Laundry Center problems

sean_mApril 25, 2014

Long story short, one of my condos came with a Whirlpool Thin Twin laundry center. I'll be honest and say I've hated this machine from day one. Tub barely holds anything (way less than my Danby or Bosch Axxis due to the small tub + gigantic agitator) and it takes 45-75 minutes to dry anything, even with brand new metal ductwork.

I'm not here all that often so I've just let it be. Beats going to a laundromat.

Tonight during the rinse cycle the motor was getting louder and louder. Didn't think too much of it. However, the spin cycle was a different story. Drain cycle kicks in, everything sounds normal. It starts to spin and there's a loud bang, followed by the obvious sound of the loose tub banging away. I quickly ran and shut it off.

This machine looks like the tub is being held up from the bottom (as opposed to being suspended from the top like the Japanese top loaders). Unfortunately I can't see behind the tub nor get a camera in deep enough to see what happened. Flipping through Whirlpool's parts ordering website was useless -- no suspension parts that I can find.

Anyone have any ideas? Is it even worth bothering to fix this heap? If no, anyone have any suggestions for cheap stackables that are decent?

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dadoes

Suspension spring broken, most likely. It's a "serious" problem in terms of usability of the machine, but *shouldn't* be a serious problem regards to repair.

Including the model number with appliance questions is hugely helpful for other people responding to your problem.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:23AM
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sean_m

dadoes: Thanks for your reply.

It's a Whirlpool model# LTE5243DQ6

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:47AM
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dadoes

Diagram of the base parts. Taking a gander at what happened without access to examine ...

The three items labeled #5 are spring struts that anchor the tub/mechanism to the base #6 and allow the tub to oscillate during spin. The tub sits upon the tripod-looking piece outlined as #19. Bolts #18 anchor the tripod to the struts. The struts either screw directly into the base plate or there are bolts beneath.

The strut at the front or the left/rear apparently either broke or loosened from the tripod or machine base. Could also be the base rusted at one of the anchor points if the struts screw directly into it.

Spring #4 (attached to bracket # 15 mounted at the right/rear arm of the tripod) serves to counterbalance the weight of the motor which is mounted to the transmission and positioned at front of the machine. The pull of this spring is what is skewing the tub toward the right/rear without the broken strut's anchoring effect.

Replacement struts come three to a kit, part number W10207783. Price ranges from $80 to $68 at several sources I checked.

The base is part number 8577373. Range of $86 to $64.

I could do the repair myself and avoid service tech charges. Depends on your DIY skills. Replacing a strut should be fairly easy. Replacing the base involves more disassembly.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:12PM
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sean_m

Wow, thanks for the parts diagram! That's much better than the links I was getting from Whirlpool's "support".

There are signs of rust inside from what I can see, but it looked mostly cosmetic. The parts of the base which I could see had rust on them, but generally only at the edges/seams. Rather disappointed to see any rust as the washer isn't THAT old and sits in a nice climate-controlled (temperature+humidity) space.

I'm pretty sure the right rear strut collapsed/broke. There was a nasty smell of burning rubber when I ran to shut it off as the tub was banging around the inside of the washer. Also not sure what was causing it but the front metal panel was very hot as well.

I'm reasonably handy, but time is the limiting factor for me -- I'm only at this location a couple days a month and not always consecutive ones.

I'm going to have to think this one over... repair vs. replace. If this was my beloved Danby, I'd be more inclined to repair... This one...I'm not so sure.

Thank you Dadoes! I'll be mulling this one over the weekend.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 2:36PM
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dadoes

Oops, it would be the right/rear strut. My mind wasn't visualizing the situation properly!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 4:01PM
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