Model #ATF6700FS0, this customer called because her washer was acting strangely and making some unusual noises. The primary issue seemed to be the washer would not spin the clothes at the end of the wash cycle. But occasionally, the customer also noticed water would remain in the tub along with the damp clothes. She was concerned with having two problems on wash just over a year old, but if you have been reading any of my front load washers posts, you probably already guessed that both of these symptoms have something in common.
While it is possible for an appliance to suffer from two distinct failures at the same time, the likely hood isn't as high as one might think. Many times the failures will appear to be different, but in actuality they stem from one common source. To the customer water remaining in the tub is a likely symptom of a washer not spinning correctly, but to a technician the opposite is the reason. The washer will not spin because there is water remaining in the tub.
Washers use some form of sensor to determine water level in the wash tub. This can be a simple pressure switch or a more accurate pressure transducer. Either way, the purpose of these devices is to not only know how full to fill the tub, but to also know when the tub is empty of water. This prevents the washer from attempting to spin a full basket full of water soaked clothes and possibly cause some mechanical failure.
One front load washers in particular, if any water remains in the tub, the washer will not spin. This is more than a safety device, but also a bit of common sense. If the water cannot drain, then there would be no place for the water to flow once it spun free of the clothes. So if you find your front load washer not spinning at the end of the cycle, start by taking a look at the drain pump.
Some washers make this task easy, while other require removal of one or more panels to gain access. This particular washer can be accessed from under the unit, assuming it's not on a pedestal, but removing the front panel makes everything easier to get to.
Using a wet/dry vacuum to remove the remaining water, I then pulled off the front panel to get to the pump assembly. The pump is connected to the tub by a sump hose and then to the drain home itself. With the hoses removed I was able to find the reason for the poor draining and the reason it is important to empty your pockets before washing your clothes.
Inside the sump hose is a trap cup which has been designed to prevent objects from coming in contact with the pump impeller. This cup can take many of those coins, bobby pins, toothpicks and whatnot and still allow water to drain. But in this case, all those items and then some simply filled up the cup and made proper draining an occasional prospect.
I removed the impacted material from the cup and cleaned out the sump hose. With everything put back together, the pump drained water quickly and much quieter than before. The customer wasn't to happy as she felt the cup was the reason for the poor draining and had it not been there, everything would have simply gone down the drain. But I did caution her that without that cup, it was more likely the pump would have been permanently damaged resulting in not only the cost of the service call but the pump as well.
Customers generally do not like to be told not to do things to their appliances, especially when they just handed you a check, but in order to prolong the life of your washer or any other appliance, it is best to use them as they were designed. And most of that information can be found right in the users guide. You just need to get past all the shock and death warnings to find it.
Presented by - All Tech Appliance Service, your Portland Oregon appliance repair company. We service many brands of refrigerators, washers, dryers, ranges, dishwashers, freezers, ovens and microwaves including popular brands like Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, Frigidaire, Amana, GE, Jenn Air, Ikea, Sears, Estate, Roper, Electrolux, KitchenAid, Fisher & Paykel and more. We also provide preventative appliance maintenance, dryer vent cleaning, replacement appliance installation, and property management appliance service. Visit us online at www.AllTechAppliance.com
Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer.
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