Appliance Repair Show Transcript - October 21, 2007

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Whirlpool Gold Dishwasher Leaving a Black Residue around the Bottom of the Door

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll start things off this morning with Pam from Canton, with a question on a dishwasher here on the News Talk Radio 760 Appliance Repair Show brought to you by RepairClinic.com.  Good morning, Pam. 

 

PAM

Yes.  I have a Whirlpool Gold Quiet dishwasher, and I've come up to your place, they gave me instructions on how to totally tear it apart on the base, which I did, and it was full of gunk down there.  And then I also got that solvent that you put in to clean it out...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Glisten (part # 5303319027)?

 

PAM

...and ran that through.  However, I've got some black gunk that just keeps coming back.  It almost feels like a graphite kind of thing, but it's at the bottom of the door, it lodges itself in and around the soap dispensers, in and around the whole machine.  It gets in behind the silver chest.  I don't know what this black gunk is!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You said you did try the, what is it, Glisten dishwasher cleaner (part # 5303319027), is that it?

 

PAM

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, that normally works pretty well. If you're getting a residual buildup, you could have a situation where the gasket around the motor pump assembly is starting to deteriorate and sometimes that will put kind of a black speck type film in there.  Sometimes replacing that gasket will do it.  The other thing is to check your water, as it could be coming from your hot water heater or something of that nature.  And then also, just at times on the underside of the door, it's not unusual to get a gunk buildup, and that's just from the detergent in the water over in debris from the dishes; that's kind of a place where it collects.  A lot of times when you open up a dishwasher and you look in that area you'll see a residue buildup and you can normally just wipe that clean.  You might also want to try just some vinegar in there, run that through and see if that helps clean it out. 

 

PAM

Oh, I didn't think of that.  Okay, now, if I did the vinegar, how much vinegar?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I'd say in a normal wash, obviously don't put any dishes in there, and try half a cup, a cup.

 

PAM

Okay, now if it is the gasket that's deteriorating, because it is an older machine, is that replaceable?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Sure, if it's just the gasket around the motor pump assembly, a lot of times if you have little black specks it could just be from the gasket itself deteriorating...

 

PAM

Oh, it's not little specks!  This stuff is just...

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Any meteors land in your back yard lately?

 

PAM

That's about it!  Oh my gosh, this is awful!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, I would start by just making sure the whole cabinet is clean, wipe around underneath the doors, because a lot of times when you use a cleaner like that you shake everything loose.  So I'd start with a clean tank, and then if it continues, try to pinpoint it and inspect that rubber seal around the bottom of the pump assembly.  It could be something that's internal in the pump assembly, that some of the motor impellers could be breaking and flaking and putting stuff in there, but generally it's mostly just soap scum is what it is.  You might want to just try running it a few times empty with just the cleaner or some vinegar in there and try to flush it out.

 

PAM

Okay, I tried the Tang and that didn't work!  I heard that Tang was supposed to be good.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, the Glisten (part # 5303319027) works a lot better because it's more concentrated citric acid.

 

PAM

Okay, thank you very much.

 

GE Refrigerator Making a Popping Noise Before it Shuts Off

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here is a question on a GE refrigerator, from Mary Jane, in Ann Arbor, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead please, Mary Jane.

 

MARY JANE

Good morning.  When my refrigerator, when it cycles down, it makes a popping noise. It almost sounds like it has air in the lines.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

When it cycles down, you mean when it turns off?

 

MARY JANE

Right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And you get a refrigerant noise, or a lot of times what happens is, that when the machine shuts down the refrigerant in the system is trying to equalize.  And you'll get some unusual noises that come about.

 

MARY JANE

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If it's only doing it on shutdown and it's cooling properly, it's probably normal operation.

 

MARY JANE

Okay, that's good news, thank you!

