Thread Number: 85653  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
How to operate Kenmore C960 Wringer
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Post# 1102077   12/26/2020 at 19:56 (815 days old) by spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        

Our family has a 50+ year old Wringer Washer that we are looking to finally rehome. Our parents both passed so no one here remembers exactly how this model operates and I have been unable to find a user manual online - a service manual yes, but no user guide.

Running the washer itself and the pump is straight forward but we need step by step instructions on how to operate the wringer.

There is a clutch lever on the left side of the wringer, but we can't figure out how it moves as we can't move it towards us or away, with or without the motor running. Don't see any other controls to use to release that clutch. I opened the gearbox and saw some thick grease glomming everything up. I cleaned a lot of it out as 5 decade old grease is likely not the best, but still couldn't figure out how to release the clutch.

Anyone out there familiar with this exact machine to educate me on how to get the wringer moving? Thanks!

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Post# 1102084 , Reply# 1   12/26/2020 at 20:57 (814 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Off top of one's head...

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Kenmore never built anything, it is a brand name Sears slaps on things made by others. In case of laundry appliances at that time sold in Canada there were two sources; Inglis (Whirlpool), and English Electric.

Single or dual lever controls on front of washer seem to be an Inglis/Whirlpool thing.

Post# 1102090 , Reply# 2   12/26/2020 at 21:33 (814 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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I never saw a square Kenmore wringer in any store or catalog.

Post# 1102093 , Reply# 3   12/26/2020 at 21:38 (814 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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of course turning the wringer control forward or away will set the direction for the rollers to spin....

could be an all-in-one mechanism...not usually something they would hide...more of an ease of use configuration....

any chance by turning the wringer control towards the floor will allow it to pivot.?.?.?...

and then turning it to point upwards to lock in place.....

worth a try....

Post# 1102099 , Reply# 4   12/26/2020 at 22:26 (814 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
You wouldn't would you? Sears up north (Canada) often had things that weren't on offer in United States.

For variety of reasons Canadian housewives stuck with wringer washers longer than their sisters in United States. In particular just as in UK square tub wringers in a cabinet or long skirt were hugely popular in Canada. Yes, Maytag had their square tub, but that is just what it was; no cabinet.

Post# 1102263 , Reply# 5   12/28/2020 at 01:30 (813 days old) by Spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        
Wringer control

What part is actually the wringer control? Do you mean the ‘clutch’ ? The white part on the far left side of the wringer assembly? It doesn’t want to move, and by looking at the gears, it seems to be restricted from moving in any direction. A user manual would be really helpful.

Post# 1102274 , Reply# 6   12/28/2020 at 06:28 (813 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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We would need closer pictures of controls to be sure but....

Am guessing knob in center of knobs is a timer or maybe speed control. Again without close-up pictures cannot be certain.

Levers on left and right control agiattion (stop/start) and pump/drain respectively. There should be something printed near each stating what they do, or simply pushing/pulling back and forth will start and stop the associated action.

The black knob on top of wringer likely sets tension. You twist it down to tighten, reverse to loosen.

Without clear pictures of both sides of wringer head cannot say for certain, but one side there should be a switch that controls direction of rollers. One way causes rollers to move away from you, the other towards.

There also should be a "strike" button or arm which is a safety device. You bang it with your hand to instantly release tension/stop rollers in case something gets caught which it shouldn't (fingers, bosom, hair, laundry....).

Finally there has to be a reset button that engages tension after strike button/bar has been activated and or wringer rollers stored apart (as seen in photos above).

Post# 1102296 , Reply# 7   12/28/2020 at 11:25 (813 days old) by roscoe62 (Canada)        
Wringer Control

That machine looks like it is in excellent condition. The control for the wringer is on the left where you see the indentation, or as you call it, the clutch. If you grab on it and push away from you, it should engage the rollers forward and vice versa to reverse the wringer. If it doesn't move it could be seized. My friends mother who died just a few months ago had one just like it, any chance of seeing the inside of this machine?

Post# 1102297 , Reply# 8   12/28/2020 at 11:44 (813 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Kenmore Wringer Washer ?

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Hi Timm, could you post a close-up of the model # tag that is in your 4th picture so this machine could be identified ?



