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Fridigaire Front Loader neither agitates nor spins


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20 replies to this topic

#1 LazarusLong

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:51 PM

Fridigaire Front Loader Washer Model FWT449GFS1 Serial XC91xxxxx. Purchased 1999. This washer has performed faithfully (only replaced the pump boot due to hair pins, and clean it out) until a week ago. Then it suddenly refused to go into High Speed Spin. Went thru troubleshooting and decide it was door lock. Looked on line and found that I would need the upgraded kit (new door lock, catch, and wiring harness). Washer is semi-built in to a closet and would take quite a lot to open up and replace that harness, so decided to take out old door lock and work on it. Was able to coax part of it back into position. Tested wax motor (1500 ohms - good), microswitch worked (tested contacts). Put it all back. It worked for a week.

Now it goes thru the cycle - water goes in, timer works, no agitate, completely pumps out water, no spin.

The door locked light is on, and when door is locked if I pull power, it takes a few minutes to release the door (so wax motor is functioning). If in the spin cycle, I pull the timer knob out, wait, open the door, push the timer knob back in, (the solenoid engages, the wax motor pushes). Now if I take a small screwdriver and simulate the door catch, I can hear the micro switch click on, the timer motor continues, BUT NO spin (same action on agitate).

I can move the drum easily by hand and see the motor armature spin (so belt is okay). So I am stumped! From all the other posts I would think it is (1) the motor (windings? brushes?), (2) speed control board, (3) possibly a "reed" swtich on the soap dispenser tray (is that possible?). The motor lists for about $150, the SCU for $410. Where do I go from here? (If it is the SCU, I think I will just get a new washer - they run about $800).

Thank you in advance.

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:17 PM

Did it Agitate and Spin just prior to the Door Latch Assembly replacement ?
http://appliantology...-control-tests/
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#3 LazarusLong

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:28 PM

Yes. It was fully functional prior to the door latch issue.

Also, I might add that there is no concept of a diagnostic on this old pre microcontroller dinasaur.

#4 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:14 PM

do some Motor tests as shown in the tech sheet
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#5 LazarusLong

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 11:16 AM

Finally got time to do the motor troubleshooting. Not easy as the unit is stacked under a drying in the closet so no access to top or back. Have to do everything from the bottom front. Not easy to pull those plugs on the SCU (have to do it by feel - no visuals). Anyway, got to step 4. My meter reads "0", and the step says to check the motor thermal cutout, which I did and it shows continuity. In fact, disconnected the motor plug and tested all the pins as in the diagram - all readings normal. Used the voltmeter to test the "upstream" side of the cut out (pin 8) and it shows NO AC voltage. Troubleshooting step does not say what do in that case!

Checked a bunch of other items. Timer motor is working, Door latch solenoid is energized. I can hear the Water valves are energized (and as I noted earlier, the tub does fill). So I conclude that AC power is getting all the way to pin 1 of the Water Level Pressure switch. Also, it seems AC power is getting to pins 7, 7A of timer switch since the timer motor works. BUt it appears it may not be getting past pin 3 to the motor cut out. Does this seem reasonable? If so, where should I look next? Where exactly is the water level switch?

Thank you

#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

Which door lock kit did you install... this one? ==> http://www.repaircli...mber=FWT449GFS1

Door-Lock-131888900-01235858.jpg

If so, those a boogar to install and very easy to screw up the wiring. Also, that kit is NLA so, if that's the one you installed, was it a new one or used?

The problem won't be the timer or pressure switch; it will be either 1) the door lock assembly and/or wiring or 2) the speed control board ==> http://www.repaircli...mber=FWT449GFS1
Motor-Control-Board-131725300-00562310.j

Also, there was some trick on the door latch assembly on these that I can't remember... negated the whole need to install the counterweight but I don't remember what it was; maybe another of the Brethren will enlighten us.

We could get back to a known condition (reinstalling the old door latch) and do the troubleshooting steps on the speed control board. But that is exceedingly tedious and time-intensive. Fortunately, there is an easier way... Just buy the new speed control board and install it. If it doesn't fix the problem, then return it for a refund. And we then know that the problem is in the door latch wiring.



#7 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 01:56 PM

... appears it may not be getting past pin 3

Washer must be full of water in order to satisfy the Water Level Pressure Switch located in Control Panel
http://www.repaircli...tDetail/1163226

 

Pressure-Switch-134433701-00764119.jpg


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#8 LazarusLong

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:48 PM

Samuri, actually I am at that known configuration. My most recent tests were done with the orignal door lock and no changes to any wiring harnesses. I got to step 4 of the motor movement troubleshooting steps. That is where I had issues - I could not see 120 V ac across pins 2 and 4, BUT the motor protector showed continuity. The steps do not say what to do in that case.

Perhaps the best approach now is to order that SCU and replace it to see if that is the trouble. I do want to make sure that that SCU will work in this really old model (circu 1998) with the old door latch. I did look at that upgrade kit you showed - it is NLA on RepairClinic, but I can find it new on some other sites at about $80-90. I was hesitant about getting that item since it would require me to pull the washer which is a bear since it has a dryer on top, and is in a closet with about 4 inches to spare around it.

So your advice would be to get the SCU and try it with old door lock (which seems to be working okay now)? THen maybe get that upgraded door lock and harness later?

Thanks

#9 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:46 PM

and you "set the timer to the start of the regular wash cycle and pull the knob out" ?

