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Washer won't drain, burning smell

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My wife called and said the washer would not drain and she smelled a burning odor. I tried a drain/spin

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:33 PM
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Default Washer won't drain, burning smell
Model Number: 11022032100   Brand: Kenmore   Age: More than 10 years   

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My wife called and said the washer would not drain and she smelled a burning odor. I tried a drain/spin cycle when I got home, nothing doing. I opened the control panel and bypassed the lid switch with a jumper, still no draining. I then siphoned the water from the basket (still a couple of inches in the tub) and removed the cabinet.

I detached the drain pump from the motor and verified that I could turn it manually. Then I started another drain/spin cycle with the pump detached and saw that the motor spindle was not turning but the motor was humming. I verified that the spindle could be turned by hand and turning the agitator turned the spindle. I bypassed the water level switch and that had no effect. I removed the two motor retaining clips and detached the motor, letting it rest on the floor. I tried another drain/spin cycle, spindle still did not turn but the motor hummed.

I disconnected the switch that is mounted on the motor and tested the switch, start capacitor, and motor with a multimeter finding that all resistance values were within specifications according to a service manual I found online (L-55 Whirlpool Consumer Services Technical Education Group Presents - Direct Drive Washers, Job Aid Part No 787930 Rev A). Since everything checked out electrically, I assumed there was a problem with the motor (magnets or springs).

I bought a used (tested working) motor that came with a switch and hooked it up, only to find that the motor spindle still did not turn when I started a drain/spin cycle, and the burning odor was back and fairly strong. While sitting on the floor the motor would turn after I gave it a start by turning the spindle manually (rpm's seemed slow to me, but I didn't really know how fast it should be turning). That led me to believe the problem was with the start capacitor since I knew testing it with a multimeter was not a real gauge of its condition.

So I bought a brand new start capacitor today and hooked it up when I got home from work thinking surely this would be the fix. Nope. No change.

What are my next steps?

Thanks,
John


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Old 03-08-2013, 06:33 AM
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Excellent job on figuring out testing on your own. I suspect a problem with either the electronic control unit, bad connection or bad wire between the motor connector and control unit. You didn't mention if it works in agitation mode although you said you bypassed the water level switch which only effects agitation mode. The motor direction of rotation is reversed depending on agitation or drain/spin modes. This being accomplished through relays in the control unit. You can check for proper line voltage at the motor connector. You should have 120vac between the blue wire and white/black wire for the high speed run winding and between red and yellow for the start winding. You should see a significant voltage drop if there is a faulty connection somewhere. Since you can start the motor by hand, it is more likely to be in the start winding circuit. Can you provide a clear photo of the wiring diagram that should be on the inside of the back panel (top left)?

Eric

Last edited by fairbank56 : 03-08-2013 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:01 AM
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Just to make sure I am really bypassing the water level switch, I am supposed to jump the two wires connected to the switch in this picture, right?




I did not know that it would only affect the agitation cycle, but I had tried to test that by starting a normal cycle. I set the auto temp control to "off", water temp to cold/cold, water level to lowest and then started the normal cycle. I hear the water fill activate and the timer starts counting down, but the timer stops counting down after a while and the fill (motor? pump?) just keeps running. I don't have any water hooked up to the washer because I had to disconnect several hoses at the top of the cabinet to take the cabinet off. So I don't know if it agitates or not. How can I test that?



Here is the wiring diagram as requested.

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Old 03-08-2013, 11:05 AM
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Oh yeah, I meant to add I will test the line voltages tonight after I put the kids to bed. Thanks for your help, Eric.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:07 PM
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Oh, ok, well that is not the water level pressure switch. That's the recirculation pressure switch which is part of this washers catalyst cleaning action recirculation system. The water level pressure switch is the one on the left side of the control panel. It is actually a transducer type and can't be simply bypassed. It has electronics in it and generates a signal whose frequency is dependent on the water level and is read by the microprocessor on the control board. You would have to add the proper amount of water to the tub to get into agitate mode.

Eric
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:01 PM
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Ha! Good thing I asked about the water level switch. It looked like what was shown in some videos, I guess I misunderstood. Sounds like it wouldn't have made a difference anyway.

OK, I guess I need some guidance on how to check the voltages. I disconnected the wiring harness from the centrifugal switch and touched the leads of my multimeter to the appropriate slots in the harness and started a drain/spin cycle from the control board. I don't get any reading between blue and white/black or between red and yellow. I know there is something getting through there because otherwise the motor wouldn't hum. I should be reading around 120V~ on both of those connections at some point in the cycle, right? I've got a reading of around 124V~ at the wall socket.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:37 PM
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You have to do it with the motor connected. You can't measure voltage drops without a load (current) on the circuit. Just be quick about it as you shouldn't leave the motor humming for long. Not good on the windings and start capacitor. Also, the white/black wire is neutral but only when connected to the motor. The actual neutral from the power plug is the white wire (gray on some models) which goes into the motor, through the overload switch and back out on the white/black wire to the timer.

Eric
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:07 PM
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Hooked the harness back up to the switch, measuring voltage by inserting the leads from the back side of the switch immediately after starting the drain/spin cycle. I'm only showing 2 volts for each of these wire pairs.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:10 PM
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Well, that's not making sense, the motor wouldn't be humming and getting hot with only 2 volts. You may not be making good contact with the test points. We usually use needle tip probes when doing this to get inside the connector or even to pierce the insulation of the wires to get good contact. You can try checking these voltages at the control board connector P9 if it's easier.

Eric
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:59 PM
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117.5 between red and yellow at the control board, stays that way for a little while, then jumps into the 130's when the controller shuts off briefly, then back to 117.5 when it starts back up. How long should I let it go before switching to the other wire pair? I don't want to let it sit there humming for too long. The other wire pair has no voltage, at least during he first couple of minutes.
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