Post# 1102302 , Reply# 9   12/28/2020 at 12:53 (813 days old) by Spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        
Model number tag

Here is the model tag

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Post# 1102310 , Reply# 10   12/28/2020 at 14:25 (813 days old) by Spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        
Inside of gearbox

As I mentioned, I cleaned out a lot of the thick 5 decade old grease. I was able to turn the clutch a bit however with the motor running, the gears are not moving with the motor. I suspect the drive shaft is likely glommed up as well. Not sure if I want to delve any further as I’m not a repair guy.

Any recommendations on a market for these old classics?

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Post# 1102319 , Reply# 11   12/28/2020 at 16:29 (813 days old) by geoffdelp (SAUK RAPIDS)        

Hi Timm ... perchance, is there a setting on the dial of the front of the machines that says "HOLD" or "WRING"? Usually turned to the first position on the left. On the Sears Visimatic machines, the wringer could only operate if in that position. Beautiful machine, by the way! :-)

Set the dial with the machine on, and then try turning on the wringer. Worth a shot! :-)

Post# 1102322 , Reply# 12   12/28/2020 at 17:12 (813 days old) by Spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        

No setting like that Geoff. I turn the motor on and you can hear it, but trying to turn the clutch and you just get knocking. The gears aren’t turning.

Post# 1102324 , Reply# 13   12/28/2020 at 17:28 (813 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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try moving the lever on the RIGHT labeled WASH either to the left or right until it engages then set the dial in the center to a few mins, the agitator should begin to move back and forth.  The center dial is the timer which when set will cause the agitator to turn off when the time it is set for is reached.  The LEFT lever is for the PUMP to empty the tub when your through washing.


The WASH lever is what engages the the motor to the transmission.  The control on the left hand end of the wringer is what engages the wringer.  Turn it one way to feed the the clothes through the wringer from the washing machine tub.  Turn it the other way to feed the clothes through the wringer from the rinse tub.


Its really a very simple process.  Play around with it for awhile to familiarize yourself with the operation of the machine.


Good luck and have fun.



Post# 1102329 , Reply# 14   12/28/2020 at 18:31 (813 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

jamiel's profile picture
Could it be a push-pull somewhere on the wringer (rather than a turn/twist?)

Post# 1102331 , Reply# 15   12/28/2020 at 19:10 (813 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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It also appears that your machine has a filter tray (the red plastic ring).  This fits on top of the agitator and the end of the drain hose that fits into the hole on top of the right back side of the machine is aimed into the filter tray.  With the filter tray in place aim the end of the drain hose towards the tray and engage the pump lever.  The wash water will then be constantly recirculated thru the filter tray as long as the pump is on, thereby filtering the lint from the wash.  This machine was a top of the line wringer washer for Kenmore.


The white bar in front of the wringer is the safety release.  In case, god forbid you get a finger in the wringer hit the release bar and the tension on the wringer will be released along with your finger.   




Post# 1102339 , Reply# 16   12/28/2020 at 20:27 (812 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Lacking an owners manual and thus working in dark so to speak, am still going with you don't know how to get wringer going rather than it being "gunked up".

These machines were built to last and take fair amount of abuse, wringer washers of all sorts sat sitting for ten, twenty, fifty or more years have started right up when plugged in. But owners knew (or soon found out) how to get things going properly.

If tension isn't properly set and or safety mechanism engaged,wringers on most washers won't go no matter what one does.

Maybe a long shot, but look-up long established Kenmore washer repair services in your area or adjacent. You may luck out and reach an old school person who remembers this machine and can offer assistance.

Post# 1102351 , Reply# 17   12/29/2020 at 00:07 (812 days old) by Spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        

Thanks Eddie - I will try it with the agitator working sometime tomorrow and then report back.

Post# 1103201 , Reply# 18   1/4/2021 at 23:15 (805 days old) by Spudpotatohead (Phoenix)        
No dice

Finally got back to the machine to try it with the motor on, agitating and the rollers still wouldn’t turn

Post# 1106684 , Reply# 19   2/4/2021 at 05:08 (775 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
This SQ wringer washer looks oddly in ways like your Kenmore IMHO.

Like yourself owner is from "up North" as well.

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