Monthly Archives: May 2009

Washing Machine Floods and the Stupid Plumber’s Trick

Went on a service call for a Maytag washing machine that had overflowed and made a messy flood in the basement. After pulling the water inlet valve, the reason for the flooding was readily apparent: one of the protective inlet screens had been removed! (click for larger view)

This is called the stupid plumber’s trick. Don’t do it! If you have a problem with scale gunking up the valve and restricting flow, then fix that problem by installing a water sediment filter! Removing the protective inlet screen just creates bigger and much more expensive problems.

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

Electrical Symbols on Wiring and Schematic Diagrams

Appliances are what we in the bidness call “electro-mechanical devices.” Oh yeah, mmm hmm, we professionals can throw around all kinda two-dollah words like that– that’s why we makes the big money!

Anyway, “electro-mechanical” just means that they have both electrical and mechanical components, any of which can fail and require troubleshooting and repair. So, on any given service call, there’s at least a 50% chance that you’ll need to troubleshoot an electrical circuit to figger out why that washer ain’t washin’, that dryer ain’t dryin’, that dishwasher ain’t dishin’…. well, you get the idear.

To troubleshoot electrical circuits, we use either a wiring diagram or schematic (or both) that come with the appliance. These diagrams are usually included with the tech sheet that’s carefully and cleverly hidden inside the appliance, safely out of sight of owners who usually just end up losing it if they happen to stumble on it. If you’re working on an electrical problem and you don’t have the wiring or schematic diagram, it’s like trying to drive around an unfamiliar city without a map. Gotta have it!

And really, that’s all a schematic or wiring diagram is: a road map for electrons. If you can learn how to use a street map, you can learn how to use a wiring diagram. Just like in a street map, you have to know what the symbols mean in order to understand what the map is telling you. Same deal with a wiring diagram or schematic.

To help you get started learning how to read circuit diagrams, here’s a handy legend of common symbols used on electrical diagrams. It’s not comprehensive– there’s a bunch of stuff that’s not there– but this’ll get you started. Click it for the larger version.

Cheap Fix for Slipping Clutch in a Whirlpool-Kenmore Direct Drive Washer

See this post for help narrowing down a problem in your washer’s drive train (motor, coupler, transmission, clutch), shown in the diagram below (click for larger view).

One sign that the clutch is slipping is that it’ll feel really, really hot after running for just a few minutes.

Once you’re sure you’re dealing with a slipping clutch, Sublime Master of Appliantology Willie B has a cheap and clever bandaid repair that’ll keep it going for a good while longer, maybe even as long as you continue to own the machine!

Related Posts:

Intrepid Apprentice Conquers a Whirlpool / Kenmore Direct Drive Washer with a Lazy Spin

Common Repairs on a Whirlpool / Kenmore Direct Drive Washer

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