Noisy clothes washer

If your washer ever makes a racket and starts to smell like burning rubber, this might be it:

 

What is it?

Its called a spider, and one of its legs is broken.  This caused the drum to lean to one side if the washing was out of balance towards the 2 intact legs, and eventually it scraped into the side of the outer drum and seal.

Luckily I was near by when this happened and was able to turn the washer off before it damaged any parts beyond serviceable.

Why did it break?

Caring for the environment :P

 

As you can see in the picture above the spider looks rather dirty.  In real life it was 10 times worse, it had a coating of corrosive washing powder all over the arms (legs?) of the spider.  It seems the recent trend of doing cold or 40° washes means the soap doesn't always disolve properly and sticks to the spider.  Eventually the aluminium corrodes away and fractures.

The way to avoid this is to do a hot wash every so often to disolve any powder.  I will probably do a load of white towels every few weeks at 95° to avoid it happening again.

How to fix it?

Once again the internet came to the rescue.  My washer is an LG WD-1253FH about 8 years old.  Searching for the model showed a website with exploded diagrams and part numbers.

Looking at the parst diagram showed I needed part "3044FR1220D - TUB, DRUM ASSY".

Searching for the part number showed very few vendors in Austraila selling the parts : bigwarehouse.com.au and lgspares.com.au

The exploded parts diagram only lists the spider and drum being sold together as a replacement, but looking on the bigwarehouse and lgspares site showed they both sold the spider seperately for a bit cheaper.  After ordering it turns out bigwarehouse and lg spares look to be the same company.

Delivery of the part was a bit longer than advertised, but it came well packaged and the price was good.

Removing the old spider

This became an ardious task.  No amount of force on the bolts connecting the drum to the spider would losen them.  I finally took the drum to my Dads place where he put the oxytorch on the spider near the bolts.  They still wouldn't break loose. 

The solution was to angle grind the majority of the spider off just leaving the end bits attached to the bolts.  This got rid of the heatsink effect allowing the heat to build up in the area around the bolts.  If you need to do this, put a bit of metal under the spider so you dont chop into the drum :)

Heating the chopped of spider mounts for about 60 seconds was enough for the bolts to finally budge loose.

Putting it back together

This was a lot quicker than getting it apart :)

  • Slide the inner drum in
  • Attach the rear pully
  • Attach the front outer drum casing, careful to slide the heating element in
  • Put screws into front casing
  • Attach wires to heating element, reinsert thermostat
  • Attach the 20 or so clips to front of drum (remove bits of skin the process until brain kicks in and you get some gardening gloves :)
  • Attach front seal to outer drum
  • attach front panel with door (making sure to attach door lock power lead)
  • Attach front seal to front panel

Playing in diagnostic mode

If you hold down the left most buttons (wash and spin) while powering on the machine it goes into diagnostic mode.  This is fun to play with as you can spin the drum at various speeds.

Be careful though, pressing the program button seems to enable a speed multiplier.  I span the drum up to a speed that sounded like a jet taking off and had to yank the power cable before it got too fast and siezed the bearings or something :P