DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my Maytag LAT9700 washer (with the front panel off and the chassis-top lifted), during fill, the aerator tube leaks substantially. The washer is about 12 years old.

The aerator tube (I have seen it called an "air gap fill injector tube") is located in the fill line about 9 inches before the water-entry nozzle to the tub. The aerator consists of a perforated outer plastic tube, an inner soft rubber tube, and an interior long plastic complex-shaped cylinder.

It's supposed to let air in. Currently it lets water out instead.

I disassembled it. The rubber tube has a tear in it. (You'll hate this -- I dried it and covered it with duct tape, which did seem to seal it.) In the process of disassembling it, I think(?) I dislodged the inner plastic complex cylinder from its anchor point. I reassembled it all as well as possible (I couldn't reposition the inner plastic cylinder) -- result: it leaks water the same as before. No surprise, I know -- I botched this.

Question: if this thing is only an aerator, can I just replace it with a straight piece of hard tubing (a coupler)? Or at least, can I do that temporarily while I see if I can get new parts? I'm desperate to have a working washer.

(There are no wires running to this thing -- it is not electrical.)

Thanks for any advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've no answer (why does a washing machine need aerated water to wash?). Try:
http://www.repairclinic.com/Appliance-Parts?s=t-LAT9700-==p
The LAT9700 is fairly famous on the Internet. One fellow referred to the air gap fill injector as a "retarded device". Apparently this device did not appear in earlier or later Maytags. Maybe it was a bells-and-whistles thing. In any case, the injected water stream never looked bubbly to me anyway.

This evening, I'm going to replace the aerator (which is only a few inches long) with a straight pipe.

That gives me time to look for parts. The question is whether I really have to replace the aerator with a new one at all. Does anyone know any reason that this aerator is somehow essential?

You're right -- repairclinic is a good, no-nonsense site. In their repair kit Item #400646, the rubber tube looks like the rubber tube in my aerator, but the interior "nozzle" (?) looks quite different from what I've got. Their Item #435666 is the entire feed line running from the H/C inlet valves to the tub-entry nozzle (including the aerator section); that would probably work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All's well that ends well.

OK, I took out the aerator assembly and replaced with a straight pipe. No leaks now, of course. You'd think the water inflow would be heavier now with that gizmo removed, but in fact I can't see any difference.

Now that I have the whole thing out to examine at my leisure, I see that two of the remarks I made in the posts above were wrong: (a) I had *not* dislodged the inner cylinder from its anchor point (it was hard to take apart the first time, and I thought I unsnapped something); (b) the available parts from from RepairClinic, including the inner cylinder ("nozzle") in fact both *do* match the interior parts of the aerator I took out, so their tube & nozzle kit #400646 would be the right thing to get (for somebody who wanted to fix the aerator).

On the Net you can find claims that this aerator does two other things, and now that I've gotten a good look at it, I disagree with those claims. Supposedly, it's an anti-siphon; but there is no hydraulic situation here that could possibly result in siphoning. And supposedly it resists backflow; but its structure provides no blockage to backwards water flow -- and besides, according to my rough calculations, the forward city water pressure is about 170 times the backflow pressure of the 12 inches of water standing in the inlet tube, and you're not going to get any backflow that way in any case.

The point of that digression is that this thing is, IMO, only an aerator, period. And I don't need it; so I don't plan to buy the parts to fix it.

(I realize that in the drain there's an air gap that prevents backflow, but that's a different situation from this thing in the water-entry line.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have the same problem with my Maytag washer and was wondering if I needed to replace the air gap assembly. Could you please tell me if when you replaced it with just a straight piece of piping that it still doesn't leak? Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have the same problem with my Maytag washer and was wondering if I needed to replace the air gap assembly. Could you please tell me if when you replaced it with just a straight piece of piping that it still doesn't leak? Thank you
Don't replace the air gap assembly; it's useless. In principle, it makes the air bubbly, just like the aerator on a kitchen faucet. In fact, this is absolutely pointless. And the horizontal design guarantees ultimate failure with bad leakage.