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

That's not one of those things that if you ignore it, it will get worse, is it?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, it depends- it could be other issues. But normally refrigerant noises, especially in units today because they use smaller tubing to get more efficiency, when it shuts off you've got a high pressure on one side and a low pressure on the other.  They're trying to migrate from one side to the other and you get a lot of ...

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

I guess if it isn't broke, don't fix it!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah.

 

1992 Amana Side By Side Refrigerator: Where to Locate a New Counter Depth Refrigerator

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Let's go to the phones with Tom, in Keego Harbor, who wants some advice on a counter-depth refrigerator, here on the Appliance Repair Show.  Tom, what is your question?

 

TOM

You can make my life complete if you can help me not get divorced!

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

That's a new service that we just started.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That could get expensive!

 

TOM

Here's what happened in a nutshell.  We built a new house fifteen years ago.  I had a built-in Amana, it simulates the Sub-Zero kind of look with the built-in look and it was counter-depth. It went bad about three years ago, and the stores that I went to in the greater Detroit area, all the stores we know and love said that they don't have that one available anymore, so you can't do that.  Well, I reluctantly bought a standard, nothing wrong with GE, I love the product, but I bought a standard GE refrigerator that now sticks out and looks horrible. I still have the wooden panels in the basement that I'm sitting on, and I've just decided that I want to try to make peace in the house and have this thing... and I totally agree with my wife, it doesn't look right.  Is there any way you guys can direct me to someone who would be able to find me a counter-depth refrigerator?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

When you mean counter-depth, a lot of them are just a few inches shorter than a standard one, and several manufacturers still make them, but even then what is your depth, is it twenty-eight, twenty-six inches?  And then also, are you trying to accommodate your old panel kit on that, or is it something that you're going to have new panels made to fit the new refrigerator? Are you going to give up on the panels?

 

TOM

I guess on the first question, because I got to find out, I don't have the measurements in front of me, but are you saying that the definition of counter-depth isn't specific?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, we actually just put one in our office and I think it sticks out about an inch or so.  Again, you need to get the true measurements of the appliance. They call them counter-depth because they're shorter than the standard.  So I'd measure it, and honestly I think at this point the Internet might be your good friend, and look at the different manufacturers and see what they come up with. You're not only looking for the depth, but also the width to fit into your existing spot, too, so you might have something that slides in that's more flush with the counter, but then maybe you have gaps on either side to get the right box. 

 

TOM

When you say, by the way the panels, I'll compromise on the panels, because there are a couple of craftsmen around who can make me those.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Exactly.

 

TOM

The panels, that's okay there, but what are the chances of, you said the Internet, where would you recommend I go to?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I'd try all the major manufacturers.  You know, Frigidaire, GE still might even have something.  The other thing is that your other refrigerator, is it beyond repair, or is it long gone now? 

 

TOM

Yeah, you know what, for whoever's listening, that was a huge mistake on my part. I had a new refrigerator delivered, and they said, "We'll get rid of the old one for you", and I let them take it.  I should have kept it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, there's always something when you have a built-in unit and replacement, you normally have to modify either existing cabinets, or there's other things that have to go along with it, so sometimes having it repaired is the only thing to, as you say, keep the peace in the house.

 

TOM

Why were so many of the repair people reluctant to come in and change the compressor?  They said, "Oh, just get a new one; it's going to cost you six hundred bucks to change the compressor."

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What, a fifteen-year-old AmanaA side by side?

 

TOM

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's a terrible job.  I have found, one of the more labor-intensive repairs for that particular unit is to change the compressor, but I've done several.

 

TOM

Oh, so that's why they were reluctant...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, it could be that, or it's in your best interest, as in okay, the machine's fifteen years old and you're at half the cost of a new one, so what's better for you?  The other ones are more energy efficient now.  So I don't think it was bad advice, but yeah, also it's not a cake job either.  The combination might have got you there.

