Always "unbalanced load" on spin?

actionclawAugust 30, 2014

Top loading Washing Machine: Speed Queen DA3211

I replaced one of the belts a while back. When I did this I think I also inadvertently loosened up the other (used to spin dry). Consequently, when starting spin cycle the tub often won't start moving itself but requires a little manual assistance. I mention this because it recently developed a new issue that I have a hunch might have been cause by this.

Now, toward the end of a spin cycle, after most of the water is out and its continuing to increase in speed, it begins to make a horrible, loud, thumping noise the way a washer does with an "unbalanced load" but regardless of whether or not there is an "unbalanced load". In fact, it even does this when the machine is empty. It's so loud it sounds as though the machine is damaging itself so we stop the cycle prematurely and remove the clothes though still wet.

I'll probably open it up and look around but I really don't know what I'll be looking for nor know what it looked like before.

By any chance are washing machine tubs "balanced" similar to how car wheels are spin balanced and small weights applied? This current behavior gives me the impression that, if so, one of the balancing weights has come off.

As usual any help, hints, suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

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laundryvet

Actionclaw,

I don't have a model number breakdown for that unit, but there are a few possibilities depending on the age of the unit based on your description of the issue.

Units made prior to about 1992 had a foam snubber pad that the wash module pivoted on. I'm pretty sure between 1992 and 1997 they had a molded plastic ring that the module pivoted on down on the base, the so called pivot ring. After about 1997 I'm thinking the module pivoted directly on a special paint on the base. The foam parts wear out after 15 to 25 years, the plastic rings could crack if severely shocked. Either way, you would need to replace the parts.

For the very oldest units, I don't think the snubber pad is still available, but isolated commercial distributors may still have a few left. The plastic ring should still be available.

Serial numbers have the year in the first two digits, then the month in the next two digits. A 9804xxxxxx will be an April 1998 build unit. I'm not sure how far back this system went.

I don't think it would work at all with a broken spring and hence why I suspect the pivot dome interface. Pop off the front panel and take a look inside, being sure to disconnect power before opening the unit. You will need a 5/16 nut driver, or on other models, a putty knife to release the top panel clips.

Good luck.

Laundry vet

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:26AM
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dadoes

In answer to the question about balance weights on the tub ... no. Some have a gyroscopic, fluid-filled balance ring attached to the inner drum (some have two) but that's a different thing from static weights.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:07AM
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smith02_gw

Quick diagnostic, thumping empty is misalignment somewhere in the drive train especially as spin speed increases the noise gets louder. Belt bangs against a pulley wheel or an edge. There are no balancing weights as on an auto wheel.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:21PM
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