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-   -   Clothes washer quit working (http://www.diychatroom.com/f47/clothes-washer-quit-working-24304/)

Sean94 07-26-2008 05:11 PM

Clothes washer quit working
 
I have a Whirlpool top loader (model unknown, I'm not at home now :-)
It's about 5 years old.
We've had trouble getting it to keep running through an entire cycle lately. We have put a weight on the top of the lid, which presses down on the lid and usually helps keep it running, but even that hasn't always worked lately, and now it won't run. Sometimes I get water to fill, or some other random part of a cycle to work, but it doesn't do much other than that.
Sometimes I can hear the electric buzzing when I turn the knob to select a cycle, but it's not enough to start the washer. It seems rather random whether I get a connection or not, and now, it's usually no connection.
I set up an appointment for later this week with a repairman, but it seems this might be a simple fix.
I know nothing about these machines, and never had to perform a fix-it-yourself before.
Thanks.

Yoyizit 07-26-2008 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean94 (Post 143305)
We have put a weight on the top of the lid, which presses down on the lid and usually helps keep it running

Almost certainly the interlock switch [that turns off your machine if the lid is opened] is mechanically loose, has a bad connection, or is defective.
The switch could work off the lid hinge, or the lid has a little pin that sticks out and goes into a hole where the switch is.

Your local appliance parts place can tell you how much they want for a electrically- and mechanically-equivalent switch.

Getting at the switch may be tricky, so this same parts place may sell Repair Master books for $12 or so, but if they show you the "exploded view" of all the machine parts on their computer screen you can probably figure out how to get to the switch.
This repair procedure info might even be online, for free.

So if you call a repairman, it's a sure $80 or more.
With the switch, it's almost certain that $10 or so, plus your labor, will fix the machine.
If you go the DIY route, unplug the machine first. Also, watch out for sharp edges from the housing's machine-stamped sheet metal.

Not sure what the buzzing sound is. Could be a relay trying to pull in. . .?

Sean94 07-27-2008 04:54 PM

Thanks for the input!
My washer is a Whirlpool Model No. LSQ9544KQ0, Serial: CL5008383; Type 111
Last night, I found where the interlock switch is located. There is a stick hanging down from the right side of the top loader lid, and it slips into a small hole (perpendicular when the lid is closed) to the side of the wash basin; the stick which presses down a button connected to the interlock switch unit. I played around with the washer last night, inserting my key to press the button all the way down, and most (but apparently not all) cycles ran.
I noticed two screws on either side of that hole, above and to the right of the hole (screwing in parallel to the ground). The left (closest to the controls) was a little loose. So I decided to tighten it. The screw did not go in further. When I pulled out the screw driver, the screw came with it, unimpeded.
I reached under the interlock switch button, and around overlapping metal of the shell of the washer, and felt a piece of plastic. It was the bottom half of the case that the screw screws into, and it fell easily right down onto my fingers. So now the screw won't go back in at all.
Perhaps this is the problem? That the interlock switch has been loose? Now it's REALLY loose.
I will also check with a parts store tomorrow.

Yoyizit 07-28-2008 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean94 (Post 143520)
Thanks for the input!
My washer is a Whirlpool Model No. LSQ9544KQ0, Serial: CL5008383; Type 111
Last night, I found where the interlock switch is located. There is a stick hanging down from the right side of the top loader lid, and it slips into a small hole (perpendicular when the lid is closed) to the side of the wash basin; the stick which presses down a button connected to the interlock switch unit. I played around with the washer last night, inserting my key to press the button all the way down, and most (but apparently not all) cycles ran.
I noticed two screws on either side of that hole, above and to the right of the hole (screwing in parallel to the ground). The left (closest to the controls) was a little loose. So I decided to tighten it. The screw did not go in further. When I pulled out the screw driver, the screw came with it, unimpeded.
I reached under the interlock switch button, and around overlapping metal of the shell of the washer, and felt a piece of plastic. It was the bottom half of the case that the screw screws into, and it fell easily right down onto my fingers. So now the screw won't go back in at all.
Perhaps this is the problem? That the interlock switch has been loose? Now it's REALLY loose.
I will also check with a parts store tomorrow.

And here I thought no one ever reads my posts!
:thumbsup:

pweller 07-29-2008 02:59 PM

These switches do seem to fail pretty often, and they can give some pretty unusual/unpredicatable results. I have simply wired around the switch entirely, and just leave it as a closed circuit.

If I had kids in the house, I wouldn't recommend doing this, but it is fine for only adults. Just something else to consider.

Yoyizit 07-29-2008 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pweller (Post 144104)
I have simply wired around the switch entirely, and just leave it as a closed circuit.



It's called "defeating the interlock".

Even with adults you might want to put a warning sign on the machine.
It's hard to say what can/will happen.
Most people don't even know there are interlocks protecting them from themselves.
A sign won't put a dislocated shoulder back in place but it will relieve you of some liability.

But, I must admit I have become more risk-averse since my left hand lost a fight with a table saw blade!

:whistling2:


[Georgia, 4]

Charles 07-30-2008 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 144145)

It's called "defeating the interlock".

Even with adults you might want to put a warning sign on the machine.

This is a good idea. I purchased an old used washer once that had been hardwired in this manner, and even knowing the switch didn't work, there were a few times when I opened the washer up while it was on without thinking.

Yoyizit 07-30-2008 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles (Post 144412)
This is a good idea. I purchased an old used washer once that had been hardwired in this manner, and even knowing the switch didn't work, there were a few times when I opened the washer up while it was on without thinking.

Thanks, Charlies.
The longer I'm on this forum, the more I think about "what if?"
I guess product manufacturers have to think about this every minute.
:thumbsup:

Sean94 08-03-2008 06:03 PM

Success!
The problem was the lid switch assembly, a part I bought for about $41 at a local appliance parts store.
Took me about 30-45 minutes to replace it.
I unscrewed the control panel (after unplugging the unit, of course),
unhooked the connection to the basin and unhinged the outer shell of the washer,
found the clips holding the wires to the lid switch assembly in place and unhooked them,
screwed the lid switch assembly into the lid,
repeat everything backward to reassemble.
Everything works great!
Thank you Yoyizit.

Yoyizit 08-03-2008 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean94 (Post 145596)
Success!

A happy ending?
I can't stand happy endings; they force me to change my view of how the world works!!!
:)

And the buzzing sound went away, too?

Sean94 08-03-2008 09:28 PM

The buzzing I believe was just the electric current in the dial/knob; I heard it buzz when the knob was in a position between actions (spin, rinse, etc.).
Since, when it was not working, there were a lot of moments when there was no action, many times I just got this buzzing. Now, I don't notice it because it's actually running most of the time. :)


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