Model #SAV5710AWW, this top load washer would agitate and spin, but the customer noticed the spin basket would move along with the agitator during the wash cycle. And at the end of the spin cycle when the basket would normally some to a stop rather quickly, well this one would coast to a stop. This didn’t seem like to big a problem, but when the customer called for service, she was shocked to find the repair estimate was about the same as replacing the washer. Money being what it is these days, her husband got in contact with me to see if I could take a look and offer some advice.
This washer, like most other top loaders that use a gear case for mechanical drive, also uses a breaking system to hold the spin basket in place during agitation, and to stop the basket at the end of the spin cycle, or if the lid is opened. This serves as not only a safety device for the spin basket, but also aids in the washer cleaning clothes by offering some resistance as the agitator tumbles the clothes during the wash cycle. A spin basket that is allowed to spin freely can also cause intermittent water leaks and the ever popular squeaking noises while the agitator is working.
On this washer, the customer called for service hoping to prevent a more expensive repair in the future because it had been working OK. The occasional noise was easily ignored, but once the repair estimate was presented, that feeling you get from an unexpected expense quickly became in the forefront of the customers thoughts.
When I arrived, the customer was still using the washer and the noise could be heard from the doorway. I removed the front panel to have a look and was able to see the basket moving around along with the clothes. Looking like a simple brake problem I used my flashlight to take a closer look.
The brake on this washer uses three pads mounted to the milk stool and they ride between the top and bottom of the break. During the spin cycle, the break will open up and loose contact with the pads. When the motor stops, the break will close grabbing hold of the stationary pads. That is how it should work. Once I took a look it was obvious the problem was two of the break pads had broken free from their mounts and were not able to be contacted by the brake assembly.
I installed a brake pad kit, they come as a set plus new mounting screws, and after getting everything put back together, resumed the wash cycle. Now the break was holding the tub in place, and once the spin cycle began, opening the lid the new pads had the basket stopped in a flash. The customer was relived to have the problem resolved, and for much less than the original estimate.
By the way, the original estimate for this washer included the following parts – Belt @ $16.78
Seal kit @ $65.33
Snubber @ $20.15
Break pads @ $10.31
Break assembly @ $51.78
The moral of the story, much like medicine, if the first answer doesn’t seem right, get a second opinion.
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