That air gap assembly was a nutty "millenium model" idea from Maytag. It occurred only during one year, and was never present before or after that in Maytag washers.

I replaced the assembly with a piece of straight pipe. It was a piece of plastic plumbing pipe from the hardware, but metal would do just as well. The pipe just has to be the right length (or cut to the right length), and it has to fit snugly enough in the two rubber hoses. And of course you need to have circular clamps around the two hoses to make sure the pipe is snug. I used the two original circular clamps, but if your original ones are unsatisfactory for any reason, then you can get tightenable circular clamps from the hardware.

The piece of pipe has been installed a long time now. There is absolutely no leakage, and the water flow into the tub is perfectly normal.
 

·
#1 HAWKEYE FAN
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
that device is in no way, shape, or form an aerator, it is an injector tube and sleeve . Its sole purpose in life is to prevent any type of backflow from your washer tub back into the city water supply. National sanitation stardards mandate such a device. All washers have them in one form or another, that configuration on your Maytag was used for well over 30 years without change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
that device is in no way, shape, or form an aerator, it is an injector tube and sleeve . Its sole purpose in life is to prevent any type of backflow from your washer tub back into the city water supply. National sanitation stardards mandate such a device. All washers have them in one form or another, that configuration on your Maytag was used for well over 30 years without change.
Well then, we are in disagreement. The tube cannot take water out of the tub -- the entry point of the tube is *above* the top lip of the tub, well above the maximum water level in the tub: there cannot be any siphon effect. The only hypothetical backflow would be from the 12 inches of water standing in the inlet tube *below* the device in question. If you take the device apart, it is clear that there is absolutely nothing in its interior that would prevent water from flowing backward. Furthermore, the forward city water pressure is about 170 times the backflow pressure of the 12 inches of water standing in the inlet tube (below the device), and you're not going to get any backflow that way in any case.

Note that the Maytag device in question has many slots (holes) in it that are literally open to the air (the slots are on top -- the device is horizontal). Because of the Venturi effect, water flowing through the device will suck air into the device and mix it into the water.

It is quite possible that there is a one-way valve to prevent backflow in the interior of the inlet valve assembly at the bottom of the machine (to which the water supply is connected). But the Maytag device being discussed here does not have anything in its innards which could possibly prevent water from flowing backwards.
 

·
Grognard
Joined
·
13 Posts
Works on other Maytag models, too

Thanks to the preceding discussion in this forum, I just fixed a Maytag LA282 washer (manufactured ca. 1987), replacing a defective airgap assembly with a plastic 3/4" barbed coupling and two stainless steel hose clamps. The barbed coupling was nearly identical in length to the original airgap housing. I secured the coupling to the washing machine housing with a 6-inch nylon cable tie. The hose clamps are oriented on top of the hoses, worm screw heads facing inward, such that they straddle the edge of the sheet metal, so that when the cable tie is cinched tight, the plastic coupler is rigidly held in a horizontal position by the sheet metal, much in the way the original airgap assembly was held by its single sheet metal screw. The Maytag airgap assembly had a built-in slope so that water would drain out of the rubber tube by gravity, but since the modified assembly isn't open to the air, the slope is now of little importance.

The original airgap assembly was encrusted with hard water deposits, and thinking that was the cause, i disassembled it and cleaned it, but on reassembly it still spurted water all over the place. I tested it by pointing the injector nozzle into the washing machine tub and running a bit of water through it, but what should have been a narrow jet of water was a turbulent, conical spray, the hydrological equivalent of air coming out of a "whoopie cushion". I suspect the rubber sleeve of the injector had become worn or the properties of the rubber changed over time, causing this effect. Rather than paying about $20 for new airgap parts and possibly having to wait several days for delivery, I solved the problem in less than an hour for $11.97 in common parts from the local Ace Hardware store.