 

TOM

Okay, well, I will take your suggestions and go to the Internet and go to the major manufacturers, and look for the dimensions that I need and try and find a counter-depth. And you're saying those products are still available!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, they still make some of the counter-depths out there.  You might have to special order something, and you might want to look at a built-in, like a Sub-Zero, or something like that, and just get the counters done once and for all and just get it in there.

 

TOM

Yeah, my mission is to not have to disrupt the existing geography so, okay.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

You know, probably, if the guy had to charge four hundred and fifty dollars for labor, he was probably worried that doing that on a fifteen year old machine, he's probably going to get calls on all kinds of things going wrong with it in the domino effect after that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, you get to a point where things continue to break down.

 

2001 Westinghouse Refrigerator/Freezer Has Ice Buildup on the Freezer Floor

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And we will go next to East Lansing for a question on a six-year-old Westinghouse refrigerator.  Howard, good morning, welcome to the Appliance Repair Show.

 

HOWARD

Thank you for taking my call. We have Westinghouse side-by-side, and when it goes through the defrost cycle and the water builds up in that little depression in the bottom, the water doesn't evaporate, so about every two days I've got to take a knife and dig underneath it and take out this big thing of ice and throw it in the sink and start all over again.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So the freezer floor has got an ice buildup on it?

 

HOWARD

Right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There's a tube that's in, you have to remove the back wall of the freezer, and there's a drain hole and a tube that goes to a pan underneath.  It's probably full of debris.  You can, you have to empty the freezer and turn it off, and you can remove that back panel; there are normally several screws involved.  You can take a turkey baster (part # 19950151) with some hot water and flush that out, and that will generally cure the problem.

 

HOWARD

I don't see any hole or anything in the bottom of the refrigerator or the freezer.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No,  if you remove the back panel you'll see there's a little trough, and then there's a small drain hole about a half inch in diameter that, and then on the underside of the machine there's just a small tube that runs to a drain pan, and that's probably restricted.  So get your coolers out and empty your freezer and turn the machine off and remove the back panel to access that.  Once you get in there, flush it out a few times and you'll get some more mileage there.

 

HOWARD

Thank you very much.

 

2002 GE Profile Refrigerator is Freezing Food in the Refrigerator Section

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Let's take a call from West Bloomfield from Dennis, on a freezer, here on the Appliance Repair Show on News Talk 760 WJR.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You've got a refrigerator that's freezing food, is that it?

 

DENNIS

That's exactly right.  It's only five years old; we bought a refrigerator so that it's only counter-depth, so it doesn't stick out too far, and so it's like the GE Profile.  And all of a sudden it just started, you put something in and in three hours it starts to form ice cubes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

This is in the refrigerator section?

 

DENNIS

In the refrigerator section; and the freezer section's not freezing.  It's like they switched roles or something!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, that's what happens if the unit's running all the time.

 

DENNIS

Yes, it is running all the time, that's exactly right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You could have a situation where you have a problem in your refrigeration system where the compressor could be inefficient, where it's running and it's not pumping enough to pull the freezer temperature down, but then by it running constantly, you're still below thirty-two degrees in your refrigerator and freezing things in there.  When it's running all the time like that, I'd always start with telling you to clean the condenser and all that good stuff. But on this one you might want to call for service and have somebody come out, because if it is in the sealed system you're going to have to have the proper tools to diagnose it.

 

DENNIS

Oh, so I'm going to need a new refrigerator?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Without being there I can't tell you that one, but I would start, even if it's five years old, it could be something simple that they run into, so I'd at least invest a service call in it and have somebody come out and look at it. 

 

DENNIS

Alright, thank you.

 

Maytag Neptune Washing Machine Mold Problem

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll go now to White Lake for a question from Dennis on the Appliance Repair Show here on News Talk 760 WJR.

 

DENNIS

Hi, thanks for taking my call.  I've got a Neptune Maytag washing machine and I have the mold problem, I'm not sure if you're familiar with that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes.

