Thread Number: 95004  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
Tips for a novice looking to buy a wringer washer.
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Post# 1196456   1/2/2024 at 20:42 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

Hello All,

My Mom has decided she would like to replace their new style washer with a wringer washer. We've been searching locally for one in decent shape. My Dad and I are both DIY repair inclined/capable so maintenance and repair isn't much of a concern. I was hoping to get some advice prior to pulling the trigger on one though. Is there anything I should know when looking for one? Anything I should be looking for or at? Anything to avoid? When would you say a machine is too far gone for novice restoration?

I've noticed and read that Maytag washers are the easiest to get parts for as they're either newly manufactured or new old stock. I'm aware of Cottage Craft Works as a source for parts, but are there any other sources? Another brand that seems to pop up around here (southeast Missouri) is Speed Queen. Are parts for those easy to come by?

So far the contender seems to be a Maytag N2L machine. We have a few other leads on machines we're trying to follow up on before making the final decision. My Mom went to check out this particular Maytag and noticed a few things:
-some slight/faint rust spots within the tub
-possible worn drain hose
-slightly damaged agitator
-disintegrating lid gasket/seal
Otherwise the machine looks to be in good cosmetic shape and is complete. She also said the rollers seemed to be "fine for now." My Mom wants me to go check it out as well to see what I think since I'll be the one working on it (along with my Dad I'm sure). Is there anything specific I should be looking for/at? The current owner said the motor needs to be replaced. Should we decide to go with this one I have a few questions:
-I've read to use a porcelain enamel kit to fix scratches and rust spots within the tub. Is there any particular kind or brand that should be used?
-I read that any generic 1/4hp 1740rpm motor is a suitable replacement. Is there a specific size/dimensions of a motor I should be looking for?
-What about re-finishing/painting the exterior of the machine? What kind of paint and/or enamel should be used or is it best to just leave it be if there's no rust?
-Concerning parts such as the drain hose, do I need to buy a replacement from the likes of Cottage Craft or is there a cheaper (no offense) alternative?

Forgive my ignorance. I look forward to learning more about these as we go along.

Thanks in advance!

Post# 1196490 , Reply# 1   1/3/2024 at 17:06 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Maytag wringers have the best support in parts, I don't think any other manufacture comes close to that now. Maytag was very conservative about using the same parts for nearly 50 years (used the same gravity drain hose for over 60 years) so there were very little changes. In my opinion, they should have introduced a 2 speed motor by at least the 1950's but that never happened.

Having owned 10 Maytag wringers from 1926-1970's, I would recommend getting a J2L(P). It has a bigger tub and larger wringer rollers than the N2L, is porcelain coated (unlike the E2L), and has a removable cover that makes loading/unloading clothes much easier. It also helps gauge proper loading easier since the tub is completely open. I would also recommend finding the rare lint filter agitator that was available as an option in these which helps filter out hair/lint/whatever else. Get a pump model (the "P" in J2LP) if you're using it near a standpipe or in place of a conventional washer.

There are other wringers available that had larger tubs, 2 speed motors, timers, wringer heads that were a little safer and easier to use, but parts availability is non existent which is a huge problem if something needs to be replaced.

Having used many different wringers, they are fun for occasional use but will drive you mad in the long run, especially if you have more than 2 people in the household. Just a warning. They are extremely reliable, simple, and durable. They will outlast the best machines made today several times over, that's for sure.

Post# 1196498 , Reply# 2   1/3/2024 at 21:11 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Trying to find a good wringer washer

combo52's profile picture
My main question is why do you want a ringer washer unless you just like playing in water and having more time than you know what to do with they don’t work better than automatics.

I can understand the desire to have more of an old-school washer you can get the same good washing action And much better water, extraction and economy by getting two older style automatic washers and saving the water from one to the next or you can get one old style automatic washer and continue reusing the water and just pull the clothing out of it and throw it in a newer washing machine to rinse and spin the clothing there’s all kinds of ways I think to achieve what you’re probably trying to do Without the danger and inconvenience of trying to use a wringer washer.


