Corrosion Outbreak on Whirlpool Machines

DN Staff

October 21, 2009

2 Min Read
Corrosion Outbreak on Whirlpool Machines

Peter D’Aloisio sends in this example of a six-year-old Whirlpool Duet front-loading washing machine with a serious case of galvanic corrosion, which sort of begs the question: What period of problem-free performance can one reasonably expect out of an appliance these days, even if its under warranty?

My mother had the same washing machine for the first thirty years of my life, and though it didn’t have the sorts of bells and whistles you get on today’s machines, it was perfectly serviceable and ran problem-free for three decades. She finally junked it for a new model that came in a color she liked better than white.

Peter, on the other hand, has had all sorts of problems with various machines (does he run a laundromat on the side, I wonder?) writes:

“It seems that in this design, the stainless steel wash basket is supported by an aluminum (or perhaps an aluminum alloy) structure called a spider.

Unfortunately, it is well known that aluminum that is joined to stainless steel without very good electrical isolation and then put into a wet environment will get eaten away. This can sometimes happen rather quickly.

The photos below are of the basket assembly from a 6 year old washing machine. I’ve seen failures on younger machines as well.

When this part breaks, the wash basket rubs on the plastic outer tub and damages it. The cost of these machines approaches $1000.00 and I find them to be good, well designed machines, except for this major design flaw, which, when I think about it, sort of ruins the whole thing.

To their credit, Whirlpool warrantees the basket assembly for life (you cannot purchase just the spider), and they warranty the outer tub for 10 years and, so far, they have honored this warranty for me on two occasions for two different machines, although both the auto attendant and the live customer service representative were careful to make me well aware that I had contacted the Whirlpool customer assistance service twice within 30 days.

I have two more broken machines and I will be making warranty claims for them as well.”

So should Peter give up on Whirlpool at this point and go back to a tub and washboard?

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