 

DENNIS

I was just wondering how easy and if there is a kit available to buy a new boot.  I need to replace it and how long does the kit actually last, will I have to replace it in the next couple of years?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It depends on what version you have; the original ones they had the door boot that just by water sitting in there, accumulated stagnant water and got it moldy.  And then they came out with one that had a drain hole in the boot that went down to an auxiliary pump that pumped water on the glass as it was running to help flush that out.  So if you have that style, one that's already got the kit as you refer to it in the machine, and all you can really do is wipe it off, and try to clean it out, and you can always try running hot water through it, run the hot cycles. I just heard something, I haven't seen the product yet, but one of the manufacturers is coming out with a cleaner (part # W10135699) for such problems, and I haven't had a chance to try it but that might be something available in the next two or three weeks for front-loading washers in general.  It's kind of a mold remover, basically it probably helps dissolve all the soap buildup and that's really all you have is the water stagnant in there and the soap buildup. 

 

DENNIS

Yeah, because I have the second generation with the hole and it still gets moldy and you have to wipe it out every so often with bleach, but it just seems to keep coming back. So I guess that's my issue: okay, if I replace that boot, how often am I going to have to replace the boot to get rid of the mold? 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If the boot's not leaking, then I would just leave it and continue cleaning it.  The other thing is you might want to try doing a few loads with the real hot water and some bleach, and the more you flush it out the more mileage you'll get between cleanings.

 

DENNIS

Yeah, alright, perfect!

 

Maytag Washer Not Filling with Water When the Control is Set to Wash Warm

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a question on a Maytag washer, Alan, in Grosse Pointe Park, on the Appliance Repair Show on News Talk 760 WJR.  Got a water problem, is that right, Alan?

 

ALAN

I do.  When I set the washing machine to turn on, and I've got the water set on wash warm, rinse cold and I turn it on, the water does not enter into the machine.  But if I switch it to cold or I switch it to hot, it will enter the machine.  And you can hear when I turn it on the warm cycle to enter warm, you can hear a buzzing sound in it, like something is trying to happen, and if you wait a minute then the water will start coming out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

One more time, if you set it to warm you get nothing, is that correct?

 

ALAN

Half the time I get nothing, it just started happening.  There might be a couple drops coming out.  But if I switch the wash cycle to cold-water wash or hot-water wash, water will come out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So then you're getting the appropriate temperature when you go the other way?

 

ALAN

Correct.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, it could be in the controls for the warm and not energizing the valve, but when you say you set it to warm you hear it buzzing, it sounds like the valve itself might be sticking.  Do you have hard water in your area?

 

ALAN

No.  Detroit city.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, I was going to say, normally that's a sign of...I would, from what you're telling me, I would lean towards the water inlet valve.  They're thirty-three dollars, and yours looks like it also has a thermistor in it that might be giving a false reading as well to the control board; and all that does is, as the water temperature comes through it, it says "Okay, I'm hot, I'm cold," and they add or subtract more water, so it could be a problem in that.  The other thing you want to do before you replace anything is make sure the wiring connections between the thermistor and the board are in good condition, because if you get a corrosion buildup on that, where it plugs into the water valve, it will give a high resistance reading across that and it will kind of fake it out as they say.  I'd just make sure where it plugs into the water valve that there's no sign of a leak or water dripping, because again a bad connection will make a high resistance connection and that's what the resistor in the thermistor is doing is reading the water temperature, so I'd do that before you replace it.

 

ALAN

Now, do you access that from the back of the machine, or do you access that on the top of the control panel?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That one is the back of the machine, and if you go to our website, they can give you some step-by-step on how to tear that machine down or they actually have a manual for that as well.

 

ALAN

Okay, can you give me your website please?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Sure, it's www.RepairClinic.com.

 

ALAN

Thank you very much.

 

1990 Amana Side by Side Refrigerator is Freezing Food in the Refrigerator Section

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a fridge that's freezing food, Dennis, in Chesterfield, on the Appliance Repair Show.