Post# 1196519 , Reply# 3   1/4/2024 at 10:25 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

@combo52 - Like I said, this is what my Mom wants. My wife and I are happy with newer machines. At home it's just my parents and no one else. My Mom is convinced one of the old types would be more reliable, but I think it's also partially nostalgia. Who knows, she may decide after a while that she would rather have a newer machine again, which is fine, but this isn't my decision to make. I'm only helping do what I can to get her what she has her heart set on.

@qsd-dan - Thanks for the great information! It may take a while for a machine that fits the bill to pop up around here (or we may end up having to go out farther). Any opinions or advice on Kenmore (Whirlpool OEM) machines? I may go check one out this Saturday. From the picture I was sent it looks decent enough, but a closer inspection will tell of course. There's very little information about them online and absolutely nothing about this model anywhere (1105702801). I've attached the picture I was sent. The seller says the motor runs when plugged in, but that it needs a belt. I've seen a video on the Pink model Kenmore and that one didn't use a belt at all, but perhaps this one indeed does. The nice thing about that particular video is the guy does some work on one so it gives me an idea of what kind of maintenance could be involved. That being said, I think I'd be capable since they seem fairly simple.

  View Full Size
Post# 1196520 , Reply# 4   1/4/2024 at 10:52 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
The Kenmore is a 1957 model.

Post# 1196523 , Reply# 5   1/4/2024 at 11:55 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

@Repairguy - thanks!

Post# 1196536 , Reply# 6   1/4/2024 at 21:55 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

We went to check out the Kenmore. It looks nice in person. No rust in the tub and not too bad elsewhere. It seems much of the mech is stuck due to age. The motor runs or at least tries, but the agitator wasn't moving. This machine doesn't use any belts. I'm able to move it by hand easily though. The lower roller on the wringer moves in both directions, but the top roller won't go down enough to make contact with the other roller or be held in place. Otherwise the rollers seemed to be in great shape with no cracks. There's also some oil leakage from the gear box (am I using the correct term?). I'm sure this is due to the old cork gasket wearing away. The water pump seemed to turn by hand, but again with the stuck levers and whatnot it didn't make proper contact with the wheel on the motor shaft.

My novice guess is that with some proper lubrication this thing could work properly. But of course that's just my guess. It would be great if I could get it going. We didn't buy it, yet anyway, but are keeping it in mind.

There's one, possibly a few more that we are going to try to check out locally and weigh our options.

Post# 1196548 , Reply# 7   1/5/2024 at 08:38 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

Can anyone tell me if the wringers are supposed to function the same across the board for the Visi-Matic wringers? In this video (

?si=Nau1GX8gq4Tvst8a) the top roller is automatically lowered and locked in place when the guy engages the wringer. Are all of the Visi-Matic wringers like this?

Post# 1196550 , Reply# 8   1/5/2024 at 09:19 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

Nevermind, he pulls a lever to engage the top roller with the bottom. I bet I didn't even notice that yesterday. Anyway, I'm not sure if both pieces on the top sides of the wringer should be popped up like that or not, but it's possible that's normal and if I had tried to engage the roller properly I wonder if it would have worked.

Post# 1196560 , Reply# 9   1/5/2024 at 20:06 by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

If the motor was working but the agitator wasn't turning, are you sure you had the agitator engaged? There is usually some kind of lever on the front or side of the machine to start & stop the agitation. If the motor is stuck its usually just because it hasn't been used in a long time. If its one of the old round GE motors you can get them apart and oil the bearings on either end without too much problem.

Wringer washers are supposed to be stored with the pressure released so as not to cause a flat spot to develop on the rollers. You do this by pressing the safety release and the top roller "pops" apart from the bottom one when you finish washing for the day. If that was the case when you went to look at it that's good news signalling it was stored properly.

The pump and agitator controls on wringer washers are usually just mechanical linkages of some kind. If they've been sitting for a long time they may just need a bit of coaxing &/or lubrication to get them going again.

Often times when you have a wringer washer on its side it will start leaking oil fairly quickly.

I don't have any experience with those Whirlpool made Kenmore wringer washers but it seems they have a good reputation and they definitely have a following.

Good luck!

Post# 1196564 , Reply# 10   1/5/2024 at 21:50 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

Yes, I'm fairly certain I was unable to engage the agitator. The levers for it and the water pump were both stiff and hard to move. I tried to move the lever by hand (and not the switch on the front), but I don't think I was able to move it all the way. I didn't have a ton of time to look at it, but it seems promising and we may end up with that one.

