Question about Maytag Neptune MAH5500B Front Load Washer

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Top loading washer dances all over the place- have leveled it to

Perfection and checked the tub springs for weakness - still does it

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  • jimmy1543 Dec 17, 2008

    OK... Here's the problem. My Sears Kenmore, not Maytag, washing machine likes to take walks during the spin cycle. I have checked the suspension springs and they are all attached. I replaced the water pump, just in case there was enough water at the bottom of the tank to throw off the balance. I have the washer perfectly level, front to back, side to side and it still moves @ the spin cycle. Any other suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thanks, Jim

  • jimmy1543 Dec 18, 2008

    Thanks Dave...I'm in the process of checking the top balance ring right now. I'll let you know after I'm done with this and your suggestions. Have a great day!

  • jimmy1543 Dec 18, 2008

    Thanks Dave...I'm in the process of checking the top balance ring right now. I'll let you know after I'm done with this and your suggestions. Have a great day!

  • jimmy1543 Dec 19, 2008

    Dave:



    I checked the btop balance ring and there is fluid inside. Holding the rig upright, it is half full. Is that right???? I cleaned the cement floorinf and all four legs. The launry load varies to heavy - light and it still does the walk. Should I replace the suspension spring, balance ring or both. Springs are $8.00, / Ring is $40.00.



    Thanks again!

    Jim

  • jimmy1543 Dec 19, 2008

    Dave:



    I checked the btop balance ring and there is fluid inside. Holding the rig upright, it is half full. Is that right???? I cleaned the cement floorinf and all four legs. The launry load varies to heavy - light and it still does the walk. Should I replace the suspension spring, balance ring or both. Springs are $8.00, / Ring is $40.00.



    Thanks again!

    Jim

  • jimmy1543 Dec 19, 2008

    Dave:



    I checked the top balance ring and there is fluid inside. Holding the rig upright, it is half full. Is that right???? I cleaned the cement floorinf and all four legs. The launry load varies to heavy - light and it still does the walk. Should I replace the suspension spring, balance ring or both. Springs are $8.00, / Ring is $40.00.



    Thanks again!

    Jim

  • jimmy1543 Dec 21, 2008

    Although many of the solutions could have fixed the problem, they did not correct my problem. I'm still waiting for an answer to the top balance ring and it's fluid level. When I turn the ring upright it shows half full or empty, which ever you choose to call it. Is this right or does the ring need to be full of fluid. There are no visible leaks when shaken by hand.



    Thanks, Jim

  • 1manny Jan 07, 2009

    I am having the same problem with a top load Maytag washer, except that is inconsistent. Some times the drum will bang against the inside front of the waher, causing it to travel about. Other times it is fine. I took the top off and could find nothing wrong. I expected to find springs, broken or otherwise, but no springs at all. I checked level front and back and that was good. I don't know what else to do.



    PT

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I presume this is a topload machine. Depending on model there are a couple of different foot designs, one has four independent feet - are all four feet firmly planted? Many models have rear feet that 'self adjust'. When the machine is tilted forward, the rear feet adjust so that all four feet are firmly planted. If this is not the problem, then there are some questions: If you open the lid, is the basket centered? If not, you may want to intentionally 'unlevel' the machine so that the basket is better centered. Is there anything slippery such as fabric softener under the feet? What type of floor is it sitting on? Floating smooth floors (those laid on a substrate layer) are the worst. Try cleaning both the floor and the bottoms of the feet. Putting double sticky tape under the feet might help. Does it walk every time? The water in the balance ring(s) might be missing because of a 'rub' causing a hole in the balance ring. Are you washing 'lumpy' items (picture a bowling ball ;-) ) if so, you might consider additing additional items to better distrubute the load.