 

DENNIS

Yes.  It's freezing the food; it's an Amana and its seventeen years old.  I've dialed it down as far as it will go and it still freezes the food.  I checked the manual and the manual says I should either get a repairman out it to check it but you know, being that it's seventeen years, I just wondered if it was worth trying to fix it.  The other thing that's wrong with it is the icemaker started leaking a couple years ago, so I just shut it off.  But the thing we're concerned about is that it's freezing the food.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

In the refrigerator section?

 

DENNIS

Yeah.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, most of those older refrigerators have what they call a damper control, and all that is, is a thermostatically operated gate, that allows cold air from the freezer to go into the refrigerator section, and if that sticks open then it will cause it to freeze things in the refrigerator.

 

DENNIS

I reached in there and I can feel that where it's blowing the cold air. It's behind like the meat department. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah.  So the other thing to check is always clean your condenser, make sure it's just not running too much, if that's something you haven't done.  There's a point where it'll run enough, to quite a long time, to keep the freezer temperature where it needs to be and then it'll start to run so long that the fridge, even though the damper is closing, it will freeze foods.  The other thing is that, this is a side by side?

 

DENNIS

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And how many people in your family?

 

DENNIS

Just two.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Just two?  So you don't open the refrigerator very often?

 

DENNIS

No.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, that's the other thing as far as that goes, it's called cold air migration and that's the freezer temperature of the freezer air that actually kind of seeps back through from the freezer to the refrigerator section from long off times. On some of those units you could actually partially block the return hole near the crisper drawers and stop that situation from happening.

 

DENNIS

Well the way to do it would be that hole where the meat freezer is, cover it up?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, they have a, there's a little kit for it on some models; there's either a little door you can put in place there.  At other times it's a peel-and-stick tape with a smaller hole cut in it than the one you originally have.  And if that's what's happening, the cold air migration will help solve it.  That's normally from the machine honestly just not being opened enough, keeping the air circulating through there.  I'd start by inspecting your damper, that's the most common. But if everything else is alright, it could be that the cold air is just literally seeping from one side to the other because the fans and everything else aren't running and the unit's unopened.

 

DENNIS

That damper is between the freezer and the refrigerator?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, the return air hole is down by the meat keeper; the damper is normally up in the control section at the top.  So the air comes in normally from the top of the unit and then is returned at the bottom.

 

DENNIS

So how would you fix that thing so that it will open and close?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If it's stuck then you just replace it.

 

DENNIS

How would I recognize it, is it like a rubber thing?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, the damper in the top is normally thermostatically operated; it's got a little gate on it which basically opens and closes.  Once you remove the controls up there, you'll see.

 

DENNIS

I'm just wondering if...okay.  You know, the thing's seventeen years old, the icemaker doesn't even work anymore.  I'm wondering if it's even worth putting the money into it, or just replace it?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You know, for the cost of a service call versus the cost of a new refrigerator, at least have somebody come out and look at it. It might be something simple; you might be able to get it in good working order for one hundred, two hundred bucks, obviously cheaper than getting a new one.  However, since the new ones are much more energy efficient you need to take that into account.  But that's something if you don't know what's wrong you can get somebody to come in and tell you for sure.

 

DENNIS

Do your people come out and do that?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

We do not have service vehicles, so you should talk to your neighbors and find out who has good service. Or, you could call Amana and find out who does authorized factory service, normally those people are trained and up to speed on your unit. 

 

DENNIS

Okay.  Thanks very much.

 

1992 Dryer Door is Heavy When Lifted to Close It

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Joy, in Saint Clair Shores, is having a hard time opening her dryer on the Appliance Repair Show.  Good morning, Joy.

 

JOY

What's happened is I opened the dryer on Friday to put a load in, and I heard a loud "BOING!", and then I closed the door and it felt very heavy lifting it up to close it, but it worked, but it worked alright, the clothes dried.  My question is; is there a spring in the door that might have given way?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Does your door open, do you pull it down or does it open like a standard door in your home?

