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GOFAR Services, LLC - Appliance Repair Houston, TX - Chapter 2PROBLEMS COMMONTO ALL BRANDSWashing machine designs vary widely, but there are some things that all washers have in common. If you suspect a leak under you house you should check your water meter and see if the small dial is spinning. If the leak indicating small dial is not spinning at all, you don' have a leak or your meter is broken (very rare).
Keep in mind that the irrigation shut off is often a separate valve of the main water line, usually near the house shut off.
The smallest leak in your toilet can lead to massive problems if that leak works its way under your floor surface and onto the subfloor beneath. The experts at Atomic Plumbing can help you assess whether your toilet can be saved or if it needs to be replaced. When you recommend a new customer to Atomic Plumbing, you can receive a gift certificate of up to $50 good toward your next plumbing job.
Water leaks can become very costly over time and cause even more damage and expense if not addressed immediately with professional leak detection. The typical culprit in this scenario is a water leak, and leaks can occur in various areas of one's home, and they are not always easy to find. Even though some leaks are obvious to spot, like a leak under a sink, some leaks are much harder to pinpoint and you will likely need to call a professional technician to ensure the true problem has been discovered and that the leak repair is done right. If you don't have a water leak issue with toilets, showers or faucets, the next possibility is that the leak is in the water pipes underground.
The reason for this is that it is not easily spotted since it's under a concrete slab or below the soil outside. If you notice a leak in your yard or a saturated area when there has not been any rain or other logical explanation.
Most homes that are built in high water table areas like Florida, are built on concrete slabs and do not have a basement. If people notice that their toilet is taking longer than normal to flush or their shower stream is not as powerful as normal, they might have a slab leak. A technician that specializes in slab leak repairs, will have the proper equipment to find the leak, and they will also be able to repair the leaking pipes.
Water line leaks can happen in the house, under a house slab or outside the house underground. A slow leaking faucet or shower head can leak close to 500 gallons of water, and a big leak can leak over 12,000 gallons per month. Toilets are one of the most common leak sources because of the amount of water that flows through them every day. Regardless of what the water rate is in different cities, wasting just one gallon is too much. A leaking toilet may produce a hissing or trickling sound that usually lasts for a substantial amount of time after the toilet has been flushed.
Each Leak Squad location is individually owned and operated under the "Leak Squad" service mark license.
In many cases, a small repair such as replacing a rusted bolt can stop a slow leak and replacing a the rubber seal can add stability and longer life to your fixture. If it needs to be replaced, our plumbers will bring all the plumbing supplies to complete a safe and efficient toilet installation. In addition, there are several factors that can cause a leak, and many of them are things that occur naturally and cannot be prevented. This can be one of the toughest types of leaks to find and may stay undetected for a while. Most people will call the water company when they see a huge bill, but the water line on your property is usually the homeowners responsibility. Underground leaks may require the assistance of a leak detector, leak detection specialist and a professional technician.
Easily detected leaks with pipes below the sink or on obvious locations, may not need special leak detection equipment, but you still should hire a professional technician to fix them correctly. Most people make every effort to ensure that the water stops running when they shutoff their shower or faucet; however, water may start trickling out seconds after the person leaves the room. Homes that use well systems can find higher electric bills as the pumps have to continuously kick on to fill the tank.
If people hear this noise or suspect there is a leak, you should not hesitate to call a professional technician to diagnose the problem and fix it before too much water is wasted. Things can get even worse when people find that their bills are increasing for reasons other than rate increases. If the leak is severe enough people might hear a whining or hissing sound coming from underneath their home.
Even if it may seem like small leaks are present in the exposed parts of underground lines, a larger problem may remain hidden and unnoticed. A slow leak can waste over 200 gallons per month while a major leak can exceed 50,000 gallons per month.
If it is still spinning you have a slab leak or your main water line is leaking from the meter to the house.
However, leaks below ground can be more difficult as these can sometimes only be noticed when there is already a severe problem. Technician's and leak detection specialists use specific tools and techniques that can effectively detect leaks and allow for leak repairs with less time and effort.
The transmission converts the rotary motion of the motor to the back-and-forth motion of the agitator. There is usually a valve somewhere around your house on the outside wall closest to the water meter. Locating more severe water line leaks underground is also not easy even after noticeable damage to the property around it. A driveshaft extends from the top of the transmission to the agitator, where it is connected to the agitator, usually by a spline.