Yes, the rollers were stored released. As it turns out with this particular style of wringer, the top left pulls out to engage them. I wish I had known that before, but that means there's still hope that it engages fine since I wasn't doing it correctly.

I had read somewhere that you shouldn't store or transport a wringer washer on its side because of oil leakage, but I wasn't sure if that only applied to earlier models or certain kind. While I was there it was only on its side for a brief moment while I inspected it. Considering the mechanism will need to be worked loose, do you think it will be very problematic to have it on its side while working on it? It may be a good idea to make new cork gaskets for it anyway, unless under ideal conditions they shouldn't wear out?

Post# 1196566 , Reply# 11   1/5/2024 at 22:13 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Transporting WW on side

launderess's profile picture
That usually is for Maytag wringer washers, but may also apply to others.

If you are dead set on getting a WW my advice echoes others; go with a Maytag.

There are tons of Maytag wringer washers out there in various states from horrid to nearly new.

Maytag wringer washers also have the largest stock of new or otherwise parts out there. Whereas for other wringer washers parts may be hard to come by or totally none existent.

Before Maytag ended production of their famous wringer washers they (IIRC) ramped up production of spares. Thus even today some thirty years later you can almost quite easily find NOS parts. Also there is an Amish concern who purchased molds, tools or whatever from Maytag and produces new parts. Amish love themselves wringer washers and Maytag is their top choice.

Post# 1196591 , Reply# 12   1/6/2024 at 12:02 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

The availability of parts is definitely a plus, but here in rural Southeast Missouri it hasn't been much of a honey hole for possibilities. Since neither I nor my parents have a truck or trailer we don't have much of an option to travel a great distance for one of these. Much of what we have been able to find are rust buckets. Thus far the Kenmore is the best one I've seen. I'm going to check out a Maytag right now, but at the very least I know it needs a new motor, belt, agitator, and we'll see if anything else. Their asking price is $200 for it. If I could get the Kenmore for $50 I'm leaning towards it being worth the gamble. Who knows. I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch, but I really appreciate everyone's input and advice!

Post# 1196595 , Reply# 13   1/6/2024 at 14:00 by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

It looks like the service manual that applies to a 1957 Kenmore Wringer Washer is available on the site as well as a an owners manual for a later machine thats probably similar.

If you have to transport the wringer on its side just try to minimize the time its left that way. WW's usually have a way to add more oil if necessary. For easier transport you can usually lift the wringer head off some way.

There should be lots of threads & information on the site about these Kenmore or the Whirlpool versions of these machines. I believe next to Maytag, these and Speed Queen sold very well at the time and they seem to come up fairly often. Try searching for Visi-matic if you are having trouble locating info.

One thing I do remember hearing about the Kenmore/Whirlpool's is that the open top wringer is safer than some of the others out there. If you need parts however, you'd probably have to either wait for a parts donor to show up, modify a similar part or fabricate something on your own. However, wringer washers are much simpler mechanically than automatics so there is considerably less to go wrong and this one may work just fine for years and years without much attention. John is a Whirlpool expert, he will probably chime in at some point if he has time and provide some better insight on these.

This post was last edited 01/06/2024 at 19:49
Post# 1196616 , Reply# 14   1/6/2024 at 19:49 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

Thanks for the info. The Kenmore is about 30 minutes away. The Maytag turned out to be a bust. It would need more replaced than it would be worth at the price they wanted. Everything was rusted and seized. On top of that it seems like someone tried to "rig it" a little.

Post# 1196881 , Reply# 15   1/10/2024 at 15:35 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

We ended up snagging the Kenmore for $50. We'll be picking it up Saturday. Here's hoping it all goes smoothly.

Post# 1196953 , Reply# 16   1/12/2024 at 00:19 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Lets hope

stan's profile picture
Elisha comes back to share more pics and his progress with the Kenmore.

Post# 1197065 , Reply# 17   1/13/2024 at 20:28 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        
It's alive!

After a bit of Seafoam Deep Creep to the switches/levers the agitator engaged without so much as a hiccup! The wringer also engages just fine now that I know how to operate it. The tension is perfect and there doesn't seem to be any issues thus far. The mechanics to position the water pump need to be worked out some more, but I don't see that being hard or taking much longer. So far I don't see any oil leaks, but time will tell. The timer is non-functioning it seems, but I didn't take much time to mess with that. My Mother doesn't plan on using the timer anyway.

