Question about Washing Machines

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We have an 8 year old Kenmore 43042 front load washer. Recently the washed clothes came out with polka dot grease spots everywhere that looks like greasy water passed through them on the rinse cycle. I cleaned the large rubber door gasket which was very dirty. Washed several more loads with no problem. However, a couple weeks later, same problem. Washer is also noisier than normal. Sounds like bearings to me, but I'll defer to the experts. If we need a new washer, would also appreciate a couple recommendations

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  • markwhit Apr 10, 2011

    I didn't mention a smell and haven't noticed any strong smells. The issue is the polka dotted stains on clothes. However, I'll try your solutions. Is the drain pump filter easy to find and clean?

  • markwhit Apr 10, 2011

    I have tried the vinegar and hot water suggestion, but haven't tackled the clean the pump, hoses, and filter step yet.

    I'm still concerned about the noise and saw another post discussing bearings and grease stains.

  • markwhit Apr 11, 2011

    Macmarkus,
    Thanks for your suggestions. I think I have two issues going on here. I opened up the front based on the first reponse I got and took the hose off the pump. I discovered thick build up of scum on the "anti-reverse flap" or whatever you call it. I'm surmising that it was not closing all the way sometimes. My polka dot stains seem to appear when I choose an extra rinse (which I have only done a few times just recently). This seems to coincide with the stain problem. I either get a big problem or no problem. Nothing in-between. Perhaps the extra water with the extra rinse has something to do with it.

    On the other hand, I also think my bearings are wearing out. I didn't take off the back panel but I noticed black stain/spots on the bottom plate when looking through the front panel. Looks like it could have come from fast spinning as there is some on the side wall as well. No rust that I could see or other kinds of leakage. The spin cycle is noisy and has a slight grinding sound. Nothing major but noticeable.

    I plan to continue using it (and just use the "normal" spin speed instead of "fast") and hope to get more life out of it while I research a replacement for the future. Do you have any suggestions on good, efficient and reliable front loaders?

    Again, thanks for your help. Any further comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Mark

  • markwhit Apr 11, 2011

    Thanks again. I'd be interested in those step by step instructions, so that I can make an assessment of being able to repair it myself although it sounds a bit daunting from your earlier email comments. Does it require special tools and/or two people? Other than the apparent failing bearings, the machine is in good shape and works fine. If I could get another 5 years or so out of it, it could be worth it.



    Another thought on a new washer.... Are the new top loaders more reliable than the horizontals? I know that they are normally not as efficient, but are cheaper to purchase. My wife would prefer a top loader (I like the horizontals).



    Thanks,

    Mark

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Hello Mark,

Welcome to FixYa

Based on your description I suspect the rear bearing as well, you are probably right. Either the bearing is wearing causing the noise and also spots on the clothing from rust & grease or the inner basket is separated from the spider gear...but I think it sounds like a rear bearing.

Very common for these machines unfortunately, and it is a very involved repair for the inner basket and rear bearing.

Here's how to begin to check...

**Unplug the unit from the wall before attempting any of these service tips...safety first**

You'll need to check the stainless steel basket for up & down play/wear. Open the door to the basket and by way of grabbing the inner basket move it up and down and see if it "feels" like it has play or wear. It should not move any independently from the outer assembly.

Also remove the rear panel to inspect the basket & spider gear attachment. Check for any signs of leakage or rust behind where the arrow indicates...the tub bearing. If you spin the belt off and then spin the basket and the tub has a "growl" to it as you spin it, that is a bearing as well.

We have an 8 year - macmarkus_511.jpg

If you think you're up to it I can help in whatever manner possible with those Frigidaire washers.

I'll watch for your reply. Good luck.

Regards,

Macmarkus :)

Posted on Apr 10, 2011

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  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 11, 2011

    Hello again Mark,



    You may be alright for a little while, but it does sound like a bearing failure is imminent.



    Maybe keep the "extra rinse" cycle out of your future washes for now, since the water level doesn't get quite as hi in the wash cycle as it does in rinse and that may be the cause of the spotting as the water washes against the back wall seal and bearing.



