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richappy 02-28-2009 08:19 AM

Appliance flood damage help
If your washer or dryer was immersed in water up to the motor, it's probably repairable.
Most appliance motors contain felt pads soaked in oil to supply the bushings for the life of the motor. They also may have internal splices and a centrifical switch.
Water in the motor will replace the oil in the felt pads. If the motor is turned on without fixing it, the bushings will get a good supply of water,thus destroying the bushings. Even if the motor is air dried for days, the felt pads will still have water in them!
If the motor was turned on, it probably is not fixable. Also, dirty water will contaminate the centrifical switch and provide a leakage path for electicity to flow in other areas like internal splices.I have seen motors blow open due to this leakage current.
To repair, remove the motor and place in an oven at 200 degrees for 3- 6 hours. Remove and let it cool down.
With a "Zoom spout oiler" Part # 55191 (with non detergent oil), available at Lowes. squirt oil on both shaft ends and hold it vertical to ensure the oil reaches the internal felt pads. You can oil the pads inside if it's an open frame motor. Just be careful to keep oil away from the centrifical switch.
Remove the centrifical switch, remove the cover and activate it several times while spraying it with a non-residue cleaning spray available at Wall Mart. Most motor switches have a removable cover. If sealed, locate any opening like a housing seam and just squirt in there, spray should seep inside. I use QD contact cleaner by CRC If a dryer motor, check pins 1 and 2 for continuity when switch is not actuated. Most switches are not available new. If it does not work, sometimes you can stick a piece of fine emory paper between the contacts to clean them.Activate the switch to put pressure on the emory paper. Do not use heavy emory paper, the contacts could ark weld shut. Squirt more cleaner in there to flush out particles.
Bench test the motor and verify it will draw rated current.Most dyer motors draw about 4.5 amps with no load. Let it run for some time and verify it reliably starts.If a reversing motor, it would be easier to test it in the unit. If a direct drive washer motor,do the repair procedure above, then install it in the washer, put it in spin and check washer current, should be between 8 and 10 amps. If it passes these tests, it should be ok. This contact cleaner is also good for cleaning any control, switch, etc, just spray and turn the control off and on. It will not fix boxed compressor start devices,electronic pc boards with relays,mechanical defrost timers, or any sealed control.The plastic enclosed refrigerator evaporator motors can be cleaned by prying off the bottom endbell and removing the armature.
Also, the same non-residue contact cleaner will flush out dirt and oil deposits from any connector and ribbon cable, or simple, non electronic control. I ran my TV remote in the washer. Took it apart, flushed it out with the same cleaner. After several cleanings and a period in the oven, it worked fine.
Before repairing a refrigerator, it is important to test for internal voltage leakage paths, or damaged internal splices. Both of these problems will usually make the fridg. unrepairable and unsafe. Generally, the "cheaper" refrigerators with no fountain dispenser have no internal splices. All the connectors will be visible in back of the control panel and near the compressor. Just spray the connectors while unpluging. Be prepaired to replace the cold control, compressor start device and mechanical defrost timer. If it was floating on it's side, the sealed system is ok, but you must upright it and wait several hours before pluging it in.
I have no experience with salt water damage, but have some general observations.
Most mechanical switches use different metals and plating. Expect some ongoing Fermi type currents that will contaminate contacts and destroy the sliding surfaces, so expect control switches will jam and cease working properly, thus the control will need to be replaced.If the control is used without cleaning, expect catastrophic failure and a fire hazzard.
This thread is still being developed.

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