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Forum Index => Washer Repair => Topic started by: 123go on May 13, 2011, 07:47:50 PM

Title: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 13, 2011, 07:47:50 PM
Hello

I have a Kenmore washing machine circa 1978. It will fill and agitate for the wash cycle but when it gets to the rinse cycle it will not drain or spin. The timer still advances and the motor (pump?) makes a humming noise like it is trying to run. When I left it too long I smelled a faint burnt rubber smell.

I emptied the clothes and then bailed out most of the dirty water. There is still a bit of water left and it still won't drain.

I really like this washing machine and I would like to know if it is possible to repair it.

Thanks!

Here is a picture of the ID tag on the machine (I don't know which is the model and which is the serial number)


Model FM15975
(http://i53.tinypic.com/dd00a1.jpg)
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: JWWebster on May 13, 2011, 08:20:48 PM
This washer has a motor on it that goes on one direction only. To go from wash to spin the timer powers up a solenoid mounted on a wigwag. It is called a wigwag because it wigs and wags back and forth all during the wash cycle. The belt (factory specified part number is 95405) could be worn out. When the wigwag solenoid is activates it grabs a rod and shifts the gears inside the tranny and it yanks a lever on the pump that operates the flap inside the pump. When that flap get open them waters gets pumped out the machine. Now yall might have a bad pump or pump flap or a worn out belt or the wigwag itself has an open coil on it. The interesting thing yall can do with this washer swap the wires on the wigwag and the timer will actually wash in spin and spin in wash. Their 4 wires on the wigwag. 2 white wires which are common and need not be touch , the other 2 wires get swapped and she works backwards. So if it spins in wash when the wires are swapped then their is a timer problem. But if it don't then the wigwag is bad. You can always ohm em out too. Sometimes the shafts on the shift rods get rust on them. When the coils are activates the shift pins won't budge. yall can sand them down and re install them and it might work without even buy any parts. Seen it. The lid switch is tied into the circuit to the spin solenoid so if the lid is open the wigwag will not activate the solenoid and the washer will not spin or pump out.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: krazytech on May 13, 2011, 08:37:22 PM
Cool a wigwag machine .. I have heard stories about them around a camp fire..but have never seen them ... you are the greatest JW....
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 13, 2011, 09:55:25 PM
Wow JWWebster, thanks for the reply!

I forgot to mention that I did have the timer reconditioned about 2 years ago because it would stop halfway through the rinse cycle. I could advance it with my finger but it wouldn't go on its own. When I got the timer back the machine worked as good as new ever since. So, it might not be the timer.

I will take the back off the machine tomorrow and look inside. I'm not familiar with any of the parts (I'm a girl - but not afraid of a screwdriver :) but maybe I can see if the belt is worn etc.

I did manage to drain the rest of the water by taking the drain hose off the laundry tub and placing the end in a low pail. So I do know the drain hose is not plugged.

I will let you know what I find tomorrow. I'm so glad someone is familiar with my old machine! Thank you!
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: RAH52 on May 13, 2011, 09:59:49 PM
I'm an old fart like JW . Used to repair tons of "wig wag " type washers .Upper class techs would call them control magnet assemblies LOL . Remember what would happen if one of the wires to the wigwag would make and break as the wigwag was moving back and forth . Another issue was the timer would stall out just before spin . A third problem was the set screw would back out of the BB&D causing the brake to stay on so no spin . Those washers had more steel in them than some present day cars .
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 13, 2011, 10:04:20 PM
No kidding - these things (I have the dryer also) are extremely heavy and a bear to move! But it says heavy duty on the front and it meant it. :) 33 years later..

Now that I think about it, when the agitator was.. er, agitating, I don't think the drum was moving back and forth. I think normally the drum part moves as the agitator does, but I don't think it did that this time. I do know it definitely did not spin.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: RAH52 on May 14, 2011, 05:42:13 AM
During agitate the wash tub does not move, it is held by the brake . If the drum moved while it agitated you would have a tangled mess of clothes.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 14, 2011, 09:30:50 PM
Hi RAH52, okay that's good, so the wash cycle was working properly.

I took the back off the machine and the belt is intact. I was able to pull on the belt and move it to the left and to the right - it was equally easy to move in both directions.

There are 4 wires visible underneath - 2 white, one yellow and one red. I know the yellow one is for agitating because it used to slip off and then my agitator wouldn't work. All the wires looked intact and were plugged in securely.

I couldn't tell what the water pump was. If I post a photo can someone give me a clue what to look for?
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: appdoc on May 14, 2011, 09:42:50 PM
With the machine unplugged take the red wire off and tug on it a little bit. They would quite often break inside the insulation. U can also watch while someone turns the machine on in spin cycle & see if plunger on red wire side engages. If so possible bad pump. Loved those machines but glad to see them go. too old to tug on them now.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: jumptrout51 on May 15, 2011, 02:58:35 PM
You might simply have something stuck in the drain pump.
Lay the machine down and remove the pump.
Check inside for a blockage.
While you have to pump off,replace it.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 15, 2011, 09:56:19 PM
Hello,

Is it just me or is this site down a lot of the time? I've been unable to connect most of this weekend.

