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#1 Posted : Sunday, November 15, 2020 9:47:49 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 11/15/2020(UTC)
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United States
Location: OH

I have a Samsung Front Load Washer (WF331ANW/XAA) that is about 8 years old. I live alone and typically run one load of laundry every week or two, so to say that my washer is lightly used is an understatement.

Not long at all after purchasing this washer brand new, it started thumping very loudly at multiple points in the wash cycle. I thought it must be out of balance so attempted adjusting the balance (using levels, etc) but nothing helped. The machine seemed to run ok so I eventually just accepted the ridiculously loud thumping. Fast forward to now, years later, the washer still was working fine but I did get an occasional small leakage of water at the end of the wash so I decided it was time to take it apart and take a look.

From everything I've read in the forums, I was pretty certain that the spider arm assembly and/or shock absorbers of the machine were bad. Following the great video on this site, I took the entire machine apart and to my surprise, the spider arm assembly was fine. Very minor corrosion but fully intact, no cracks, etc. I then looked at the shock absorbers and actually purchased new ones but comparing the compression/resistance of the old vs. new, there was no doubt that the shock absorbers were not the issue either. I inspected the bearings and those were fine as well as the two drum springs.

I slowly worked to reassemble the machine and tried to inspect every possible piece and that is when I found the problem, which turns out is a VERY easy repair that would literally take 10 minutes and only requires taking the top panel off which is held on by two phillips screws.

Turns out, the vent hose (which is the large accordian style black rubber hose at the top, back right of the machine) that connects to the 'flap' vent at the top back of the machine (part number AP4579408) compresses when the tub shifts and pushes air out of the flap vent. The flap vent has some brittle, cheap, lightweight foam on it so that when it slams shut, the foam is supposed to dampen the sound. However, the brittle foam had all worn away around the edges leading to a very loud 'thump' each time air was pushed through the vent hose, slamming the flap shut. The flap vent piece (AP4579408) is not available for purchase anywhere, but by peeling off the old brittle foam and putting on some new foam solved the problem and the machine runs amazingly quiet now. I disconnected the vent house where it connects to the flap vent at the back of the machine. I popped out the flap vent piece and removed the inner plastic flap piece. I scraped off all of the old foam until I had a clean surface. I then purchased an automotive car wash sponge made of synthetic foam (for about $1.50) and used a sharp knife to cut a 1/4" thick piece and then cut it in a circular shape using the flap vent piece as a guide. I glued the foam in place, replaced the piece, reconnected the vent hose and that was it. Perfectly quiet.

I'd recommend checking this first as this is certainly much easier than taking the entire machine apart. Take off the top cover and push/pull the tub forward and backward. If this creates a loud thump, that flap vent is your problem.

As for my small bit of water leakage, there was a small tear in the rubber diaphragm which I replaced.

Hope this helps!

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