 

JOY

No, I pull it down.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, yeah, there's normally a set of door cables and then there's a spring attached to each side of that, and it sounds like you've got a broken spring and that was the "boing" sound you described.  In order to change those, it's not too bad, but the front panel needs to come off.

 

JOY

The panel in the door?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The front of the machine, yes.  Basically you have to fold the top of the machine back and then remove the front panel.  We have instructions on how to do that on our website, RepairClinic.com and we also sell a manual for that, but this is a pretty straightforward repair.  Or if you have a maintenance man that comes over and does odd jobs, it's something they could probably tackle something like this for you.

 

JOY

Okay, so they have to lift the top of the dryer off?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, well it folds back like a car hood does, and then you can access the front panel.

 

JOY

I see. All right.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I'd replace the cables and the springs and just kind of rebuild it while you're in there so you don't replace one spring and a year from now or six months from now another one breaks.  So I'd just put all the parts in there and overhaul it.

 

JOY

Now, my question is, if I can't find someone that will do that for me, would it be very expensive to have a repairman do it?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If a repairman came out to your home and did that, you'd probably put between, I would say, seventy to a hundred dollars into the repair.

 

JOY

I see.  With a fifteen-year-old dryer, is that worth it, or should I buy a new dryer?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, the other thing they can do while out there is inspect other things and if there are other parts that are worn out, replace those.  Normally, those machines go quite a long time, and a lot of the designs on the dryers today are similar to the one you have, so you're not going to be buying a better designed or built unit.  So I'd say as long as it's in good shape otherwise, I would say it's probably worth at least one service call before you send it to the landfill.

 

JOY

Okay, thank you very much.

 

GE Oven Heating Element Melted Through to the Lower Cavity

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's a question on an overheating element, actually an element that's melted in an oven from Mark, in Plymouth, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Hi Mark, go ahead.

 

MARK

Yes, I don't know if they told you anything, but I have a problem with my heating element on my wall oven.  It caught on fire and melted on my lower body oven.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, burned right through to the lower oven cavity?

 

MARK

So my question is, is there any way to plug that? There's a small, like BB hole I noticed when I was cleaning it up, and I'm wondering is there any way to plug those holes up? There's only one hole, about one-eighth of an inch in diameter.  Is there any way to plug that up or do I have to replace the whole lower body oven?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well you can replace the oven liner, which is a really big job and fairly expensive, some manufacturers do make a repair kit for that.   That's something that if it's a GE you might want to get a hold of the manufacturer and ask them if they make a kit. Normally it's an epoxy that will stand up to the self-cleaning oven temperatures, but some manufacturers do, because they do not want to have to change the oven cavity, make a repair kit that's a kind of mix it up and touch up kind of thing, as long as the hole's not too big. 

 

MARK

No, it's a really small hole, as a matter of fact I was thinking about throwing a stainless steel screw in there.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's something you could do.  Cosmetically it wouldn't look the greatest, but again, I'd-

 

MARK

But that's acceptable to do something like that?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

As long as you're plugging the hole, but honestly you might find something that's cosmetically a little better and would stop some of the rusting and things like that.  There is moisture in your oven so you'd like to seal that, because once the porcelain coating is gone it's obviously going to continue to rust and it will deteriorate.  So you're better off sanding it a little bit and putting a patch on it than to keep putting a bigger size screw in it every couple years.

 

MARK

Yeah, okay, okay.  That answered my question, thank you.

 

1997 Whirlpool Top Loading Washing Machine Leaks From Underneath After the Cycle is Completed

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's another question on a washer from Bill, in Lincoln Park, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead, Bill.

 

BILL

I got a Whirlpool washing machine; it's about ten years old.  It works real well, but after it finishes a cycle, there's a little stream of clear water running from underneath it

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, is this a top-loader or a front-loader?

 

BILL

It's a top-loader.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

A top-loader, and it's after the cycle has finished, you get...

