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Suitable and unsuitable greases for drum bearing seal


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Hi,

This is far above the FAQs and I cannot find a definite answer on this site, or elsewhere, so any advice would be useful and much appreciated

Unwilling to pay Miele prices for a bearing seal on a W844 machine that is 20 years old and had had a very hard life, I used a compatible seal which appears to be of good quality.  As I am currently in Italy, I used ebay as most UK suppliers will not post to Italy.  As I was limited on choice, I used a high tack silicone grease (this product: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwievp7q0b3xAhXQCOwKHXqLCuoQFjABegQIFhAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bes.co.uk%2Ftools-equipment-accessories%2Fconsumables%2Flubricants-and-grease%2F60-ml-ht-silicone-grease-15793%2F&usg=AOvVaw0FejWZtgj2S0aL_QOpOWJi ) as it was what I had to hand.  My first choice would have been a non-high tack version (as I have used on other machines without issue), but beggars can't be choosers.

The machine has been in use for 6 months since the overhaul and works perfectly except for an annoying and intermittent rubbery squeal on drum rotation.  I have pinpointed that the noise is NOT the grey rubber door gasket contacting the drum, so logically it is either a foreign object in the drum (but seems unlikely) or the drum bearing seal making this noise.

I have stripped the machine down again.  There is some dark discolouration to the previously colourless grease which suggests some wear has occurred to the rubber seal, but the grease is still in place and there is no evidence that the seal is leaking.  The seal is fully home and shows no evidence of damage.  Reassembled and same symptoms.

I'm wondering whether the high tack silicone grease has acted as an adhesive to some extent and is causing a grip-slip situation leading to the squeal.  It's more a plumbing grease designed for very low-speed rubber seals and for wet applications where water could wash out the lubricant.  It is great at staying in place, but I'm not sure how well it actually slips.

I have ordered a further new seal, but am inclined to avoid using the high tack silicone grease this time.  I'm a bit stuck for choices locally and anything posted in Italy (even internally) is slow and expensive to arrive, so I suppose I need to know what greases I really must avoid on the bearing seal.  Would Vaseline kill the rubber compound?  If not, at least Vaseline is a pure grease (like silicone) and so won't dry out.  I can also get white lithium in a spray can (the type often used on bicycles, not that I would).  I can probably get hold of general purpose high temperature lithium grease too, which I imagine would be okay as they use it in car wheel bearings which also have bearing seals.

I'm not after the best grease in the world, just something that will lubricate without destroying the rubber.  What have other people on this forum used without issues?

Thank you, if you reached the end of this and can help!

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Hello there. Normally I would always recommend fitting the genuine part when it comes to a small seal doing such a vital job as protecting the drum bearings from water. However, I presume Miele must have a ludicrous price for this part? As they often do. I'm not aware of having to fit any lubrication. All of the drum bearing seals that I have seen usually have a ceramic surface that runs against a similar ceramic surface on the bottom of the drum shaft. I never lubricated or greased anything like that.

If you do need any grease what about high-temperature LM grease that is used in car wheel bearings? I have used that  on Hoover tapered roller drum bearings that did actually need greasing. Obviously with normal sealed drum bearings no grease or lubrication is required at all.

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Hi Andy,

Yeah, Miele wanted over £50 and I'm not sure that specific machine has much life left in it to warrant that kind of money, which, after all, is a bit OTT for a shaft seal.

The Miele uses a seal around the shaft.  It is a rubber seal around a metal shaft without ceramic (this goes for both the original and the pattern seal).

As you say, the bearing is pre-lubricated, but if you're saying LM type grease is what is generally used for the bearings, then logically that same grease could easily get onto the seal, and presumably the seal would be compatible.

 

Cheers!

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Hi there. I've seen far more ludicrous prices and that that Miele. I just bought one of their oven's and they want to charge me £90 just for an extra wire shelf. I bought a Neff that is the same size for £29.

To be honest I would say that if you felt there was enough life in it to warrant all of the messing about stripping it down it should be worth investing £50 to make sure that the repair works. But having said that, I totally understand your position. The biggest obstruction to Miele appliances lasting as long as they are capable of is literally Miele's spare parts prices.

If they use a rubber seal that needs some sort of sealant on it I would be cautious about using anything other than what Miele have designed. Although high melting point LM grease should cope with any heat generated but I don't know what other qualities the sealant would require in order to stay in place and continue to do the job. At the end of the day the bearing seal does a very vital job and if it fails it will let water into the drum bearings and the whole thing will be knackered within weeks or months. Sorry I can't be more help as I've never dealt with Miele drum bearings.

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Hi Andy, thanks for that.

I suppose I should explain the background.  I don't need the machine to work at all as I have a spare, but all the same, it's still better than a Candy. 

I'm not sure the bearing seal needs a sealant, but I've always felt a shaft seal will bed in better (especially on a used shaft) if it has a touch of lubrication.  A friend of mine who used to work in the Italian "Rex" (now part of Electrolux) washing machine factory seemed to agree, but we never got into the finer details of what type of grease.  He suggested checking the seal was correctly seated which it seems to be.

The machine was 20 years old from a medium-sized household including a man with incontinence, and it's obvious it has had a lot of use.  It was a project I took on for the fun of it if I'm remotely honest.  "Rinses" light was flashing indicating a motor circuit fault, but a new relay and fuse on the PCB, new (pattern) shock absorbers (which appear to be little different from the originals), and a new front bearing put it firmly back in the useable category, although the door glass has severe scratching.  A lot of faff, but the total for spare parts came to €45, which I was happy with.

The hose that feeds the tub from the dispenser had cracked and was leaking.  I used silicone sealant to repair as a new hose was £58 (though I am tempted to stretch to this).  The Miele bearing seal (having checked again) is over £100.  Obviously you should ideally also replace the spider, but this is a Miele from the period when the spider was being made from a zinc alloy (Miele tells me it has gone back to using stainless now) and I've previously had a price of £450 for this spare, which is obviously not affordable.

So, while a new Miele of this quality would be around the £900 mark, just the three genuine parts above would reach £600, which is, I understand, a gripe of yours.  Such a pity the ISE project seems to have come to a halt.

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Yes it a great shame that ISE failed. I don’t know what Miele are thinking but maybe they are happy only selling to rich people. £90 for just a metal wire shelf for my oven is ludicrous. I just looked online and I can buy a cheap oven complete for just £119. That’s insane. 

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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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Ha ha that’s another problem. Miele make the spares so expensive that even they tell customers their Miele washing machine is beyond economical repair at just under 10 years old when drum bearings failed - and that’s to a customer with a 10 year guarantee.

I’ve always been a massive fan of Miele but over the last several years I’ve slowly began to seriously worry about the viability of their business model.
 

Miele have always thrived on people willing to invest a lot more money for the long game. People prepared to pay twice as much for an appliance to last 2 or 3 times longer.
 

When enough people realise there is no longer any guarantee that a Miele appliance will last any longer than say an AEG or a NEFF because Miele repair prices are completely out of control Miele are done for - unless they can survive on very small niche sales selling to the rich only. 

Need a repair or spare parts? 

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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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