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We just bought a house and it had a washing machine in there. Initially it just seemed really dirty so we gave it a good scrub and ran a few hot cycles with vinegar and baking soda to clean out the mold and scrud. When we finally thought we were done and ran the first run with a load it made a very loud grinding sound when spinning. When it was done, we found bits of ground up plastic in the drum.

I have tried running it a few more times, and the sound is sometimes better and sometimes worse, and we always find ground up plastic. Moving the door seal out of the way, you can see where the plastic is coming from: it looks like it is a plastic ring behind the drum that is disintegrated and I can pull bits off. I have attached a picture of both the plastic ring and the remains of a part I removed. damaged ring disintegrated plastic

Is this part of the plastic tub that somehow got misaligned? Is it fixable? Or should we scrap the machine?

Model is Electrolux EWF 1287.

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It appears the spider that holds the drum to the spindle is cracked and the tub no longer centers when spun. The early aluminum spider designs were terrible, the accumulation of phosphates and other washer chemicals remained in contact with the recesses in the material and eventually corroded it. While the part may be replaceable, it it is very expensive and invasive repair. To confirm this, spin the drum by hand and check for any wobble.

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  • Thanks. If I spin it, it doesn't seem to wobble, but if I try to pull it outwards toward the door, it moves a lot further than it seems it should, when pulling opposite to 2 of the 3 "spokes". So I guess that confirms it is the spider. I guess there's no quick and dirty way of making it limp along for a few more weeks without accepting screaching and ever increasing amounts of plastic in our laundry? – Acrofales Sep 21 '20 at 7:56
  • To get it to limp along, you could run small loads and set the spin part to minimum. I suspect the spider crack will increase even with this though. There is a small possibility that the bearing is bad instead, but this is unlikely as the bearings are very rugged compared to the spiders. If the part is available for your machine it might be cheaper to repair than replace (250-350 US$). But manufactures have stopped selling spiders, instead selling a combo spider-drum for about $100 more which likely warrants just replacing the older front loading machines. – mark f Sep 21 '20 at 15:13
  • Here is an article on the Spider issues: hunker.com/12003231/…. – mark f Sep 21 '20 at 15:13

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