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Many of us have the “DIY” bug in us to some extent – and we totally appreciate that!  So while we’re always available to help you out with any appliance repair needs you may have (especially those of us that don’t have the desire to try these kinds of repairs alone), we also like to provide our customers with some good, useful information.  For that reason, today we are sharing with you some great tips on washing machine repairs – namely, dealing with faulty washer tubs and problematic suspension systems.

But remember, whether you start on this type of project yourself and now need someone to finish the job, or if you call us right from the first sign of trouble, we’re always happy to help our good friends and neighbors in Jacksonville!  And remember, watch the video on our homepage or click the banner at the top of this page to get your discount code to save 15% on your appliance repair!

Washer Tub and Suspension Repair

Tools you may need:

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • ¼” Nut Driver
  • Hammer
  • Ratchet with ½” Socket
  • Spanner Wrench
  • Pliers

In this article we’ll be examining the tub and suspension system of a Whirlpool built top-load washing machine. How it works, how it can fail and how you can repair it.

To remove the tub ring, press down on each of the side clips and pull. There is a seal on the inside of this ring to keep splashing and small amounts of water within the outer tub. This is called a spanner wrench. It is necessary if you are going to replace the inner tub or any part of the main drive system. A spanner wrench is the one specialty tool needed to replace this washer.

There are four pins that insert down into four notches on the spanner tub ring.  Use the wrench to grasp the tub nut and hammer in the counter-clockwise direction to remove. Be careful not to hit the inner tub with your hammer or the porcelain coating may chip and allow rusting.

Completely remove the spanner ring, and then remove the tub by lifting it off of the hub that the spanner ring was attached to. If the tub is rusted to the hub, press down quickly on the outer rim of the tub at several points to free it. Be cautious not to break the fill spout while you’re lifting the tub free. It’s helpful to push back on the back panel with your elbow as you lift.

The inner tub has a balance ring attached to the top that is filled with liquid to counter-balance the tub in case of an off balance load. A properly loaded tub needs to be at least half full and with similar items. If you try to spin one large towel you will have issues. The hub is the part that holds the inner tub to the drive tube. Remove the hub from the drive tube by striking it from below.

Now, from the bottom of the washer we will remove the transmission.

Remove the three half inch bolts that attach the transmission to the washer frame. These machines have a lot of sharp edges so it’s a good idea to use some kind of an extension to your ratchet to keep your hands out of harms way.

Next, remove the wiring harness from the side valve by squeezing the back of the clip with a pair of pliers. Now pull the transmission straight out from the drive tube. If you are pulling straight it should slide out fairly easily.

washing machine repairsNow let’s take a look at the suspension system in action. The tub rotates at 500 revolutions per minute, so if you are using this technique make sure that you are clear of all moving parts.

When I release the lid switch, the washer’s brake will engage. The suspension springs, that we will look at next, restrain the tub from pivoting too far and striking the inside of the cabinet. These springs are responsible for controlling the tub’s lateral motion and keeping the tub in a central position while allowing for some movement to absorb the tub’s energy. These springs are made of spring steel, so it’s highly unlikely that they will stretch out. More commonly they will snap in two pieces or become detached from their mounting points for some reason.

This is the rear suspension spring. It keeps the tub close to the rear spring and keeps it from tipping too far forward. This is the more common issue that is experienced. The spring will rarely break or stretch, but it will tend to rust through the lower part of the frame and become detached. If it is loose the tube will sit far too far forward and can causing leaking during the fill. The fill spout will actually miss the tub completely and dump water down the back of the washer.

Also, during the spin the tub is more likely to become off balance. In order to solve this problem either replace the spring in the case of it breaking, or in the case of a rusted frame just simply drill a new hole next to the old one and reinstall your spring.

In the second part of this washer repair article, we’ll be looking at removing the tub and access the tub seal and finishing the  job.