Appliance Repair Show Transcript - March 15, 2009

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

Topics Discussed:

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And we're going to start things out today with Steve, in Shelby Township, with a Maytag dryer question here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi, Steve. Go ahead, please.

2000 Maytag Gas Dryer Squealing at Start Up

STEVE

Yes, hi. Maytag front loader. Every time when you go to start it up it squeals real, real bad and after a minute or so the noise goes away.


JOHN SOWDEN

And this happens all the time?


STEVE

Yes, it just started doing it a couple of days ago.


JOHN SOWDEN

And how old is this unit, about three or four years old?


STEVE

About nine years old.


JOHN SOWDEN

Nine years and it's a front loader dryer?


STEVE

Yes, gas dryer. Yes.


JOHN SOWDEN

Well, if it's squealing on start up, normally, it's going probably to be coming from the tension pulley. That's the pulley that puts tension on the belt and it's also possible that there's a set of rollers in the back of the drum, that the drum rides on, that can be causing that. A lot of times what happens are when it's cold, it'll squeal for a while and then as it heats up and things start moving it'll slow down. On a rare occasion, the motor bearings can do the same thing, but most often it's the idler pulley that would do that. You need to obviously get into the dryer, make a visual inspection and you'll probably see where there are some small metal shavings or black spots around where the pulley sits on that shaft for the tension pulley.


STEVE

Is that like the belt tension? Is that what it is?


JOHN SOWDEN

Yep. And basically, on your unit, you take the front of that dryer off. You'd go to RepairClinic.com, go to the "Contact Us" section. You can give us your email address and we can answer your question and then you can go through what we call our "self help library" and we have how-to tear apart that specific dryer where you can print it off, take it downstairs and get busy.


STEVE

I see.


JOHN SOWDEN

Thanks for calling this morning.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

Well, that was easy. Or, it seems...


JOHN SOWDEN

It was easy for you.

Kenmore Top Mount Refrigerator, Model 106.68867890, Leaking Water


JOHN MCCULLOCH

We go now to Kathy, in Waterford, with a Kenmore refrigerator question here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi Kathy, go ahead.


KATHY

Hi, good morning.


JOHN SOWDEN

Good morning.


KATHY

I'm bummed I wasn't the first one in. That was my goal this morning, but anyways my refrigerator is leaking water. It looks like its coming from the freezer area. It's going down the back wall and its puddling underneath the vegetable trays on the bottom.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.


KATHY

Where we put vegetables and fruit and this has been going on for a couple of months. I have just been stalling doing something about it. This also happened to me two years ago and I did have a repairman come out and he showed me what to do but for the life of me I cannot remember, I didn't take notes. I am looking at my refrigerator manual and I was just hoping that you could help me out.


JOHN SOWDEN

Well, I'm going to try and thanks for calling in this morning. I'm sorry I didn't get you first, but there's always next time. Well, what's happening is...this is a freezer on top, correct?


KATHY

Yes.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. What's happening is the defrost drain water is leaking out of the normal routing procedures and leaking into the ceiling of the refrigerator. This is normally caused from the drain tube being plugged and there's a small tube that goes from the refrigerator section down underneath the machine and you can clean that out with a turkey baster if that's restricted, just some hot water and a turkey baster. Not boiling off the hot stove just tap, hot water.


KATHY

Wait, wait. Where do I go with the turkey baster?


JOHN SOWDEN

That's where I was heading which is; most often you have to either remove the back wall of the freezer. On some models, you have to remove the freezer floor to get at the cooling coils and underneath the cooling coils there's this trough that the water drips onto during a defrost cycle and in the center of it there is a small hole that routes the water through the drain. Now there's also at times a situation where that drain will just freeze up and there are, on some units, an insulation kit which is just a small series of double backed tape that you put around some of the air ducts to make sure that the cold air is not being forced into that area and causing a freeze up. They also have a small aluminum strap that you can wrap around the defrost heater and route it down the drain and what happens is when it goes into defrost it heats up and the heat is transferred into that area by the small little metal piece and it keeps it from icing over. So, you either have a physical restriction from debris or a physical restriction from ice and so it cannot drain properly and then the water just runs out into the refrigerator ceiling and then drips into the egg trays and all the other good stuff below it.