Note that the barbed coupling is made of PVC and is not rated for very hot water at line pressure. However, the fill hose is short and open at one end, so there is never significant pressure buildup in it. I've successfully used ordinary PVC parts (instead of CPVC) with hot water under 130°F at low pressure in the past and have never seen failures after many years of operation. Moreover, most laundry loads are run with cold or warm water, not hot. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Works on other Maytag models, too

Note that the barbed coupling is made of PVC and is not rated for very hot water at line pressure. However, the fill hose is short and open at one end, so there is never significant pressure buildup in it. I've successfully used ordinary PVC parts (instead of CPVC) with hot water under 130°F at low pressure in the past and have never seen failures after many years of operation. Moreover, most laundry loads are run with cold or warm water, not hot.
The temperature rating of PVC varies regionally (or at least internationally). And of course, the temp rating varies considerably with pressure. As you pointed out, with both ends always open, there is virtually no pressure on the PVC itself in your case. For that case, most sites on the Internet indicate a PVC temperature rating of 60°C = 140°F. I regulate my hot water heater (manually) to keep it at 140°F, so there should be no problem.

As a side issue, PVC used for potable water has a 49°C = 120°C temperature rating at near-zero pressure, but since I don't drink out of the washing machine tub, that shouldn't be a problem either. The potable-water rating is probably lower because of putative release of pollutants from hot plastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Well then, we are in disagreement. The tube cannot take water out of the tub -- the entry point of the tube is *above* the top lip of the tub, well above the maximum water level in the tub: there cannot be any siphon effect. The only hypothetical backflow would be from the 12 inches of water standing in the inlet tube *below* the device in question. If you take the device apart, it is clear that there is absolutely nothing in its interior that would prevent water from flowing backward. Furthermore, the forward city water pressure is about 170 times the backflow pressure of the 12 inches of water standing in the inlet tube (below the device), and you're not going to get any backflow that way in any case.

Note that the Maytag device in question has many slots (holes) in it that are literally open to the air (the slots are on top -- the device is horizontal). Because of the Venturi effect, water flowing through the device will suck air into the device and mix it into the water.

It is quite possible that there is a one-way valve to prevent backflow in the interior of the inlet valve assembly at the bottom of the machine (to which the water supply is connected). But the Maytag device being discussed here does not have anything in its innards which could possibly prevent water from flowing backwards.
Of course there won't be any backflow with city water pressure maintained. These devices are there to protect the city water supply when the supply pressure fails and could potentially siphon back contaminated water.
 

·
Grognard
Joined
·
13 Posts
Of course there won't be any backflow with city water pressure maintained. These devices are there to protect the city water supply when the supply pressure fails and could potentially siphon back contaminated water.
Not an issue. Re-read the first sentence of TryHard's comment to which you responded. The fill tube opens at the very top of the tub. For contaminated water to siphon back, the tub would have to be filled to overflowing. If that's the case, the water level sensor would have had to malfunction just prior to a water pressure failure while filling the tub and the electric fill valve was open and there would have to be a vacuum in the house plumbing. Putting an airgap in the line is simply overkill and bureaucratic nonsense, trying to cover a highly contrived one-in-a-billion chain of events that would probably not result in illness or death even if it happened. A body is hundreds of times more likely to die in a traffic accident than experience such an event with a modified home appliance.

If Maytag and other washer manufacturers truly cared about the public water supply, they would have put a spring-loaded check valve in the line, instead of that 50¢ piece-of-junk airgap solution that they actually decided to use. In high volume manufacturing, it all comes down to saving pennies, which adds up to millions of dollars annually. How else would the CEO be able finance his mansion and country estate? :furious:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Of course there won't be any backflow with city water pressure maintained. These devices are there to protect the city water supply when the supply pressure fails and could potentially siphon back contaminated water.
Specifically for the LAT9700:

(1) The water input tube opening is well above the tub: even if the tub overflowed, that water could not reach up to the mouth of the opening of the water input tube. No siphoning effect is physically possible.

(2) If you disassemble the device we're talking about, you can see that nothing in it will prevent backflow.

(3) There is about one vertical foot of city water left in the water input tube when the machine is off. The valve that connects to the city water is closed. If I electrically open that valve at at a time when the city water pressure is zero, a small amount of ordinary, clean water from the water input tube could conceivably leak back into the city water line -- see point (4).

