Miele WT945 Dryer Problems - Stage 3/4 fix
STAGE 3: THE ‘PROPER’ FIX (4 hours)
Unfortunately, if you want to go further the next stage of disassembly is horribly inaccessible. The Miele man rated it as probably the most difficult job on the machine, but said it was feasible and that he would personally undertake it if it was his machine rather than move to Stage 4. The challenge is to get the fan box itself off, which extends deep down into the rear of the machine where it eventually plugs into the back of the drum. And the back panel of the machine does not come off or swing out like the front does – the back and the sides are one piece of sheet metal. So you’re stuck with manipulating the thing at arm’s length in a very narrow gap, and to add to the fun there are some very sharp edges down there.
I've now personally done this job - it's a two-person task, took us around 4 hours but is feasible.
So (omitting some of the obvious smaller tasks like disconnecting wires and cable ties as needed), in addition to Stage 2 disassembly:
- undo a further Torx bolt holding the fan box to the drum, just to the left of the outlet hole you worked on in Stage 2, and loosen another bolt near the motor which holds a slot in the fan box casing to the drum
- remove the fan motor (held by two bolts, one low and invisible on its mounting bracket)
- remove the fan box's air inlet from the hole in the back of the drum that it slots into. This is right at the bottom of the fan box and thus very inaccessible. Eventually I found a long piece of sturdy wood (around 4 x 1cm section) could be poked down to this point (between the rear of the drum and the front of the fan box) and then gently pulled forward to lever out the air inlet.
- using Corbin-type pliers on the clips, remove the four hoses that connect to the fan box (best to do this once the air inlet is free from the previous step, as you can then lift the fan box up a little with the hoses still connected, which makes access to the clips a lot easier.
- remove the fan box from the machine, and unscrew the Torx screws holding the white plastic cover (which includes the condensor unit) to the metal casing. Go very carefully here - corrosion can cause stiff and maybe sheared screws. Best to soak the screws with WD40 beforehand where they thread into the metal casing.
- remove the fan rotor by undoing the nyloc nut on the shaft. It (the rotor) is a tight fit on the shaft and may need some gentle encouragement with a hammer. Pause again to be amazed at the amount of fluff. Clean everything out fully (fan rotor, metal fan housing, white plastic cover/condensor unit, black rubber strip which seals the two halves of the fanbox together, hole at the rear of the drum which the air inlet plugs into.
- replace the plastic cover using some fresh silicone sealant around the edge, on top of the black rubber strip, to make it watertight.
- reassemble everything in reverse order. When it comes to reinserting the air inlet to the back of the drum, wet the inlet and the rubber gasket with copious soapy water. Even so the fit is very stiff indeed - just pushing with a thumb from the rear will not work. Solution: remove the white plastic cap from the inspection hole on the rear panel. Find a sturdy short cylindrical object (a large spark plug socket from a socket set is ideal) which will fit through this hole and press on the bottom of the fan box acting as a drift. Then rig up a lever (perhaps a horizontal wooden batten levering against a door frame) which will allow you to exert controlled pressure (a lot of it!) on the drift. Pack another wooden batten down the front of the drum to lock it in place, otherwise you will be wasting effort pushing the drum forward against its springs. You should feel the inlet push back into place. Look down from the top with a torch - if you can still see the sharp flange around the inlet tube, it's not pressed home enough.
STAGE 4: THE OFFICIAL MIELE FIX – FOR INFORMATION.
Miele technicians will only replace the fan box, not open, clean and refit it as described above. So the ‘official’ fix is to pay the callout charge, plus the infamous £400 for a new fan box,
on Feb 21, 2010 | Miele WT945 Front Load Washer / Dryer