02 January 2008

Home Tech: Washing Machine Problems (2)

(Part 1)

I didn't want for there to be more to this. My research on the Kenmore revealed that I had made a big mistake; the HE 3.1 is a notorious mess, prone to bearing failure (more on that below). This became apparent after replacing the belt several times, staring, spinning the big wheel, and so on. Finally I was looking at it with the "tub" full of soggy clothes that the machine had failed to spin. With the tub full, it was obvious.

In the diagram on the right, the first picture illustrates how the actual tub assembly is supposed to "look." The second is cut away to show the tub (the inner cylinder) tilted. In fact, the tilt is just enough to pull the belt off. After putting the belt back on about four times I realized what was wrong; by then, however, the belt broke.

I learned later that this is a common problem with Kenmore machines. The bearing that connects the tub to the wheel is weak and prone to leakage, which of course accelerates its destruction. One thing I'm concerned about is the possibility that the bearings at the front are now ruined.



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