You said the Washer Fills with Water and the Timer works ?
You said the Motor Overload tested good for continuity ?

but there's no voltage between Pin 2 and Pin 4 ?
doesn't make sense
OR a bad / broken wire / connection somewhere.
Check for 120v at each side of the Motor Overload to chassis (a good ground)
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#10 LazarusLong

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

Ah ha! Persistence pays. I triple checked the set up and the instructions. It appears you have to have the pull out knob at the start of the Heavy Wash cycle (not just the wash cycle - or perhaps I was off the mark a bit). WHen I did that I got all the way thru the trouble shooting steps to the conclusion that ..... replace the SCU! So professional opinion: I found a remanufacturer (Core Centric Solutions) that will trade boards for $118; or RepairClinic brand new for $331. I figure at age 14 that washer may be living on borrowed time (tho the motor seems healthy) and not sure the extra years on a new board may be worth it. What do you say?

Also, while I have it opened up (it does not look like I can replace the SCU board from the bottom front), should I splurge on that door lock replacement kit (new lock, harness and counterweight)?

Thanks for you patience and inspiration!

#11 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:33 AM

The door lock replacement with that kit is a real PITA and error-prone. If the door lock is working, leave it. And get the trade-in board-- as you say, at 14 y.o., this washer is approaching junk heap status.

#12 J5

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:42 PM

as you have already found out 14 years its on borrowed time

i am surprised that you have bothered with trying to fix it for so long , especially when its such a PITA to get out

buy a new one and be happy

#13 LazarusLong

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:17 PM

Time for an update! Well, I took your advice and sent away for the remanufactured SCU. It arrived in about 3 days, so I went to replace it. Now the washer has a dryer on top of it, and both are in a closet with about 4-6 inches clearance all around, so I did want to pull them out. So I went in thru the bottom front panel often going by touch only - not much space (I am used to that from working on small cars!). Well I finally got the old one out and the new one in (I compare this to laprascopic surgery - you know where they pull your liver out thru a tiny hole in your belly button). Put things back in place and started her up. SUCCESS! It ran four loads.

But HEARTACHE! The motor quit in the middle of a cycle. Hmmm. I got out the old meter and was touching the brush on the motor to see if it had voltage when the motor suddenly started. I then watch the motor and there were a lot of yellow sparks coming from where the brush touches the commutator. Bad - blue sparks are okay, yellow are bad (indicates something melting). Tried to clean the commutator, and it did run for a few more loads, but then died completely. Oh, well. Back to the internet - ordered a motor ($104 with shipping).

4 days later it arrived. Back under the machine. That motor is heavy - especially at the ends of my arm, the brackets are a PITA, and of course no room to work - more use of nut drive by feel. Finally, got the old one out and new one in. But wait! Now I have to get the belt back on. Finally realize, I do not have the leverage in that tiny space to stretch it. Thinking darn, I am going to have to pull the washer - even tho I have spend hours working not to. Then go a bright idea - maybe I can lift the dryer up and get to the pulley from the top.

Got my son and two scissor jacks from our two cars, and some 2 x 4s and 4 x 4s. Was able to jack the driver up 2 feet - steady it with a 4 x 4 crib and stick my body in between. WIth my son holding the belt on the motor spindle and I stretching over the pulley, we got it done! Hurray. [see the photo in attachment] Now jacked it all down (had to go under the house to reconnect the dryer vent), and put things back in place and started her up, yet again. SUCCESS! Have now run many loads and it is humming along (until the next part breaks, no doubt!).

Lesson learned: persistence and good advice! Plus a willingness to lie on the floor in all sorts of wierd positions. BUt you say get a new one. HOWEVER, the cheapest stackables are about $2000 and 6" too big for the closest (is everything in America oversized now????). I don't need 7 cu ft!

Thanks for the site - my donation was well spent. I expect I will be back here within a few years.Attached File  Washer.jpg   65.02KB   11 downloads

#14 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:50 PM

... the cheapest stackables are about $2000 and 6" too big for the closest

LG 27" 3.5cu F/L w/ stackable kit & electric 7.1cu Dryer shipped $ 1392
Frigidaire 27" 3.2cu F/L w stackable kit & electric 7.0cu Dryer shipped $ 1447
GE 27" 3.3cu Wash & 5.9cu electric Dryer stacked laundry center shipped $ 1061
http://www.ajmadison.com/
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#15 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:10 AM

Mucho domos for sharing your awesome repair story and for your generous love-offering to my flavorite charity! Congrats on the repair!

#16 Scottthewolf

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:01 PM

I want to kill the person who invented the stackable washer and dryer and whoever thought it was a good idea to stuff it into a closet. The same goes for double wall ovens and over the range microwave ovens. It all looks good until it has to be repaired or replaced.

I have no mercy for charging my customers extra for having to bring a second person to help me remove a dryer off of a washer or to pull out a wall oven.

I once had a customer who built a bathroom around their Frigidaire all in one laundry center. When it came time to replace the laundry center, they had to call me to totally disassemble the unit and remove it from the bathroom in pieces.
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#17 jumptrout

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:13 PM

Cut out the wall behind the laundy set and install a bi-fold door.

#18 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:39 PM

Cut out the wall behind the laundy set and install a bi-fold door.

may be nieghbor's apartment :whistling:
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#19 jumptrout

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:22 AM

may be nieghbor's apartment :whistling:

If it is the neighbors apartment ask for a key.

#20 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:17 AM

Cut out the wall behind the laundy set and install a bi-fold door.

your bi-fold doors may need to be in the neighbor's apartment ..
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every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
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RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw




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