KATHY

I'm going to hope that it's not the freezing issue, but so if I remove the back wall of the freezer and maybe even the floor of the freezer, you're saying that most likely it is in the floor and it's underneath the coils?


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, it's mounted; it's underneath what they call the evaporator or cooling coil.


KATHY

And I am going to see some type of drainage hole?


JOHN SOWDEN

You are going to see a metal trough and in the center of it there is going to be a small hole that the water is routed to and then water drips from, so you can try just... make a visual inspection. If you see ice in there then you can just, if you wish, just turn the machine off for a day or two. I would probably go with turning it off if you see ice in there. Let it completely de-ice. Make sure the refrigerator insulation between the refrigerator and freezer section is dried out; normally a day or two and then I would clear out the drain with the turkey baster as I described and I'd also put one of those straps that just wraps around the defrost heater and goes into the drain and that way you kind of got it on both ends.


KATHY

This strap around this is...you're over my head here.


JOHN SOWDEN

It's basically something that a repair person would probably do. Its kind of a kit that they use on a lot of refrigerators that if you run into this problem and its just designed to add a little more heat in that area during the defrost cycle. So, if you're unclear on that, if you have a repairman come out and do it, you're probably in the $100 neighborhood by the time they get done.


KATHY

Yeah, because the last time I think I paid a couple hundred and that's what I was trying to avoid if I could fix this myself and, as a matter of fact, when he was here he said this is what you do if it happens again but you know I didn't take copious notes. It's my fault. I'm pretty handy so I should be able to do this. I'm just looking at the back wall trying to figure out how I'm going to get the back wall off. Oh, I see there are some screws.


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, there are. And you have to remove the air duct and probably the icemaker if you have one in there and if you have any other problems/concerns you can always go to RepairClinic.com where we can provide you with a little more information on the website and/or specific answers if you have specific questions.


KATHY

RepairClinic.com. Now why would this keep happening? This happened two years ago. Is this a common problem?


JOHN SOWDEN

Not common, but if it does occur as I said; they make a few things available to repair it. It happens on some not on others. It could be just in how the liner is set against the back wall. If there's not a good seal there that can cause this. So, there are a few things that, just over time, a lot of it, even if the refrigerator is not level and the water is unable to drip and collect in the trough properly it can drip off to one side or the other. Again, make sure that its level just for...


KATHY

Yeah, I can check that really easily. Isn't there something underneath the refrigerator that I should check?


JOHN SOWDEN

Well there is normally a pan that collects that water. You normally don't have to do anything. It's maintenance free. The water drips down there and then evaporates. Well, good luck, Kathy.


KATHY
Thank you very much.


JOHN SOWDEN

Thank you for calling this morning.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

Thanks for the call.

1994 Sub Zero Side By Side Refrigerator/Freezer, Model 561, With an Icemaker Not Producing Ice

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We go now to Marty, in Grosse Ile, with a Sub Zero freezer question here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi Marty. Go ahead.


MARTY

Hi. I've got an ice machine problem. It's in the freezer. The ice machine is not engaging and it is not making ice.


JOHN SOWDEN
All right, so the bucket is empty?


MARTY

Yes.


JOHN SOWDEN

All right. What model do you have? Do you know?


MARTY

It's a 4'5...It's a side by side. I think it's a 561. It's probably a 15 year old machine.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, a 561. And, the bucket that the ice falls into, are you sure its in place and when you slide in the bucket that it is making the switches in the back wall of the freezer section?


MARTY

Yes.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, because there's a cutoff switch for the icemaker that if you have the bucket not in place, that it will not make any ice. Well, there are a couple of easy things you can try to see if the icemaker is working or not. Do you ever hear it cycling? Do you hear any water try to fill into the machine?


MARTY

No, I pulled it out and I've looked at the little pump. I think it was a model 70, on the little tag on the little pump where it has the electrical and it comes in from the water source where I attach it. That's kind of on the bottom of the refrigerator.


JOHN SOWDEN

Do you have any filtration system hookup to this machine?


