Peter D’Aloisio sends in another interesting development in the Whirlpool corrosion saga. He doesn’t own a laundromat, which would be the obvious conclusion given all the machines he seems own, but rather he collects and fixes old machines:
“This past weekend I disassembled a front loading Whirlpool Duet washing machine that was manufactured in 2002, the first year that these machines were offered for sale in the US. The machine model number is GHW9100LW1 and the machine serial number is CSM 4904262.
This washing machine was owned by a woman who decided to get another washing machine, rather than complete repairs to this one.
The machine has bad tub bearings but, guess what?!! The aluminum portion of the spider is good! In fact it is almost perfect! Yet the newer models I own are a mess.** ”
Peter speculates that the aluminum parts shown here (top photo) have been anodized, an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface, while possibly the parts that corroded in the newer machines were not (bottom photo). Though it’s hard to confirm by the images just exactly what was done (though some of you readers may be able to tell), it’s unimaginable that Whirlpool would have skimped on the anodization process, given aluminum’s susceptibility to water corrosion in the presence of anything that dissolves the passivation layer, like detergents with high pH levels. Not to mention the galvanic coupling issue.
More likely, Whirlpool simply had a screw-up in their process, and hopefully it’s an issue that’s been addressed.
Peter notes that according to the serial number, the older machine was manufactured in Schorndorf, Germany. It would be interesting to know where the newer machines and parts were manufactured.