Repair or buy a new one???

westernwilsonJuly 26, 2009

Recently our KitchenAid Super Capacity Plus washer stopped pumping out water...short story, the pump is shot and to replace and get the machine running again is $180.

I have no idea how old the machine is but it has been in the house all the 6 years we have owned it.

I put a LOT of laundry through, washing at least 2 loads of clothes a day, plus all the bedding for a family of 4, including the comforters (all double sized)weekly. I sometimes put sleeping bags through too. We are heavy users.

Thanks to the recession and business collapse, we put off remodelling the laundry, which we had planned to hold a new front loading Miele set. Now we are much more budget minded.

Should I just repair this washer, or buy a new one? And if I buy a new heavy duty washer, which gives me the best bang for the buck?

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dadoes

I assume you have a toploader? KA toploaders are Whirlpool-made direct-drive machines. Replacing the pump is an easy DIY job that you can do for much less than $180. You can get a pump from several online sources for probably $40. Instructions to replace it can be found online as well. Or I can tell you how.

A potential problem is if the motor shaft is rusted from the leaking, the pump may be ornery to remove.

What's the model # of your machine?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:49PM
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housefairy

Do you have the money to just purchase new units without financing? Do you have enough money set aside in case something happens and you have no income for a few months? If yes, then go purchase another unit if you are wanting a different washer.

However if the business collapse is your business, and times are tough in your household, just fix the old machine.

Only you can make that call.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:51PM
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regus_patoff

dadoes is correct...

Cabinet removal ... depending on model number, a few screws and the Cabinet tips forward ..

Pump ... (2) Hose Clamps, and (2) Spring Clamps that hold it to the Motor Shaft.

Numerous videos on YouTube

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 12:05AM
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mrjms

Post your question over at www.automaticwasher.org. The guys over there could advise you on this matter.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 8:05AM
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deke

My two cents - having remodeled a laundry area and buying a Miele set about two years ago, I say do the $180 repair. Sure the new machines are great, but it was way too much money. Honestly, we spent 10+ grand on it all - new plumbing (3k), the washer/dryer (4k) and the cabinetry and counters which I did myself. What I could do with that money or could have done with it instead is something I think about. It is so easy to get sucked into all this cool stuff, but it's just clothes!!! Oh, my Miele is now on the fritz. Without my extended warranty I would be looking at $500 for a new control board.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:16PM
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brutuses

For a machine that old I would replace it. I would rather put my money into a new product then pay a repair bill. I know that's crazy, but I feel like my money is put to better use that way. I paid to have a washer pump replaced and 3 months later something even bigger went wrong. That was the first and last time I spent money getting a washer repaired. I'm very hard on a washer and dryer and if I get 5 years out of them I'm happy.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:33PM
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brutuses

For a machine that old I would replace it. I would rather put my money into a new product then pay a repair bill. I know that's crazy, but I feel like my money is put to better use that way. I paid to have a washer pump replaced and 3 months later something even bigger went wrong. That was the first and last time I spent money getting a washer repaired. I'm very hard on a washer and dryer and if I get 5 years out of them I'm happy.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:44PM
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dadoes

My parents have a 1994 KA pair. That makes them 15 years old. There have been a few repairs on the washer (drive coupler twice, we replaced the pump with the 2nd coupler, lid switch, agitator dogs), but those are easy repairs and the cost of the parts all together (about $20 in each instance, except the pump was a bit more, and the lid switch was simply bypassed) is much less than a new machine.

The first washer/dryer I bought was a KA pair in 1991. I still have them as spares, after my grandmother used them for a few years. They haven't been used in several years since, but are in perfectly good operating condition.

People are so often fussing about products nowadays being of "throwaway" quality ... but yet they perpetuate it by not following through with simple repairs. I remember the washer my parents had when I was a child. There were numerous repairs on it, but it was repaired up until the bearings needed replacing a third time in the mid 1970s. The machine wasn't tossed to the trash heap just because the pump went bad or the water valve leaked.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:16PM
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mara_2008

westernwilson, have you thought about contacting KitchenAid with the serial number on the machine to find out how old it is? I think I might start there.

