Any older Neptune washers worth looking into?

bookertJanuary 4, 2012

My mom has an older Neptune with the push button selections. It may need bearings... Sorry don't have model number.

There are a few LCD models, any info on those in relation to performance etc. would be very helpful. I read one even has an internal heater? Maybe the touch screen model?

Please just reply on the Neptunes for now. =)

Had one years ago and was pleased. I know about the mold issues some had.

Thanks for your help.

( I am in need of updated replies as I've read most of the previous posts )

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MAH7500 (LCD screen model) and MAH6500 (pushbuttons) have water heating. MAH5500 (pushbuttons) does not.

Maytag's "official" bearing repair calls for replacement of the entire outer tub (bearings are integral) which currently runs $450+ to $500+ just for the part. However, there's a DIY procedure for direct bearing replacement. Reference Neptune Bearing Replacement & Tony Tool Rental. I have a friend's older MAH4000 that needs the bearing job (and mold clean-up), which I will hopefully do soon.

A lot of engineering changes occurred on the Neptune from the original MAH3000, to MAH4000, to the final MAH5500/6500/7500 models. Investigate any used machine thoroughly to determine its particulars.

There were also Neptune models sourced from Samsung, different design than the original true-Maytag units. They're the 6700/8700 models, possibly others.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Wow, thanks for such great info!
In your opinion were the engineering changes a good thing?
If YOU were to choose one of the better models, which would it be?
Lastly, if YOU had to choose between buying a used Neptune, FP, SQ or Harmony what would it be?

Many thanks!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 9:15PM
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If you end up with one of these Neptunes, be sure the motor conversion has been done. The original motor control boards burned out quickly. It's an easy swap to make and Whirlpool is honoring Maytag's 10-year motor warranty (at least they did for my MAH7500AWW). Though I believe the warranty has expired on the last of the Maytag-made Neptunes.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 11:51PM
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I have had my MAH4000 Neptune since Jan. 2001. It has never had the motor replaced. At about a year and a half old the door lock/control board went out and Maytag replaced those and gave me 6 months extra warranty. So far, not another problem.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 3:01AM
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Here's a link to the tech bulletin on the motor/motor control update.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maytag TSB

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 7:18AM
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After exhaustive searching, I've found a few Neptunes with heaters. $350 approx. without delivery.
Ok, here goes.... anyone willing to comment on whether these units will operate as they should?
How will I tell if the heater kicks in?
I've looked at a few Kenmore Elite Catalyst machines, but they don't hold as much and don't have heated cycles.
What to do!!! =)
Decisions, decisions.....
Thanks for your advice!!!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 9:54PM
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If you are referring to the Catalyst agitator toploader, no they do not have water heaters. I recently refurbished a Whirlpool Catalyst pair for a friend to place at one of his rental properties. They are nice machines.

Far as I'm aware, referencing a MAH6500 that I've examined, the heater operates only on the maximum soil setting (on all cycles) but does trigger (if needed) on both hot and warm temps. Listen closely and you may be able to hear a rely click in the panel when the soil level is changed on-the-fly. Another way to determine heater operation is check the amperage or wattage draw with a Kill-a-Watt meter or other such device.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Maytag briefly sold an unusually designed Neptune top loader in their waning years that had an internal water heater (model#: FAV9800A). They were apparently very unreliable and quickly pulled off the market, even before Maytag failed and Whirlpool bought their remains. I only saw them a few times in stores; instead of the single rotating infuser plate at the bottom as on new high-efficiency LG/Samsung/Whirlpool top load washers, it has two rotating plates off at the sides at an angle, and they formed part of the tub and the whole shebang revolved during the spin cycle. During the main wash or rinse phase a flume of water would rain from above and the two discs would spin. It's certainly one of a kind though.

