really dirty, work in a garden, have kinds who play outside (a rarity anymore) etc. A top-loader is going to get the really dirty or greasy stuff cleaner because you can dump as much cleaning chemical as you want into it, within reason, and still get well rinsed clothes.
I like the strength of some of the Mexican detergents, but, they will choke a front-loader to death with suds.

Post# 1077747 , Reply# 6   6/18/2020 at 18:22 (1,269 days old) by PatD (PA)        

Thanks - we always did cold water because it cleaned (We felt) just fine. We don't use any special "cold" detergent. But will certainly re-evaluate hot and cold!

Will most likely stick with a top loader. We certainly do get dirty - sometimes. So happy to have the unit that works better. And really prefer to keep my existing unit that I can service and hasn't given me a day of trouble in 20 years!

So, anyone that knows - mind letting me know if W10006327 is THE part number I want if I'm going to swap in a SS tub and have it drop in without issues?

Post# 1077759 , Reply# 7   6/18/2020 at 19:24 (1,269 days old) by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

I wash brightly colored clothes in my old Bendix front loader combo. with cold water and Tide With Bleach powder. It does a great job.
Bright colors are the only thing I would use cold water for.
My area has very hard water.

If your machine is 20 years old I wouldn't throw it out until it rolls over dead with its legs in the air.

Post# 1077791 , Reply# 8   6/18/2020 at 22:44 (1,269 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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So you're presumably referring to the neck of the porcelain basket being rusted (I've never seen one that wasn't).† What's the condition of the tub centerpost?

Cold water doesn't effectively keep greasy soils melted for flushing away.† Scum accumulates, particularly at the water line on the interior of the outer tub and exterior of the inner basket ... kinda like dirty dishwater left to cool in a sink.

Post# 1077820 , Reply# 9   6/19/2020 at 06:10 (1,269 days old) by PatD (PA)        

See below (2 photos) - does that help?

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 1077840 , Reply# 10   6/19/2020 at 10:06 (1,268 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

Ahh, so you haven't yet pulled the basket? The inside the basket neck is likely more rusted than the exterior that you see.

The tub centerpost is *under* the neck of the basket, houses the spin and agitate drive shafts and bearings.† Can't see it until the basket is removed.

This was my mother's 1999 Kenmore after 6 years of use in primarily cold water and lower-quality detergent such as Arm & Hammer liquid.† It was pristine when I refurbed the machine before giving it to her.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 1077841 , Reply# 11   6/19/2020 at 10:23 (1,268 days old) by PatD (PA)        

Wow, yeh - didn't pull the inner tub yet. Didn't want to go any further and potentially have the washer out of service for a week waiting for parts.

Did you replace the driveshaft, etc. when you refurbed for your mom? If so, how involved is it for a diy'er that's mechanically inclined (AKA I have most of the engine out of my hobby car right now doing some repairs.)

I'd prefer to refurb this machine vs buy a new junker.

Post# 1077846 , Reply# 12   6/19/2020 at 11:43 (1,268 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

The machine was given to me by a friend years ago.† His niece used it at college, then the family used it at a hunting cabin.† Someone washed a heavy rug, the motor coupler broke.† They thought it was bearings.† :-)† Refurb at that point was clean-up, replace the coupler, and the lid which got mangled when wind caught it during transport to me.† I also replaced the basket due to some rusting, although it would have been OK.† Kept the machine in storage for a few years until Mom needed it in 2012 when the timer broke on her 1994 KitchenAid.

The Kenmore's neutral drain went bad circa 2018 (date of the pics), which caused some leaking when the water spun-up at higher levels presumably due to two of the anchor tabs on the tub for the tub ring being worn such that the clips didn't latch and thus the gasket seal being a bit questionable.† I still had her old KitchenAid in storage so disassembled it and swapped the outer tub from it to the Kenmore.† At this point did a full rebuild with a new tub support, basket drive & brake, neutral drain kit and fresh transmission oil.† Had the machine for sale but no takers so it's in storage until someone in the family needs it.

Post# 1077853 , Reply# 13   6/19/2020 at 12:18 (1,268 days old) by PatD (PA)        

Think I'll run in to problems swapping the inner tub if the shaft is really corroded? Would really like to swap it and clean outer basket.

Post# 1077868 , Reply# 14   6/19/2020 at 15:04 (1,268 days old) by ps91Rick (Lancaster, Ca )        

I just got rid of my pair of LG front loaders ó bought brand-new 3 years ago for about 1800.. I never really care for the quality of clean-ness that they did with the laundry.. and it wasnít until a good friend who is staying with me at the moment said that she didnít like how my LG washed clothes and that she thought they were still dirty after running them.. When we had that conversation, I thought about it and I was of the same opinion and that itís why Iím here today.. I sold my LGs to my brother, yes at at loss, but theyíre out of my hair and now Iím a Maytagger.. My Ď76 HA207 is working pretty well ó sure Iíve got a part or two that need some replacement/TLC but it functionally works great! The Ď87 dryer Iíve got sounds horrible but dries great. The bearings might be shot or something and Iíll overhaul it at some point but it keeps plugging along and getting my clothes dry without them smelling like they went through a fire like some dryers can do... Anyway, just my $0.02 worth..

Post# 1077945 , Reply# 15   6/20/2020 at 09:20 (1,267 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Straight answer:

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Things are going to be more corroded under that basket. You will have a bit of work to do before it's ready to go back into service.

Yes, you should use the opportunity to replace the components which wear - bearing, seal, coupler, clutch.

From what I can tell, the neutral drain kit isn't needed unless it fails - we have two very ancient Whirlpools which use the same system as your's and they haven't needed rebuilding. If the experts here think it's worth it, follow their advice.

I'm not a Whirlpool expert - I can't tell you if the SS tub is a plug and play. Do follow the various threads here and the great YouTube videos on doing all these things (ApplianceParts is especially clear).


As to hot versus cold. It's important to remember that the lower the temperature of the water, the longer it takes the detergents/boosters to clean. Several American testing organizations have confirmed what you're reading here - cold water washing with American detergents leads to grease/microbial/fungal bild up on clothes and machines.


Soaking clothes overnight in something like Oxy-Clean really, really helps to remove the build-up and will let you get good results with warm water when hot isn't possible. The color catcher products help reduce dye bleed, the only problem really possible (on some clothes) with hot water. 


I'd go for it, if I were you. But don't expect to get it done in one day. 

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