Appliance Repair Show Transcript - September 23, 2007

sebestadesign.com requires at least version 7 of Flash. Please update your client.

Topics Discussed:

 

Kenmore Top Loading Washing Leaving a Musty Smell on Towels

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll start things off with Kevin, in Northville, this morning.  Hello Kevin, you're on with John Sowden on News Talk 760 WJR.

 

KEVIN

Hi, I got a problem with my washer.  Every time that we wash towels or dishrags or anything like that, after a couple of uses they start getting this mildewy smell on them.

And it doesn't happen with the clothes or anything like that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It just happens with the towels and things of that nature?

 

KEVIN

Yeah.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Just the stuff that you re-use?

 

KEVIN

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What kind of detergent do you use to clean them with?

 

KEVIN

I just use regular Tide.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And you're having mildew problems with them, huh?

 

KEVIN

It gets a musty smell after one use, and then you start drying off your face and you get that icky smell.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Do you use bleach at all on any of these? What kind of wash, warm or cold water?

 

KEVIN

Cold water.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, the cold water might be the issue as far as that goes.  You might want to turn the heat up, use a hotter cycle to help kill any of the bacteria and stuff in the washer.  Or, you might want to even try different detergents that might address that.  But I'd lean more towards a little bleach, and/or the heat to get rid of that, because those are the things that do stay wet, when you get out of the shower they're hanging up to dry, that stuff.

 

KEVIN

Okay.  So there isn't any way to put a filter or anything like that in the washer.  A friend of mine had mentioned that, and I couldn't believe it would be something like that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, it depends on what kind of washer you have.  Is this a top-loader?

 

KEVIN

Yeah, it's a Kenmore top-loader.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There are a set of filters that are underneath the inner tub, and they've actually replaced those filters with just plugs now, so you would just remove them, throw them away, and just put these plugs in there.  All it does is during the spin cycle it accumulates the lint at the bottom of the tank, and then when it drains it pushes it out the drain and that way you're not running the lint through.  But yeah, I'd go more with the try different detergents and a hot cycle.

 

KEVIN

All right.  Thanks a lot.

 

1992 Kitchen Aid Dishwasher Not Getting Any Water Circulation

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's a dishwasher question from Albert, in Richmond, on News Talk 760 WJR.  Hi, Albert.

 

ALBERT

I have a KD 80 Kitchen Aid dishwasher.  It has stopped cycling water.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Is this a portable unit?

 

ALBERT

No, it's not a portable unit per say.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Built in? Is it about fifteen years old?

 

ALBERT

Yes something like that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I'm sorry; you said it is doing what?

 

ALBERT

It no longer shoots water out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, you're not getting any water circulation?

 

ALBERT

Right. I wondered if there was a pump involved in the back.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

On that unit, the motor is the pump.  It normally turns one way for wash and the other way for drain.  They stop the motor and reverse it.  What I would do is in the main wash cycle, if you turn it on and let it run for five or ten minutes, it will normally fill quickly and drain and then it will fill for the main wash cycle which is normally around ninety seconds.  Open up the door five or ten minutes into the cycle and see what kind of water level you have.

 

ALBERT

Yeah.  There is no water level.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Then it's either not filling, which could be a problem with the water inlet valve, or on those units they have what they call a drain valve.  It's a solenoid-operated gate that's supposed to close and keep the water in it until it's time to drain.  If you get something caught in there, like a toothpick or a kernel or corn or something like that, it holds the drain valve open.  So what happens is the water runs in, and it runs right back out.  I would start by seeing if it does fill; normally you can hear the water coming into the machine.  If you hear the water coming in and yet you open the door and there's nothing in there, then it's just going right back out the drain.  Normally the drain valve, you remove the lower kick panel, is in front there. 

 

ALBERT

If water was coming in you'd be seeing dampness and you're not seeing dampness. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If you get down there and start it up you can normally hear the water coming in, and sometimes you get some noise through the plumbing.  Generally, the other thing you can check is the float itself, it could be stuck. The float is a small cone shaped thing that they have in there and that's just a fail safe.

 

ALBERT

Now where would I find this, in the back of the unit?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Nope, it would be in the front.  You have to remove the lower kick panel on the dishwasher; there are a few screws.

 

ALBERT

Yes. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And from there you just have to fire it up, pull up a chair, watch, listen and try to figure out what it is doing or not doing.  But I would start by checking the, see if it's filling, and if it's filling and it's not keeping the water in there, I'd go right to the drain.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And we hope that that takes care of the problem.  A lot of times it would be fun to talk to people I think that we've talked to, that you've helped, to see how that advice has worked for them.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

We'll see.  They have the luxury of being there, so sometimes that helps a little more.