As for the Neptune top loader (the real ones designed and built by Maytag, which can be identified by the distinctive angled front top), they did have a few worthwhile features - a reversible door swing, an illuminated tub, and the aforementioned wraparound door that made reaching items in the back of the tub an easy reach (the more recent, also discontinued Bosch Nexxt washers also used this approach, but not quite as effectively). The later models with the wavy back panel were more reliable than the older ones with the conventional-looking back panel (or the stacked washer/dryer version), and the top-line models had internal water heating. I never liked not having a window in the door.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I have one of the lower-model Neptune TL units FAV6800 (no water heater on it). It works nicely on most FULL loads, but does not properly rollover small loads or lightweight fabrics, and sometimes a single large item. I ran a load of 17 typical synthetic blend oxford-style button-down shirts month or so ago and it did not rollover even ONCE during the wash period. The lid locks but I've removed the anchor clips for the top so I can raise it for observation with the lid remaining locked.

The water shower to which you refer is not part of the wash action, it's the fill process. The machine fills (spray rinses during spin also) by directing the incoming water stream into the back edge of the lid where it flows through a detergent dispenser assembly mounted under the lid (seen in your pic) and sprays onto the load. Bleach and softener dispenser cups are mounted at the front corners of the loading port (as seen in your pic above). Bleach (first rinse) and softener (last rinse) are dispensed by directing (via separate diverter solenoids) part of the fill flow through the lid into auxiliary channels that spray into the cups to make them overflow into the tub.

While they are interesting and unique machines, I do not recommend them due to the poor- to non-existant rollover that results on some kinds of loads.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 11:52AM
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2nd paragraph of my previous post should have read "as for the Neptune front loader.

Wow, never knew anyone who had one of the Neptune top loaders; I thought based on the design of the lid (and what I remembered of their promotional materials) that the water was constantly running, as with some of the current HE top loaders (and some old machines as well). I thought there wasn't even a way to run the machine with the lid open, even with the lid switch disabled. Can these fill to the top or only 1/4 or 1/2 way? (I assume only partially, since the high-end model with the water heater would take forever to heat a full tub of water with only 120V/15A power).

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 6:12PM
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There is a way to "trick" the lid lock but it's tricky and awkward. The lid cannot be opened during fill more than about an inch or the incoming water stream aimed at the rear edge of it will spew everywhere. It's easier to remove the clips and raise the entire machine top (with the lid remaining closed/locked).

There is no recirculation spray, the load just tumbles.

There are two water levels. The highest level (used for the final rinse on all cycles, and all fills on the Bulky cycle) is approximately to the hubs of the tumblers. The normal fill is about half that much.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Drove an hour to find out one of the used appliance stores I called didn't have what they said they did....arg!
Waiting for a call tomorrow from one other store and a third said they have to repair the unit they have on hand.
I'm gonna hang in there for now. I would benefit from the heated units for sure! I usually always select the highest soil setting even for lightly soiled items. I like longer cycle times.
Regarding the Catalyst machine, it wasn't in the best shape, heavy usage maybe. Only one to choose from, but the appliance salesperson said they were quiet machines.
Another appliance store I had called said they aren't good for heavy usage, and said they are good but break down easily. ??? Why?
Seems you can find lots of machines when you "don't" need one! =)
Looking forward to the outcome to say the least.
Thank you for the info it's very beneficial!

I did see a few of that model, but none in person.
I will steer clear, thanks!
Had a Bosch FL for a short time years ago, but it didn't do well in my wood foundation laundry room. I tried to like it! =)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:31PM
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There's nothing mechanically different on a Catalyst compared to a typical "old-style" (1982 to current) direct-drive/transmission agitator machine except the addition of a diverter valve for the catalyst recirculation. They do have fully-electronic control panels but so do many other machines nowadays. Maybe your dealers are confusing the Catalyst and Calypso? Calypso, Catalyst, (and Cabrio) are all different machines, completely different mechanisms.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Your probably correct as I had yet another seller try to sell me a different model Neptune today! I specifically told them the two model numbers I wanted and was told they had them initially.
Which model would be a better bet the MAH7500 or the 6500?
My search continues.....

