mfd: April 2014
Issue: Despite new bearings and shocks, washer continues to make a loud noise during spin cycle.
For years, our 2014 Samsung WF42H5600AW front loading washing (FLW) machine was noisy during the spin cycle. We never gave it a thought and presumed it characteristic of the brand (lots of people complain about Samsung appliances, FLWs in particular).
But recently the thing began making a violent rhythmic vibration-type racket during the spin cycle that could not be ignored. Something was very wrong; as in catastrophic failure seemed imminent unless immediate repair was done. We perused appliance repair forums, poured over the Samsung service manual, and observed performance during its diagnostic mode.
We noted a few issues. First, the washer had a small leak; a small puddle appeared on the floor after every load, enough to soak a rag laid there for that purpose but nothing more. Second, we heard subtle noises when we manually turned the drum—we learned some of that noise was the normal sound made by the balance wheel widget at the front of the drum. But we also heard a steady grinding noise. Third, we heard distinct squeaking sounds when we jostled the tub. Fourth, we noticed that when the washer began the spin cycle, it would constantly start spinning slowly, then stop, start, stop, start, stop some random number of counts, and with an accompanying knocking sound, until it would begin spinning in earnest. And then there was the gawd'awful racket during the full-RPM spin cycle.
We deduced bad bearings as source of the noise and a bad tub seal as source of the leak. Full of smug confidence with our sleuthing, we ordered a set of new bearings and a new tub seal, rolled up our sleeves and got to work dismantling the machine. After we removed the front panel, concrete chunks fell onto the floor. Turns out, the loud spin cycle was indication of a problem in situ, and years of letting the thing run under this condition broke some, uh, other stuff.
The lower counterweight had broken into six pieces, two of which remained bolted to the tub; the rest were laying in a bed of concrete detritus at the foot of the front panel. With the loss of this important component of the washer’s suspension, the washer ran mostly out of balance causing it to wobble and oscillate which caused additional stress to the bearings, shocks, and flange shaft assembly (a.k.a, “spider”). Consequently each of these parts failed prematurely. We also discovered that a sharp concrete edge of the broken counterweight had worn a small hole through the door boot, the source of the leak and NOT the tub seal as we had presumed. The leaking boot had also caused the front two shocks to rust, which made each squeak and exacerbated their failure. (Corrosion had compromised some of the rust-preventative coating on the inside of the front cover panel, so we had to deal with that also.)
Inventory of broken bits replaced (with OEM Samsung):
- four shocks (DC66-00470A & DC66-00470B)
- two bearings (6601-002637 & 6601-000148)
- tub seal (DC62-00156A)
- door boot (DC97-18094C)
- spider (DC97-17004E)
- tub gasket (DC69-00804A)
- counterweight (DC67-00749A)
The bearings were definitely worn. But the actual source of the “violent rhythmic vibration-type racket during the spin cycle” was due to a hairline fracture in one of the arms of the spider. The centrifugal weight of wet clothes caused flexion to the weakened arm that made the drum spin off-center just enough to cause imbalance. Classic negative-feedback-loop scenario. Frankly, we're surprised the thing held together for as long as it did in this condition. A nod of respect to OEM Samsung parts and acknowledgement of build quality is warranted here, methinks. Additionally, I'm certain Samsung's computerized "VRT" (Vibration Reduction Technology) algorithm played an important role in steadying the ship best it could over years of deteriorating circumstances.
We replaced all the parts listed above across four vendors--no one vender offered the lowest price for all the necessary bits. Total expense was still less than a service call. Lots of anecdotal information exists that the spider corrodes due to fluid leaking past the tub seal over years of regular washer use. This corrosion may lead to premature failure of the spider. As a prophylactic measure, we masked off the axel of the spider and sprayed it with acid-etching primer and a top coat of exterior enamel paint. We did this purely to satisfy our own sense of prudence.
One inconvenient week later and the washer works perfectly. And quietly.
Lesson learned: Do NOT let a noisy FLW run undiagnosed for years.