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Old whirlpool dryer -- when to remove life support?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Egg

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 09:18 AM

After 8 years of trouble-free service, my Whirlpool dryer (lint trap on top) stopped working last fall. The model number is something close to 1LTE6700W1 (even young eyes can't tell for sure). The machine worked but failed to heat. Higher powers wished to purchase a new dryer, but I (who normally quails at the thought of installing training wheels) announced that I'd try to fix it. This met with hysterical laughter...

... which turned to amazement when, armed with superior web knowledge, my youthful assistant and I diagnosed the problem as a broken heating element and replaced the element at a fraction of the cost of a new machine.

Several months later, trouble again. The drum turned a couple of times and then slowed to a halt. We removed the belt and pulley, but the now unburdened motor exhibited the same symptoms. My interpretation of web scripture suggested to me that the motor might be bad, so we detached the motor from the fan (made possible only through the excellent picture on your site "Removing the Motor on a Whirlpool/Kenmore Dryer"). [Does the completely free motor turn and die? Can't tell. The motor now doesn't work at all, not surprising considering how hard I was whacking it]. The next step was to order a replacement motor. I found a drive motor (part 2584) that looked plausible. But at $97.80 for a dryer that was of indeterminate age when we got it in 1996,... well, the higher powers started casting thunderbolts -- ads for used dryers in the double digits -- and indicating doubt that I'd get the machine working even with a new motor.

So here is my question: When does it become right to cease one's striving and accept death as a natural part of the circle of life?


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#2 Pegi

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 11:07 AM

This sounds about right on the newer applinaces on the market.  If the motor is bad you would replace it since you already have invested in the element.   But consider something else may go bad next month or next year.  We prefer to save an appliance if possible..
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#3 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 11:28 AM

I struggled with this very question in this article.

#4 Lurker_Washer User_*

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 07:25 PM

If you could DIY with a replacement motor, do it. If not, remove the life support.

#5 Egg

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 05:55 AM

I did indeed buy the replacement motor. The instructions that came along with it looked foolproof, and I decided to put that proposition to the test.

My youthful assistant and I attached the wires to the motor, and with the excellent diagrams that came with the motor, we were reasonably sure that we did it correctly. Except for two points:

1. It was necessary (per instructions) to replace the 1/4” terminal on the 5M wire from the main harness with a 1/8” terminal supplied with the motor. It came encased in plastic. Puzzled by this, we chose to remove the plastic. I now think this was a mistake (for reasons that will become apparent).

2. The instructions directed us to reconnect the ground wire. The diagram showed clearly where the ground wire should come from and where it should go. The dryer showed clearly that it didn’t have a ground wire. The harness had only four wires: blue (4M), striped (1M), red (2M), and beige (5M). All were accounted for in the instructions.

Before reassembling the dryer, we decided to turn it on to see if the motor now worked (the old one under similar circumstances turned for a while then stopped). We put the plug back in the wall, turned on the dryer. Nothing. We made sure the dryer door was closed. Still nothing.

Got a voltmeter and checked the outlet. Normal. I was going to proceed from the outlet to see where the problem was, but I thought, Why not start at the end and work backwards? So I decided to attack the motor with the voltmeter... I paused for a moment, realizing that I had no idea what any of the wires and leads meant. Well, I thought, can’t do any harm, so I plowed ahead.

A minor explosion disabused me of my opinion. Closer inspection (after unplugging the machine) showed that the beige (5M) lead was now blackened, as was one of my voltmeter leads. No doubt I inadvertently touched both the beige lead and the adjacent striped (1M) lead. I now know the benefit of plastic casing.

But I don’t know why the motor doesn’t run. There was little room for error in following the instructions. I also don’t know if in causing the short I killed something: e.g., the beige wire, the red wire, the motor (luckily not myself). The voltmeter still works, for what little solace that gives.

I hope you can see something obvious.


#6 kdog

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 09:50 AM

sounds like you may have done everything right,but in your attemt to test run motor,overlooked the fact that the switch that resides under the idler arm/spring must be in the open position- when the arm is allowed to hold the switch down,this simulates a broken belt which ceases motor operation- the short that you caused was more than likely one leg of hot power to neutral via your meter probe. take a good look at the blackened tan wire(neutral) and replace spade terminal if required- wires are fairly simple to hook up. there should be a blue wire that gets connected directly to the overload protector on the side of the motor adjacent to the cent. switch- the others are numbered and go to their respective numbers labelled on the plastic disconnect of the motor. red and orange will be large wires,and go to terminals 1 and 2 on the motor(i think they are at either end of disconnect),blue to the o.l.p.(short blue wire that was furnished on repl. motor gets removed) and the tan to its respective numbered terminal(yes,use the insulated terminal supplied)- if you really want to test run it at this point,prop up the idler arm by stuffing something under it to hold it up far enough that the switch is in the open position. note that after your little probe melt down,it will be necessary to go to the breaker box,locate the double 30 amp breaker,shut it all the way to the off position and back on again to restore the leg you would have lost when direct shorting to neutral.
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#7 Pegi

