Leaking Front Loader Washer - How long should they last?

We have a Kenmore/GE Front loading High Capacity washer. We've had it about 4-5 years. The Drum is leaking and breaking apart. We had the Sears guy out to take a look at it and said to replace the drum it would be $400+ to fix.
He mentioned that the Front loaders don't last as long as the top loaders. Seems like the top loader we had was around to 10+ years.
Are they more disposable these days? Did we get a Lemon?
Any Suggestions on a new unit? As I think the unit only cost $600 new, I'm not going to sink another $400 into it when I could put it towards a new one.
Thanks, Scott<-
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Is the drum leaking or is the rubber membrane between the door and the drum leaking?
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It is the back and bottom of the Drum. There is a clamp that is failing or something. Its been tightened but its still leaking. the Connection to the door is fine.
We've taken the bottom panel of the unit off and made sure all was dry and then could see the water coming from a few spots underneath. The Sears guy confirmed the issue.
Thanks, Scott,-

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I have heard and tend to believe that Sears repair men will always try and get you to upgrade to a newer machine when in fact there is little wrong with the old. It is almost like a salesman making a house call. It's the same thing as if there was something wrong with your car and you had a car salesman come in to tell you what was wrong. He would try and convince you to just buy a new car.
Sears will always charge a very high price to fix anything no matter how simple and say, well for another $x you can go new. It's a sales pitch to get you to spend more money. Did you know, that Sears makes more sales of home appliances (stoves, dishwashers, cloths washers, dryers, etc,) thru home repairs calls than they do thru their store show rooms? Ask some of these "repair guys" about some technical aspect of the machine and they'll stumble for an answer, but ask them about the latest models and they have all the answers at the figure tips. Of course, when you do buy a new machine they'll be more than accommodative to take you're old one away. Of course they are, they'll fix it for $15 and resell as "reconditioned". Their "repair centers" are chuck full of these "reconditioned" machines that they convinced some poor lady was beyond a reasonable repair.
Sorry for the rant, I fixed more Sears appliances for family and friends for <$20 after they had the Sears guy come in and say it would be cheaper to buy new.
Regarding your problem, it's could be a simple leak. Tightening a clamp may not be enough to fix it. Loosen the clamp, and pull the hose off. See if there is something stuck in the hose. Clean off any gunk buildup from the drum outlet and expect the hose for any rips or holes. Replace if necessary. Reinstall the hose and install a new-banded screw clamp. If you have one of those cheap clamps that you open and close with a pliers throw it away. Replace with a quality, stainless steel banded clamp that you tighten down with a screwdriver. You can get them at an auto stores or your local home center. Do not over tighten; you may crack the outlet connection. Just make is nice a snug.
If you don't feel comfortable doing this work try and see if there is a handy neighbor that can take a look.
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That must be the labor charge, right? Seems to me the warranty on the outer tub is at least 10 years. But of course that's parts only. And when you say Kenmore/GE, I assume you're referring to the smaller front load that is similar to the GE but they're both made by Frigidaire. The really large Kenmore is made by Whirlpool.
Tom G.
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Its a smaller unit, not like the Whirlpool.
See here is the thing. When the Guy comes out, I'm never there, so its either the Mother-In-Law or the Wife that talks to them.
They say, its $70 for the Visit, here is a coupon for $65 if you get a new Washer from us, or it will be $400 to fix the Existing one. I do not know if that is Parts and labor, or just labor. If its just Labor, seems a bit steep to just replace the drum?
So I should know by now to have a list of Questions that they can ask the guy when he comes, but I never think about it until its too late.
I dunno if there is a way to get a hold of the guy to ask him.
The last issue we had with the unit was that it didn't Drain right. The issue turned out to be a nickel stuck in the orifice of the pump that pulls the water out the drum. The little Change Holder didn't catch it. They would not come out to fix that either...
Any Recommendations on a new unit? Someone recommended a Staber, though they are pretty Expensive. A buddy of mine has a Miele and he is happy with it.
Thanks, Scott<-

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I have the same washer and it was leaking small amounts on the floor...the washer would usually drip a few table spoons full of water under the bottom of the plastic drum.
I was frustarted one day and really went to town taking the top cover and back cover off to watch it running while opened-up to see where the water was eminating from. I found that the water leak only showed its ugly head when the washer reached the final high speed spin at the end of the wash cycle. Turns out that the drum shell is two halves that are held together by a dozen screws all around the circumference. I tried to tighten them with a small ratchet and socket and was amazed that they all easily took a full turn each before they were snug. I was very carefully not to over-tighten so to not strip or break any. Good news is the leak is fixed.
Hope this helps
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