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Diagnose bad timer - Whirlpool

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My wife called me yesterday when our 5-6 yr old Whirlpool WTW5300SQ3 stopped running. Told her to unplug it. When

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Old 08-22-2013, 10:08 AM
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Default Diagnose bad timer - Whirlpool
Model Number: WTW5300SQ3   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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My wife called me yesterday when our 5-6 yr old Whirlpool WTW5300SQ3 stopped running. Told her to unplug it.

When I got home, I plugged it back in. Timer/cycle dial was at the beginning of the agitate/wash segment. It would not run and there was an audible hum coming from the motor area. I pulled the knob out and advanced it to the spin segment. The washer then drained normally and went into the high spin and eventually finished the entire cycle and turned off.

Then I started an entire new cycle to watch it all the way through. The washer filled normally. When the agitate cycle began, though, it would not run. Just the hum sound again. I advanced it to the spin cycle and again everything worked fine through the rest of the cycle.

I called a local parts/answer shop I’ve used in the past for other appliance fixes and described the symptoms to him. He instructed me on opening it all up. With the cabinet removed (and a small piece of scrap wire used to jumper the disconnected lid switch) he had me check the voltage of the red and yellow wires where they actually plug into the harness down at the motor. With the dial set to agitate (and the hum audible again) the yellow and red wires showed zero on my meter. A check of the blue wire and the white with black stripe wire showed right at 120 for that pair.

He said it looks like the timer has gone bad – a $139 part through him, and available to pick up today. (Available cheaper from Sears, but it would take a couple extra days, and this guy has been a big help so far…)

Before I swing by and purchase the non-returnable part, I thought I’d pop on here and see if others concur with this diagnosis… Thanks for any input you can provide.


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Old 08-22-2013, 11:09 AM
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Yes, very good troubleshooting instructions on his part. You are not getting power to the motor start winding in agitate mode. If you pull the pump off the back of the motor and spin the motor shaft CCW while motor is humming in agitate mode, it should start running. Do not allow motor to just hum but for a few seconds as it is bad for the capacitor and motor windings.

Eric
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply, Eric. I don't know how long it took for my wife to realize the washer had stopped running/didn't agitate before she shut it off. There was an electronic sort of smell coming from the unit after it happened. I could still smell it when I got home.

Couple of addt'l questions... If the capacitor were bad, would the spin cycle still work properly like it's doing? Does the fact that it spins properly indicate (I hope) that the motor wasn't potentially damaged by the bad timer?
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:03 PM
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No, if capacitor was bad, it wouldn't go into spin cycle. The motor has a thermal overload so if it was left running in agitate it probably kept tripping the overload. As long as it's spinning ok, I think you'll be fine.

Eric
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:32 PM
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Thanks again. Sounds more and more like the timer is indeed the culprit here. I guess I'll go ahead w/ buying that part this afternoon.
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