Kenmore 417 front loader washer: There should be class action suit on this machine!

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I meant "robust" in term of reliable..... not complicated or fancy
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OK... but why such a design? Why couldn't they make it so that the bearing only could be replaced?

Yep!! That's what is wrong with mine.... the seal failed and slung grease and oil everywhere.... then the bearing failed

Agree on that. Wish Id never bought this unit
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Agree
Yes.... I think it is this model in fact
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My Whirlpool was here when I moved in, 1994. It's gotten light use since then. I had to oil the motor in 1994, and then again a few years later. And the timer got sluggish, I had to take that apart, and reoil it.
Only seven years? Bah!
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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On Jun 25, 2:19 pm, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

I had the same problem with my washer (same model). I wound up fixing it myself for a couple of hundred dollars, and it's as good as new. I was able to get a new complete drum assembly for that price, and simply swap it. Other people have reported being able to simply replace the bearings for about $50 or so, plus 2-3 hours of work.
More information here: http://applianceguru.com/forum2/834.html
If you really want to get a new washer, the people on that forum speak highly of the Staber washer. It's a horizontal-axis washer (like the front loaders), but it's top-loading. It also has 2 bearings (one in the front, and one in the back), so there would be less load on each one.
Good luck!
Rob
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

But how hard was it to replace that drum assembly by yourself? Looks like a mess of bolts and nuts and screws in there!

have looked into Stabler.... might consider it
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On Jun 27, 9:44 am, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

I replaced the entire drum unit (inner drum, both outer shells). I was able to get the part from Sears (Canada) for 152.99 at the time. Apparently, the part costs $300-400 in the US right now.
It was actually pretty straightforward to do the swap. It would have taken longer if I wanted to replace the bearings only (I would have had to take apart the shell, and it would probably add a couple of hours to the job).
Here is the guide I followed to remove and replace the drum set: http://www.zenzoidman.com/documents/RearBearingV6.pdf
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Kenmore-417-front-loader-washer-There-should-be-class-actio-228602-.htm danbernards wrote: Dear Me, (a disgruntled Kenmore 417 purchaser)
Yes, you have reason to complain. As a single, you only do a couple of small/medium loads a week at the most. I have the identical problem. I could hear the bearing going just after the original warranty ceased. My unit was put into service April 2002, I got less than 800 loads before the bearing failed completely, but the failure was gradual, noisier and noisier, water started leaking just in the last year.
Sears dropped the ball on this one. I am going to bunch it and purchase a new one. At 800 loads my cost after the Oregon energy tax credits and the Sears rebate was just $.56/load not counting energy cost, much less than the $3.00/load at the laundromat; nonetheless, a bearing properly engineered and manufactured should last the life of the machine in family service, that is minimally 7500 cycles.
Dan McMinnville, Oregon
snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Kenmore-417-front-loader-washer-There-should-be-class-actio-228602-.htm biguggy wrote:
Why is anyone surprised that bearings fail in these machines? I have serious reservations about the adequacy of these bearing arrangements with out taking into account the following The spiders in these machines are manufactured from aluminium alloys, which are capable of being corroded by almost all laundry aids used, including HE detergent, should the required concentrations be reached. The product of this corrosion is aluminium oxide, the same very hard gritty stuff that is the grit on the orange coloured sandpaper. Now most of this aluminium oxide will adhere, very strongly, to the spider: A very small percentage will be dissolved in the water and some will be carried in suspension in the water making a very effective grinding paste. In my opinion the soft lips of the shaft seal stand very little chance once this occurs with the result that the seal fails allowing water into the bearings which destroys the bearings in two ways, the normal corrosion of steel in water and the added destructive power of the grit abrading the bearings.
Many posts on many sites claim that the corrosion of the spiders is due to galvanic action. I do not agree, I believe it is primarily chemical corrosion.
Should the corrosion have been galvanic between the stainless steel drum and the aluminium spider the majority of the corrosion would have been at the junction of the two metals i.e. at the ends of the arms. I have seen no photographs of spiders corroded in such a manner, nor read of any similar descriptions.
Aluminium, and its alloys are corroded when immersed in an aqueous solution with a pH value above about 8.0 or below about 4.0 (nitric acid is a well known exception). All detergents have to be above about 8.0 or they would not work. The Material Safety Data Sheets put out by Proctor and Gamble state that the pH for one of the liquid Tides is 8.0 and for one of the Tide powdered detergents as 11.0. Bleach, (sodium hypochlorite) is also very corrosive to aluminium. I should add that for corrosion of the spider to take place these levels are considerably above the levels found in a washing machine during the wash/rinse phases of the cycle.
Sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium percarbonate found in some laundry aids (Affresh and Oxi-Clean [powder]) are also corrosive to aluminium, as is borax, provided the required concentrations are reached.
I believe the mechanics of the corrosion are as follows. Even after the fastest spin small quantities of water will remain on the shaft and towards the centre of the spider. Any recesses in the spider close to the centre will aggravate this situation. This water will contain contaminants, unused detergents and other laundry aids used, soil from the laundry, products of the reactions between the laundry aids used and the soil from the laundry, chemicals contained in the tap water used and the products of any reactions between these chemicals, the soil and the laundry aids used. Should sufficient of these contaminants be present the pH of the mixture can, as evaporation takes place, rise to a level where corrosion will take place.
Corroded spiders can be seen at: -
http://fixitnow.com/wp/2009/10/28/front-loading-washer-corrosion-contagion-a-menagerie-of-metallic-misery /
http://softsolder.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/sears-kenmore-he3-washer-drum-the-rot / for a LG spider http://www.viewpoints.com/LG-TROMM-Front-Load-Washers-review-33dc10
For information on galvanic corrosion there is a very good paper at: - http://www.unene.ca/un1001/UN1001_Galvanic%20Corrosion.ppt
For information on chemical corrosion of aluminium (or micro galvanic corrosion as the author calls it, I grew up calling it pitting corrosion) there is an informative paper at: -http://www.sintef.no/static/mt/norlight/seminars/norlight2003/Postere/Gaute%20Svenningsen.pdf
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On 06/18/11 07:31 am, biguggy wrote:

