Whirlpool Top Loader Clothes Washer Repair

Howdy, handyman! This is a NO BULLSHIT article on fixing a Whirlpool (and many others Kenmore, etc) top-loader (with agitator) clothes washer. This article will fix many issues, at the same time, for a cost of $60, and for a half-day's worth of labor, and five days of wait (due to mail-order).

Likely Symptoms and Likely Solutions:

My symptom: makes noise during spin but does not spin, yet drains water. This is caused by either a motor coupling breaking or clutch burning out.

Other symptoms:

Does not drain water during spin cycle, does not spin, loud humming/buzzing noise: possible that something is jamming water pump impeller (sock, etc).

Agitator not working, everything else working: dogs in agitator are shattered.

No noise whatsoever: electrical issues like lid switch.

 

For me, washer was making somewhat loud noise during spin cycle, not spinning the load, but was draining water. Under the dryer on the floor was a puddle of black dust, and some white pegs were lying on the floor. My coupler was shattered. While dis-assembling the washer, I have also discovered that only two out of for dogs remained in agitator and the last two were half broken anyways. The cap o-ring broke immediately on dis-assembly, everything was dirty from age, and condition of clutch was uncertain. So basically, due to the age of the appliance and the requirement to wait 2-5+ days for mailorder parts to arrive, you basically replace everything that is easy to replace and likely to be worn out by now!!!

The following is the NO BULLSHIT repair procedure:

1) Get the curious wife away from your work area. I hate YouTube videos where they show a BRAND NEW, PERFECTLY DRY washer being disassembled. If yours just went thru a cycle and even if it was able to empty itself, there is still plenty of water inside. It will be pissing water all over the floor no matter what you do, and your wife will be howling at you about the floor and about you grabbing her cute kitchen towels in panic to mop up the water. So get the woman away from the area (cooking, her friend's, TV, whatever), collect small and large bucket, plenty of rags, expanding pliars, 7/16 socked, ratchet, VERY long extension (1 foot), screwdrivers, flashlight. If your dryer is FULL of water then good luck with that.

2) Disconnect electricity, shut off cold and hot water. Detaching water hoses is optional, but they will be pissing water all over if you disconnect them. You need to place a small short bucket under the hoses, not allow hoses to spill water on the motor, place large rag underneath to catch the water, and stuff water pump hoses with rags to reduce how much water they piss out (water will be all over the floor no matter how well you try, unless you have a super wide tray you can place the whole thing in).

3) Follow other websites' guidance on diagnosing relevant to your symptoms and dis-assembling the washer (see links to videos below), but I recommend tipping the washer about 45 degrees, supporting it against the wall on its back, and sliding a tall bucked under lifted front for safety, climbing underneath and taking a look before disassembling the whole thing. You can try to spin motor coupler by hand, inspect the coupler, look around clutch area, etc all without disconnecting or disassembling anything.

4) Diagnose problem to the actual part by using your man's brain. It's either the coupler, clutch, mechanical obstruction between the drums or in the water pump, dogs, or electrical / major problem. But like I said before, if your appliance is 10-20 years old, basically even if one part managed to break, all the other parts will break next month anyways, so you will be replacing all of the parts known to wear out.

5) Well, basically no matter what issue you find, a handyman when working on his wife's very old appliance will take the whole thing apart anyways just out of curiosity and to inspect/lubricate further, right??? Basically if your appliance is 10 years or older you might as well disassemble EVERYTHING, replace multiple parts that basically all go around the same time, clean and lubricate everything, RIGHT???

For me it was a shattered clutch and shattered dogs. But once I started looking, everything was rusty, cruddy, and dirty. So I basically took everything apart and started cleaning.

When you diagnosed your cause, it is time to start shopping. But like I said, all of these parts wear out at the same time, and since you took everything apart, might as well change just about all of these parts so that next ten years the thing will be working without issues. I used the websites https://www.ereplacementparts.com/ (this website gives extremely useful blueprints and drawings, but their parts cost too much) and https://www.searspartsdirect.com/ to lookup parts, and Amazon (WORST CHOICE ON SELECTING PARTS, BUT USUALLY BEST ON SHIPPING TIME. BE VERY CAREFUL, HOWEVER. AMAZON WILL PUSH THEIR NON-COMPATIBLE CRAP HARD AT YOU. CTRL+F TO SEARCH WITHIN PAGE TO ABSOLUTELY MAKE SURE PART NUMBER YOU ARE TRYING TO BUY IS IN THE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION PAGE) to buy them. You can buy from wherever you like, including e-Bay. Unfortunately, Sears repair centers HAVE ALL CLOSED BY NOW, so you can only mail-order these parts unless there is a third-party reseller in your area.

So, use eReplacementParts to start looking up drawings and part numbers. I bought the following items (of course, part numbers for you will be different). You save a great deal of money by buying large kits:

This kit gets you the clutch, the metal-reinforced coupling, and the dogs (NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SPEND THE TIME TO CHECK THE WATER PUMP AND BETWEEN THE TWO DRUMS FOR OBSTRUCTIONS, MAYBE YOU SHOULD BUY A SPARE COUPLING IN CASE THE FIRST REPLACEMENT BREAKS RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVE AN OBSTRUCTION PROBLEM):

 Cykemo 285785 Washer Clutch Assembly Kit, 285753A Motor Coupling Kit, 4 pcs 80040 Washer Agitator Dog for Whirlpool Washer

This kit gets you the dogs again and the o-ring (which broke right away for me) (note that you may be able to buy the o-ring in a local hardware store as a generic item) (there is a rumor that the plastic pieces of this kit are much inferior to old parts, and may not even fit. So you can scavenge this kit for useful parts basically):

Agitator Repair Kit 285811

 

And might as well buy the right tool instead of applying the pipe wrench!:

TB123A Kenmore Whirlpool Washer Tub Nut Spanner Wrench

 

Instruction Videos:

Diagnosis, disassembly, clutch replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7f1I1WTTsA

Direct Drive Coupler replacement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYn0_qCFdec

Drum disassembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8_TzloPCwY

 

6) So, clean everything, put all the pieces together properly, lubricate at the agitator gear joint, lubricate the cap o-ring before re-installing it, spray any rust with Rust-Oleum 248658 Rust Reformer Spray, vacuum away any dirt, clean between the two drums, inspect and clean the water pump, take apart and clean agitator pieces, and your appliance should be running just fine for another 10 years! Good luck!

 



˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅

 

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Page last modified 30-Dec-19 20:36:55 EST
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