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 8:59PM
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A day of frustration! Spent most of the day with an appliance place, down to the final call on where to deliver and how to pay. Jacked the price up $275! Really!!?? Yes! Couldn't believe it!
I emailed a private seller with a 6500 and am buying sight unseen. I've had it with used dealers, in my cases anyhow.
Where are these people coming from with the dishonest sales?
Have to wait a few weeks to get it.
Will post results later.....
Any info on the 6500 would be greatly appreciated!
Enjoy the weekend!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:50PM
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MAH6500 is a good choice. It (and the MAH5500 without water heating) were the last models available, the MAH7500 was dropped first as I recall. The serial number will reveal the manufacture date. Beware of potential for bad bearings, and/or a case of mold infestation if the machine wasn't used with good habits.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 12:21AM
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The seller mentioned a small amount of mold ( she can't get it off ) on the boot.
I thought I might just order a new boot and install. What do you think? Any idea the cost and difficulty?
I'm also wondering if I can take it apart and clean it of scrud before using it. Too big of a job for a woman?
I'm all for trying, just don't want to mess with computerized components if at all possible.

Thank you so very much for your fantastic help dadoes!
I had thought the touch pad screen LCD was the latest model, 7500 being more than 6500 so thanks for enlightening me on that too!
I will ck out the serial number when I pick them up in a few weeks.
Seller says she was not hard on them, older kids now gone. We'll see.....

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 9:19PM
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All three models (5500, 6500, 7500) were available concurrently ... they just dropped the 7500 from the line-up first when production came to the end.

I've done a door lock wax motor and circuit board repair on an older MAH4000 but haven't yet gotten into the tub/boot area on them. The MAH4000 of note (belongs to a friend) has been here for some while awaiting bearing repair and also needs mold clean-up, so I'll get to that at some point in time. I do have a service manual.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Thanks for the clarification.
I suppose it shouldn't matter to me since I will be getting
the 6500.
I'm excited to see if it performs better than my current non heater model GE Harmony. No window, but I peek a lot! =)
Do you know if I can pause to add missed items etc??
Also how much water does it use in most cycles? IF you have any idea. I googled but came up with nothing.

Have a blessed day and thanks again.

Still interested in cleaning the tub in case anyone has done it and can direct me!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Surely there's a pause button.

Water level is fairly low but surely adequate. Like all frontloaders, gallons used varies depending on how much is absorbed by the clothing regards to reaching the target level in the tub.

Some mold stains (on the boot) are permanent ... but that's of no consequence if the unit is otherwise clean(ed) and there's no active growth happening. Rather than disassembling the machine, if there evidence of grunginess, try running a dose (repeat if needed) of Affresh or Tide Washer Cleaner, followed by a run with LemiShine ... all at the longest/hottest cycle.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Yes, agree about the stains on boot.
Good idea regarding washing the unit a few times.
Will definitely do that!
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Excited to hook up the washer! Hopefully this evening.
The manual states the water heater keeps the water at an even temp thru out the cycle. Sounds good!

Now for the bad...
The matching dryer was said to have a "few chips" of paint off the inside drum. Ok? How bad could it be?
BAD! A large portion of the inner dryer drum coating is peeling away! Owner acted like a few chips at the end of a cycle on clothing was no big deal. Uhhh... is to me!!
What to do??
Are the dryer drums under any warranty against this?
Can I paint it? Replace it?? Arg!

I rented a UHaul, took off work, drove over an hour to get the units. I could have said no thanks, but I was already committed and out time and money.

Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Drums can be painted (results vary depending on the painter's skill and surface preparation). Replacements are available, and not difficult, although perhaps costly depending on your expectations/budget. What's the specific model?

As I stated above, the water heater may run only on the highest soil level. Check yours to determine the characteristics.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:27AM
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The dryer model number is? It's outside at the moment.
The washer model is MAH6500AWW does that help?
The chipping includes the back part of the drum near the heat screen as well. I'd say it effects nearly one third of the inside drum.
Think it's a costly job? Could I do it without removing anything?

