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Old 02-18-2009, 06:09 PM   #1
k1v1116
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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.




 
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
HenryHill
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Un-frigging-believable! How old is this thing? The really good part of frontloaders; they cost so much.

I ran across this when looking up help for DIY appliance repair. I like this guy-he says what he thinks!

He HATES GE!

Fixitnow.com Samurai Appliance Repair Man Blog Archive Yet Another Reason to Avoid GE Appliances: Ripoff Parts Prices

http://fixitnow.com/wp/2005/05/26/ge...ances-to-life/

What to buy:

http://www.fixitnow.com/2003_09_01_w...43135616141973
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
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We've had a frontloader for years and no problems. We also had a Kenmore frontloader before that one that had the shocks break off in no time at all. Avoid Kenmore at all costs.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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There's a commercial frontloader in my apartment. It works well. They told me when I first moved in "It's more efficient. It uses less power, less water and you need less soap then the regular washer."

I asked: "Then why does it cost a dollar more for the same size load?"

"Because it was more expensive."

"But you're saving money in the long-run. Why charge us more?"

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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It was six years old, it should have lasted longer. The top loader we had lasted close to 15 years before this one.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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I have a front loader that we've used for probably close to four years now (Kenmore model). With 8 of us in the house we probably average 10 loads of laundry a week). Never had any major issues with it, except that it gets kind of musty smelling if we don't leave the door open between loads. I've seen some complaints on these washers, and just as many positives. Sometimes I think people just get a crappy piece of equipment.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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I have a Kenmore dryer too that is about to be booted from this house. It keeps snagging all our clothes in between the frame and the drum, thus leaving burn marks.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:05 PM   #8
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I have the Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer. They are about 6 years old and never had a problem other than a sock getting sucked into the pump takes 5 minutes to fix. Family of 5 doing at least 3 loads a day . The only Kenmore appliance that I would buy again is the whisper canister vacuum they last forever. I have been told that Electrolux makes them
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:08 PM   #9
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I have the Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer. They are about 6 years old and never had a problem
+1 It had the highest ratings with Consumer Reports at the time too. Should last 15-20 years.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:19 PM   #10
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Maybe kenmore just sucks but what Ive read online suggests front loading washing machines are prone to this type of problem, basically front loaders are efficient and easy to use but top loaders are more reliable.
The silver lining seems to be the pulleys from this washer will work beautifully for motorizing my grain mill. I'm also looking for ideas for using the perforated stainless drum for brewing purposes. The holes in the drum are way to large for a false bottom but its scrap value is negligible so I'd like to find some use for it.

 
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