http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Kenmore-417-front-loader-washer-There-should-be-class-actio-228602-.htm
<snip>
This a rather old thread to which you are responding, but I'll throw in my 2 cents' worth.
We've had ours for about 9 years, averaging two or three loads a week, and it's been noisy for the last several years. When it was still in warranty the controller failed and was replaced free, and I asked the service guy about the reports I had heard of bearing failure. He said it was usually caused by using non-HE detergent and that replacement of the whole drum assembly was a 2-person 4-hour job -- no bearings available separately -- costing big bucks. I have since read that bearings are available but not from Sears. If ours quits I may still try to fix it myself, as we have the dryer stacked above it and that dryer might not fit a different washer.
My major gripe concerning this washer was that when it was delivered they took the shipping braces away with them although the user manual says to keep them in case the machine needs to be moved again -- and when we did move I had to *buy* a new set of shipping braces. I mentioned this to our friendly Sears person in our new location, and she said not leaving them behind was common practice and that I probably was the only person who had ever read the part in the manual about keeping them.
Perce
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Kenmore-417-front-loader-washer-There-should-be-class-actio-228602-.htm biguggy wrote:
I know it is an elderly thread but it is still, in my opinion, a valid subject. To my knowledge Sears were still selling machines with the same part number inner tub and spiders in May of 2010 as the ones sold in 2001. So the same failures can be expected to keep occurring for a while yet. Assuming that you have a Kenmore 417 or 970 (the Canadian variant), or a Frigidaire, or even a GE (the same machine was marketed, with minor differences but the guts were/are the same by all three companies). For my two cents worth, if I were you I would get at your machine before more damage is done. The more the bearings wear the greater will be the run-out of the inner tub with respect to the outer tub. This will allow the screws securing the baffles or vanes in the inner drum to score, perhaps to perforation, the outer drum. Additionally even if your spider currently has little or no corrosion it is likely to be toast because the sleeve on which the shaft seal runs is likely now scored or grooved to such an extend that it would be a very unwise to re-use it with a new seal. A cheaper repair for you, should you have access to a Sears parts warehouse in Canada is to get the tub kit, part number 970 134453200 for C$229.00 (last quoted to me in March of this year) plus S&H plus taxes, which includes inner and outer drums complete with spider, seals, bearings and pulley. Sears at the same time quoted me C$259.00 for just the inner tub and spider, go figure. Unfortunately the tub kit is not available in the USA.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:
...

...
Went thru this here just a couple days ago--Sears _MAKES_ nothing; they own and retail several brands manufactured on contract for them; Kenmore and Craftsman the two largest...
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Kenmore-417-front-loader-washer-There-should-be-class-actio-228602-.htm biguggy wrote:
You are quite correct. The subject of this thread is the 'Kenmore 417' and I was just pointing out that the same basic machines, all built by 'Frigidaire (Electrolux), are/were marketed, by Sears, Frigidaire and GE. The majority of the parts being interchangeable
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My model 418.431xxxxx spider assy failed. Can only repair by replacing entire drum assy. Item 16 in the installation manual and parts list. Roughly $350. You can buy just the spider.
According to page 2 of the sears guide that came with washer states unlimited lifetime warranty on the steel basket drum.. Which is according sears documentation is one unit.
I going to sears warranty to force the issue for and entire assy or sell me the spider itself. Can purchase spider in UK with warning its not intended for USA models. Garbage protection I bet to keep prices up here.
Wish me luck.
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