Question about Whirlpool Calypso GVW9959K Top Load Washer

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Our wash load became unbalanced. We unloaded it, but now it won't spin. Are there things we can try before calling in a repair person?

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When your washing machine has trouble with its draining mechanisms that you are in for some trouble.Many times when you keep finding that the washer is not fully drained, you may find the washer becoming "unbalanced" which causes the mechanism to stop spinning out the water. This may be no more than an adjustment to the mechanisms that sense that a load is unbalanced.
Washing machine can become unbalanced when the wash load has too much weight in one area of the basket. A machine in good working order can handle most problems through its balancing mechanisms. However, when washing heavy single items such as comforters, the machine's tub can become so lopsided that it damages the washer.
The Problem
Washing machines that get unbalanced can shake, make banging noises, and even more across the floor. When machines are secured in one place, they can vibrate and bang so much the entire house shakes and things fall off shelves. This is not good for the washer. Bolts can come loose, and parts can break.
Leveling the Washer
Balance problems are common in machines that are not leveled properly. Place a carpenter's level across the top of the washer and if the machine is not level, adjust the machine feet. There will be one at each corner, or just two in front. You can adjust these bolts by turning them with a wrench or pliers (see Resources).
Floor Problems
Floors amplify vibrations from the washer, and any material other than concrete can be a problem. Try putting the machine on a large sheet of plywood that's at least 3/4-inch thick. This provides a heavy flat base of support for the machine, to circumvent issues with floors that are a bit uneven. If possible, fasten the plywood to the floor.
Heavy Loads
When washing heavy items such as pillows or down coats, stay near the washer so you can correct any balance problems as they occur. Some washers have an automatic shut-off feature when they become too far off-balance. If yours does not, stop the spin cycle, open the lid, and redistribute the load. If this is a continuing problem, you may want to wash heavy items at a coin-operated laundry in a heavy-duty machine.
Washing Machine Age
A washing machine tub is supported by coiled springs, pistons, or counterbalances, and this mechanism can become detached at one or more places. Also, springs and pistons eventually wear out and become unable to support the heavy weight of the water and contents in a balanced way. At this point, you may have to balance most loads of wash at some point during the spin cycle and will probably need to buy a new washing machine.
In short You can begin to balance a washing machine by checking the load of wash to see if it is causing the machine to be unbalanced. Heavy items in the washer can be one cause of this problem. Open the washing machine lid or door and redistribute the items inside. If redistributing the contents and restarting the machine does not resolve the problem, take some clothes out, as smaller loads are less likely to become unbalanced.
If a heavy load did not cause the problem, take a carpenter's level and check the washer from side to side as well as front to back. If the level indicates the machine is tilted, check to see if the washing machine feet are adjustable. If so, adjustment the feet until the machine is sitting level. If you cannot adjust the feet, try placing a piece of foam or rubber under the part of the machine that appears to have the problem.
The best surface for a washing machine, particularly a front loader, is a concrete floor. Washing machines can become very heavy weight due to the weight of the water. If the machine is not on concrete, you may want to reinforce the floor joists, if possible, which may help balance a washing machine sitting on a floor that has sagged.
The compartment inside a washing machine where the clothes are placed is called the drum. Many machines have a weight attached to this drum, designed to prevent too much vibration. Check to see if the bolts on the drum are loose, and if so, tighten them using a wrench.
If your machine is still unbalanced, it may not have been installed properly. A restraining bolt usually holds the drum in place during transport, and if this is not removed properly, it can cause problems. Check the drum for a bolt or clips and make sure nothing is blocking the drum from moving properly.

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Posted on Nov 15, 2009


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