 

Admiral Refrigerator/Freezer Temperature Control Knob Will Not Turn

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We're going to go to a refrigerator problem with John, in Brownstown, on News Talk 760 WJR.  What's wrong with the fridge, John?

 

JOHN

Hi, it's an Admiral, and I wanted to adjust the freezer temperature because it didn't seem to be cold enough for the ice cream.  And I can't turn the knob for the freezer that adjusts the temperature, and I'm afraid to force it because it feels like it might break.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

First thing, what temperature do you have in the freezer? 

 

JOHN

I didn't really measure it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, you want to start there because ice cream is a poor determining factor as to whether you have a problem.  A lot of times due to the sugar content and things of the ice cream, sometimes you'll have to really turn it down low to get some to freeze rock hard if that's how you like it. So checking the temperature in the freezer is where I'd basically start. If you're running it zero to eight degrees, you can certainly try to force it to run more, but I wouldn't mess with it if you don't have to.

 

JOHN

But I can't even turn the knob, you see?  It goes from zero to nine. Nine is the coldest that I've had it set so far, but I wanted to set it to four or five but I can't even turn it. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

More than likely what happened is the control is stuck, sometimes just from age and humidity and stuff like that.  You might end up breaking the knob trying to turn it, or the control.  The other one is that the damper control turns on a little, opens and closes a gate, and it's got a flapper in there that could be frozen, you could have ice buildup in there causing it not to turn.  If it's an ice buildup or if its temperature related, you might see if you could turn the machine off, unplug it, and let it get to room temperature and see if that helps.  If not, you're going to have to disassemble the control assembly and look at it.  Sometimes, if you can get the knob off you can take a pair of pliers and break it free, but yeah, you can snap off the actuator on the control and you might have to put a new control in it too.

 

JOHN

There's a Philips screw in the center of the dial, and I'm afraid to turn that too hard because I might break something.  The Philip screw turns with the knob.  It moves a little but just barely moves.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You should be able to take that screw out and pull down on the knob to get it free from the cold control.  And it could be that that screw again is just frozen on the control itself.

 

JOHN

I was wondering if I should take a blow dryer or a heat gun and air it up a little bit.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You can try but just be careful because you could end up with a lot of melted plastic by doing that.  That, unfortunately, is what happens.  Alright?

 

JOHN

Good enough.

 

Refrigerator Icemaker Only Dispenses Cubed Ice

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with another refrigerator question, Ken, in Fraser, on NewsTalk 760 WJR.  What's wrong, Ken?

 

KEN
My icemaker is, the water is working, the crushed ice is working, but when you go to engage it, it engages for the cubes, but it's not turning anything.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So, it is making ice, correct, you have ice in the bin?

 

KEN

Yes, crushed ice, it's making ice in the bin, the water's...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And the water's working, but it's not dispensing?

 

KEN

It's not dispensing the ice cubes themselves.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  And when you press on the lever there, put your glass in there, do you hear anything?

 

KEN

Yeah, that clicks up in the back there, you can hear that clicking up and that's it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So the actuator, that solenoid in the back is shifting up to actuate the cutting assembly in the bucket, but you're not getting the dispenser to work.

 

KEN

Right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There's a gearbox back there in the freezer section that might have failed.  You can check that; see if you have power to it, voltage to it.  But when you do that, I always say be very careful when making my voltage checks, and you also need to make sure that you either tape the door switches closed or hold them closed when you do that, because normally when you open the door you cut power to that.  So a lot of people will think, well I don't have any power to it, but they had the door open.  Other than that, if it doesn't do anything else, I would suspect that the gearbox has failed.

 

2002 Kitchen Aid Dryer Squeaks Loudly When It Tumbles

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH
Here is John, in Monroe, with a Kitchen Aid dryer problem on News Talk 760 WJR.

 

JOHN

I have a Kitchen Aid dryer. It's about five years old.  It squeaks loudly when it tumbles.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Does it do it all the time, or just on start up?

