My downfall when it comes to Sherlock Ohms work (or at least, one of my many downfalls over the years) was my misdiagnosis of my Maytag clothes washer problem. Our washer was about 15 years old. I had done a few simple repairs to keep it chugging along. This time the complaint was that the washer would fill up with water, but then it wouldn't agitate.
I checked out the wiring diagram and decided there was a problem with the water-level pressure switch. The switch is a very sensitive air-pressure switch that is connected, via a tube, to the tube that fills the washer. Increasing the water level results in increased air pressure in the tube. At a certain water level it would activate the agitator. The switch was in series with the motor start, so nothing happened if the water level was too low -- or, if the switch failed.
So I ran a small load with no clothes -- just water. When it got some water in it, I shorted out the switch leads and everything started up and ran. Fine. I decided that meant I had a bad switch. I ordered one for $75 (ka-ching). When it arrived, I installed it.
I ran a test load at low water level. Everything worked great. I ran it again with a test load at full water level. The motor came on and then... grunt. No agitator action. The thermal breaker clicked off.
Turns out the problem was a failing bearing in the agitator. It had not completely failed; it was just dragging enough so the agitator would work at a low water level with no clothes, but it would not work with more water or with clothes. I had quick conversation with a repair person and realized a repair was way too expensive. Our solution -- buy a new washer.
Anyone need a water level switch? I've got two of them.
This entry was submitted by Bob Groh and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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