Whirlpool Duet Washer Drain Problem and Solution

My Duet stopped draining the other day. I checked the drain hose and everything seemed fine so I figured something was wrong with the pump. Not having any kind of instructions I lugged the thing (all 300 pounds) out of the drain pain and into the middle of the room so I could get the back panel off. As luck would have it the pump is in the front and can be accessed by removing the lower front panel. I tried that first, but it seemed to have hidden screws above (which it doesn't). You just remove the three screws by the floor and work it free (apply extra elbow grease here).
The pump has a simple plastic cap to expose the pre-impeller chamber. It turned out there was a small kids' sock in there. I have no idea how it got there because there is no hole bigger than 1/16 inch anywhere in the tub.
I am just writing this because somebody will eventually do a usenet search for this kind of problem and I couldn't find any such information when I looked.
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The problem has been listed before. How big is the sock? Might have been the Sears Kenmore version so if you looked under Whirlpool you wouldn't have found it.

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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com said...

It's not the Kenmore version, but I'm pretty sure they're the same unit.
The sock is about 3-4 inches long. It's a sock for a 4-year-old.
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Yes the units are just about identical. The Kenmore pump is right up front as you described. The main circuit board is on the left and protected from water in newer models. Mine was repaired under warranty and the guy was showing me around the insides as he fixed it.

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How old is the unit? Wouldn't this type of thing be covered under warranty?
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The good part of the warranty is only 1 year and it is about 1 1/2 old.
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Not usually.
Appliance warranties usually state, "We (the manufacturer) will repair or replace any part of the appliance which fails to function due to *defects in material or workmanship*". They do not cover everything which could possibly happen during use, just those things they are responsible for (the manufacture of the appliance).
I'm sure there's likely a notice somewhere in the manual about watching out for small items going astray.
You can read a bit more about home appliance warranties at the following link:
http://ng.appliance411.com/purchase/warranty.shtml
JFYI
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Whirlpool+washer
=~~~~~~
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I like our Kenmore version but seems to me they screwed up the inner door. If it came down further it would not let clothes get damaged during spin cycle (rare but multiple complaints about it) and stuff would not end up under the seal.

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Hi,

Good tips!! :)

Small socks and such can make there way around the edge of the tub :( http://www.applianceaid.com/laundrybag.html Ever have trouble with a sock in the pump??..or small articles of clothing getting lost somewhere after the laundry is done??
The avobe may help.

jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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If you're going to be attempting repairs yourself, it might be handy to have a repair manual? You can get one for that model washer at the following link:
Whirlpool - Kenmore Duet/HE3t Washer Repair Manual http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rc 25824

Glad to hear it didn't damage the pump which often happens when something gets into them. It makes it especially important that you check pockets for loose coins and stuff.
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Whirlpool+washer
=~~~~~~
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Yes Dan, that's all fine and good... But there's still the unsolved mystery... Exactly how *did* a sock make it's way through a 1/16" hole and into the pre-impeller chamber?
I think I speak for everyone here on this N.G, and quite possibly the rest of the civilized ,machine-washing world, when I say that I think it's high time you appliance guys told us exactly where the heck those missing 2,386,435,211* socks are.
*missing sock count-to-date calculation result courtesy of M.I.T. If all the missing socks in the world were laid end-to-end they would circle the globe 12 times.
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I just had the Sears service people in today to do a yearly inspection (part of the extended warranty). He showed me that at the door where the rubber gasket is in front of the tub, if you push on it, there is a cavity below it. He warned me that this is something we should be looking out for as it is a perfect place for things to get lodged. Perhaps this is where the sock left the tub and got pulled into the guts? He told me he found 2 $100 bills in there for a customer!

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The cavity is not a secret. It says to check in the instructions or video tape.

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Who said it was a "secret"?

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Your situation is instructive for other readers. You were successful in finding the sock, but any trained service person will know that access is half of any job, which means getting to the part that needs to be repaired in an appropriate manner. You did no damage by taking off the rear panel of your Duet washer, but in some cases, taking certain screws off the back of a washer or dryer which is front-accessed will allow some inner workings of the unit to drop down and require a service call just to repair that, before dealing with your original problem. You will be charged for the damage done while working on a unit yourself, even if it is covered by a warranty or service contract, since these cover defects in parts and workmanship or problems due to normal operation. A warranty would not cover a sock in the pump, but a service contract would. Neither covers damage that you inflict on the machine through carelessness, negligence or self-repair.
Everyone thinks that they can fix their own machines. There are multiple reasons for any one problem, and a trained service professional will know how to access each component, perform the proper test, and replace the appropriate part and any other part that impacts the problem, while giving you advise to avoid future repairs. An appliance owner needs to consider all the possible scenarios, access to part purchases, the theory behind the operation of the machine, and the time and hassle of research and repair, before attempting a self-repair. Sometimes having someone else do the work for you is one of life's little pleasures.
Todd
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I had problems with a Sears Kenmore version of the Duet from day 1. 4 mechanics worked on the noise and vibration problem. I finally called Sears and told them to send their best or pick it up and give me a new one. They sent their best guy who found 3 major defects with it (the best being that the bottom of it was not properly attached to the sides of the cabinet). He had Sears pick it up and send me a new one which has been fine.

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