 

JOHN

All the time.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  Well normally what causes that is the idler pulley that the belt rides on.  It could be, there is a set of rollers that it rides on, but more than likely it's what they call the tension pulley for the dryer.  If you get the model number off that, go to our website, put it in, you'll see all the parts for it so you'll have an idea of what you're looking for.  And, if you go to the "Contact Us" section of the website and put in your email address, and you'll have some documents that will give you some basic instructions on how to disassemble it.  If you have more specific questions you can go ahead and ask them via email and we will try to get back to you and help you out.  Normally, if it does it all the time and not just after it's heated up, the pulley is what I'd suspect.  You can buy a rebuild kit for this for around thirty or forty dollars, which is a new belt, new idler pulley and new rollers.  You take all the wearing parts and make it just a one-time thing to get in there and change it.

 

Refrigerator Kept In a Heated Garage

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's Carolyn in her car.  Hi, Carolyn.

 

CAROLYN

Hello. I was calling this morning to ask you a question about a refrigerator in our garage.  They're telling us that we need to have a plug point put in by an electrician and another person saying use a heavy-duty extension cord would be okay.  I just wanted to see what you would think which is best.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What's best is to not put a fridge in the garage, especially in the winter in Michigan. 

 

CAROLYN

Our garage is heated and cooled, so it will be okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, that's something that you don't usually get a good temperature variance there, with the outside temperatures you get a lot of crazy things happening.  The best thing would be, if you are going to keep it there and use this moving forward, is to have them drop a power outlet in that area.  You can use an extension cord, as long as you have a good heavy duty extension cord and it's normally a twelve gauge extension cord, something that's mostly for air conditioners, something that will carry a lot of current and won't overheat.  I would, if you're going to use an extension cord, get a big beefy one and that would be the way to go.

 

CAROLYN

Okay.  Thank you so much. 

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

So, it is okay to use an extension cord?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay is a bad term, I mean they don't really recommend it, but if you have to, I've seen it done plenty of times.  As long as you get one big enough; even with air conditioners you can use them.  But again, you're looking at a much thicker gauge wire than what you'd get if you bought a three-dollar extension cord on a lamp.  As long as you're using the right stuff you should be okay.

 

Refrigerator Icemaker Only Dispensing Crushed Ice

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Okay.  And let's take a call now from Mike, in Canton, who has a question on another refrigerator icemaker.

 

MIKE

Hey, I was driving down the road, I'm over in Royal Oak right now, but I thought, "What can I call this guy about?" And I remembered my refrigerator.  I've got an icemaker in it and it worked real well until about a month ago.   We get the cubes, which I don't like crushed ice, but now it's stuck on crushed ice.  What do I do?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's stuck on crushed ice?

 

MIKE

Yeah, you push the cube button and it doesn't work.  I only get crushed ice.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It could be, when you select cubed and crushed, what you're doing is there's a solenoid in the back that moves up and down and works a little lever in the ice bucket.  It pulls up on the lever to lock the blades in place or release the blades.  It could be that you just got a bunch of ice buildup in the front of that dispenser assembly internally, and it's just frozen up where it cannot disengage the blades.  The easiest thing to do is to pull the ice bucket out, empty it out and let it sit in the sink overnight so as it thaws out, you don't make a mess, and then put it back in the next day and see if that cures the problem.  If not then I would say you have a problem either in the solenoid not working or the board or switches that when you depress the glass under there it tells it what to do.  But a lot of times it's just an ice buildup and if you do use a lot of crushed ice, you will get a lot of residual ice buildup over time. 

 

MIKE

I noticed that as I was filling my cooler up for work with crushed ice, that's about the time in started.  I'll have to agree that's probably what's wrong with it.  Thank you for your time!

 

Maytag Top Loading Washing Machine Has No Cold Water Wash

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Let's go with Rich, in Buffalo, New York.  He's got a Maytag washer question.  Go ahead, Rich.

 

RICH

Hi, good morning John.  I have a Maytag automatic washing machine, and my wife was complaining that she's unable to obtain a cold-water wash.  So, I took a look at a schematic and I thought, well, it looks like the water inlet valve might be the culprit, or so I thought.  So I bought one, replaced it, and nothing...it's beyond lukewarm, it's a little more than lukewarm when you press the cold button.  I don't really know what's going on, if you could help me out, please.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, you say you changed the valve.  Is this a top loading washer?

 

RICH

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  When looking at the diagram, did you notice if it had electronic controls or a thermistor in the water valve?

 

RICH

It did, I had to connect the leads. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so you have a temperature sensor that's monitoring the incoming water supply for that.  Normally I would say if that's the case, it's either in the thermistor, which is supposed to regulate and switch the valve on and off, or there's a small control board that also monitors that and that could have failed as well.  At times, you could get a moisture buildup on the wiring harness of that small board and the thermistor, and it gives it a false reading due to the high resistance.  So I would start by cleaning all the connections, which might help out.  If not, and since you replaced the valve, I would lean more towards that small control board. 