MARTY

No.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, well it sounds like there's...normally it's either the water pump or the water inlet valve has failed and it's not allowing water into the machine. Or, the icemaker itself is not cycling properly and that can, basically, on most those machines the icemaker is a go/no go situation where if it's bad, you just replace the icemaker. And, the easy way to see if the icemaker is cycling is assuming that your freezer temperatures are zero to eight degrees is to just take a Dixie cup full of water and pour it into the mold and wait three or four hours, see if it ejects the ice. If it does then you know the problem is in the fill portion of the icemaker. Basically, the icemaker, if you get water into it, will make ice. And, if that's the case, if it dumps those cubes out then I'd start looking at the water inlet valve as the issue or the tube that fills that icemaker is frozen up.


MARTY

How about the little pump at the bottom underneath?


JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, that's the water inlet valve. It's possible that's not opening and allowing the water into the machine for about seven seconds.


MARTY

Okay. How much is that part, more or less?


JOHN SOWDEN

Most of the water valves are around fifty bucks for something like that. But, if the water tube going from the refrigerator, I'm sorry, the freezer back wall to the icemaker is frozen up then it could be a sign of that, yes, the water inlet valve is failing and not shutting off positively or, on some units, there's actually a small heater that they wrap around that tube and that could have failed.


MARTY

Okay.


JOHN SOWDEN

So, again the easy thing to do is to put a little water in there and see what happens and take it from there.


MARTY

Thank you.

2008 Whirlpool Refrigerator Not Cooling Properly

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And, we go to Jean, in Macomb Township, with a Whirlpool refrigerator question, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Good morning, Jean.


JEAN

Good morning. I have a refrigerator less than a year old and I wasn't happy with it but I wanted to believe it was working well but its not. I've had five service calls and they all tell me something different and I'm blind. So, I'm kind of at a disadvantage. The first gentleman said, oh "I just have to make an adjustment". The second one said "you need a thermostat" and he turned it almost to the coldest temperature. The third one said he put the thermostat in. And, it's not cold and the fourth one, he came back, he took the back inside the freezer out, took all my food out. He said I was low on gas.


JOHN SOWDEN

Oh.


JEAN

The fifth one says, "no you're not low on gas". He did the same thing, took everything out of the freezer. I said, "you're doing the same thing that the gentleman yesterday did" and he said something about a sensor.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.


JEAN

Well, its still not cold like it should be and I don't feel like I should have to turn that up to above normal to the point where my food is cold. I'm throwing food away and I just don't know what to do. I've talked to the serviceman here and he said Whirlpool never replaces refrigerators. I don't know where to turn?


JOHN SOWDEN
Well, the first question I have is what is the original complaint? Is it the freezer not cold enough, the refrigerator is not cold enough?


JEAN

Right, both.


JOHN SOWDEN

Both are not cold enough?


JEAN

Yes, the third gentleman that came out I heard him checking the temperatures and he called it in and the freezer was twenty and the bottom of my refrigerator was 45 degrees.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. That's not where you want to be, that's for sure.


JEAN

No.


JOHN SOWDEN

You want to be zero to eight degrees in the freezer and normally 35-42 in the refrigerator temperature and again that will be variant to door openings whether you check right after a defrost system something of that nature, so there are times when you have a temperature swing there, but overall that's what you would want to do. Now, there are a few things that you can do. You say the unit is under a year old, so has all of this been covered under warranty?


JEAN

Yes.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And, you have had several service calls and it's still not working for you?


JEAN

No, the last one that came said that he couldn't check the temperature because it was in the defrost cycle. Well, he was here for well over an hour.


JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, but if it's in the defrost cycle, as I stated earlier, the temperature will rise and it normally takes a half hour to 45 minutes of run time to get it back to where it should be. Now the one interesting thing you said is the one gentleman said that you were low on gas which would normally refer to a refrigerant leak in the system from which you are describing could cause the situation that you are having. Do you know if they added any refrigerant? Did they do anything to the sealed system to cure this problem?


JEAN

So, what can I do?


JOHN SOWDEN

No, I'm asking a question. Which is: Do you know what repairs were done to alleviate the...


