In true Whirlpool style, they’ve done it again. After retiring the hugely successful top load design that remained unchanged for over twenty years, their new top load washer looks like it might give Whirlpool a repeat performance. That’s not to say the washers are perfect, but the problems they do have are hardly serious enough to warrant a replacement. A few bugs need to be worked out, but overall they’re a great machine. These units have been around since 2007 or so and a few problems have come about. I’ll explain the common issues here, but they are limited to basic machine operation. Another article will explain other, not so common issues that aren’t user related.
Won’t spin or clothes are too wet after spin
This is a hot topic with this washer but as you’ll see, most of the time it’s not the fault of the machine. Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding with this machine is its capacity. Too often customers are told these machines can easily handle very large, heavy loads. Fortunately for the machine this is simply not true. These new machines with auto-load sensing sense the weight of the load electronically and adjust the wash water level accordingly. The sensing step also checks to be sure the load isn’t so heavy the machine can’t move it. If a king size blanket, sheets and pillow cases are forced into the machine, it’s likely the machine will refuse to attempt the wash. Rightfully so. When this size of load is wet, the weight becomes beyond what the machine is designed to comfortably handle for a successful wash. On the other hand, if even an average load is unbalanced and causing excessive vibration the control interprets this similarly as too much weight and responds accordingly. That is, it may not spin completely. This is easily corrected by adjusting the load evenly around the bottom of the basket.
Assuming a normal load size and a problem with spin arises, quite often “operator error” comes into play. Before the machine is blamed for this problem, the user must take the time to understand the different features and characteristics of their new machine.
- Trying to force the machine. Rapidly pressing buttons or trying to rush the machine will only cause the machine control to lock up. To pause or change cycles, follow the manual’s instructions and your machine should operate normally.
- Locking lid. This is a new feature that takes some people by surprise. The purpose of the lock is to prevent access to the machine while it’s operating, especially during spin. Inadvertently trying to raise the lid when it’s locked can lead to a damaged lock, which will disable the machine altogether.
- High speed spin. This machine’s predecessors might have approached spin speeds of 450-600 rpm, but that was with a perfectly running machine with an average load. Spin speeds upwards of 800 rpm are common in these new units.
- Washer timer replaced by an electronic control. This is perhaps the most dramatic change in these new Whirlpool models. This new control is in charge of every function of the machine, and is programmed to faithfully execute its cycles in the correct amount of time based on the weight and type of load. This is an area that confuses many people. Once the start button is pressed, there is no need to interfere with the wash unless you forgot to add something to the wash. Other than this occasional pause, it’s best to let the machine complete all its work before opening the lid.
In almost every case where the control won’t respond to your input, the problem is due to a mistake made with its operation. Of course, there are other reasons not mentioned here but for the most part, if you follow the operating instructions completely, trouble with this machine will be minimal.