 

RICH

Would that be a switch or...where is this board?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

How many wires did you have going to the water valve?

 

RICH

I believe there were two.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Two sets of wires?

 

RICH

Yeah, well...it's either two or four. I'm not sure.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Then yours may not have a thermistor.  Some of them have a sensor right in the water valve.  That's, from what you're telling me, I thought that's what you have.  If it doesn't, I'd make sure your hot and cold water is hooked up right, and I know people say it is---

 

RICH

Yeah, I'm sure, I can verify that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Other than that, I would look at maybe the household plumbing or something where you're getting a back-feed, because normally if the valve's okay, the hot is hot and the cold is cold, then I would say it could be a plumbing problem.  The other thing it could be is the switch where you select your cycles might be sending power to both the hot and cold solenoid for cold, and that would be in the switch, where you select from hot, cold and warm.  You can check that with an ohmmeter and the wiring diagram which you've already found, and it will tell you that when you press cold water, you will have a complete path of continuity between contacts A and B, so if you take the wires off and mark them so you know where they go back, you can take your ohmmeter out and see if in fact the switch is making and breaking power appropriately to the water inlet valve.

 

RICH

Okay, I just want to run one more thing by you.  When my wife turns off the hot water feed, the water is cold, so we have to shut it off on the wall, the actual plumbing, the copper tubing on the wall, and then the water will be cold.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Now, when you changed the valve did you notice any sediment or anything like that in the water lines? 

 

RICH

No, I really didn't, John. It was good.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  Because normally what you're describing is that valve is sticking open physically and allowing hot water to come in even though it's not supposed to, or electrically it's being told to let in warm water, and if it's, the reason I ask if you have a lot of sediment in there, when you put in the new valve it's possible you pushed in a lot of crud, for lack of better words, back into the new valve and stuck it open again, so I'd check that to start with.  Otherwise, it sounds like electrically it's being told, hey, I need warm water instead of cold water, and that would probably get into the switch itself.

 

RICH

Okay, because somebody had mentioned a timer, but boy, that was expensive, it would have been eighty or ninety dollars!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It could be, but normally would only come into play if it's in the rinse cycle, it's when it selects...so if it's in the main wash, but if you're getting one but not the other then the timer is sending power to the water switch cycles. 

 

RICH

Okay, so more logically the switch...yeah when I took the valve off, John, there was that screen, which was in the actual valve itself, that was clear, both times on the old one and the new one, so as far as sediment I think that would eliminate that problem.  I'll see what I can do with that ohmmeter and we'll go from there.  Thanks for your time!

 

1999 Hotpoint Refrigerator Noisy Compressor When It Shuts Off

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a noisy compressor in a Hotpoint refrigerator, Dan, in Perrysburg, Ohio, on News Talk 760 WJR.  Go ahead, Dan.

 

DAN

I have a question on this Hotpoint refrigerator.  I'd say it's about eight or nine years old, and it's keeping the refrigeration, everything's working fine.  But into the cycle, I guess, when it shuts off that compressor, it makes this noise like it's loose, but I have not opened it up back there, but it's a loud noise.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

When it shuts off, you hear a loud clunk?

 

DAN

Right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes.  Well, what happens is, internally in that compressor, the actual motor and pump assembly is mounted on normally four springs, and this is all inside your compressor where you can't make a physical inspection of it, it's sealed up.  When one of those springs break and it shuts off, the inner works of the compressor slap against the outer shell.

 

DAN

Oh, okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There's nothing you can do, if that's what's happening, to repair your existing compressor.  You would have to replace it.  I've seen them run for years and years like that if you can handle the noise.  But, on the other hand, if you fill your fridge up from the grocery store, and it slaps and cracks a valve or something, then the compressor quits, then you're taking that known risk of continuing to use it, that you might end up with more trouble down the road.

 

DAN

Yeah, so live with the noise, right?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I'm trying to say, you can live with the noise, but beware that it could get worse and it could be expensive to come home and find that everything's thawed out.

 

DAN

Okay.  All right, that's it.  I thought it was the compressor, but I didn't know what it was!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Check the lines and everything, but normally if it's one big slap, then that's what I'd go with.

