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usually most areas have a USED appliance store. usually these guys will have a bunch of old fridges and stoves around outside the store. Our town has three or four of them. you may have to ask around but these guys usually have parts for cheap. and they will sometimes make house calls. try googling used appliances in your area. they may also set you up with a cheaper washer with a METAL tub.
The main motor in the whirlpool front loaders has brushes. These will wear out eventually. Does the drum try and turn when a load is started? If not the motor deserves a check. 18 months sounds short but possible. Mine took 4 years to wear down.
the unit is only 18 nmohths old then what you need to do is contact the manufacture and explain to them what is happening and if they are having simuary isssues with that particular moidel number. Possibly they are and you may be able to have it repaired on their dime! 18 months is not that long for a washer to start having these problems if you have not abused the unit by overloading the washer or over filling it with soap. Good Luck
there are 2 possible causes.
inlet valve leaking - turn water off and if water fill stops, it indicates valve leaking
valve being powered when machine off. this is very unlikely but to check, disconnect washer and see if problem stops
also, if drain is plumbed into a spigot on the sink trap, every time you empty the sink, some of the water will flow into the machine. to cure this, take the drain hose as high as possible under the sink in a swan neck