    As for potential replacements, I typically refer to the Whirlpool built machines...which can include Kenmore, Maytag, Kitchen-Aid, Amana etc. but I also really like the european models of Miele, Bosch, Asko and AEG, though with the exception of Bosch they can be very expensive.



    I do not like the LG or Samsung despite their usually great prices and selling features...parts are a pain to get and they are built to throw away in 5-10 yrs. as parts become no longer available before the unit is that old often...in my experience.



    Thanks again for choosing FixYa. If ever you do decide to repair your machine I'd be glad to assist you in guiding you through it and provide step by step instructions or a repair manual.



    Regards,



    Macmarkus :)

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 12, 2011

    Hey Mark,



    I can send you a generic service manual of the Frigidaire frontload washer tear-down, but you'd need to provide an email address, it's your call but it may simplify my explanation.



    As for that tear-down, this is it in an abbreviated manner...



    The entire tub assembly can come out through the back, and in fact is much easier that way...in my opinion. It may require two people though I do them alone.



    **Unplug the unit from the wall and move it out into a space you can remove the tub...safety first**



    1) Remove the top and back panel and remove the fill hoses, give yourself lots of "elbow room".





    2) Loosen and move the motor, 5/16 head bolts...







    3) Next simply insure all hoses attached to the tube are removed, a) dispenser to tub at top, b) tub to pump on bottom, and c) the plastic air-dome fastened to the tub on the bottom right (from front) i.e.

    a)


    b)


    c)



    4) You'll also need to undo the door bellows by removing the spring retainer then curl the boot into the tub to remove the plastic tub in the front.



    5) The one fastener at the front bellows for the door opening can be a challenge, however I built my own "special tool" for this job...it consisting of a 1/4" copper tubing pinched on one end shown here.





    Then the bellows will slide off and out of the way,







    6) One last thing I can think of is to insure the shock absorbers are not attached, this actually is easier done after steps 3c...my mistake.


    Use a 1/2" socket and a screw-driver to push the shock pins through and the shocks come off.



    These shocks are the more modern style and will likely differ from yours, but you can upgrade in a kit as shown here...they are less prone to breakage.






    7) Direct your attention to the top again and remove the metal hold downs ( yellow arrow, these are already out in my image) over the springs...



    8) Finally, the entire tube assembly is quite heavy with the concrete counter-weights still in place, however I just find it easier to lift the entire assembly out via the tub springs on each side and then remove the weights once out (you may opt to try and remove them before taking the tub out...not easy though).





    I think this should cover the essential steps, let me know if you think I've missed something. I have to confess most of this comes automatic as I'm performing the repair, as such it's possible I've missed something.


    Good luck


    Regards,


    Macmarkus :)

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 12, 2011

    Also to address the second part of your last post...



    "Are the new top loaders more reliable than the horizontals? I know that they are normally not as efficient, but are cheaper to purchase".



    I'm not sold on the top load "He" washers yet, seem to be plagued by many of the same issues. However, the old tried and true Whirlpool direct drive washer is by far the most reliable and service friendly washer ever made...and I mean EVER.



    Dollar for dollar you cannot get a better washer in my opinion. I know they may not be a popular choice for eco-friendly folks ( and I like to do what I can via repairs and recycling...but ) they are just better built and more durable...in my opinion.



    Thanks again for choosing FixYa Mark. Good luck.



    Regards,



    Macmarkus :)

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  • Master
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Hi

The smell usually comes when the washer is unable to drain water completely, you can run your washer at its hottest temperature setting with 1 cup of vinegar inside the unit. After this take off the bottom front panel and clean it completely, also clean the drain hose and drain pump filter, the gunk should disappear after doing all this. Hope this helps...please post back for further assistance.

Daniel

Posted on Apr 10, 2011

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  • Daniel Scott
    Daniel Scott Apr 10, 2011

    Yes it is easy to clean as it is located inside the front bottom panel....sorry I wanted to write stains dont know why I have written smell instead... :)

  • Daniel Scott
    Daniel Scott Apr 11, 2011

    You can buy Whirlpool washers....and if you want to replace the bearings yourself then check this video:


  • Daniel Scott
    Daniel Scott Apr 11, 2011

    Please click on this link for some of the best washers in market.

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