JEAN

I know the thermostat was replaced.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so they've changed controls. If you have a problem in the sealed system as the third or fourth or whatever gentleman said that could be your problem and that would cause what you're describing just not enough cooling because you don't have enough refrigerant in the system to complete the frost pattern on the evaporator. Now, the first thing I would do is the company, whoever you're dealing with, I'm sure their trying to do their best to repair your unit for you. They have a thing called a temp scribe and what that is, is a little monitor that they can come in and plug your refrigerator into and it monitors the temperature of your freezer and refrigerator section. It monitors door openings, normally as far as you can see the temperature swing and you can normally get a 24 hour reading of what your machine is doing. That will help, at times, I've run into this before, you can't really pinpoint what is going on so you get a graph of what is going on. And from there, they might be able to be some more help. Otherwise, I would, at this point, given that you've been a good sport and had several people out to try an attempt to repair it. I would contact the manufacturer directly and say here's what I got going on. It's still an issue, here's my service history which they will have a record of and see what they suggest. Do they want to send somebody else out? Do they want to send one of their people out? You know, what do they want to do to rectify the situation?


JEAN

How do I find this number of Whirlpool?


JOHN SOWDEN

Any basic telephone book, online source, you should be able to come up with a Whirlpool customer care number and deal with their people and I'm quite certain, because I know some of those guys, that they'll definitely want to care of that for you.


JEAN

I'm sorry, my hearing aids went out.


JOHN SOWDEN

So, I would contact them and see what they can do for you. And especially do this while it is still under warranty.


JEAN

Okay.


JOHN SOWDEN

Well, thank you for calling this morning, Jean. Appreciate the phone call.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

You do know those guys don't you?


JOHN SOWDEN

There's a few.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

Yeah, but they are anxious to get things done. They don't like...


JOHN SOWDEN

No, they don't like any complaints. They try to represent their product well like anybody in any industry.

2005 Maytag Neptune Top Loading Washing Machine Making a Grinding Noise

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's Jim, in Northville, with a Maytag washer question, on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi, Jim. Go ahead, please.


JIM

Good morning, I've got a four year old Maytag Neptune top load washing machine that's making a grinding noise. It doesn't happen all the time. In fact, I ran it through the complete cycle with just water only and there's no noise, but it does happen sometimes during the agitation cycle and sometimes during the spin cycle with clothing in it.


JOHN SOWDEN

And this is a top loading Neptune?


JIM

Yes.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so it has the little impellers that turn inside.


JIM

Yes it does.


JOHN SOWDEN

The grinding, it could be something caught in the pump. It could be a motor assembly that's causing that or it could be in the drive system. So, it's hard to diagnose a noise sometimes unless you can really pinpoint where it's coming from. And, you say when you put it with no clothes or no load in it; it seems to be less or not at all?


JIM

Yes, exactly.


JOHN SOWDEN

I suspect something in the drive train of the unit. And, again without me being able to hear it, I'm probably not going to be a whole of help on that one. It's a matter of if you can, you know, gain access to it and you know try to run it. See if can tell where it's coming from. Does it seem to be a motor bearing noise or somewhere in the drive train? Those are sometimes not the most fun machines to work on. You may want to defer to someone to come out and look at it this.


JIM

Yeah, it sounds like this may be a pretty expensive repair then.


JOHN SOWDEN

That could be the case, yes.


JIM

Okay, should I spend money on that or think about getting get a new unit altogether?


JOHN SOWDEN

I would normally say if its four years old, the first thing is definitely address it while it's making noise. Don't wait for it to quit because if something's worn now it normally can replace that component versus have it fail and then wipe out other components. For the price of a service call to have somebody come out and tear it down and look at it and say here is what you need to do and then, at that point, you can look at it and say alright this is going to be a several hundred dollar repair, I can put that into a new machine. Or, if it's something a few hundred bucks then if I get another five or ten years out of it, I'm in better shape. There are some real good deals on appliances but if it was 15 yrs old, Jim, you know you might want to just go shopping but given its not that old and the price for a service call to know is probably worth the investment.


JIM

Okay. Thanks very much.


JOHN SOWDEN

Thank you for calling this morning.