The manual states the heater when selected, is used in any cycle. I will say, it won't work in the speed cycle as I was pushing buttons to validate the manual.
I'm running several long heavy duty cycles to clean out the insides. Some muckity muck, just a small amt. of mold.
I should be good to go to run a first load tomorrow.

As usual dadoes, you are SO VERY appreciated by many on this forum, including myself!! =)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Assuming it's a matching dryer, should be MDE5500Axx. Model number is on a sticker either on back of the control panel or in the door well. So happens that I refurbed a specimen of that model for my neighbor in December of 2006.

The drum is Part Number 33001889. currently $117.45. (Was $69.99 five years ago.)

Back drum panel is 33002779. Sears $72.12.

Also check other online sources (Sears is sometimes the best price), and eBay.

Considerable disassembly (from the top & front) is required to change those parts. The new drum includes felt seals on the front & back rims. The baffles are not included, must be swapped from the old drum. Support rollers are not part of the rear panel, must be reused from the old. If you intend to do this, I'd not order any parts until after disassembly so other "normal"-wear items can be examined, such as the belt & idler and drum rollers.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:32PM
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OOOHch! Those prices sure hurt! I will rethink that idea...
Ran a large ( 2 pair levis, 4 t's and 2 pair of khaki shorts)
while on the extended spin cycle, things didn't sound quite right! Almost sounded a bit off balance, but the spin itself sounded like a helicopter taking off. Uhhh... am I in trouble?
I was so so excited to have this unit! arg...
I won't freak out until I see what you have to say...
Running another load, 2 sweatshirts, pair of khaki shorts and 3 t's. Used the heater option but don't know what to listen for. Didn't choose the extended spin this time...
Will see what happens..
The drum is tight when I pulled it forward after taking the load out. Not loose.
In your opinion dadoes, would you attempt painting the drum and back panel?

Many thanks!
Happy laundering!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:46PM
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Yes, I'd try painting. Prep the surface, use primer, and a good-quality spray paint.

Noisy spin is a very bad sign, of bad bearings. Run it on spin without clothes to check again for the noise.

I have a friend's MAH4000 here needing a bearing job, one of my projects pending for more than 2 years, LOL. Maytag's repair procedure calls for replacement of the entire outer tub, being that the bearings are considered part-and-parcel and not separately replaceable. The tub is now $450+, and disassembly is extensive.

However, a service tech has developed a tool (the Tony Tool) to replace the bearings directly and make it an easier job.

Another fellow has bought several of the tools and put together a DIY repair kit, offers the kit with rental of the tool (deposit required, refunded upon return). See

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Not trying to sound dumb, but would Lowe's carry the paint and primer I'd need? Spray paint? What do I sand the peeling areas with, sand paper, but what grit number?

No, the noisy spin didn't occur when I ran a few initial long cycles with Lemi Shine and then bleach. (separate cycles).
Good or bad??
How do I know for sure that's the issue?
Should this be addressed asap?
I really do like the options on this machine, including the ability to pause and ck the clothing during the entire wash cycle if needed. Not to mention having the heating option.
Which, by the way, how do I know if it activates?
Forgive me please for asking so many questions. Laundry is my thing and I obsess over it unfortunately.
I don't wish to purchase anything new.
Is it worth putting money into this unit?
It's 9 years old in Sept.
Much quieter for the most part than my failing Harmony.

Again, appreciate your time!! =)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Seems you were correct. Bad bearings most likely.
I ran a medium load using the max extract and WOW!
Bad oh so bad sounds!
I got rooked for sure... =(
What to do?
I know I won't be able to do such a job.
In your opinion once that repair is made for the better part is the unit good to go for quite some time?

Tell me what used units you would look for if you needed a washer that cleans well and is gentle on clothing?

