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FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom

Fix a hole in washing machine bellows?

Got one of those front-loading energy efficient pieces of junk and it started pissing water. Found a hole in the bellows, so that's gotta get fixed. $80-$100 (US price, so I'm betting $120-$150 in Canada), I might as well buy a used real washer in the $200-250 range and put up with the flak from the Mrs for a while. Is there a way to fix the hole either permanently or temporarily until I find a used replacement? I'm thinking two rubber patches and some rubber cement. Would that hold?
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw


b_p_smith

join:2002-02-13
Merrickville, ON

By "bellows", I'm going by the assumption you're referring to the large rubber gasket just inside the front doo that isolates the moving drum assembly from the non-moving outer shell.
Where is the hole? Is it right at the very bottom? There's a drain tube there, that's supposed to have a small hose that runs down to the drain system.
A while back, I found that where the hose was bonded to the rubber seal itself had become cracked, and was leaking. I didn't find a way to fix that crack. Luckily, I had an extended warranty so the entire seal was replaced.
If your hole is *not* related to the drain hose, then I'd think a properly applied rubber patch would hold for a while. It'll be a bit of a pain to get at it, but worth a shot. Due to the stresses/vibration on the seal, it's questionable how long it'd last.

Be aware though, that if you buy a new seal assembly, they're a *major* PITA to install. I watched our service guy do it, and it took him nearly an hour of wrestling to get it on. They're designed to be an extremely tight fit.

Curiously, I've had my front loader for over 10 years, and I'd never go back to a top-loader. Your mileage may vary.
--
Xplornet WiMAX -} Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH running DD-WRT -} about 13 machines running everything you can think of.


scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN

So what's so great about a front-loader, anyway? I've had a top-loader for almost 25 years now (which may need to be replaced soon), and I grew up using top-loaders. But the people I know who've replaced theirs with front-loaders have had so many problems with those that I'm not even really considering it as an option. I have no issues with how clean my top-loader gets our clothes, and water conservation isn't really that much of an issue in my part of the country, and I like the fact that I can open it at any time while it's running and do whatever. So someone who has a front-loader needs to explain to me what the big appeal of it is.



FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom

Close to the bottom but not quite.. Didn't see anything leading to the hole and it was pretty irregular. Definitely a puncture. I'll give it a try. My time isn't worth $50 an hour yet and I'll allow myself an extra hour for the job


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to scross

I have had front loaders since the mid 90's in both my own house and all of my rent houses. I've never had any issues other than a controller board failure. Front loaders use much less water than front loaders. Here, water is expensive but wastewater is even more expensive. The greatest advantage of a front loader in my mind is the gentleness with which it washes clothes. Stick you hand down in your washer when it is washing and grab a large item. There is quite a bit of force being applied to the cloth. In a front loader, there is just a gentle tumbling action and much less stress. I can stop and open my front loaders at any part of the cycle but I really never need to do "whatever" so rarely do so. Personally I don't know anyone who has had "so many problems" so I have to wonder how many really have problems versus a few who have had problems making a big deal out of them. I wouldn't consider buying anything but a front loader the next time I am in the market.


b_p_smith

join:2002-02-13
Merrickville, ON
reply to scross

For me, less water & detergent usage and way quieter. Mind you, I'm comparing a relatively high-end front-loader with the el-cheapo top-loader I had before, so that may not be a fair comparison.
But if water/detergent consumption isn't a factor for you, I'd be hard-pressed to be any more persuasive.
--
Xplornet WiMAX -} Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH running DD-WRT -} about 13 machines running everything you can think of.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to scross

said by scross:

So what's so great about a front-loader, anyway? I've had a top-loader for almost 25 years now (which may need to be replaced soon), and I grew up using top-loaders. But the people I know who've replaced theirs with front-loaders have had so many problems with those that I'm not even really considering it as an option.

I can just imagine a few generations ago when top loaders came to the market, replacing wring washers all the same things were being said.

Few things off the top of my head:
-Less water used to wash clothes, also resulting in less hot water needed, so lower energy costs
-Less waste water needed to treat (either septic or municipal waste water treatment facility)
-gentler on clothes
-larger capacity as there is no agitator (conventional top load washers)
-stackable
-potentially space saving as you don't have "dead space" on top where the lid opens. Yes, the dead space moves to the front, but it's probably cleared anyways so you can stand at the washer.
-Generally doesn't suffer from the same unbalanced load during spin cycle
-faster spin cycle resulting in more water extraction before drying, reducing drying time
-"Allergen" cycle with steam cleaning

Some of the issues are not as much of an issue with HE top loaders...but then you lose the cost savings over a regular/high capacity top loader.

Like robbin, for me the advantages of a front loader outweigh any of the disadvantages.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to b_p_smith

said by b_p_smith:

But if water/detergent consumption isn't a factor for you, I'd be hard-pressed to be any more persuasive.

