Monthly Archives: July 2003

Mailbag: Whirlpool Belt-Drive Washer Won’t Pump Out

Rick Sluder wrote:

I have a Whirlpool model 110.72450100 washer that won’t pump out the water after washing the clothes. Where should I look?

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Start with the simple things. Make sure the drain hose isn’t kinked. Been seeing a lot of this lately.

two-port pump for the whirlpool or kenmore belt drive washer--click for larger viewThis is a belt drive washer. In addition to driving the transmission, the belt also drives the pump, shown here. Pull the belt off the pump and turn the pump pulley by hand. If it’s hard to turn or seized up, the pump is fried. You can buy a new pump here.

As long as you’re down there, better check on that belt, too. Also, a genuine manufacturer’s repair manual for this washer can help keep you from banging your head against the wall.

Appliance Tip of the Day: Kenmore Dishwasher Front Panel Dead or Won’t Start or Quits Mid-Cycle

appliance tip of the day archive
This applies mainly to Kenmore Dishwashers with the model number 665.15835791 but also to any Whirlpool or Kenmore dishwasher with an electronic display. There are several possible trouble makers on this dishwasher that can cause this problem and we’ll go through the most common ones that I’ve found in the course of performing my ceremonial duties as Samurai Appliance Repair Man.

Ichiban Troublemaker: Bad Door Latch Switches

These little suckers cause more problems than any other single component on this dishwasher. To check ’em, first cut the circuit breaker to the dishwasher ’cause the wires that attach to the switches are hot and if’n you touch ’em, they’ll shock the bejeezus outchyo ace. Yeah, uh huh.

Anyway, you’ll have to take the door apart to the get to ’em. Once you do, look up top and they’re located here. When you pull out the whole door latch assembly, it all looks like this here.

door switch kit for the whirlpool-built dishwasher--click for larger viewNow, if one of these door switches are bad, you’ll usually be able to see a burnt wire and one of the switches will be obviously AFU ’cause it won’t click when actuated. ‘Course, it’s always a good idea to verify with your ohm meter. If one of the switches are fried, don’t be a bonehead and just change the bad switch. Save yourself some trouble down the road (and avoid an unpleasant dishwasher fire) by changing both switches and the wire harness. You can buy the whole replacement kit here.

Next Most Common Troublemaker: Blown Thermal Fuse

thermal fuse kit for the whirlpool-built dishwasher--click for larger viewThe thermal fuse is located in the control panel, called out as item #18 in this picture. You can check it with a simple continuity test. Or you can jumper it out to see if the dishwasher will start running normally. If it’s bad, you can order your replacement thermal fuse here.

The Worst Case: Blown or Oversensitive Electronic Control Board

electronic control board for the whirlpool-built dishwasher--click for larger viewControl board problems can stem from crap and noise in the dishwasher’s electrical supply which make the electronics on the control board go flakey. This problem has been documented by Whirlpool in a tech memo (if your Kenmore model number begins with 665 then, yes, Whirlpool made your dishwasher). Or, it could just be a bad control board, plain n’ simple.

More good discussion on problems with these dishwashers here and here.

grasshoppers eating masala dosa with the master on newly cleaned dishes

To learn more about your dishwasher, or to order parts, click here.

Mailbag: Clearing a Plugged Condensate Drain Tube in a Refrigerator

tim wrote:

Can you recommend a good way to unclog the drain line for an automatic defrost system on a Kenmore fridge? The water collects in the little white plastic drip tray under the hole in the freezer bottom but won’t go down the black rubber tube that the tray plugs into. Thanks and your site is awesome!

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Good question! Yes, clearing these plugs can be tricky and sometimes requires the application of a carefully selected African Engineering Technology (AET). I’ll share some of the AETs that I’ve found to be most helpful.

First thing to do is gain access to the condensate drip cup. On your Whirlpool-built fridge, it looks like this. As you can see, the cup itself pulls right out. Sometimes you’ll find ice built up in there, sometimes dark grey slimy gookus that moves if you poke it…scary stuff! Either way, clean the drip cup out in the sink.

Then, you may need to clear the drain tube that the drip cup plugs into. If there’s ice in there, you may be able to carefully poke through it using a chop stick or thin blade screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the tube. If it’s just more gookus built up in there, I like to use a length of 1/4″ nylon tubing to push it through and then flush with hot water.

On some refrigerators, you can’t remove the drip cup in order to clear an extensive ice plug. What’s a grasshopper to do? Just add salt! Works great on the icy winter roads up here in yankee land and it does a good job at melting ice plugs in refrigerator condensate drain tubes, too. Argh!

Mailbag: Ice Maker that Melts Ice

John Barrowman wrote:

Great website. I’ve a 20 year old Sub Zero with the Whirlpool style icemaker. Within the last couple of years, it has been melting the ice in the tray. Can you help me?

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If the freezer temp is good, then you’re better off replacing a 20 year old ice maker. You can find your replacement ice maker kit here.

Mailbag: Dryer Thermal Fuses Keep Blowing

george wrote:

2 thermal fuses have blown in a week, can’t afford to keep replacing them at $12.00 each on a kenmore gas dryer. Please help

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Listen to me now, believe me later, and hear me next week: your dryer vent sux!

Mailbag: Poor Cooling and Water Accumulating Inside a Refrigerator

Jose wrote:

I have a 1987 GE top-freezer refrigerator. Doesn’t cool sufficiently in summer (So. Cal.)and accumulates significant amounts of water at bottom floor of refrigerator under bins. Fixable for under $200 or is it finally time to buy a new frig?

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Message sent from IP:

This sounds like a classic case of bad door gaskets. Feast your Vulcan squinties on both the freezer and beer cooler compartment door gaskets of your fridge. You’ll probably notice that one or both of ’em are all boogared up and skanky looking. If so, you’ll need to replace ’em. Let this illuminating tome on Zen and the Art of Refrigerator Door Gasket Replacement be your guiding light in this, your hour of appliance peril. Easy job IF you can grasp the finer points of finesse which I so eloquently explain. You can use your model number to look up and purchase your replacement door gaskets here.