 

Montgomery Ward Refrigerator/Freezer Exterior Is Hot To the Touch & Water Leaking From Underneath

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a question on a hot refrigerator, Dixie, in Troy, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Hi Dixie, go ahead.

 

DIXIE

Hello, I have a Montgomery Ward, and the model number is 2270-4. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, what problem are you having?

 

DIXIE

It's the whole side on the freezer side, all the way down on the door hinge- it's hot.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's hot on the door frame?

 

DIXIE

Not on the frame, on the refrigerator itself.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, is it keeping things cold?

 

DIXIE

Yes, it is keeping things cold, but the ice cream when I brought it in didn't ever really freeze solid.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  When was the last time you cleaned the condenser on this machine?

 

DIXIE

I don't know.  My husband said he was going to do it this week, but I don't know if he actually did it or not.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Uh-huh.  Well, what happens is, the condenser, which is normally in the back, it gets full of lint and dust, and it causes the machine to run quite hot, and in a lot of these models they have refrigerant lines that run through the cabinet, so as the temperature of the condenser goes up, so do the side walls of the cabinet itself.  I would suspect, from what you're describing, you either have a very dirty condenser and/or the fan that cools that condenser has failed.  So, if you don't hear that little fan running under there when the refrigerator's running, that's probably conked out.  Or, you just need to get in there and do the yearly maintenance and clean that out.

 

DIXIE

Okay, the other problem I have some water that comes from the bottom of the refrigerator.  Not the refrigerator side, the freezer side.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You're getting water out the freezer door?

 

DIXIE

No, out the bottom of it, not the door, but the bottom of the, from maybe were the pan should be catching....

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right, is the pan cracked?

 

DIXIE

I don't know that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You need to pull that out and clean it, inspect it, sometimes you get a small crack in there and it will put the water on the floor.  You can take it out and clean it, put some water in there and set it on the counter and kind of monitor it and see if it leaks any water.  It could also be that the drain tube is not adjusted over the pan, if someone pulled it out previously and knocked the drain tube out of place.

 

DIXIE

That's possible.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So, I would start by grabbing a flashlight and a condenser brush, which we do sell over the counter at RepairClinic.com if you don't have one, or you can order it online, and clean the condenser out and inspect the other things, the fan motor---

 

DIXIE

Is that the motor, it seems to be running, running, running!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Again, the long run time is a sign that either the condenser is dirty or the fan has quit.  The heat you're absorbing inside the refrigerator, you're not able to disperse into the room through the condenser because it's got a big blanket of dirt on it or the fan is failed and is not cooling it.

 

DIXIE

Okay, so even if it's keeping the freezer cold?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, they'll just run forever, and at some point they'll overheat and the compressor will start cycling on and off.

 

Maytag Dishwasher Recall Question

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll get a question on a recall from Anne, in Allen Park, on News Talk 760 WJR.  What's been recalled, Anne?

 

ANNE

I don't know exactly what the problem is, except that they say it's a fire hazard.  It's a voluntary recall, my serial number and model number are according to what they say is being recalled.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Is this a Maytag dishwasher, is this the one where the soap dispenser or rinse aid dispenser is leaking on to the wiring harness, is that it?

 

ANNE

Yeah, I think it is some possibility of a leak or something.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, they had a few they had problems with and obviously when anything like this occurs; the manufacturers step in and make it right.  What I would recommend is call the manufacturer and see what your options are.  If it's the one I think you're speaking of as far as the recall, they would either come out and replace the wiring harness (and I believe the inner door, and they will do that at no charge,) or a lot of times they'll offer you an incentive to buy a new one.

 

ANNE

The way this reads, I was getting the impression that they were going to replace it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And they might very well.  A lot of times they leave it up to you, if you want it fixed, they will fix it, if not, then they will give you so much money towards a new one, they pro-rate it.  Any questions like that, I would definitely get with the manufacturer...

 

ANNE

So what would be involved, what do I have to do to prepare for them to come?  Are they going to have to go under the sink to the plumbing and things? 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I have no idea, ma'am. 

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

They will tell you when you talk to them.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

They will tell you what your options are, and as far as installation goes, every installation is different.  Some people have the dishwasher next to the sink which is ideal, other times it's more fun to get to, all the plumbing configurations are different, so what the man will have to do in order to change your dishwasher they probably won't know till they get out and look at it.  Most of them are pretty straightforward though, but you need to get a hold of the manufacturer and say, I have this information and in this recall, what are my options?  And then at that point you have to decide what you want to do, and they will steer you through it and try to make it as easy on you as they can.