Here's some short videos:

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Post# 1197066 , Reply# 18   1/13/2024 at 20:36 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Am almost certain these are Whirlpool built machines. As such you can find service manual for WP wringer washers in the library.

May not be able to find exact match but should provide some information.

Post# 1197068 , Reply# 19   1/13/2024 at 20:52 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
My '47 Kenmore has to have the timer turned on to hold position or minutes to turn the motor on, then the agitator and wringer work. You can always gravity drain it, if there is a pump problem.

Post# 1197149 , Reply# 20   1/14/2024 at 20:20 by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

Congratulations on the acquisition and great job getting it going!

If you want it to shine up a bit I use Mothers California Gold Carnauba Cleaner Wax on the painted parts after they've been cleaned with simple green or even ordinary dish soap and hot water. Just squirt some on a microfiber cloth, rub into the paint and buff with a clean microfiber cloth after its dried. As an alternative there is a member on here that uses Turtle Wax Chrome Polish on the paint and says he gets really good results, you could probably shine up the chrome on the wringer with that too.

The timer is likely a mechanical one - if there is a way to get the back off you could try a bit of light oil on the gears and maybe some slight heat from a hair dryer to get it going again.

The pump being mechanical as well likely just needs a bit of coaxing to get it going. Like you said, shouldn't be too difficult.

Congrats once again and be sure to keep us up to date on your progress!

Post# 1197190 , Reply# 21   1/15/2024 at 16:19 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

@Laundress, yes, the service manual for Kenmore wringers on here covers this 1957 model. Also, yes, it's a Whirlpool OEM.

The pump seems to turn fine. It's just a matter of getting it to move properly so it will hold tight to engage with the motor.

Thanks for the insight on the timer. If I can get it going then that'll be cool. Currently the agitator goes even when it's in the off position.

As for the polish and whatnot, I've seen someone use some Mother's chrome polish on the wringer and whatnot. For the rest of it, yes, some good cleaner wax I'm sure would do a fine job. I intend to give it a bit of touchup or a new paint job entirely with some Rust-Oleum appliance epoxy on the skit of the machine and lid. The porcelain doesn't seem to need any touchup. I'll get some better pictures the next time I'm working on it.

Post# 1197883 , Reply# 22   1/25/2024 at 12:14 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        
Progress being made

Alright, so I made some progress with getting this thing going. Forgive me if I use some of the wrong terminology for parts. I removed the wire that connects to allow for engagement and disengagement of the water pump and gave it a good workout with Deep Creep along with some light brushing with a small wire brush on a dremel to the top shaft. It now moves as smooth as it should and the pump is able to engage with the motor properly. I also removed the pump and opened it as it was not able to turn completely. After cleaning out the gunk and removing the oxidation preventing movement it left two small holes in the metal. We patched that up with some JB Weld and hopefully that'll do the trick. If we should be using something else please don't hesitate to say so.

Before the hoses began to come apart from age we poured a bit of water into the tub to see if it would leak and it did not. Speaking of leaks, I haven't noticed any oil leaking out of the gear box so hopefully that'll hold up fine. The hoses are toast though. Any idea where I should be looking to source some new hose? Is it something that will have to be custom ordered? I've never had to shop for new hose like this, but I thought about calling around to some local places and seeing if they have any idea or could supply it.

Post# 1197884 , Reply# 23   1/25/2024 at 12:17 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        
Also, concerning the timer

I forgot to mention that after getting the control panel removed from the front it appears that the timer is not hooked up at all. There are two wire terminals with nothing attached. My mother is not concerned about it, but out of curiosity I tried to find some info about it in the service manual. If I'm reading it correctly the timer would have been tied in with the power cord? If that's the case then the power cord on this machine is not the original. Am I alright just to leave it alone or would it even be a hassle to hook it up again?

Post# 1197887 , Reply# 24   1/25/2024 at 13:10 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
How bad are hoses?

Hose from tub to pump/drain you should be able to fit a lenghth of standard modern sort.

From pump to drain hose what you have may be salvagable.