 

BILL

About five minutes later, then you see a little stream of water coming out.  And it's clear!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And this is after the first load always?

 

BILL

It's after every load.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  But it doesn't leak continually through the cycle or is it always after?

 

BILL

No, it doesn't leak until after it's all done.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Huh.  Well, the one thing it could be is on the top of the washer tub there's a cover, and that cover has a series of holes in it so that any water that splashes up while in the wash mode, it drains back into the tub.  If those holes are plugged, which a lot of times, after ten years of detergent buildup and things like that, the water's unable to return back into the tub.  So what happens is as it's washing and agitating, you get some water splashed up on the top, and then when you go into the final spin, if it's unable to circulate that water back into the tank it throws it off onto the floor and surrounding area, and that may be what you have going on there.

 

BILL

Yeah, it's a very small stream of water.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah.  I mean it could be other things, like it could be a leak in the pump, any hoses or anything of that nature. But from what you're describing and the occurrence of when it happens and how often, it could be just a matter of the top itself has a soap buildup and water is sloshing out of the top.

 

BILL

Are the soap holes in the side of the tub?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's on the top. On the top there's normally a cover that snaps over the plastic tub, and there's three or four drain holes in there. They're small slits, and if they get filled with detergent and stuff like that, then the water has nowhere else to go, so what happens is it pools while it's washing on the top, and then in the last spin cycle it throws it on to the floor and surrounding area.

 

BILL

How do you get that cover off?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You have to remove the cabinet on that.

 

BILL

Oh, you have to remove the cabinet?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it's all one piece, and actually it's pretty simple to do.  There are two retaining clips in the control panel; we do have instructions on how to do that on our website.  If you go to RepairClinic.com, go to the "Contact Us" section and fill out the appropriate information and your email address and what your question is, you can go in and we have what we call our self-help section and there's some documents in there that you can scroll through that will tell you how to disassemble your washing machine.  So you can print them out and take them downstairs and get busy on your Sunday morning.

 

BILL

Oh, great! Thank you very much.

 

1997 GE Top Mount Refrigerator Icemaker Not Producing Any Ice

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll take one more call from Mary, in Monroe, on another icemaker question on the Appliance Repair Show.  Good morning, Mary.

 

MARY

I have a little bit of trouble.  My icemaker does not get water in it or it doesn't freeze it.  It's on top of the, it's a two door like...

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Is it a freezer on top?

 

MARY

Yeah.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay...you got a freezer on top and is your--?

 

MARY

I'm not getting any ice.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No ice?

 

MARY

No ice at all and no water.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And no water as well?

 

MARY

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

This is the ice and water in the door?

 

MARY

No, no it's inside; it's a ten year old General Electric.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  But do you have a dispenser on the outside?

 

MARY

No.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so you're not getting any ice because you're not getting any water?

 

MARY

Yeah, I think it is.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And the freezer temperatures are okay?

 

MARY

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Alright, well the most common thing, from what you're describing, is the water inlet valve has probably failed.  Then the tube that feeds the icemaker is probably frozen over because of that.

 

MARY

What do I do?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Most often you have to defrost the fill tube going to the icemaker, and then make sure you're getting good water pressure going to the water valve, and if you are then replace it.  It's something that you might have to call a service person out for.

 

MARY

I'd have to!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, because you have to pull the fridge out on those, so it might be something you'd have somebody come out-

 

MARY

It's a ten-year-old refrigerator, so do you think I should replace it?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It depends on how bad you want ice, you're going to spend probably one hundred to one hundred fifty dollars on the repair, and ice cube trays are a dollar or two a piece.

 

MARY

No, this has got a big tray that fills with ice.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Yes, but you can still buy some ice cube trays (part # 61002140) and put them in there and that will be about a couple of bucks and just not use the icemaker.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If the refrigerator is working otherwise, you have to ask yourself how much getting the icemaker working is worth for you.

The Appliance Repair Show

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