Question about Washing Machines

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LG WM3431HS condenser duct needs cleaning and I'd like to do it myself instead of paying a repair man $200.00 to fix it. Is there a service manual or other source of instructions available? I watched the process last year and have a good idea about how to do it, but I'd like concrete instructions.

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  • Anonymous Jan 21, 2009

    Same problem here, this washing machine is full of critical (and easy to catch) design flaws. Had LG done any reasonable testing of this system they would have caught these issues. I feel like the only testing that was done on this machine was in a lab, and for less than 1 week of real washing.

    You can get to the duct, and clean it out by taking the top and back panels off, detaching it (the white/cream colored duct) from the barrel and using a wire hanger to scrape the lint out. I have done this twice now in one year of use.

    I really couldn't give you any better description of what to do because there are so many pieces to take apart and I kind of have to feel my way through it each time.

    Be careful though, there are all kinds of parts that the duct is attached to which you will need to remember how to re-attach. The machine was not designed to be taken apart for cleaning, you must remove several other components before being able to get the duct free. Also some of the fasteners are in locations that are either not visible or very difficult to get to.

    Best advice:

    UNPLUG THE SYSTEM BEFORE STARTING. Kind of obvious, but you want to give it a minute so that you don't touch anything that is still holding a charge. Basic safety first.

    Take photos along the way, they will come in handy when putting it back together.

    Have a couple dishes/bags available to keep fasteners separated for the various locations you will need to disconnect along the way before you get to the duct. You don't want to have to figure out which fasteners go where once you finally get to putting it back together.

    Plan on 4 hours. Not that you will absolutely need that amount of time, but you might. It's not a quick fix, but it will save you money if you have the free time to take care of it your self.

    Have a plastic bag prepared to put the wet lint in.

    Also, consider wearing a respirator or being sure there is plenty of ventilation in the space when you finally start getting the lint out. It is likely very moldy as it has long since stopped drying during the dry cycle. I found out the hard way when I took the first batch out and got a lung full of spicy mold spores. Thanks LG!

    Hope this helps, there is a site out there which I ued to get full instructions with photos and everything on doing this. I'll try to find that and post it here.

    Good luck with your system!


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Alright - bumping an old thread but I think I have some helpful information to add. Firstly, here is a link to the service manual: http://www.espagle.org/doc/45928217/wm3431xx-service-manual-lg/ .

Second, I must warn you that I am doing this from memory (even through it was this morning).

General note: Take not of what screw goes where. There are 5-6 variations.

Steps:

1. Unplug the machine, unscrew the hot water, the colder water, and pull out the drain line from the wall (mine was just hanging into a waste water line, I assume some people have threaded connections).

2. Place the machine in a location that gives plenty of room to access the top as well as the back.

3. Remove the two screws which attach the top panel to the back. Slide the top panel towards the back of the machine, remove and place aside.

4. Remove the screws holding on the top cover/heat shield (this part should have a black tar like cover on top to protect from excessive heat). Lift the top cover and place aside.

5. Remove the screws holding on the back cover. Slide the back cover up slightly and pull the bottom of the cover out. This should free the bottom. Slide the panel downward to free the top. Place aside.

Take a look at the top of the machine, there is a large black duct that says something along the lines of "caution hot." Follow that heating duct towards the back of the machine to the circular cover (this is the fan). Now follow that downward to see the condenser duct (previously described as creamish white). This is part we are trying to detach from the rest of the machine and clean out.

In order to remove this duct from the machine we need to disconnect the heating duct/fan assembly, the small black sensor on the front of the condenser duct, the black tube connected to the condenser duct, and all of the screws holding on the duct itself.

6. Remove the screws holding the heating duct to the drum and the condenser duct. If I remember correctly, there are two at the front of the machine, three along the heating duct, and four by the condenser duct. Make sure you are removing the screws holding the entire duct to the drum/condenser and not the screws that split the duct itself.

7. Once the screws are all out, lift the heating duct/fan assembly slightly and tilt it away from the condenser duct. Place the heating duct/fan assembly on the machine with all of the remaining connections untouched.

8. On the top, front of the condenser tube there is a metal sensor attached to a rubber gromet. This needs to be removed from the condenser tube. It takes a bit of work, but it didn't seem like you could easily damage the gromet if you use a screw driver to pry it out.

9. Unattach the black tube at the top of the condenser tube by squeezing the metal clamp and pulling it away from the condenser tube. My washer had a bit of sealant/glue at the connection. I removed this with a set of pliers in order to disconnect the black tube.

10. Remove the screws holding the condenser tube to the drum. There is one on top and numerous on the back. There is one screw that is not accessible by a screw driver and requires a 5/16 socket and ratchet to remove (or some sort of angled screw driver...)

11. This should free the condenser tube. Remove it and clean out all of the lint. I used a coat hanger as well as the garden hose to get out all the lint. Also take this time to clean out any dirt you can access in the fan and the heating duct.

12. Follow these steps backwards to reattach everything, I hope you remember which screw goes where.

Its very likely I will not check back here, so good luck. I hope there arent too many mistakes in my write up!

Posted on Jun 26, 2011

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