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Kenmore Elite Washer Does Not Spin

Kenmore Elite washer (110.20992991) drains without spinning until cycle knob is pushed/pulled. Replaced clutch, but problem still exists.

Washer does not begin spinning prior to rinse/drain cycle. However, pushing/pulling (stopping/starting) the cycle knob without turning the knob creates 'knock' sound and allows the spin to begin. Seems that pushing/pulling the cycle knob releases the brake so the spin can occur. Is the brake released electronically or mechanically?

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This a basic Kenmore / Whirlpool top load, direct drive, neutral drain (it doesn't spin until the pump removes most of the water) machine.

First, see the Sears parts site for your washer:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/getModel!retrieve.pd?modelNumber=110.20992991

and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.

The brake on these washers is driven by the clutch on top of the transmission.

The Kenmore / Whirlpool top load uses a reversing motor to initiate the pump for draining and the transmission to spin.

This is a Whirlpool PDF on how these washers operate. It has a detailed section on how the transmission works.

https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/f7e2147fa98b28cf85257122007475cb/$FILE/L-55.pdf

It also has a troubleshooting guide.


If the washer drains the problem is likely in the transmission.

We had the same problem:

If you lift the lid, put it down again or stopping and starting the cycle knob, and the washer begins to spin, the problem is likely in the transmission "Neutral Drain Assembly".

Those cams/gears etc. in that assembly keep the washer from spinning until all of the water is pumped out and then go into spin mode.

Apparently, by opening and closing the lid, or stopping and starting the washer torque from the motor starting throws the cams into the right gears so that the washer will spin.

Ours had the same problem, no spin unless the lid was raised and lowered or we shut off and re-started the cycle.

After looking at the transmission parts list (available on a number of sites) and on the Whirlpool site (Whirlpool makes Kenmore) we noticed that the one of the cams in the neutral assembly which is supposed to have a small spring, didn't on ours when we tore the transmission apart again

http://shared.whirlpoolcorp.com/assets/pdfs/literature/Repair%20Part%20List%20-%20W10114743.pdf

Found the part number for a kit (Whirlpool part number 388253 Neutral Assembly) for $15.00 and replaced the cams and gears.

In order to get the transmission out, you have to remove the cabinet, the fabric dispenser and both agitators. The top agitator uses a plastic 1/2" drive bolt (a 1/2" socket extension works well).

You don't have to remove the drum.


http://www.american-appliance.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=16&newsdesk_id=137

Lay the machine down (after disconnecting power and hoses, remove the pump (two clips), the motor (two screws hold two clips on the motor), lift and set the motor aside, remove two 1/2 inch bolts for the motor mounting plate and three 1/2 inch bolts for the transmission.

Pull the transmission, remove the clutch (there is a spring clip that holds the clutch on the main agitator shaft, remove the 8 screws carefully the transmission holds 14 - 15Oz of oil, remove the clip holding the main spin gear on and check the plastic cams.

If the cam that should have a spring doesn't, or the others look damaged, the washer won't go into spin mode.

If that's the problem, install a Neutral drain kit, put everything back together carefully and the problem may be solved.

As an aside, fixing ours cost less than $30 including 80-90 weight gear oil vs. $170 for a new transmission.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009

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The brake is released mechanically. The knock you're hearing is the brake releasing.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009

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