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Leon2

Washing machine tension springs - how to know when to replace?

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Hi, 

 

I've got a Miele 4144, about 12 years old. Since I moved house, it's been on a suspended floor. Despite levelling, it vibrates a lot on spin, and you can feel through the floor. I had an engineer check it whilst still in warranty, and he said the machine was fine, it was just the floor.

We recently tried a rubber mat to quieten the vibrations - this had the effect of making the machine rock more, and very recently it developed a knock on spin (ran fine on a low 600rpm spin). 

I'm a competent foyer at many things, so was up for taking a look, and have stripped down. I've ordered replacement shock absorbers and will install later. I'm also going to do something about the floor! What I was wondering about is the tension springs on the drum. If they are 12 years old and it's really been rocked a lot lately, could they be worn? I have some extra positions which could tighten the springs, but I'm unclear as to how to determine if they are worn, and also the correct position. I couldn't find any information on this anywhere.

 

Any advice gratefully received. For now it will be new shocks, and remove the mat. But I can strip down again if required to work on the springs.

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Hi there. The suspension dampers may not necessarily be worn, though they could be at 12. I've never needed to replace any springs that hold the drum in position unless broken. Let us know if the new suspension dampers make any difference. A lot of things can cause knocking noises.


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Replaced shock absorbers and ran the machine - no change, but then I'm not surprised as the new shocks didn't feel much different than the old ones.

Have stripped back down again and rechecked the things I checked before; loose weights (seem ok), drum bearings (feel ok to me), pulley (no play), spider (can't see any damage). 

When the machine runs, you can really see it move up and down at a point in the rotation, so it seems like it's unbalanced. I can't see how that could be the springs, because they support the non rotating part.

I'm at a bit of a loss to be honest. Any ideas what else to check? At this point, I'm thinking that I'm either not experienced enough to identify a problem in the areas I've checked, or it all.comes back to my not very solid floor. 

 

Any suggestions gratefully received!

 

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When it seems unbalanced is there in laundry in the drum?


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54 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

When it seems unbalanced is there in laundry in the drum?

Yes, but I've just replaced the front and run it with nothing inside, and the drum still moves a bit. I'm sure the bearings are fine, but now I'm wondering if the spindle is somehow bent.

 

I made a video - is this normal? I have nothing else to compare to, so maybe this is within normal operating parameters

 

 

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It is normal for the lip of a washing machine drum to be not perfectly round and therefore wobble as it revolves. I don't think it's possible for this spindle (drum shaft?) To be bent. And if drum bearings were faulty you would go to lift the drum open down on the drum shaft quite a lot and they would rumble as the drum spun round. Miele specifically mention sprung floors in their manuals and say that their washing machines are not suitable for them. Ironically because they are so heavy they can cause more vibrations on a sprung floor but in a concrete or otherwise solid floor they are incredibly quiet and do not move much at all.


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31 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

It is normal for the lip of a washing machine drum to be not perfectly round and therefore wobble as it revolves. I don't think it's possible for this spindle (drum shaft?) To be bent. And if drum bearings were faulty you would go to lift the drum open down on the drum shaft quite a lot and they would rumble as the drum spun round. Miele specifically mention sprung floors in their manuals and say that their washing machines are not suitable for them. Ironically because they are so heavy they can cause more vibrations on a sprung floor but in a concrete or otherwise solid floor they are incredibly quiet and do not move much at all.

Yes, I've had this discussion with the Miele engineer before when I was still in warranty. I had a solid floor when I bought it, but I've moved since. It definitely seems to have gotten suddenly worse, but I can't identify anything that looks wrong.

I'm not sure a concrete floor is an option, so I'm hoping making the timber floor much more solid will be sufficient. I will run a wash later, and share one last video 

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Ok, video of it making a racket. This was not the case a few days ago. I've got various bits of footage (and weirdly it also spins just fine at other points in the cycle)

Video here

 

And a longer one of it behaving better. Both same wash, 400 spin speed

Could it be something inside the drum?

 

 

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What size drum is it? That looks like a very small load, and one that most washing machines would bounce around with. What is it like if you put at least twice that amount in?


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6kg drum. I've put a full load in now and am running it, and it's making funny noises now even on general wash cycle. I'm now thinking probably bearings? The extra load of the weight might be showing up the bearing issues more. I'll see what happens when it starts to spin, but I'm not hopeful :-(

 

 

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Is there excessive play in the drum bearings? If drum bearings have gone the drum should rumble when you take the belt off and spin the drum by hand from the front. 


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49 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Is there excessive play in the drum bearings? If drum bearings have gone the drum should rumble when you take the belt off and spin the drum by hand from the front. 

No excessive play, and it feels very smooth, but when I spin with the belt off, there is a bit of noise. See video.

By the way, the noise and movement was the same with a full load. I also wondered if there is some way something is slipping?

I also noticed a very small puddle of water on the bottom of the machine, which I recall was a pointer to worn bearings? I can't identify where it's come from (there's not much). I did see a water mark before, but it was dry and I just assumed it was old.

I really appreciate your help on this Andy!

 

 

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Check to see if the drum pulley is OK Also double check the noise can't be produced by moving the machine around or the drum inside in case something on the chassis for example is cracked and it's more movement on the machine than revolutions of the drum. 


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Hi Andy,

I had to admit defeat with a family of four and no washing machine, and call in the local dealer where we bought the machine..they diagnosed a cracked spindle, base on play between the inner and outer drum..I guess this is where experience comes in - I didn't think it was excessive, but the engineer thought it was. 

 

Thanks again, very much appreciate your help. I did enjoy the journey anyway. I think I'll strip my machine down for parts, as there does seem to be a market on eBay for motors, main boards, etc

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My curiosity got the better of me, with a  new machine on the way, I wanted to harvest the old machine for parts, and I want to make a cool washing machine drum firepit, so I took it apart. 

 

When I finally got to the inner drum, I found a lot of sludge, marks where it's clearly been scraping the back, and in general a lot of muck in between. Would this have been my cause? Or a symptom. Everything seemed good up until this point. Bearings are super smooth, no damage to the pulley, external.spider, etc. I live in a hardware area, if that has anything to do with it?

 

Have added a photo album here. Of course, all curiosity at this point, as I've damaged it beyond repair dismantling.

Drum spider corroded.jpg

Drum spider corroded 2.jpg

Drum sppider corrosion.jpg

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Hi Leon. Thanks for that. Yes that drum spider is seriously corroded and cracked. That means as the drum revolved there would be movement of the drum on the shaft. The large marks show that with certain loads the back of the drum has been catching on the outer tub and should have been making metallic scraping noises. 

Just make sure you follow the advice in my following articles to try and prevent your new washing machine from suffering the same fate (if lucky enough to last that long) as the corrosion is associated with grease, slime and limescale build up -

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On 06/03/2020 at 15:40, Leon2 said:

they diagnosed a cracked spindle, base on play between the inner and outer drum..I guess this is where experience comes in - I didn't think it was excessive, but the engineer thought it was

There should have been extra play at the point where the drum spider arm is cracked all the way across. A better way of checking it would probably have been to rotate the drum just a few inches at a time and check the play by lifting the lip of the drum up and towards you just in case the drum paddles aren't in line with the spider arms (although they usually are).


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Thanks. Looks like too many 30 degree washes have killed my machine. I will be more careful with the new one

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