According to my wife, my Maytag washer, during the Rinse cycle, tries to
fill the tub with water, but it drains out as quickly as it enters. It
never proceeds beyond this point when the problem occurs.
Unfortunately, this problem only shows up once every month or so, and every
time I try to provoke this problem or witness this, the machine runs fine.
Since she does about 5 loads a week of laundry, this failure only occurs
roughly 5% of the time, and is hard to trouble-shoot.
Is there a solenoid or timer-controlled valve which is closed to prevent
drainage during the Rinse cycle on most washers? Or is the empytying of the
tub merely controlled by the pump which is only activated when it is needed
to empty the tub after the Rinse process has been completed? My impression
is that the draining is not just done by gravity but by pumping when the
drum is being spun. My wife says the water just drains out even if there is
no spin taking place.
I have tried to find a complete schematic but have not found one searching
with Google and searching some appliance parts sites.
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
AFAIK, they all use the pump to empty as it would require a siphon
action otherwise. If it were the height of the drain tube as Ransley
suggests, it wouldn't be intermittent.
Since the water is apparently "draining" as fast as it is introduced,
that implies to me the pump isn't turning off after the initial empty
prior to the rinse start on occasion. I'd spray contact cleaner on
timer circuits and the pump contacts.
I'd suspect whichever set of contacts aren't opening every time will
eventually fail and you'll be able to find the particular portion
whether it's in the timer or the pump itself.
One last thought re: diagnostics. _Perhaps_ if had the missus just
turn the water off at the inlet and let it sit until you could arrive
to check it out might be able to catch it in action. If the pump is
running, of course, wouldn't want that to be from 8AM until 6PM or so
when you arrive home from work... :)
Pulling the plug would probably negate any chance by releasing the
contacts so on re-power the symptoms would probably disappear, but it
would leave the control timer in the as found state for a post mortem
that might be of some benefit, sorta' like looking at the flight deck
controls positions, etc., at Denver after the aborted takeoff.
Thanks Ransley and dpb for your excellent ideas. I spent some time watching
the machine go through the entire wash cycle from start to finish, and chose
the full tub "Oversized" fill setting to get the water level as high in the
tub as it will go. The discharge hose height is something I played with as
the discharge took place, and it seemed to empty fine regardless of whether
the hose was at the height of the water level or below.
Based on your description dpb, I am guessing that the timer contacts may be
sticking to keep the pump running too long after the first spin cycle, and
that the pump must therefore continue to operate when it should be off
during the subsequent fill in the Rinse cycle. I originally thought there
might be a solenoid or water valve which was operated by the timer which
determined when the tub drains. From what you are saying, the emptying of
the tub is done by turning on the pump, and this alone will determine if
water filling the tub is retained or not. That being the case, the theory
best describing what is happening here seems to be a sticky set of timer
contacts holding the pump on too long.
Since the timer is on top of the washer, I can easily get a voltmeter onto
the pump terminal and see if the timer is indeed keeping the pump energized.
Also, the sound of the pump should be obvious now that my wife and I know to
listen for it,
As you have already stated, getting this problem to happen and freezing the
conditions so I can get a look at the timer position, pump voltage, etc.
will be a bit of a challenge. Given the low failure rate, it makes it
frustrating for my wife who starts a load of laundry but cannot rely on the
machine to go through the complete wash process without checking it.
It's a pretty recent Maytag, only a couple years old as I recall. My prior
Maytags went for over 25 years, needing very little do it yourself
attention, and handling all the wash for my kids, wife, and myself without
any major issues.
A sad sign of the times is that the replacement Maytag begins to act up in
less than 3 years, and only recently has it been used often, to handle
Thanks again for the help. I certainly welcome any more help or suggestions.
That's my first conjecture. I've not ever seen a drain valve, only
fill. Drain is pump only. Then again, I've not had a Maytag but
seems excessive complication for no good purpose so can't imagine it.
While there does appear to be some basis for the complaint re:
reliability of appliances, there can be (and were) early failures
forever as well as lemons and the occasional "100,000 miler"...
Luck of the draw...
Nothing wrong with your suggestion but I'd like to add the experience of
an intermittant syphoning since it happened here. It was syphoning; I
raised the hose. Seemed fixed, but every once in awhile it'd syphon
again. Raised the hose some more; never syphoned again. The last time
I put the hose right up far as it would go and attached it to the
undercounter with a clamp; had to buy another, longer hose in fact since
I'd cut the first one.
The easiest way to sometimes get it to syphon in between was to fill
the sink, empty it, and then force the dishwasher to empty. Apparently
the water load in the piping was enough to pull the water thru. Got the
hose high enough to create a bubble when the washer was emptied, and it
broke the suction, I guess. Not sure; am sure it worked though.
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