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 11:46 AM

Good job, Kdog.....:cool:
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#8 kdog

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 12:00 PM

learnin from the best ..................  ;)  ...........................
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#9 Egg

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 02:48 PM

We changed the lead and propped up the idler arm, but the motor still doesn't run. To tell the truth, the problem may be that I have too little faith. I cannot believe that propping up the arm will do any good at all. How in the world could holding up a piece of metal, unconnected electronically to anything, tell the motor that the belt is broken or not? Simulating a tense belt pulls the arm upward, but then? I see no switch the arm could press against in either the tense or relaxed positions.

...Did some piece of the dryer get lost during the operation? Is the switch a separate piece? Is it part of the motor? Does it lie under the arm? How big is it? How does the switch communicate with the motor? I've looked in vain for a picture of a motor, idler arm, and a switch. Here's the best I found: http://groups.msn.co...hoto&PhotoID=77

Thanks.


#10 Pegi

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 03:30 PM

The Whirlpool dryers with the lint filter on top do not have a broken belt switch, just the ones with the lint filter in the dryer after you open the door.
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#11 Egg

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 05:37 AM

Rats! The neglected-switch explanation was perfect: explained everything and easy to resolve.

If THAT's not the explanation, then do you have any suggestion as to how to proceed? To recap:

1. I replaced the motor.

2. There is definitely electricity going to the motor when I turn on the dryer (see adventure with volt meter previously described).

3. The motor definitely does not do anything.

4. I'm as certain as one relying totally on instructions (without the benefit of electrical knowledge) can be that the wiring is correct.

Thanks.


#12 Egg

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:38 PM

OK. If reality cannot be brought into accord with the given conditions, recheck the given conditions.

I (and youthful assistant) went back over the wiring. There was no possibility of error regarding the 1/4" terminal, but there seemed to be a bit of interpretation in deciding where to put one of the 1/8" termini. We tried the next slot over,... and the motor worked! Another victory for the forces of good!

Thanks for your help!

All that remained was to put the thing back together. Everything seemed to go OK (except the belt might have been somewhat less tight than I remember it being before, but still tight). In particular, the idler pulley seemed OK. The motor moved smoothly by hand, as did the fan.

But plugging it in evoked a terrible racket, like the drum was rubbing metal against metal. It did go, however (before I shut it off!). I could not get any noise when I turned the drum slowly by hand. The noise seemed to be coming from the middle of the machine, not the back (I could be wrong). According to some web wisdom, I'm supposed to suspect the idler pulley, but it looks fine to me (having seen only one idler pulley in my lifetime). Or, I'm supposed to suspect the motor, but that's brand new! The rollers in back looked OK too (but again, I'm not sure what to look for).

So near... but still not a working dryer.

I am imagining (and hoping) that the problem is a defect in my reassembly technique. Suggestions on what I should look for?


#13 Pegi

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 04:32 PM

The drum is hitting on the corner of the motor because you do not have it turned properly in the cradle.  Look at the motor on both ends, there is a protusion that has to lock into the notches in the motor mounting cradle, unclip the motor and turn it till these line up.  It has to sit at an angle, you have the motor sitting too horizontal, needs to be turned at more of an angle so the corner of the motor does not hit the drum making it sound like the drum is going to knock the front off of the dryer.  This is a common mistake with one who does not know to lock the keeper into the notch.
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#14 Egg

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 03:38 AM

A great explanation! Efficiently accomodates all known facts, particularly my inexperience! I'll try it out tonight.

Thanks.


#15 Pegi

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 07:24 AM

Welcome....;)
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#16 Egg

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:00 AM

Indeed, I found that the motor was not seated properly in back, as you suggested. The blue ring around which the clip attaches was not in the cradle but hanging loose. When I originally replaced the motor, the looseness of the clip bothered me, but I foolishly ignored my discomfort and continued. Now, when I remounted the motor, per your suggestions, everything clicked into place, the clip was tight, the motor turned smoothly, the noise disappeared, and my dry socks attest to the quality of your advice. File this one under Success Stories - Completed.

So, until our next Whirlpool adventure, adios!

#17 Pegi

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 03:33 PM

Another success story.......:P
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