Anyway appdoc, thanks for your reply. The red wire seems intact, but I will try a spin cycle while watching the part the wire plugs into.

jumptrout51, is the drain pump made of whitish plastic? (Also, do you realize this thing weighs at least 10 times what I do? any tips for laying it down... and getting it back up?)

Also.. I can move the belt both ways, but it seems a bit stiff to move. Takes a bit of effort (girl arms, remember) to get it going. Is that normal?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: AJ on May 15, 2011, 10:26:46 PM


Is it just me or is this site down a lot of the time? I've been unable to connect most of this weekend.

I have not see or heard of any connection problems with the site this weekend.

We get around 3-4 thousand visitors a day. Seems like the few times it has been down in the past I often get a text, email or facebook message from some of the regular members letting me know. I can also often see a big drop in our daily visitor stats when the site has been down and the stats look about right for this weekend.

What happens when you can not connect? Is the site slow loading or do you get some type of error page? What type of internet connection do you have?
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 16, 2011, 11:03:47 AM
What happens when you can not connect? Is the site slow loading or do you get some type of error page? What type of internet connection do you have?
Hi AJ,

When I cannot connect, IE thinks for a long time then says "Page cannot be displayed" "Cannot find server or DNS error" I can load all other Internet sites fine. Usually I had the page open and I have clicked refresh, but I also tried clicking the link in my e-mail AND going to google, doing a search and then clicking the link in the results page. All give the same result "Page cannot be displayed". I got this error all day Saturday until the evening and again all day Sunday until around 9:30 PM.

Firefox says it cannot find the server either, I tried 3 methods to connect (type in address bar, find in google, click link in hotmail). I also tried in FireFox on my laptop and same result. I was able to view streaming video and visit all other web sites I tried. I also tried "http://appliancejunk.com" and "http://www.appliancejunk.com" and neither worked.

I was confused because I was getting a notice in my email that someone replied so obviously other people were on the site! But I couldn't reach it.

Hope this helps! I am connecting from work at the moment and the site did work from home early this morning.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 16, 2011, 11:06:44 AM
You might simply have something stuck in the drain pump.
Lay the machine down and remove the pump.
Check inside for a blockage.
While you have to pump off,replace it.
Do you happen to know the part number for a pump and where I can find one? Would my local appliance repair store be able to get one?
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: JWWebster on May 16, 2011, 12:07:19 PM
Their are diff designs: 2 hose (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=omv7WULuxaw&subid=0&offerid=225193.1&type=10&tmpid=2111&RD_PARM1=http&RD_PARM2=%253A%252F%252Fwww.appliancepartspros&RD_PARM3=.com%252FAppliance-Parts%252FWHIRLPOOL-Water-drain-pump--2-port-item-number-AP3138954.aspx), 3 hose (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=omv7WULuxaw&subid=0&offerid=225193.1&type=10&tmpid=2111&RD_PARM1=http&RD_PARM2=%253A%252F%252Fwww.appliancepartspros&RD_PARM3=.com%252FAppliance-Parts%252FPRO-Pump-item-number-AP4502942.aspx), 4 hose (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=omv7WULuxaw&subid=0&offerid=225193.1&type=10&tmpid=2111&RD_PARM1=http&RD_PARM2=%253A%252F%252Fwww.appliancepartspros&RD_PARM3=.com%252FAppliance-Parts%252FWHIRLPOOL-Water-drain-pump--4-port-item-number-AP3098436.aspx); post a photo of yours and I can give you an exact part number from memory.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: AJ on May 16, 2011, 02:03:02 PM
There is a good chance that your old pump will have a part number on it too.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: jumptrout51 on May 16, 2011, 04:34:09 PM
Yes the pump is the white plastic thing with a pulley wheel on it.
I am thinking a bad pump bushing or something stuck in it based on your description.
The lid switch might also be a factor here. This machine will agitate with a bad lid switch but whill not engage the wigwag with a bad lid switch.
To lay the machine down,disconnect the water hoses,remove any water from the tub,tilt the washer forward and let it down on its' front face.
The parts are more easily accessible from the bottom rear like this.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 16, 2011, 10:11:54 PM
Hey everyone, thanks so much for the advice.

I tipped it forward onto a rolled up sleeping bag (in case I dropped it lol... but I didn't). I see the white plastic doodad with 3 hoses going into it, although it doesn't look exactly like JWWebster's picture. I cannot see a part number on the bottom, but there may be one on the top.

