Frigidaire front-loading washing machine is taking NAPS!

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I have scheduled an appointment with an appliance repairman but would like your opinion about the following.
Age of washing machine: 8 years (purchased in March, 1998) Initial purchase price: About $800 Usage profile: 7 to 10 loads per week (About 3000 loads of clothes have been washed; yes, I am a geek and have a tally mark going...) Repairs-to-date: Just one repair, a leaky water pump was replaced in January 2003, $75 parts + $45 labor.
Now, all of a sudden, the washer is taking LONG naps!
When I start the washer, it runs fine for a few minutes, then, on its own, shuts down or sleeps (door lock indicator remains on). After about 5 to 10 minutes, it starts again and runs for 5 to 7 minutes. This pattern continues until the washing is done.
It is going through all the wash, agitate, rinse, ..., sping, fast spin, etc. cycles. It is also using all the soap, bleach, softener, hot water and cold water, properly. When the washing is finished, there's no difference in the quality of the wash. All settings for wash, extra rinse, etc. are working fine. I have opened the top & back covers, and there's no blockage of the vents near the fan. There's no burnt smell indicating any motor burn-out or anything.
Looks like a sensor or timer malfunction.
Q1. Has anyone seen this behavior on thier Frigidaire or any other front loading washing machine?
Q2. The machine has 2 years parts+labor warranty; 5 years parts-only warranty; and 25 years (!) drum-only warranty. I feel GUILTY about throwing and buying a new machine, when 99% of it is fully functional. At the same time, it probably does not make sense to pay $300 or so to repair it. Any guesses on what it might cost?
Q3. I called Frigidaire and their response: call a servicrepairman. Any tips for furtehr diagnostics? I have made simple repairs to some home appliances in the past (microwave, stove elements; electric oven, etc.), but a washing machine seems like intersection of electronics + electrical + mechnaical -- so it may be out of my league. Any tips for further diagnostics?
Thanks a lot.
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They're not so darn dependable, huh?
W ; )
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snipped-for-privacy@rocketmail.com says...


That would be Maytag (now Whirlpool).
--Gene
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I know. I was making a little joke.
W ; )
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check the pressure and temp of the water inlet.
I have seen this sort of behavior when the machine is draining or filling and low water pressure is causing it to take a long time to fill.
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deja snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Sorry, don't have an answer for Q1 or Q2. Q3. Try this place http://www.repairclinic.com
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On 28 Dec 2005 15:58:02 -0800, in misc.consumers.frugal-living "Don"

Mine did that for awhile then it got worse and worse and it's spin cycle stopped. It needed a new motor.
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deja snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

Do you have the manual, is there a troubleshooting guide in it. There may be a schematic troubleshooting guide inside the machine. I looked and the Frigidaire website will let you download the manual. Are you using low suds soap?
--
---
Charles Quinn
  Click to see the full signature.
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deja snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I agree with another poster: motor overheating. When it cools down, the machine picks up where it it left off.
Is the motor overly-warm at shut-down time? If so, check the directions for replacing the motor - it may be something doable for anyone whose hand fits a screwdriver.
If it IS the motor, more than half the repair bill will be the markup on the motor. See if you can get the replacement motor yourself and pay for only the labor to replace it.
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HeyBub wrote:

I just went through this, and that matches my problem. The machine was dead. Later, I played with it some more; it hummed, but no movement. The motor was very warm. I removed it, and it was somehow bound up and I had to use a pliers to turn the shaft by hand. Oh, that's not good.
I surfed around, and found a replacement motor for my Amana (Maytag?) at pcappliancerepair.com
This motor came with a new pully, and the motor switch/connector as well.
The motor and a new belt were $118 and change. I chose 2-day air for shipping, but they emailed and said that it was too heavy, and offered 2-day land for even less money. So I said sure! (Local repair shop wanted $165 for the motor.)
New motor works and I have no complaints. The repair was pretty easy.
Note: As long as you have it apart, remember to check ALL WIRES in the machine. In my dryer, I once found that the wiring insulation had been scraped off by some sheet metal, and had actually been arcing for some time. Scary...
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