After turning it off, if the meter is still spinning, your leak is most likely in the main water line.
During agitation, some washers use their pump to circulate water, sucking it from the bottom of the tub and pumping it to the top of the tub. The pump is driven by the same electric motor. Also during the agitation cycle, bleach or softener may be automatically added.
This is usually done by a solenoid valve that allows some of the recirculated water to flush out the bleach or softener dispenser.
In some models there is no water circulation involved; the solenoid simply opens a valve or door that lets the dispenser contents drop into the wash water.
The timer tells this solenoid valve when to open. SPIN AND DRAIN CYCLES After agitation comes a drain cycle, sometimes combined with a spin cycle. During the spin cycle, the same motor that drove the agitator now drives a spin tubewhich is concentric with the agitator shaft. Some brands have a lid lock that prevents you from opening the lid when the basket is spinning.At the end of the spin cycle, or whenever the lid is lifted, most models have a braking arrangement that stops the tub from spinning.


Most modern washers use dual solenoid valves, which have both hot and cold solenoids in one valve body.
The thermistor's signal goes to the washer's control board (computer,) which opens or closes hot and cold water valves to control the incoming water temperature.When the water in the tub reaches the desired level, the pressure or float switch closes the circuit to the fill valve. A few old washers used a pressure switch mounted on the BOTTOM of the tub; these are known as water weight switches. The strainers can get clogged up over time and prevent water flow. Shut off the water valves and remove the hoses. If you cannot clean the screen sufficiently, you may need to replace it. In some instances, the screen is non-removable, and you will need to replace the hose or valve. If it is too hot or too cold, or if no water is coming out at all, test for voltage across each solenoid coil of the water valve as shown in figure G-5. Replace the valve. If you're not getting power to the valve, refer to the wiring diagram for your machine (see section 2-6) and trace the source of the interruption. Sometimes it's a broken wire, but more commonly, there will be a problem with the water level switch, timer, lid switch, or temperature switch.
Replace the defective switch.If your washer is a late-model digital machine with a fill thermistor, a defective thermistor might be sending the wrong signal to the control board. If your washer has a mercury-tube type lid switch, raising the top of the cabinet may have the same effect on the lid switch as raising the lid. You will need to jumper the mercury switch to perform any tests when the cabinet top is raised. OVERFILLAs the tub fills, water pressure increases at the bottom of the tub. Before you insert the tube onto the switch, blow into the tube first, to clear it of any water that might have gotten in it. But some people would just seal it up so it couldn't overflow, instead of clearing the drain, as they should. Depending on how bad the drain is backing up, the washer might never fill completely; the solenoid valve will just stay open and water will just keep siphoning straight out the drain.
Or, if the drain is a little more clogged and the water is flowing more slowly, the washer might fill and start agitating, but stop agitating after a few minutes and fill some more. And since the power to the timer motor is being interrupted, the wash and rinse cycles may seem unusually long. There is a solution, even if you don't want to root out the drain blockage as you should. Your appliance parts dealer has a drain line vacuum break valve, available for just a few bucks. In all washers, it is used to pump water out of the tub at the end of an agitate or soak cycle. Others use a solenoid-activated butterfly valve in the pump body to re-direct the waterflow. The impeller blades can break off due to junk entering the pump; if this happens, the pump may seize up, or it may just stop pumping.
If the pump is belt-driven (as it is in many washers) the pulley driving the pump may shear off, or the belt may break. The belt may ride over the locked pulley, or the motor pulley will continue turning under the belt; this will burn the belt and possibly break it. There may even be enough tension on the belt to stop the motor from turning. The symptoms can be confusing.
For example, a common complaint about a Whirlpool belt-drive washer is that it isn't spinning, accompanied by a strong burning smell. The washer doesn't enter the spin cycle because the spin is interlocked with the drain cycle. If you can't see anything jamming the pump, feel around the inside of the pump inlets and outlets with a pair of needlenose pliers.
Depending on how badly the drain is clogged, there may be a little water or a lot, or it may only overflow every second or third load. Even if you're not there when it happens and the paper dries out, it will have crinkled up, and you'll know your drain's backing up. If it isn't the drain, run the machine with a full load. Without moving the machine, get right down on the floor and look under the machine with a flashlight. Some washer pumps have a hole that allows water to weep out when the seal starts to go bad.
