So our GE (kenmore) frontloading washing started making a horrible noise the other day and we decided to open it up see if we could fix it.
Well as soon as we started to disassemble I realized how poorly designed these things are, not just this model but from the research Ive done online apparently all front loading washing machines are the same basic design.
The stainless drum that your clothes are tossed in is cantilevered out so that the entire weight of your wet clothes plus the forces of the spin dry cycle when the load isn't perfectly balanced (and it never is) are supported by two ball bearings on the shaft pictured below.
Of course on top of these inadequate bearings are the aluminum support blades used to connect the drum to the shaft with the bearings, using aluminum in a wet environment with dissimilar metals like steel and brass is a recipe for galvanic corrosion as you can see in the pics.
So taking all these design flaws into account it should be no surprise that the bearings started to fail causing vibration which in combination with corrosion of the aluminum led to the crack you see below. And the crack leaving the drum with no support gouged and broke the plastic housing the stainless drum spins inside.
I should also add that the thin rubber tube connecting the plastic housing to the drain pump had several cracks in which hadn't started to leak yet but if the rest of the machine held up would have caused a flood in our basement some time in the near future.
So we're off to buy a new washing machine (A top loader and not a GE).
The silver lining in all this is maybe I can use some of the parts for brewing.