We have a Kenmore washing machine that recently developed a problem.
The load was out of balance a bit, and instead of shutting down (isn't
that how it's supposed to work?) it started banging violently and I had
to run in there and open the lid to stop it.. since then, it's worked
ok, but has developed a unhealthy whirring sound whenever it's
spinning. The agitation works ok (and sounds normal), and it still
spins.. but it sounds like the motor is really struggling and something
in there is not matching up properly, kind of like a pair of gears that
aren't aligned right or something. I don't know a damn thing about
washing machines, so am at a loss on what to look for. I gather this
machine is direct drive and that there aren't any belts to worry about.
Basically, I'm wondering if this is a motor/transmission issue, and
if it's worth digging into at this point... if the repair bill is
likely to be high, I'll just retire it and pick up a new one.
Not sure about the Kenmore 60... is this one of the old GE built ones? I had
a family member who had one and it appeared to be just like my GE.
At any rate... if it is, I had a GE Heavy Duty that would go off balance and
one time it did this so violently that it produced sounds just like the
tranny was bad. I went out in search of a used one and a guy told me that on
top of the motor there was a clutch with brake shoes in it and that a
bearing had given up. I didn't buy the story and the Mrs kept using it until
I could find a new tranny or washer until one day it started to stink and
scream amd when I looked at the top of the motor there sure enough was a
large upside down brake/clutch drum... only running it that way had shook
the parts lose and they went bad, too. I found another motor (with the
smaller drum for one speed) and slapped it in there with a nice tight new
belt and re-leveled the machine and it is doing great as the second 'heavy
soiled' machine down there. Sure wish I'd have listened at the bearing
concept as that would have been $7 for the part as opposed to paying someone
$35 for a used motor (they're getting harder to come by around here now).
Like I said... I don't know your machine or sound, so one of the pros would
be better to answer, but here's a note:
When I asked the one guy about a tranny he said 'you haven't told any
regular repair men that, have you? They'll be happy to come tell you they
put in a new tranny when it's only this 7 dollar bearing!' Heh.
But, really... I just feel my way along and someone with actual pro
experience would be best to answer.
Re: 'whirring' sound while washer's running: if your machine is a
direct drive, this is often caused by something caught in the pump,
and in about 50% of the cases I see, it can be removed pretty
easily. Motor and tranny problems are pretty rare on these. The
coupler (has replaced the belt) can make this type of noise, but
it usualy happens in both ag and spin.
One of the most common pieces of pump debris, amazingly, is
a stray bra underwire. These work their way through the basket
holes and down the tub outlet hose, into the pump.
I could be a lot more helpful if I had your model number, but
getting to a direct drive's pump's pretty easy.
Here are instructions for replacing the pump; they'll help you access
it, step by step:
Pull the pump off the motor (snap off two clips, leave the hoses
attached) and run the machine while holding it out of the way
(bypass the lid switch plug with a piece of wire or alligator clip
jumper). If it runs quietly with the pump off the motor, first hold
a shop-vac hose to the drain hose end and run it for about 30
seconds to clear the water from the tank, pump, and hoses. Then
pull the hoses off the pump and look into the pump ports. You'll
usually the debris, and it can often be removed with a long-nose
pliers or hemostat.
Don't continue to run it while it's making this noise, though.
Depending on the type of debris, it'll wear a circular hole right through
the pump, usually on the front side, and then you'll def. have to replace
the pump (but they're not too expensive...), and all that water won't
do your floor any favors, either.
If it's a direct drive, don't be in a hurry to replace it. 'Best washer on
the market for the money right now...
Hope that's of some help.
Dave's Repair Service
New Albany, PA
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