If the bleach dispenser gets old and brittle, it can crack or break off, and the flush water can leak out.But since the dispenser may only be flushed at certain times in the cycle, this will appear as an intermittent leak. If a consistent imbalance in the basket has caused it to wear a hole in the tub (not an uncommon experience to old-style GE washers) then you may be able to fix it with an epoxy patch. One motor is used to do both.Within the transmission there is typically a crank gear and connecting rod arrangement to provide the reciprocating motion to the agitator.
However, some designs use a differential gear, slider, eccentric, or other design. The spin motion comes directly from the rotary motion of the motor, through some clutch arrangement. Usually there is some kind of reduction arrangement in the belt or gearing. There must also be some mechanism to change between spin and agitate.
There are two ways that this is most commonly done. Some washer designs use solenoids to engage and disengage clutches and transmissions. For the agitate cycle, a solenoid (sometimes the same one) disengages the clutch and engages the transmission.
For specific information see the chapter about your brand. Many washer designs use a direct-reversing motor.
When the motor turns one way, a mechanical arrangement such as a helical shaft, centrifugal clutch or torsion spring engages and spins the basket. When the motor reverses, the brake locks the basket and the transmission engages, so the agitator agitates.The basket braking arrangement is often a part of the clutch arrangement. If you see any of the problems shown in figure G-8, replace it. Broken or worn out belts are a common problem. See the chapter on your brand for specific details about changing the belt(s) on your model. If the shaft is rotating but the agitator is not, replace the agitator or spline insert.2-5(c) TRANSMISSIONSTransmissions in general are pretty bullet-proof, and rarely experience problems beyond a little oil loss. Try turning the motor by hand, or pull the belt so everything rotates. Be careful you don't pinch your fingers between the belt and pulley! Check to see that every pulley that the belt rides is rotating. Disengage the drive system (remove the belt, etc.) Try to turn the transmission drive pulley with your hand. Also check the movement of the pump, and any tensioner or idler pulley that may be present. Do not try to rebuild your own transmission. Typically, rebuilding requires special tools that drive the cost above that of buying a rebuilt transmission. Due to some parts business politics, I can't mention brand names in this book, but your parts dealer will probably be happy to privately let you know which ones they are.2-6 TESTING ELECTRICAL COMPONENTSSometimes you need to read a wiring diagram, to make sure you are not forgetting to check something.
It is ESPECIALLY important in diagnosing a bad timer. If you already know how to read a wiring diagram, you can skip this section. If you're one of those folks who's a bit timid around electricity, all I can say is read on, and don't be too nervous. The wiring and switches that are shown as thick lines are inside of the timer. The small circles all over the diagram are terminals.


Any wiring enclosed by a shaded or dotted box is internal to a switch assembly and must be tested as described in sections 2-6(c) and 2-6(d). Switches may be numbered on the diagram, but that number will not be found on the switch. You must be able to trace the path that the electricity will take, FROM the wall outlet back TO the wall outlet. Following the gray-shaded circuit in figure G-9(a), the electricity flows through the black wire (L1) to the push-pull switch. This switch is located inside of the timer (you know this because it is drawn with thick lines) and it must be closed.
The power then goes through the violet wire to the water level switch (which must have a LOW water level,) then through the pink wire back into the timer.
It then comes out of the timer in a red wire with a white stripe (R-W) that leads to the lid switch (which must be closed.) From the lid switch, it goes through a red wire to the spin solenoid. Finally it leaves the spin solenoid in a white wire, which leads back to the main power cord (L2). If you're not sure whether a certain switch or component is a part of the circuit you're diagnosing, assume that it is and test it. If you have a motor problem that you think you've traced to the timer, don't bother trying to figure out which switch goes to which part of the motor.
Looking at the diagram, the push-pull switch controls a lot of other things besides the spin solenoid. You may need to use jumpers to extend the wire; for example, if one end of the wire is in the control console and the other end in underneath the machine. It will then be up to you to figure out exactly where that break is; there is no magic way.
So you've just replaced the pump, and you're standing there with the lid open, admiring how well it's pumping out, when you notice it still isn't spinning.
