When Lou and Emory Upton and the Upton Machine Company began producing the electric motor-driven wringer machines in the early 1900s, consumers did not have much of a choice. They were just happy to have a machine to do the laundry. Over the years, Upton eventually became Whirlpool, wringer machines became automatic washers and now Whirlpool has been in the washing machine business for more than 100 years.
Today Whirlpool washing machines run the laundry room gamut of all kinds of makes and models. In addition to the traditional and energy-efficient top loader and front loader machines, varieties include a stackable washer and dryer for small, vertical spaces as well as a washer dryer combo that washes and dries in one machine. For certain models, pedestals can be used to raise the machines to a comfortable height and provide storage space underneath.
A lot of the choice is personal preference in style, cost and space requirements well as environmental concerns. Front loaders typically use less water per load. In fact, a traditional top loading machine can use three times as much water as front loaders. High-efficiency top loaders use less water than the traditional models. Stackables use less water and energy because they have a smaller tub for washing.
No matter how well made or advanced a washer is, however, wear and tear is inevitable and problems can develop over time. Appliance repair might be required. Depending on the usage, washing machines can last up to 20 years but typically are expected to last about 11 years. A front loader’s life expectancy is less than a standard top loader, which can last about 14 years.
Some usage can shorten the life of a washer, such as consistently overloading clothes into the machine.
Certain washer repairs can lengthen the life of the machine. Common problems can range from a broken door handle to a leak or drainage issue.
One common problem is that water won’t drain from the washer. This typically indicates that the drain pump needs replacing or that there is a problem with the drain hose connection to the drain pipe. The pump and also the water pump belt can wear out over time. The pump also can be damaged by hard objects that might be left in clothes that bang around the inside of the machine during the wash cycle. In addition, a malfunction in the lid switch assembly also can prevent the machine from draining properly.
If the washer basket won’t spin or agitates slowly, it could be caused by the motor coupler or the agitator dogs, which need to be replaced. In front-loading machines, the entire tub moves to tumble clothes up and down while most top loaders use an agitator to move clothes, which is somewhat rougher on the clothes.
Another problem occurs when water is found leaking from the machine. The most common reason a Whirlpool washer leaks is a faulty drive pump. Another reason is that the tub is overflowing, so the tube that controls the water level will need to be checked.
In some cases, the machine just won’t work at all. This could indicate that the machine is not getting power or it could indicate a broken or worn-out lid switch.
Some repairs can be fixed by a handy do-it-yourselfer. A wide variety of do-it-yourself repair videos and tutorials are available online to offer guidance.
Other washer repairs should be handled by qualified appliance repairmen.