Electrolux Washer Making loud buzzing/humming type noise

kellycrashFebruary 8, 2012

The noise starts when the machine is turned on and stops when the tub starts to fill with water. I am watching it closely at the moment to determine when the sound occurs again, but I believe it also occurs right before water is added during the rinse portion of the cycle.

It's a loud humming/buzzing sound. I was wondering if there could be a problem with the onboard heater? I am really clueless here.

Other than this abnormal noise the machine seems to be operating without any issues.

I took a short 2 min. video to show the husband of the noise when the machine is started. I don't know if I can post it here, but once it uploads to photobucket I am going to try.

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From your description, sounds like most likely culprit is sticky fill-solenoid. They buzz on their way to total failure.

If it's typical 60-cycle buzz, that's almost certainly it.

If so, it's a pretty common problem for any/all devices that are hooked up to pressurized water and easy/cheap fix. Don't bother attempting repair of existing part. You can do it and you'll feel proud of yourself, but it'll just happen again even sooner. Replace en-toto.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:22AM
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What's a 60 cycle buzz?

The noise happens throughout the cycle mostly when water is being added or drained and is pretty bad during the spinning also.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I'm noticing it happens throughout the cycle. It's quiet when washing, but before rinsing and during a spin cycle it gets quite loud.

Here is a link that might be useful: Noise

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:39AM
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120v AC (alternating current) electrical supply "alternates" back and forth 60 times per second. That "60 cycle" buzz is characteristic. Solenoids, when operating properly, pop open and closed very quickly and you don't hear that. If they stick part-way the alternating current keeps trying to get them into their intended position and you hear this characteristic buzz. It can be very loud or very muted depending on the resonance characteristics of the materials affected.

It can also be intermittent as it operates OK sometimes and sticks other times. If let go, it typically increases in frequency over time.

If this is, in fact, the issue it's important to get it fixed. Some fill-solenoids can fail open and that can result in an uncontrolled leak. Suggest immediate diagnosis. Whatever it is needs attention.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Based on your video, the machine's pump is source of the sound. The pump ran for 30 seconds before fill began. The noise does not occur during fill in your video. The pump of course also runs for draining after each wash or rinse period, and during spin.

If the pump is louder than it was originally then there may be some cause for concern ... maybe the bearings on it are wearing, or a foreign object is stuck in it or has slightly broken the impeller which threw it off-balance resulting in more vibration. The pump is a small electric motor, separate from the machine's main drive motor that rotates the drum.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Just saw video.....agree with dadoes.....not fill-solenoid. When fill begins, it is very clear-cut. However, does seem to me to have characteristic 60-cycle buzz so still thinking electrical in origin. Starter-relay for pump or drum-drive?

In any event, it should NOT be doing that. Machine looks new....still under warranty?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I am not sure about the warranty. I'm assuming it only comes with a 1 year. If so then no. It was purchased in summer/fall 2010.

The noise does happen it seems before water fills/drains.

Should I stop using the machine till I can get it fixed?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Well, I'm over my head....but I never trust electrical anomalies and I do like my stuff to work as it's supposed to. ASAP, would be my opinion.

Might camp out for a bit here and see if more knowledgeable respondents show up. That's a good video and I suspect a more experienced person could nail it upon first observation.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Can't say for sure without direct examination or comparison to the sound of the pump on Day 1, but from this position afar, I don't think there's a need to stop using the machine. The sound is very much similar to the pump on my Neptune TL and a friend's Neptune frontloader ... resonating of a pump motor mounted to bottom of the machine's cabinet ... but perhaps a little louder. Unlikely there's a start relay on the pump, they're typically a shaded-pole induction motor.

Your choice to call for a service appt for your peace of mind and to confirm if there is/is not a problem.

Myself, I'd keep using the machine as-is until the situation gets obviously worse (because it may not) ... as in the pump either leaking or going dead. Or better, I'd break into the machine and examine the pump for evidence of a problem ... but I'm a DIYer and you may not have the ability.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 12:20PM
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I called Electrolux. Out of warranty for sure. They are willing to cover the cost of parts. Labor and the service fees are on us. They tricked me by telling me about an extended warranty for $87.95. I was getting excited. But then she told me it wouldn't go into effect for 30 days so it would not help me with my current problem. Something to consider. I was hoping for $87.95 I could get the warranty and have this problem covered. No such luck. Too good to be true, right.

So we have a service call in place. Someone is coming out on MONDAY. $85 service fee + labor. Lovely. 5 months out of warranty....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Repairman came today. He listened and concluded it was the pump same as you guys. He tiled the machine up and got underneath to open up the pump. He found a piece of wire coated in plastic. No idea how that got in my washing machine! It looks like it could perhaps be a partial stem from a fake flower. Just the right size to slip through the holes in the machine, I guess.

I'm out $85 for the service fee, but my machine is back to normal working order.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Thanks for coming back to report on diagnosis and outcome. A lot of folks don't do that. Always interesting to learn how stuff comes out.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Reasonable situation. Did you take note of how to access the pump so you can DIY if the problem happens again? :-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Wow! Object in a drain pump!

Glad you got it fixed.

At LEAST you will know next time what to check yourself before calling for service.

I'm so so careful to check every pocket for something before I load the machine, but even then, once in a while I find something that I forgot but LUCKILY it's never ended up in the pump. I found small screwdriver once in the load, a couple of screws and once washed a paper towel, none of which ended up in the drain pump. And I checked all the pockets too, I thought!

I would assume cleaning the drain pump in these FL washers are pretty much the same. Take bottom panel off and unscrew cap, let water out, and check for objects.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 5:43PM
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