We have a family of 5 with 3 tween boys. There's always laundry to do. Larger capacity and reduced total wash/dry times can add to that persuasion.

scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN

2 edits
reply to robbin

OP's issue is a perfect example; I have friends who've had similar leaks. A few others whose new washers would never drain properly, leading (in at least one case) to the manufacturer having to do a redesign. And another whose door locked shut and wouldn't unlock; she waited something like three weeks for it to be repaired (this being a very common problem on that model, there was a severe shortage of repair parts, and the repair guy wouldn't even come out to look at it until he had the new part in hand). In the meantime that load of laundry just sat there and festered. So, yeah, there were some real problems here, at least in some of the earlier HE models. These are well-documented on the internet.

As far as force goes, I understand that the wash cycle may be gentler, but it may also be much, much longer (see my other reply). I also have a "gentle" cycle on my old machine which I rarely use unless it's absolutely necessary. And the spin cycles on the newer models are supposed to be more intense and get more water out (leading to much quicker dry times), but spin cycles themselves can be quite damaging to clothes, for various reasons.


scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN
reply to cdru

said by cdru:

said by b_p_smith:

But if water/detergent consumption isn't a factor for you, I'd be hard-pressed to be any more persuasive.

We have a family of 5 with 3 tween boys. There's always laundry to do. Larger capacity and reduced total wash/dry times can add to that persuasion.

For the last HE washer that I looked at, the shortest cycle was something like 45 minutes; it's 2 minutes on my old clunker (max is 15 minutes; a bit longer if you do a pre-soak) - which (BTW) is a high-capacity model. I understand that the spin cycle on new machines may do a much better job of removing water from the clothes, such that the dry cycle can be shorter, but unless the two combined net out to be considerably less than what I already deal with (I do most of the laundry in my household), then I'm not really interested. Electricity savings from a shorter dry cycle might be a real consideration, though.


FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada

Decided to get replacement bellows. Took the old ones out but didn't wanna wrestle with the new bellows and clamps today, so I'll probably finish the job Sunday-Monday (going on a short road trip with the Mrs tomorrow).



Richardson

@76.252.178.x
reply to FiReSTaRT

This is rather late, but for any future persons who have a hole in the bellows....I also cringed at spending nearly $100 for the bellows. Because the material of construction appeared to be some type of rubber, I chose to try repairing with a tire tube repair kit. I cleaned it just as if it were a tube...following the instructions precisely. I went one step further by using a hair dryer to get the rubber dry. The repair worked, and I've used this technique twice since the original repair in different spots. If you ever experience water leaking from your machine, look first all around the inside of the bellows. It's much easier to look here without dis-assembling the machine.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

What kind of repair kit, what brand, did you get?



RipTides

join:2002-05-25
Dallas, GA
reply to FiReSTaRT

Had our top loading super capacity washer die on us a few months back.. It was an early 90's Sears and I had been using another dead washer in an outbuilding on the property to scavenge parts off of. Unfortunately this last time, it was the bearings in the direct drive that seized and the repair was costly and wait time on the part was too long so I looked into getting a new washer.

First thing I ran into, no-one sells a high water load top loading machine anymore, EPA standards dictate how much water a machine can max out per use and it's paltry. Went to about a dozen stores in my area and was informed at each that they sell these new HE top loaders and folks return them ALL DAY LONG because they're useless.

So.. Picked up a front loading HE washer, floor model, for a bit over $400, along with other discounts, and frankly compared to the top loader, it cleaned better, the clothes came out looking better, and drying times were greatly reduced.

I was one of those against front loaders and would have never considered one if I could have gotten a model just like my old one to replace it with, but they're not out there any longer unless I wanted to haggle over used machines.


iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to scross

said by scross:

said by cdru:

said by b_p_smith:

But if water/detergent consumption isn't a factor for you, I'd be hard-pressed to be any more persuasive.

We have a family of 5 with 3 tween boys. There's always laundry to do. Larger capacity and reduced total wash/dry times can add to that persuasion.

For the last HE washer that I looked at, the shortest cycle was something like 45 minutes; it's 2 minutes on my old clunker (max is 15 minutes; a bit longer if you do a pre-soak) - which (BTW) is a high-capacity model. I understand that the spin cycle on new machines may do a much better job of removing water from the clothes, such that the dry cycle can be shorter, but unless the two combined net out to be considerably less than what I already deal with (I do most of the laundry in my household), then I'm not really interested. Electricity savings from a shorter dry cycle might be a real consideration, though.

that 45 minutes you mention consists of a lot of dead time for the clothes to soak, compared to constant agitation with the old machines, plus a LOT more water.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to scross

29 minutes with our HE front loader - and that is purely a preset. Might be able to get it less with not using a preset cycle.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



RipTides

join:2002-05-25
Dallas, GA
reply to scross

Ours has a 17min quick wash, that's a single wash/rinse cycle that has presets of low soil, low spin time. increase soil level or spin amount and the time goes up 5min per each.