I took a photo of the underneath of the machine: http://i56.tinypic.com/jttq3a.jpg

I am not sure how I would get the pump off. It looks like there are 2 bolts holding it onto that other thing but the bolts look kind of round. I have ratchets so I could try. I shone a light onto the pump but did not see anything obviously blocking it or that other plastic cylinder. There still could be.

Wires all appear to be intact. How would I know if the lid switch is bad? The switch does not appear broken and when I press on it I can hear it click. I will say though that I am nearly positive the machine will drain (but not spin) with the lid up.

I appreciate all the help. Do you think I should try and remove the water pump and look inside?
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: jumptrout51 on May 17, 2011, 06:10:24 AM
The water pump is on the right side in your picture.
A ratchet tool with an extension will remove the bolts.
Also loosen but don't remove the motor mounting bolts to get slack in the belt to remove the pump.
There is a metal arm on top of the pump that rides in a cutout slot on the transmission assembly.
Pay attention to this for re-assembly.
The flat bar on the transmission slides back and forth to open and close the drain pump.
Replace the wigwag while you have the washer down.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: appdoc on May 17, 2011, 09:19:47 AM
After digging way back in memory I suspect u might have a bad pump. this machine will not spin until water level is low,, the burning smell could be the belt moving across a stuck pump, the pump could be the old 350367 pump(been 20+ yrs since i changed one). do not leave machine laying down too long oil will come out vent hole on top of transmission. I always leaned machine back against wall got underneath popped hoses off & 2 bolts pulled rite out. reverse to put back in, loosening belt can help like jump said make sure pump arm is in transmission cam bar slot. eyeball before u start then make sure looks same when done.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: JWWebster on May 17, 2011, 10:11:38 AM
That is the 4 hose pump. YOUR PUMP (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=omv7WULuxaw&subid=0&offerid=225193.1&type=10&tmpid=2111&RD_PARM1=http&RD_PARM2=%253A%252F%252Fwww.appliancepartspros&RD_PARM3=.com%252FAppliance-Parts%252FWHIRLPOOL-Water-drain-pump--4-port-item-number-AP3098436.aspx)
The lid switch is a simple 2 wire design. A generic SWITCH (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=omv7WULuxaw&subid=0&offerid=225193.1&type=10&tmpid=2111&RD_PARM1=http&RD_PARM2=%253A%252F%252Fwww.appliancepartspros&RD_PARM3=.com%252FAppliance-Parts%252FWHIRLPOOL-LID-SWITCH-item-number-AP4023870.aspx) is on the market which can be used in dryers and washers of that period. It features a common leg on one end and a normally closed and normally open leg on the other end. To check switch operation simply bypass the switch. Some folk don't even bother to buy a new switch. Just keep the lid closed for safety.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: 123go on May 19, 2011, 10:44:20 PM
Hi everybody,

Sorry for the late reply but I have a really hard time connecting to this site. I think I found a workaround though :)

It is starting to sound complicated. I'm not afraid of getting out my tools and getting my hands dirty, but do I have to worry about breaking the transmission or causing more damage? In other words, is this a job for a total novice or are we getting into "call a repairman" territory?

I can't see the top of the pump so i really don't know how intricately it's connected to the transmission and how difficult the pump will be to remove and replace.

Does anyone feel it would be worthwhile testing the switch, or are we pretty sure it's the pump? I don't know what is meant by "simply bypass the switch".

I appreciate all the help and advice.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: JWWebster on May 20, 2011, 10:00:51 AM
The switch has a wire on each side. Connect the 2 wires effectively bypassing the switch to see if it pumps and spins. Keep in mind the wires will be live so do not let them short against the frame or bite you. The pump has 2 bolts you remove. Take note of the lever which opens the flap and make sure it is in it's little space where the slide action will open and close the flap. The belt just hooks onto the pulley and you probably do not need to loosen the drive motor just leave that be. The belt is a bear to replace on this washer, but the pump is a piece of cake.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin [SOLVED]
Post by: 123go on June 06, 2011, 04:37:58 PM
Hi everyone,

Just a quick update. I tried to get the pump off myself, but due to weak girly fingers I couldn't get the hose clamps off by myself (even with pliers). So, rather than risk wrecking my awesome washing machine, I called in a pro. And yes, you all were correct, it was the water pump. It ended up being seized. The guy had my washing machine up and washing inside of 30 minutes lol. It's happily running a load as I write this!

Thanks to you guys, even though I didn't do it myself, I accomplished my main goal of not being taken (since due to my small, youthful feminine stature, repair guys like to take advantage of the fact that I obviously wouldn't know any better). So when I call a repair shop I always like to have at least an idea of what is going on.

So thanks again :) Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: AJ on June 06, 2011, 08:03:12 PM
Thanks for the update, it's always good to hear back as to how things turned out.
Title: Re: Ancient Kenmore washer won't drain or spin
Post by: JWWebster on June 06, 2011, 09:22:34 PM
Glad ye could get er done sweety.