Tip & How-To about Washing Machines
This advice is for the Kenmore Elite, Whirlpool Duet and Maytag Epic FRONT LOADER style washing machines. A lot of concerns have been raised about door bellows molding, mildewing, and/or ripping and needing replaced. Hopefully these helpful steps will eliminate the need to call a repair service and pay the additional labor charges.Just follow these steps:
1. Unplug the washer.
2. Remove the washer top panel by removing the three torx-type screws (or 7mm) where it attaches in the rear of the washer. The panel should slide back, and then lift off.
3. Remove the operator console by removing the dispenser drawer and the scew(s) behind it. Take a putty knife and insert it under the console seam right above the door. If you push in slightly while pulling outwards the panel pops off. Use care not to pull or damage any of the wiring. You can leave the wires attached and simply lay the console across the top of the washer out of the way.
4. Locate the wire hoop retainer around the rubber door boot. It is located behind the rubber seam where it attaches to the door frame. Follow this hoop around to the bottom of the door opening and locate the wire tension spring. Gently pry this spring apart and pull the wire hoop from the groove. Pull the rubber boot from the frame and push it inside towards the wash tub. You will also have to remove the door boot from the fill tube on the left hand side of the door opening. There may be a small wire clamp holding it in place.
5. Remove the three screws that hold the door latch assembly in place. This is on the right hand side of the door opening. You can leave the latch in place as long as you remove the screws and push it inside slightly to remove it from the front casing of the washer.
6. Remove the door by removing the screws holding the hinges in place. Use care to support the door hinges when loosening. They can bend. Set the door aside in a location where it will not get stepped on or broken.
7. Remove the lower kick panel under the door. There are 3 screws under the bottom edge holding it in place. You may have to propup the front feet of the washer for better access (a 2x4 works well for this). With the screws removed, the panel will drop down, then come off. Sometimes the panel can stick. A slight tap on either side will knock it free.
8. Remove the front washer casing by removing the four remaining screws that are holding it in place. There should be two at the top and two at the bottom. Set the front casing aside.
9. Remove the old door boot by locating the large clamp that attaches it to the wash tub. Loosen the 7mm nut and the boot will detach from the tub. Also remove the boot from the fill tube coming from the dispenser.
10. Install new door boot on the wash tub and install clamp. There should be instructions that come with the door boot with guide marks to ensure you align it correctly. Once you have the boot in place, tighten the clamp enough to where it is snug. DO NOT over-tighten or you may damage the tub and or clamp. In most cases the clamp will break.
11. Once you have the boot in place, re-install everything in the reverse order of how I explained to disassemble. Make sure you connect the door latch assembly BEFORE you re-install the outer portion of the door boot. Also, make sure you install the boot completely over the fill tube. There should be a ridge on the tube where to stop. Sometimes the tube is not inserted all way into the boot and water will leak behind it. The clamp is always difficult to get back in place. If you cannot get the clamp to go back over the tube, you can live without it. Some newer models do not have them installed. Just make sure it is a snug fit where the rubber boot fits ALL the way back to the plastic ridge on the tube.
12. When you get the point where you are ready to install the door boot back over the frame of the door opening ensure you fit it snugly all the way around the door. Beginning at the top of the door, start inserting the wire hoop back into the groove. Make sure the wire spring points towards the bottom. As you work your way around the door to the 4 and 8 o'clock positions, you will need to maintain some constant downward pressure while pulling the spring apart in order to snap it back into place. It would be advisable to use a second set of hands to hold the wire hoop in place while doing this as it has the tendency to want to come out of the groove.
13. Once the door boot is back in place, re-install the operator console and washer top.
14. At the operator console, select DRAIN SPIN, NO SPIN and press any button under OPTIONS 4 times (has to be the same button, though). This will place the washer in diagnostics mode. You should hear the door latch lock and "C00" will be displayed on the console. The washer will run through a series of tests filling the tub, tumbling, draining, and then a final spin. If you do not wish to wait for the test to complete you can press CANCEL at any time. The test checks out everything and takes about 15 minutes. Look for any leaks. Diagnostics procedures may differ between models. Refer to the technical data sheet that comes with your washer for instructions if these procedures do not work.
NOTE: There is another method you may try as well. Although I do not prefer this next method because these washing machines are very heavy, an alternative way of replacing the door bellow is to remove the lower toe panel and tilt the washer back at a 45 degree angle instead of removing the washer front panel. If you use this method, make sure it rests against the wall and will not tip forward. This allows the wash tub to drop down and away from the front panel and gives you access to the the rear bellow clamp through the bottom. This can save you some time.
I hope you find these instructions helpful and good luck to you.
Posted by Jeff... on
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