Posted on Dec 17, 2008

  • Dave49085 Jan 06, 2009

    Jim,
    Sorry I didn't get back sooner. This response goes to an address I don't check every day. Wow, I can't believe that this was written before Christmas. I hope by now you have resolved your probllem but just in case you haven't . . . . Regarding the balance ring, that is not the problem. They should be about half full. (they should also be locked in place) I gather from your response that you are mechanically inclined - this is good. I still have some questions, one is: did the machine work OK and then start having problems? It seems that sometimes the shipping pins get hung up during an initial install. If you can move the basket around freely, then the problem should not be stuck shipping pins. It should be able to move around several inches at the bottom of the basket. I'm sort of stumped about other solutions. I have quesions like: How old is the machine. Old machines can break one of the three suspensions springs OR the counterweight spring in the rear of the machine. Does the machine walk every time? If yes, then it could be a broken spring (suspension or counterweight). If not, it might be the way it's loaded or a 'lumpy' load. Does it walk a little or a lot? If just a little, have you tried the double sticky tape idea? If it walks a lot every time, then I'm stumped.

    Again, sorry about not getting back sooner.
    Dave




  • Dave49085 Jan 06, 2009

    Jim,
    I forgot one thing to look for. Does the machine bang the cabinet during the spin cycle? This could be related to the centering of the basket and tub inside the cabinet. Sometimes they tend to lean to the rear. The rear counterweight spring can perhaps be 'stretched' to help it center itself.
    Dave


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There are a number of things that can do this. For a top-load machine, an out-of balance load can get noisy. Many GE washers have bungee-cord type straps at the top of the tub to dampen out-of-balance gyrations. If these break, you get a lot of rattling. Other washers (some older Kenmore models for example) have a spring-and-bar arrangement under the tub. If this freezes up due to rust, or something breaks, your washer will bounce a bit. Older Maytag washers may dance around if the baseplate is worn out. In all washers, bad tub bearings can make a racket; you will often have leakage as well.

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The most common cause of vibration issues during agitation and spin cycles is an unlevel washer. The washer needs to be properly leveled front-to-back and side-to-side and be placed on a firm foundation in order to prevent vibration. The following link can give you some added pointers on how to level your washer:

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3868923-level_whirlpool_top_loading_washer

Whirlpool manufactured top loaders have an auto-leveling mechanism on the rear feet that needs to be adjusted first. Once the rear feet are set, adjust the front to match the back, by turning the front feet. Make sure you check the level side-to-side as well. DO NOT place the level on the washer lid when checking the level as the washer lid is usually bowed and will not give you an accurate reading. Place the level on a flat area of the top panel frame. Once you have the washer leveled, you can place nuts on the front feet to lock them in place and prevent them from becoming unleveled. The rear mechanism should be rechecked periodically by following the procedures in the link I provided.

If you verify the washer is level and still have problems, you may need to check and see if the suspension springs and counterweight springs are all still intact and in place. The springs help keep the tub leveled and are supposed to prevent it from banging along the sides of the washer cabinet. The following illustration shows where the springs are located:

http://pcappliancerepair.com/model-display.php


The springs are listed as items 3 and 15. There are a set of 3 each and are located around the base frame under the wash tub. To access, you need to remove the exterior cabinet of the washer for a full view of the washer internal components. DO NOT lay this washer on its back. The gearcase (transmission) is full of oil and laying it on its back can cause the oil to leak out of the breather vent on top of the gearcase. The following link explains how to remove the cabinet:

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3631789-washer_case_removal_whirlpool_top


The suspension plate (item 17) is another cause of vibrations. The plate has replaceable pads (item 16) that wear out sometimes and require replacement. If the pads are worn down, it can cause the plate to sit unlevel and cause vibrations. This is not as common as a loose suspension spring or unleveled washer, and it requires the removal of the wash tub in order to access. I would begin by verifying if your washer is level, first.

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You may get mixed reviews about this, but I have seen it work for homeowners. Plus, its a less expensive option than hiring a contractor to firm up your sub-flooring or joists.

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See the Whirlpool / Kenmore installation and maintenance manual for these washers.

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