(4) In my shower there is a water input tube which always has 5 feet of water left in it. If the city water pressure is zero and I open the shower faucet, then that water will, in principle, back up into the city water line. I am painfully familiar with that shower line; there is no one-way valve to prevent backflow. And the neighbours I have who do some of their own plumbing also fail to have backup-prevention valves on their shower lines.

(5) When the city water pressure goes to zero where I live, it's because a main has broken. You can go outside and find it and watch them working on fixing it: they bandage it, effectively. You should see the crap and corruption in the line when they turn the water back on. I have to remove and clean out the stones in every faucet aerator I have. That fact does not leave me terribly worried about the putative backup of basically clean water from my shower (or washer) into the city line.
 

·
#1 HAWKEYE FAN
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
Of course there won't be any backflow with city water pressure maintained. These devices are there to protect the city water supply when the supply pressure fails and could potentially siphon back contaminated water.

exactly right, they can argue all they want about whether a situation like that will ever occur but non the less it is a backflow preventer. It is on the Maytag washer, it is on all washers in some form or another. Its on there because it is mandated by the National Sanitary Safety Code. They can remove theirs or install a pipe or a fitting or whatever in its place if they choose with no adverse affects on the operation.
 

·
Grognard
Joined
·
13 Posts
(5) When the city water pressure goes to zero where I live, it's because a main has broken. You can go outside and find it and watch them working on fixing it: they bandage it, effectively. You should see the crap and corruption in the line when they turn the water back on. I have to remove and clean out the stones in every faucet aerator I have. That fact does not leave me terribly worried about the putative backup of basically clean water from my shower (or washer) into the city line.
That's right. Sometimes one must simply say "screw it" to the regulators and their overbearing regulations, just "git-'er-done" and move on with life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
No Way it's a Backflow Preventer...Fixed For FREE!

There is no possible way that water could ever be sucked back through the tub fill inlet (being that it is topmost on the tub)...unless the machine was on it's side while in operation, which is not optimal as per the user's manual. The model I fixed was outfitted with a worm-screw type hose clamp between the inflow hose and the "Aerator Assembly" that quite nicely facilitated by-passing the faulty unit with no modification or extraneous parts necessary. I would even argue that I eliminated TWO potential leak points!:thumbup:-NeoTeric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
This is an anti siphon device. As was posted the tub would have to overfill and the city's water pressure would have to drop to zero or minus at the same time.

You would have better odds at being struck by lightning while driving, having the President's motorcade swerve into your lane because the lead driver was blinded by the lightning flash, and crash into you while you were scratching off your $100 million winning lottery ticket as you were steering your car in the lightning storm.:huh:

Put a barb in the hose and get rid of it.

It is an attempt of another brilliant device mandated by helpful government servants:no:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Same Problem, Cured with Garden Hose Connector

We had this exact same problem with a Maytag A382. Husband got a metal garden hose splicer he had on hand, and attached the hoses to either side, then clamped them. Works perfect and only cost about $4 for the clamps. Considering that we've had this machine since 1989, this was a very cheap fix.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,797 Posts
Post is over 5 years old. I'm sure the op has it fixed by now. However your information may be useful to someone else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Post is over 5 years old. I'm sure the op has it fixed by now. However your information may be useful to someone else.
Well, it's useful to me, because on my 1991 vintage washer I have the same problematic device. I also figured it was an aerator which was rather unnecessary. I thought of the siphon-break function but that seemed useless also. I dsimantled the thing, greased the rubber parts with vaseline for easy reassembly, then fitted a piece of hard foam into the plastic air opening and taped it over with electrical tape. I figured there was not much pressure at that point, it could stand the bit of hot water splashing about if it tried to leak, but at least it would prevent unimpeded squirting water outside the tub. It works so far, until I can get to a hardware store to buy some hose clamps and a piece of copper tubing to replace the floppy rubber tube with. Thanks for posting and confirming my diagnosis.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top