mc master-carr or graingers might carry the same electric motor if you can get the numbers off the old one. chances are all the major appliance makers use off-theshelf parts.
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Thanks to all those who responded. Here are some more details and findings.
1. The model number is FTW445GES1 2. Problem does NOT appear tp be the motor. I touched it, and it was quite cool. 3. Quite by chance, I lightly pressed the door, and the nap ended! After that I did a test where I continuously applied light pressure on the door and it went through the complete cycle without taking any naps.
So, most likely it's the door lock assembly. In the parts catalog, it's listed as part number 131269400. A little google search revealed that this part is discontinued, and has been replaced by part number 131888900. Entering 131888900 in Froogle shows a couple of places that sell it for around $70 (plus or minus $5).
The repairman is scheduled to take a look on Tuesday, or Wednesday. I'll talk to him tomorrow and see what price he says for this part, and for service.
If you have replaced the door lock assembly in front loading washer, I welcome your tips, tricks and suggestions.
Bhoot Nath
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On 28 Dec 2005 22:24:21 -0800, deja snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If someone were kneeling on your chest, most likely any nap you were taking would end also.

Congratulations.
One of the most common problems with Frigidaire washers is that they depend not so much on soap and water, but on cooling the clothes and agitating them so the frozen dirt flakes off. So if you have more problems, be sure to check the compressor and the freon.

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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mm wrote:

???
You are loca or what?
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I have exactly the the model (FTW445GES1) showing the same problem. Also when I press the door, the wash machine starts to work. Today a repair man came and quoted $270 to replace the door lock assembly. I could not decide whether it was a good idea to pay for the amount. I am now contemplating whether to have it repaired or buy a new one.
I would appreciate what happened to your wash machine afterwards. Has it been repaired and how much was the cost?
SK
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That seems expensive. Almost half the price of a new machine. The assembly costs about $70 but it might be just the catch.
If I couldn't fix it myself I would go for a new one.

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Installing that switch is a real bear. An average homeowner would look in there and say it's impossible, and they'd be almost right.
Q (ex appliance tech)
Rich256 wrote:

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But it could be just the latch. If pushing on the door closes it the problem must be mechanical.
I think what I would do is check out the wiring and bypass it. Just remember not to open the door when it is running.
I expect it is not much more than a switch controlled by a signal from the motor or timer.
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As I recall there is a micro switch or maybe two, and a wax motor. You could indeed bypass it. You can access the switch/lock from the bottom access panel or by removing the top. You'll need to wedge something between the drum and the front panel in order to get your hands in there. It's a good idea to wear long sleeves to prevent cuts by the sharp sheet metal. There is a wiring diagram on the tech sheet which is located in an envelope glued to the side of the washer behind the lower panel.
Q

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Q wrote:

Hello Q:
There are two parts to the door latch: 1. The Washer Door Catch (Attached to the door). This is easy to replace by yourself. In my washer, this part is FINE. http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartIDx0701
2. The complete door lock /latch kit with all the wires. My GUESS is that is what my washer needs. http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID 0920
I have repaired many appliances myself, including a microwave, a bread machine, clothes dryer, etc. However, in case of the Frigidaire washing machine, the switch is next to the drum, very inaccessible. I have no idea how to proeprly replace it. I have not had the courage to tackle it ... plus, with a toddler, I can't expect my wife to be able to help if I get stuck.
As an ex-appliance tech, please tell me if the following rate for labor is fair/reasonable: $45 for the first 15 minutes, and $10 each additional 15 minutes. Also, how much time you think an average repairman would take? Got any recommendation in mid-peninsula and/or east bay of the SF Bay Area (Fremont, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Mountain View)?
One repairman was supposed to fix my machine last Friday, but on Thursday, his truck's axle broke :( So he called to reschedule -- let's hope it gets fixed this week.
Bhoot Nath.
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