From another member who restored a vintage Kenmore WW:

"I initially thought the hose needed replacement, but after running hot water through it and conditioning it with Armorall, it is fine...a little stiff, but not brittle. It has the coolest metal "cup" that shrouds the upper part of the hose and is used for the hanger."

See R10 @

Other members have improvised new pump to drain hose.

While you have pump out of machine why not take it to local automotive supply or similar place, match hose that fits port diameter, then purchase whatever length is needed. This or simply measure diameter of port drain and order standard drain hose online or otherwise purchase.

Here is a YT video of someone working on their Kenmore WW.

Post# 1197909 , Reply# 25   1/25/2024 at 19:45 by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

Congrats on getting the pump going and nice to see a progress update! I haven't run into holes in a pump yet but I've seen several threads over the years with JB Weld being used to repair pin holes. If it fails for some reason, there is also plumbers epoxy that some have used to repair holes in tubs and I've often wondered about some of the Flex Seal products but haven't ever tried them yet. I'm sure it will be fine with JB Weld, just keep an eye on it for awhile but others who have used it for this purpose can chime in.

As for the timer, if it were me I'd probably prefer it be functioning. They are handy on a WW. I would expect there should be a wiring diagram in the service manual so I would just follow that to hook it up again. However, there may be a reason someone disconnected it so I'd get out a multi-meter and do some testing with the timer running and not running to make sure. Thats assuming its mechanical and it will countdown and click along once engaged.

For hoses, Launderess has given some great ideas. If you find a junked washer somewhere you might be able to salvage some hose to make something work for the drain and the tub/pump hose. I did use a product called Magic Wrap which I believe is a poly-butyl plumping repair tape to fix a cracked hose underneath my WW. Its interesting stuff and its held up for several years now with no issues.

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

Post# 1197952 , Reply# 26   1/26/2024 at 08:55 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

The hose is disintegrating. It broke off completely in several places beyond repair. A local farm & home has rubber hose. I'm going today to check it out and make sure it fits. From what I measured it should take about a 3/4in hose which is available there.

Unfortunately the manual doesn't address how the timer is wired in at all.

Post# 1197955 , Reply# 27   1/26/2024 at 09:24 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Whirlpool Wringer Washer Technical/Service Manual

launderess's profile picture
From AW's library site does speak to timers, but not much detail.

Only talks about two types; mechanical or electrical, and how to test latter via continuity in case of suspected malfunction.

From a quick glance a my copy of downloaded manual your 1966 Kenmore WW closest WP cousin would be LPW series

Post# 1198068 , Reply# 28   1/27/2024 at 12:15 by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

Hope you got lucky at the farm store with the rubber hose!

As for the timer, is it actually mechanical or does it have a motor on it? If its mechanical, when you set it on a time does it start clicking away and eventually advance to off?

Post# 1198225 , Reply# 29   1/29/2024 at 11:27 by rocksolid87 (Missouri)        

I'll have to double check the timer, but I don't think so. I believe it's electric.

As for the hose, well, a 1 inch is too big, but a 3/4 inch seems slightly too small. I wonder if there's some in-between size?

Post# 1198262 , Reply# 30   1/29/2024 at 22:40 by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

I'd be surprised if its electric on a WW, most were mechanical I believe but I could be wrong. Maybe take some pictures including the back and the two terminals you mention and post it here if you are not sure.

If its mechanical, when you set it (other than HOLD), it should start clicking away even if it isn't plugged in or hooked up. If its mechanical and it isn't clicking along, eventually reaching OFF, then it may need a bit of coaxing to get it going again or could be completely broken hence why it was disconnected in the first place. If it does click along, test the two terminals you identified with a multi meter and see if you get continuity when its on and no continuity when its in the off position.

As for the hose, in between 1 inch and 3/4 inch would be 7/8 inch. You should be able to find something like that, it seems like dishwasher discharge hoses are 7/8 ID per the link attached. Or like Launderess suggested, take it to an automotive part shop and see if they can match something up.

Another thing to note, sometimes rubber hoses need to be softened up a bit in hot water to get them to slide onto a port.


Post# 1198308 , Reply# 31   1/30/2024 at 16:40 by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

Those are good machines. Do you have the agitator cap?
I hope your mother has one of those glorious old "set-sinks" for rinsing!

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