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Kenmore Elite Washer Won't Spin or Drain

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2-3 months ago the washer wouldn't spin or drain. First I replaced the motor coupling, and that didn't work. I

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Old 06-09-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Kenmore Elite Washer Won't Spin or Drain
Model Number: 110.20056992   Brand: Sears   Age: More than 10 years   

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2-3 months ago the washer wouldn't spin or drain. First I replaced the motor coupling, and that didn't work. I then had a Sears repair tech come out and find a sock in the drain pump, so I replaced that myself, and everything was fine until today. Now the tub fills, but nothing happens (no spin), there is a burning smell, and I cannot get the drain to work in test mode. What are the chances the new pump failed, as opposed to yet another part, such as the transmission, clutch, motor, etc. failing?

Thanks in advance!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2012, 04:47 PM
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It is easy enough to check. Take off the cabinet and check the pump and if it is alright go ahead and check the new coupling. It may have jammed.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:31 PM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks! I will do that and report back.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:35 PM
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I pulled the pump, and it seems to be fine (there is nothing stuck in it, and I can manually spin it freely). On the other hand, I cannot pry off either end of the coupler no matter how hard I try. The rubber part looks to be in good shape (it is only 2 months old), but both plastic parts on on too tight for me to remove. Could that be my problem? If so, any suggestions? I'm not sure if I'm just not strong enough, or if I really messed it up. If it's on so tight and that is the problem, how could it have been working fine for the past 2 months? Also, I don't see how it could jam, since I cannot move it at all.

Please help!!!!

Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:59 PM
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First I am assuming from your post that it will not agitate or spin.

The fact that the plastic pieces of the coupling are on tight is okay, they make them that way now. They should be on enough so that the end of the shaft is flush with the opening in the plastic part.

See if you can turn the transmission by turning the plastic part of the coupling attached to the transmission. If not your transmission may have jammed.

If you can, try seeing if the motor will run when it is not attached, the motor may be in the process of failing.

If everything checks out put the motor back on, but leave the pump off and see if it will go into spin mode.

If not then the motor or transmission may be the problem, and more likely it is the transmission.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:30 PM
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Thank you very much for your very quick response!

The coupling attached to the transmission can be freely turned counterclockwise, but only turns clockwise about one full turn before stopping. Please tell me this is okay!!!

Next, please bear with me since I am teaching myself this as I go along -- how do I see if the motor will run when not attached? Also, I know I need to jump the lid switch to make anything happen with the cabinet off, but I do not know exactly what I need to accomplish that. When I tried 2 months ago, the wire I was using got hot and started to smell immediately, so I gave up and just reattached the cabinet.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:44 AM
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You can bypass the lid switch by inserting an insulated solid copper wire (ends exposed) into the two non-green wire hole connectors on the the connector coming from the console to the lid switch.

I suggest you remove the transmission and see if it turns freely when it is out of the washer (it comes out with three bolts). You can then check the clutch and brakes.

Be sure and check out the videos in the video library referenced at the top of the main washer forum page and the excellent Sticky by Richappy on direct drive washer brakes.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:19 AM
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Once again, thank you very much for your kind assistance. Should I still try to see if the motor works when not attached, or should I go straight to the transmission? If I'm checking the motor, should I simply attached the electric connections and see if it spins on the floor, or is there another way to check it while not attached?

Also, the couplings are not exactly flush with the shaft on either the motor or the transmission, although the machine has run fine for 2 months. Could this possibly be the problem? If so, I cannot get them off; should I try to force them further onto the shafts?

Thanks again!!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:32 PM
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I think you are okay on the couplings. Yes, just hook up the motor on the floor and see if it runs in spin setting with the lid switch by-passed. this is not definitive as it may run on the flloor but not under a load.

If all that looks okay then go a head and remove the transmission and see how it spins manually when it is out.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:07 PM
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sidfink - Thanks for sticking with me Thanks to you, I now at least know how to bypass a lid switch and that I can safely run a motor while not attached to a washing machine!

I did everything you suggested other than removing the transmission, since that looked a little bit involved. Since I couldn't remove the couplings, I tapped them in a little further so that they are now precisely flush with the shafts. The motor ran fine out of the machine, and the tub spun fine with the pump both unattached and attached to the motor. So I then replaced the cabinet and tried to run a regular cycle with no clothes, but with detergent and bleach, to disinfect the unit since it was sitting for a week with water and detergent in it below the bottom of the tub.

It filled and agitated fine for about 5 minutes, then started buzzing/humming, stopped agitating and the burning smell returned, but the electronic timer continued to count down (which it was not doing when I had the original problem last week). I got nervous after a few minutes, so I stopped the cycle and successfully ran a manual drain/spin cycle to remove the water. I then tried to run a manual rinse/spin cycle to see what would happen. It ran fine for a few minutes, but at the end it was just sitting and humming with the burning smell. Since it had no clothes or water in it, I let it count down until the cycle ended. Now it just hums when I try to put it into the drain/spin, or try to run the drain/spin diagnostic test.

Any thoughts? For what it's worth, the machine is a top of the line Kenmore Elite circa 1999. I've been learning as I'm going, as I've been attempting to salvage it assuming the parts are relatively cheap, since my wife likes the machine. Assuming it's something expensive, like a timer, motor or transmission, is it worth fixing? Normally I wouldn't even consider putting hundreds of dollars into a 13 year-old appliance, but I now have so much emotionally invested in this that I hate to give up. What do you think?
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