 

ANNE

Okay.  As soon as I got the letter, I've stopped using it; I just wash by hand.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Okay, well good luck with the folks and I'm sure they'll take really good care of you and they'll tell you what they're going to do when they get to your house.  And they'll probably change that after they get there, because as you said every installation is different. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, I mean, it really depends.  Normally if they give you a voucher for a discount, then it's up to the place where you bought the appliance, whoever they have install it, so it's actually two different entities that will probably be involved there.

 

1987 Dryer Light Cover Won't Come Off

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Okay, here's a question on a dryer from Dee Dee, in Shelby Township, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead Dee Dee.

 

DEE DEE

The light went out in my dryer.  I tried loosening the screw, but I can't get it out.  Do you have any easy suggestions?  I don't want to use WD-40 because I'd smell up the inside of the dryer.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The light bulb, was that in the back of the dryer?

 

DEE DEE

No, it's right on the side once you open it, on the left-hand side.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Oh, okay, and it's...

 

DEE DEE

It's really easy access, but I can't get the screws! 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You can't get the bulb out?

 

DEE DEE

No.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

A lot of those have what they call a bayonet style bulb, where you actually have to push in and turn to release the bulb.

 

DEE DEE

Well, it's not the bulb.  It's the screws!  There's a covering over the light bulb.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Oh, okay, it's the cover.

 

DEE DEE

And, I can't get the screw loose from the cover.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, well you might end up having to either break the screw off, put a little force to it.  You might try a little rust penetrant and just not try to spray it all inside the drum and clean it out afterwards.  You know, the thing is, it's a twenty year old dryer, a lot of heat and humidity and things that act on the metal over a period of time sometimes make screws and things of that nature hard to break free, so you might have to just break the screw off and go from there.  You might also be able to remove the front panel of the dryer, and go in from the other side, or at least get on the backside of that screw and put some pliers on it or something.

 

DEE DEE

Wow, that sounds like a lot of work!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's actually not too bad, just go to our website and we have a lot of instructions on how to do that.  So if you got a basic set of tools and a little bit of time and some patience, it's something that you could probably achieve on your own.

 

DEE DEE

But there's nothing else I can use outside of...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, unfortunately with stuff like that, I've had them where I've had to cut out the screw or whatever it is, so it's one of those things where if it rusts on there sometimes you have to drill it out of there.

 

 

2002 Whirlpool Top Loading Washing Machine Leaving Soap Residue and Lint on Clothes

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Let's try to talk to Mike, in Monroe, about a washer question, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead, Mike.

 

MIKE

I got a Whirlpool heavy-duty extra capacity washer. I bought it used.  Every time I do a load of laundry, regardless of how much clothes are in the washer, I'm getting soap film on my clothes, and lint.  There is enough debris that I have to end up re-washing the clothes.  Now I'm trying to figure out if there's some kind of lint trap or something on there that might be plugged that's causing all this lint.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It could be.  This is a top-loading washer?

 

MIKE

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Do you have any idea on the age?

 

MIKE

It's about three or four year's old, maybe.  It's fairly new.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  Well, some of them have a lint filter that's in the actual agitator that you can pull out.  On most of the Whirlpools like that, what they have is on the underside of the tank, there is a set of filters that collect the lint, and then during the spin cycle it actually helps flush it down the drain.  If those are plugged or restricted, then all you're doing is circulating the lint through the clothes.  You can normally get at those by removing the agitator. If you take off the fabric softener dispenser, if it's mounted in the center of your agitator, and then there's a cap in there you can pull out.  You can put up with an extension, I think it's a seven sixteenths or nine sixteenths socket you can undo the bolt and pull the agitator right out and look underneath it.  It could also be you just have an awful lot of lint built up inside the outer tub from the previous owner.  They could have washed a rug in there that got a lot of lint buildup.  And at that point, the easiest way to see that is just to remove the cabinet of the washing machine, and most of those have a clear plastic tub and you can see what's going on.  Again, we have instructions on how to remove the cabinet on our website, or for this unit you can buy a manual for fifteen or twenty bucks and take it from there.

 

MIKE

Okay, so it's like, I wash the clothes, and we always hang our clothes up, and every time we do that there's always soap and lint and it's like, we wash the towels separately from all the other clothes, so...

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Go to the website and give it a shot, and do try the things he mentioned to you, and if that doesn't solve it, call us back, or call the folks at Repairclinic.com, 888-343-4948.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Appliance Repair Show

Looking for
appliance parts
or advice?