They also might be able to give advice about repairing it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:35PM
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dadoes

No need to contact KA. I, Regus_Patoff, and probably other people who frequent this forum, have experience working on this type of machine, and can even decipher the serial number. I did also ask for the model number in my first reply above.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 1:33AM
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gardenlover25

I think it can be repaired but I doubt it its not just
$180 you are going spend with it because as they repair it there can be other parts that needs replacement. Since it served you for six years. I think you need to buy a new one.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:51AM
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jdenyer232

One bad pump in six years of heavy use is pretty darn good. I would repair it, most new machines today need a repair every 2-4 years, now I don't mean a major repairs but pumps do wear out, water valves go funky etc. I bet if you fixed that pump you would get another 6 years out of it. If you were to spread the cost of the new pump over 6 years it would only be $30 per year, or $2.50 per month. A new machine is gonna cost you a lot more than that. With that said there are no guarantees that a new machine is not gonna need a repair in a few years. If saving money is your priority until the economy comes back, well I would just fix it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:08AM
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westernwilson

Thankyou all for the wonderful input. The identifying info on the washer is:

Serial #:
CL 5203731

Model:
KAW5700JQ4

Type:
111

I will likely have the washer fixed as the only thing I don't like about it is that they placed the stupid bleach dispenser at the right front edge of the lid, meaning any spills or drips hit the clothes in the washer, and any lingering bleach in the dispenser mouth gets on either the laundress or the laundry as it is unloaded to the dryer! That bleach dispenser...a terrible design on an otherwise worthy machine.

Of course my repairman is AWOL...didn't tell me he was leaving for holidays this week!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 2:03PM
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jdenyer232

Here is a link to a place where you can get parts for this machine, they even sell the service manual. This is a fairly simple job that you could do yourself and save some $$$ in the process. Hope this helps. http://www.repairclinic.com/Appliance-Parts?s=t-KAWS700JQ4%20-%3d%3d

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 2:22PM
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dadoes

Serial number indicates manufacture in the 52nd week of 2001.

The model number would be KAWS570JQ4 as jdenyer232 indicates, not KAW5700JQ4.

PartsTap.com carries the pump for $41.50.

Access to replace it is as follows:

1. Remove the two screws at the bottom corners of the control console. The panel then flips back (it's hinged at the rear).
2. Disconnect the wiring harness plug that goes into the top under the console.
3. Using a large flat-blade screwdriver for leverage, remove the two spring clips that latch the cabinet to the rear panel.
4. The entire cabinet then tilts forward and lifts off the base of the machine, leaving the control console and rear panel.
5. The pump is attached to the front of the motor with two spring clips, and has two hoses attached.
6. Remove the hoses from the pump (have some towels handy to catch the residual water), loosen the clips, pull the pump off the motor.
7. As noted above, if the pump seems stuck to the motor, then the motor shaft may be rusted. The pump drive is plastic but it'll still stick to the shaft if rusted.
8. Align the motor shaft and drive of the new pump, place it onto the motor, replace the clips and attach the hoses.
9. Install the cabinet back onto the machine, hooking the lower front edge of it under the base and lowering it into place. Slots at the rear corners of the cabinet MUST fit onto tabs on the base.

  1. Attach the spring clips, connect the wiring harness. flip the console back down and replace the two screws.
  2. Done. You've saved ~$140 in labor on the repair.

I can provide some pictures if needed, or you can do a Google search.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 3:57PM
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jae49

I have a whirlpool clean touch washing machine from approx 1992. It still completely finishes it's cycle but it leaves the clothes dripping wet. The water completely drains out of the drum except for what's left in the clothes. Trying to figure out how to know what part is broken so I can know what to replace. Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 12:41PM
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jae49

In the process of replacing the coupler on my direct drive whirlpool washing machine. There is a plastic/cardboard cover on the bottom of the motor which has warning electrical hazard; disconnect from electric supply before servicing printed on it. Pieces of this keep breaking off; is there a place to buy a new one; do you need a new one? There area it covers on the bottom of the motor is identical to an area on the side of the motor that is not covered. If anyone knows, thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 4:23PM
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dadoes

The shield is for protecting the floor against possible momentary sparking that may occur when the motor starts. Part Number 3946532. Do a Google search for best price (it's expensive for what it is). Depending on where your machine is located (concrete floor for example) you may be OK without it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 5:52PM
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