Many thanks!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:42PM
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I have a stacked maytag neptune front load washer dryer series mwg2000aww, from about 1997. The washer works just fine, had some initial problems including the mold retrofit, all fixed under warranty. The gas dryer, however has started making a screeching noise, worse with lighter loads. I called the only repair folks around and they want $95 just to see what is up and told me they may not be able to get parts. I am wondering if anyone has any recent experience with this old of a machine? My husband is only mildly handy but is willing to try to order parts and try to fix. Apparently it is a big job and someone said maybe its pulleys? If we have to replace, i will have to revamp the laundry room as i am short and can't reach or see controls on the new ones if stacked. Any advice?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:26PM
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The dryer in the stack unit is exactly the same internally as a conventional Neptune free standing dryer. I have had the screech noise in mine and it was just a worn drum glide bearing on the front bulkhead, about a 6 dollar part and takes about an hour to replace on most machines. If they try to scare you away they dont really want to work on it anyway. Call someone who does. Its not a huge repair job other than the extra time being a stack unit and the possible location you have it. If its stuffed into a closet its going to be more expensive to repair than out in the open. You can still purchase all the parts readily.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Here is the front bulkhead of your dryer aetna as viewed from the inside out.It can be removed by pulling off the front panel and removing the screws retaining the front bulkhead. If you view the filter area you will see two blue strips on the lower edge of the drum seal area. They are little teflon strips with a matching cork strip that lays under them. Last I checked they are about 6 bucks each plus shipping. I see them on Ebay regularly too.
They are riveted on but I have replaced them by drilling out the rivets and using screws in place of the rivets.
It could be a roller or something else but everything is still easily obtainable for it mechanically. Rollers are a snap too. I have found the Maytag line very easy to service.
If your service guy cant do it then YOU can.. :)

This post was edited by fordtech on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 22:08

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:51PM
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cant seem to get the URL right so try this link to the picture

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by fordtech on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 22:01

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Thank you so much, fordhead, there really isn't a repair person besides the one i called or sears, so we might just take it apart as you have suggested and see if we can fix it!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:00PM
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So sorry, fordtech, the time change is obviously kicking in my CRS! My husband is a retired drywall contractor and i am a retired computer programmer so between the two of us we should be up to this job!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Maybe you can find a service manual for it? I googled you model number and it only came up with this thread... Been poking around and found this one - for example.


Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by whirlpool_trainee on Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 16:49

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Looks like that should be the model they have whirlpool. I copied it for my reference too. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:07PM
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> If we have to replace, i will have to revamp the laundry room as i am short and can't reach or see controls on the new ones if stacked. Any advice?

Speed Queen still makes a one-piece stacked laundry unit with a similar configuration as the old Maytag - ATE50F or ATG50F with electric or gas dryers respectively. Not quite as easy to reach into the either compartment, but the control panel is easy to reach in the middle

Frigidaire had one like this too that managed to fit a shelf over the washer, but it was apparently discontinued recently. And LG made a full-size dryer that could have its control panel placed at the bottom, and could be stacked over an LG washer, putting both control panels at a low height, but that's been discontinued too. You may still find one of these in the pipeline somewhere or as a refurb.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:59AM
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So my dryer stopped making the noise!!! Right after I downloaded the manual, finished up all the laundry and was set to pull it apart! We are starting a kitchen remodel friday so will wait until the noise returns to proceed. Can't imagine it fixed itself but its working just fine, for the moment. Thanks for the help, everyone and will post more when the noise comes back and we tear it apart! Meanwhile, i have
the info and confidence to proceed when i need to!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:00PM
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well, almost 6 months and a completed kitchen remodel later, the noise got REALLY loud and a new sound came on board that sounded like metal on metal, so we finally took this old girl apart, and it seems it is the drum pulley, one of the two in the top back corners. We ordered it today, along with a new belt just because the machine is so old. They arrive next Wednesday, will see if we can put it all back together again! And make it work! All the guides, parts sites, etc were very helpful. but the outcome will be judged by if it still runs and dries clothes!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Woo Hoo, the dryer fix was successful! l probably removed a vacuum canister of dust from inside the machine. This ole machine probably has years of service left! May even outlast me!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:37PM
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