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Burnt connection - safe & how to repair?


Thingumeebob

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Hi,

 

My Mum has an old Indesit WIL 103 and told me that the machine was making funny noises.  It turns out that one of the plastic pins connecting the shock absorber piston to the drum has shattered and vanished.  Whilst looking around I noticed that there are a line of contacts and one of them is badly burnt / melted.  It's connecting a brown wire so I assume it's a live wire and the connection just came away in my hand.  I took some pictures of it which I hope are attached to this post.

 

So, my first question is - is this safe to fix?  The bit it was connected to was very rusty (now sanded down) so I don't know if it's just a case of rust causing a problem with the connection, sparks, heat, melted connector, etc.  Or is this a sign of something more serious?  My mum is alone, in her 70's and I don't want to leave her with an unsafe appliance / fire risk.

 

Next question - what would I use to fix this?  I've seen "wago" connectors for lights I'm planning to install for her, but I haven't seen one that would do this job.  

 

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks!

 

P.S.  I've also been looking for the plastic pin that secures the top of the shocker / damper / piston to the drum.  The white plastic peg that goes through the hole and clips in place.  Anyway, it's about £10 on ebay.  For one plastic peg.  Surely this can't be right - I can get the whole original damper piston and pin set (x2) for £12.  Is there anywhere to buy these plastic pins at a remotely sane price, or should I just go for the full replacement kit?

 

 

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Having just taken the piston / shock absorber off ... I wonder if I really need a plastic peg to hold it in place?  Could I just use a large bolt, a couple of washers and a couple of nuts with loctite?

 

Or would a metal bolt chew up the plastic of the piston?

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Ok, so I've gone ahead and repaired the machine:  I'd remain appreciative of some input, particularly reassurance that the repairs are safe and sound.

 

I couldn't get the shock absorber pin at a remotely sensible price, so I sourced a bolt of a slightly smaller bore.  I taped over the bolt threads where it would meet the piston and the drum so as to try and prevent unnecessary wear, used washers front and rear and loctite with two bolts to secure.  It seems to work perfectly.

 

As regards the wiring, for love nor money could I find a connector that resembled the charred connector I removed.  I ended up buying a pack of spade connectors, crimped on to the wire and connected to the blade.  Figuring there was a reason that this wasn't used in the first place, I bought some special tape which you stretch as you wrap and it binds to itself forming a waterproof and electrically insulating barrier.

 

This is my main concern.

 

From everything I've read and researched, I believe this will be safe - but I would appreciate a little expert input to reassure me that I've not created something which will cause any safety concerns.

 

Either way the machine is working far better than it has for some time apparently.  For now ...!

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Hello Thingumeebob. Sorry for not replying earlier. Was it this plastic pin that you needed for the suspension? Merloni (Indesit Group) Plastic Expansion Peg - I have to say the prices of some of these spare parts now is ridiculous. I remember when a part like this would be just a few pounds but manufacturers charge high amounts for spares these days which contributes to them getting thrown away because repair costs are too high. However, it would in theory have been easier and less stressful to just buy the part and slot it in. If you've secured it by nut and bolt hopefully the nut is loctited or a lock nut so it can't come loose. The potential problem with a metal replacement is it wearing the plastic on the damper, or even just causing noise but hopefully any issues might take a long time to appear if at all.

 

Regarding the heating element. As an engineer I would have replaced the heater. If you have removed all of the rust hopefully it will make a good contact. If you have used a proper 13 amp connector and fitted it well it might be ok. However, the amp tags used on heating elements usually have a little clip inside that stops the tag coming off with vibration. The old connection was clearly dangerously overheating and for a while too. I hope you cut back the affected wire getting rid of all the brittle baked wire.

I would check this connection after several washes and keep checking it every several washes until satisfied it isn't getting hot.

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23 hours ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Hello Thingumeebob. Sorry for not replying earlier.

I'm afraid that is simply unacceptable.  I expect a full and immediate refund of my registration fee ... ;-)

 

Yes, it was the expansion pin I was looking for.  No matter how much easier to fit it would have been, as a matter of principle I refuse to spend £11 on an item that is literally worth pennies.  I suspect you're right that hiking up the cost of replacement parts is a tactic to force obsolescence on otherwise serviceable items - a regrettable sign of the times.  

 

(A friend of mine works for a company that makes components used in the automotive industry.  He tells a tale about a very large customer rejecting a prototype on the basis that it was over engineered.  Whereas normally this complaint reflects unnecessary expense or complication, the only further feedback they got was a copy of the original brief with "lifespan 7yrs, 10,000 cycles" highlighted.  They happily signed off on a more expensive less robust prototype.)

 

Anyway, the bolt I used has been covered in tape, so I'll check how it's wearing periodically as I think you're right that it may cause wear to either the piston, or worse, the drum.  As for the rusty contact (which I now understand to be the element!), I'm a little concerned.  It was extremely rusty, so I'm quite satisfied that this would be the cause of the build up of heat ... but ... I'm not sure of the rating of the connector I used (I didn't even notice a rating of any sort on the packet).  In fact the connector didn't actually fit well, being ever so slightly too small.  It was a 4.8mm connector and I've since seen 6.3mm connectors which would explain why I had to, ahem, customise it with a pair of pliars.  The tape I used to cover it is supposedly flameproof, electrically insulating and heatproof to a degree so offers some protection, but I'll get an appropriately rated connector asap and, as you suggest, keep checking periodically.

 

Thanks for the input ... it's an extremely good forum you have here and very generous of you to devote your time and expert opinion for free.

 

Regards

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It is true that products are now made to last a specific amount of time. Built-in obsolescence. Of course no manufacturer can survive creating products that never need replacing but they are generally taking the Mickey now with some washing machines literally designed to last for a specific amount of wash cycles which equates to about two years use if bought and used for a large family. People buying them have absolutely no idea but of course as with most things the more expensive ones are likely to be designed to last longer.

Regarding your connection. If the amp tag you used was slightly small then I would be fairly sure it is not 13 amp and could overheat so I would replace it. Unfortunately the term that we always use for these parts was amp tag, which doesn't seem to be used by anyone else so it's difficult to search for them. It seems that different companies call them different things for some reason.

The connectors we always used to use look like these electrical connectors - I used to use a special crimping tool but if I didn't have the tool I always manage to successfully fit them using narrow nose pliers to bend over the tags. The back tag needs to crimp onto the plastic and the front tag crimps onto the bare wire.

However these tags came in different sizes and I haven't taken my ruler out to try work out which ones these are. Unfortunately they don't seem to rate them in amperage only in sizes but you could measure up the ones on the other side of the element. Alternatively they do the ones with the plastic fitting which clamps down on to the plastic part of the wire and they can work well too.

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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