Kenmore Portable Dishwasher, Model 665.17761890, Leaking From Underneath

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's Steve, in Redford, with a dishwasher question, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi, Steve.


STEVE

Good morning, John and John.


JOHN SOWDEN

Good morning.


STEVE
I'm calling about, I have a Kenmore portable dishwasher and what's happening is I'm running it and I'm noticing after it's done there's like a little puddle of water underneath it.


JOHN SOWDEN

Is it right in center of the machine? Or, where the center of the machine should be?


STEVE

Yeah, I would say about the center. It's not real big but I mean it's going on tiled floor which is peel and stick and it's, you know the tile's going to come up. So, I've been putting down a towel. Somebody suggested I opened it up and the connection for the hose where it empties out into the sink and that's perfectly tight. There's no water coming out there, so...


JOHN SOWDEN

So it's not running back from the sink down and dripping off the hoses inside?


STEVE

No.


JOHN SOWDEN

Well, being a portable those are a little easier to work on because you can just lay them on their back or side and have a look on the underside versus having to tear out a machine, a built-in, to gain access to the underside of it. I'd lean it over and look on the underside. If you see a sign of where water has been leaking between where the motor goes up into the pump assembly then that's probably your issue. There's a set of seals in there and impellers that can fail and then water will drip onto the motor and then drip onto the floor. How long has it been doing this?


STEVE

It's been about, I don't know, a month or two. I mean it's a fairly new machine. I bought it last July.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Well, I'd check the warranty on it to start with.


STEVE

Yeah, that's what I'm going to do next.


JOHN SOWDEN

Right and as long as you're sure its not something is in, you know, as you've done, the connections. If it's a problem with the machine, I'd check the warranty and see if it's under a year, you might have a warranty on that. And I would certainly let them take it from there. If not, then I would, it sounds like what they call a motor seal leak and you can either replace the seal and the impellers that move the water around inside the machine or you can get a new pump assembly complete and either one of those would probably solve the question. Unfortunately, with water...


STEVE

It seems like its coming down off the side of it.


JOHN SOWDEN

If it's coming off the side, the problem is if it drips off the center, it's hard to say but normally it's something in the motor system that would cause that. If you've got a situation where the hose comes where the unit fills and you've got a leak there, at times, it will run right down the side of the tank and drip off where the lip of the motor assembly goes into, so...


STEVE

Why did somebody tell me that they had a similar problem and what it was a knife that actually punctured the, I guess you call it the tank, and there was little like hole.


JOHN SOWDEN

That's possible, but most those tanks even though they are plastic are quite durable and you really have to have a situation where the knife was just in the right spot with a lot of force stuck in the basket to cause that. I mean it's not an impossibility, but yeah, if it's a tank failure normally they'll prorate the dishwasher on that meaning they'll give you so much towards a new one. In the old days, they used to replace the tank and, boy, that was a lot of fun because all they sent you was a tank and then you had to transfer every component off the old tank on to the new tank.


STEVE

I would assume if it's under warranty they would cover the whole thing.


JOHN SOWDEN

Right. And again, versus labor and everything else a lot of times these days they'll just give you a credit towards a new one rather than put us service guys through a two or three hour ordeal in your home of changing all that stuff over. So, you know you can normally remove the lower access panel on those and if you can get a flashlight and just kind of run and lay down and see if you can find where the waters dripping and that might help speed things as far as where the problem's coming from. Again, the first thing to do is check the warranty. If it's under warranty, I wouldn't get too involved with it.


STEVE

I think it's a year parts and labor.


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, that's most common. And I don't know if you purchased an extended warranty there's a lot of options out there.


STEVE

What do you think about...I just got it in the mail? Do you think it's a good deal to get those extended warranties?


JOHN SOWDEN

I think a lot of it depends on the cost of the appliance. How handy you are meaning some of the simpler things that people can do on their own to save a few bucks.


STEVE

I'm not the least bit handy.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, if they want $300 for a five year plan for a machine that costs $300 then I'd say you know it's not worth it. If you've got a $2000 refrigerator and its $300 bucks for a five year plan well that one, I'd probably be more leaning towards something of that nature.