For example, if your basket won't spin at all, you will check all the obvious stuff (lid switch, spin clutch solenoid, transmission, etc.) But will you think to check the imbalance switch?
In some designs, it also prevents the tub from filling or the agitator from agitating while the lid is open. To reset this interlock, the lid must be opened and closed or the timer turned off and back on. THEY ARE THERE FOR A REASON.2-6(a) SWITCHES AND SOLENOIDSTesting switches and solenoids is pretty straightforward. If it shows no resistance, it's shorted.2-6(b) WATER LEVEL SWITCHESWater level diaphragm switches are usually shown on a wiring diagram by the symbol in figure G-10. The numbering or lettering of the terminals may differ, but basically all switches are tested the same way. To test the switch, first fill the tub to the highest water level. See the chapter about your brand for details about the labelling of the switch leads.2-6(c) TIMERSThe timer is the brain of the washer.
In addition to telling the motor when and which way to run, it tells any clutch solenoids when to engage, the fill valve when to open, dispenser solenoids when to open, etc.Most washers still have mechanical, that is, motor-operated timers.
Some newer machines have digital timers and control (computer) boards. Diagnosing digital machines is often a matter of reading the digital fault code or performing a self test. Testing procedures and fault codes for individual models can usually be found on a paper located inside the console. A mechanical timer is nothing more than a motor that drives a set of cams which open and close switches. Yet it is one of the most expensive parts in your washer, so don't be too quick to diagnose it as the problem. If you buy one, and it turns out not to be the problem, you've just wasted the money.In a wiring diagram, a mechanical timer may appear in two different ways (Figure G-11). Replace the timer or timer drive motor, or have it rebuilt as described below. Timers can be difficult to diagnose.
If none of the other components are bad, then it may be the timer. Remember that a timer is simply a set of on-off switches. Timer wires are color-coded or number-coded.Let's say you've got a spin solenoid problem that you think you've traced to your timer. Make sure the timer is in the "on" position and slowly turn the timer all the way through a full cycle. Whirlpool Direct Drive models (chapter 4) are this way.You must simply test the timer one click at a time. Be patient!) You should see continuity make and break at least once in the cycle; usually many times.
The Whirlpool Direct-Drive models (Chapter 4) are prone to this confusing problem, though it's not too terribly common. The symptoms are that when you open the lid at the end of the cycle, the tub hasn't drained.
The motor doesn't get a chance to start in the opposite direction, so it continues to run in the same direction (agitate) until something interrupts the circuit and stops the motor.
If it's a common one, your parts dealer may even have a rebuilt one in stock. For the most part, if your timer is acting up, you need to replace it. For example, with the temperature switch shown in figure G-13 set on "Warm wash, Cold rinse" all the switches marked with a "WC" will be closed.
There is no WC marking next to the middle switch, so the switch should be open.You should see no continuity with your VOM. Test the switch similarly for all settings.2-6(e) DRIVE MOTORS, START SWITCH, AND CAPACITORSA motor that is trying to start, but can't for whatever reason, is using one heckuva lot of electricity. So much, in fact, that if it is allowed to continue being energized in a stalled state, it will start burning wires. To prevent this, an overload switch is installed on motors to cut power to them if they don't start within a certain amount of time. If the motor is trying to start, but can't, you will hear certain things.
In some extreme cases, you may even smell burning. If you hear the motor doing this, but it won't start, disconnect power and take all the load off it. For example, disconnect the drive belt, pump drive system, etc. Try to start the motor again. You can discharge it by shorting the two terminals on your capacitor with your screwdriver. Be careful not to touch the metal part of your screwdriver with your hands while you do this. After discharging the capacitor, disconnect its leads and test it. Initially, the meter should bounce towards the right of the scale (good continuity), then slowly move back to the left side a bit as the capacitor builds resistance.Reverse the two probes on the terminals.
If you do not get these readings, replace the capacitor. STARTING SWITCH Only GE-built machines have an external, replaceable current-relay starting switch.
See the GE chapter for testing. Most other machines have a centrifugal starting switch mounted piggyback on the motor. Testing the switch is most easily accomplished by replacing it. Remember that starting switches are electrical parts, which are generally not returnable. If you test the switch by replacing it, and the problem turns out to be the motor itself, you will probably not be able to return the starting switch for a refund.




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