STEVE

Yes, I think it was $450 for the washer and it's close to $300 for a five year plan.


JOHN SOWDEN

And again it depends how much you paid for it and how often you use it and if it's going to be cheaper, you know, down the road if something happens either pay for a repairman and/or just replace it. Then I wouldn't, but a lot of the stuff today, a lot of the appliances can be expensive and the manufacturer's warranties; some of them are reduced from what they used to be. It's not a bad idea to have it, again, depending on the cost of the unit when it walks out the door.


STEVE

Oh, okay.


JOHN SOWDEN

All right?


STEVE

All right.


JOHN SOWDEN

Well, thank you for calling this morning.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

Have a good one. If for some reason you do not get through today, 1-888-343-4948 is the number at RepairClinic.com up until midnight, seven days a week. Back with more of your calls on News Talk 760 WJR.

Whirlpool Gas Dryer, Model LG5781XKN1, Shut Off Before the Cycle Completed

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's George, in Whitmore Lake, with a Whirlpool dryer question, on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi George, go ahead.


JOHN SOWDEN

Good morning.


GEORGE

Good morning. We have a Whirlpool gas dryer and we're running it for about ten minutes and then it just died. I've popped the back off. First, I made sure the circuit breaker wasn't thrown. So, it was still good. I popped the back off. There are a lot of sensors there. How do I check those sensors?


JOHN SOWDEN

The unit just quit running all together?


GEORGE

It was running for about ten minutes and then it just stopped.


JOHN SOWDEN

And how long is the vent on this animal?


GEORGE

The vent going out of the house?


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, sir.


GEORGE

It's real short. I mean it comes right through the wall. I'm in a double wide and it comes right out.


JOHN SOWDEN

It's clean and free of lint?


GEORGE

Yeah, there is a little bit all over there. I'm going to vacuum it out. I'm suspecting that one of those sensors took a crap.


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, from what you're describing, if it just quit all together, it's possible that there's a few things in the circuit for the motor that can cause it to just quit. The most common thing is the thermal fuse and that is one of the thermostats or sensors on the blower housing there. That's the white plastic one with two small wires going to it and that one is a one time fuse that if it trips or overheats then the dryer quits.


GEORGE

Okay, you say it's on the motor?


JOHN SOWDEN

No, it's on the blower housing.


GEORGE

Okay, up near the top then.


JOHN SOWDEN

No, normally it's on the lower part of the blower housing in the back of the machine.


GEORGE

There's like a cluster of like four of them at the bottom and then the tube where the air goes into the dryer itself, there's a sensor way up there by itself.


JOHN SOWDEN

Right. That's a high limit. That normally will shut off the heat but won't cause the unit to just die. Normally, the sensors or the thermostats that you're describing are at the lower end of it and there's normally two or three or more and what they do is one is for permanent press and one is for regular and they're regulated at different temperature ratings. When you select permanent press you are actually using one of those thermostats versus the other. There's another one that is a fail safe high limit and that one is a white plastic one, the other one should have a metal mounting and that one is thermal fuse per say. And, you can check that with an ohmmeter and just look for an open circuit. You want to take the wires off the component before you test it.


GEORGE

Right. So this should be down there in that cluster?


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, the blower assembly.


GEORGE

And white wires?


JOHN SOWDEN

It's a white plastic sensor. If you go to RepairClinc.com and put your model number into our website, you'll see a picture of all the common parts, including the thermal fuse I'm describing and so that way you'll know what you're looking for.


GEORGE

Okay, very good. Thank you.


JOHN SOWDEN

Thanks for calling.

2005 Kenmore Front Loading Washing Machine, Model 110.45991400, With an F11 Code


JOHN MCCULLOCH

Dan, in Northville, is next here on the Appliance Repair Show. Hi, Dan. Go ahead, please.


DAN

Ah, yes. I got a four year old front loader washer, Kenmore Elite, and when the washer gets into the spin cycle and at about five minutes left the counter ends up going to F11. The cycle stops completely.


JOHN SOWDEN

It goes to F11?


DAN

Yeah, it doesn't seem to finish the spin cycle. It has like five minutes left on that little read out thing and it keeps flashing F11.


JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Yes, there is a fault code for that. We have all the fault codes listed on our website, RepairClinic.com. If you go to our home page, RepairClinic.com, and in the search box type in fault codes. It'll take you right to the list that will show you all the different ones for you're unit and, let's see here, if I can dig this up real quick. You said it's an F11?


DAN

Yeah, it's about a four yr old, Kenmore Elite front loader.


JOHN SOWDEN

Well according to what I'm reading which, we have provided, is that, basically, the central control unit and the motor control unit are not recognizing each other.


DAN

Ewww...


JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah. And its says, basically, to make sure your wiring harnesses are correct and check the drive system for any worn or failed components. Its sensing a drag which even a worn bearing can cause that. And then check the motor and check the motor control unit and the main control unit. And there's steps that you can... normally you have a tech sheet on that unit that you can go through the fault code checking or you can put it into a diagnostic mode.


DAN

Ohhh, oh okay. I'm an electrician myself.


JOHN SOWDEN

Normally, there is a tech sheet on the machine. It's going to be, normally, on the control panel. Sometimes they tuck them in an envelope on the inside of the machine. But, it will give you a diagnostic failure chart and if for some reason your unit doesn't have that they do have a manual for those available or a job aid that will walk you through the testing components. But, it's basically, what its telling you are that the boards are not talking to each other.


DAN

Oh, okay. I understand that.


JOHN SOWDEN

It could be as simple as a loose wiring connection. Just make sure all the ribbons and harnesses are correct. You could have a crack in one of the boards, so its one of a couple different things and you have to kind of put it into a diagnostic. It's a lot more involved that I can get with you right now on the air with it. We do have a lot of stuff to help with that.


DAN

Okay, yes, so it definitely could be maybe inside like back panel or maybe even, I know the front cover comes off.


JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, there are the controls at the top. There's also the motor control unit which is on the underside of the unit.


DAN

Right. Okay.


JOHN SOWDEN

So, it's basically when its trying to get to the high speed spin either the motor is loading up or the motor control unit is not doing well.


DAN

Yeah, that's what it seems like. It wants to go to the very high speed and then it just stops.


JOHN SOWDEN

Right. And for your unit, the most common part that we would find causing that condition would be the motor control unit.


DAN

Ewww. That sounds like it could be expensive.


JOHN SOWDEN

$176 is what they get for that.


DAN

Huh.


JOHN SOWDEN

If you go to our website, RepairClinic.com, put the model number in, and you'll see a component list of pictures and you can then get a better idea. They also have the manual available for you there, too. You can order the manual and that's...if you're going to get into this yourself, being an electrical guy, this would be a great thing to have around to keep this thing going for you.


DAN

Yeah because its not that old and I can keep her stuff a long time and I am handy.


JOHN SOWDEN

Those are three good combinations.


DAN

Yeah, that's what my wife says.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

You add RepairClinic.com to that equation, and you're in great shape.


DAN

Could I ask one another quick question?


JOHN SOWDEN

Sure.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

As long as it's quick.


GE Side by Side Refrigerator Leaking Water from the Freezer Side

DAN

Okay. It's my GE side by side fridge. It just leaks water, by looking at it; it seems to be like the front left side. I don't know if there's like an evaporator or something.


JOHN SOWDEN

Front left side of the freezer section?


DAN

Yeah.


JOHN SOWDEN

If you open up the door you'll probably see that you have an ice build up on the freezer floor.


DAN

Yeah, that happened.


JOHN SOWDEN

That's from the defrost drain not draining the water. You need to remove the freezer back wall and clear out the drain assembly. There's a tube that drains water from the trough to the underside of your refrigerator and that's restricted and the water is just trickling out wherever it can go.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

If you go to RepairClinic.com put the model number in on that you'll also see...


JOHN SOWDEN

...all the common components but that's a pretty straight forward, that one you need to empty the freezer to get to that.


JOHN MCCULLOCH

And, we thank you very much for the call and we thank you for listening this week to the Appliance Repair Show.

The Appliance Repair Show

Looking for
appliance parts
or advice?