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Repairing Your Washer

Updated on March 10, 2020
Your typical Whirlpool washer
Your typical Whirlpool washer
The bottom are where repairs are made
The bottom are where repairs are made

When my Whirlpool washer (Model WTW5000DW0) made a gear-like crunching sound during the wash cycle, it was startling and loud. The washing stopped but the cycles continued to be gone through (like draining water out of tub), however, the spin did not work. I stopped it and tried just a spin cycle. All that happened was that the motor was heard but not engaged, there was no spin. I also was able to fully turn the tub, which was not normal.

Based upon the evidence, I thought it was a clutch-gear issue because the pump drained the water and the motor was heard whirring in the spin cycle. The repair possibilities were:

1. Washer belt broke ($21)

2. Washer Drive Pulley ($30) had broken spines, worn grooves

3. Drive Hub ($31) had worn grooves

4. Shift Actuator failed ($50)

On most washers, the repairs are made from the bottom of the washer with it tipped over on its side or back for access. It is not necessary to take the back off because the bottom is usually left open.

With the bottom exposed, items 1,2, 4, are visible. Item #3 is repaired with the washer upright via the agitator that is removed.


The easiest repair is #4. This is an electronic module, all one piece that plugs and unplugs. It controls the shifts in cycles. It can fail. It is held on by two screws and its connection plug in easily. It literally would take less than 10 minutes to replace. It can be seen in second photo directly above the hand.

The second most easy repair is a broken belt. Once you remove the protective guard, you can see it. Simply roll it off as you pull and install the same way. If you belt breaks usual symptoms are pumps but no spin, rubber smell, no agitating action.

The next two repairs are easy, just more effort.

To remove the Washer Drive Pulley, you do this from the bottom. The steps are:

  1. Disconnect washer hoses, no water in tub, lay on back\side to expose bottom.
  2. Remove belt protector and remove belt.
  3. Remove 13 mm nut from large pulley. This could be an issue.
  4. Remove shift assembly.
  5. Remove cam assembly by using a flathead screwdriver and pressing the four tabs that attaches it to the tub.
  6. Remove spring.

As you feel needed, take a photo of how the assembly is as you go along and mimic it as you install the new parts. Installing the new parts is a reversal of the steps above. The Cam spines can become stripped with time. If stripped, slippage occurs as tub rotates causing problems when changing cycles etc.

To remove the Drive Hub, do the following:

  1. Put washer in upright position.
  2. With a screwdriver, remove the agitator cap at top of agitator.
  3. Remove the exposed 7 mm bolt. You must also hold tub from turning. This is the most difficult part!
  4. Pull the agitator up unit up and out of tub.
  5. Remove the fork shaped fastener from hub assembly. This holds it in place.
  6. Remove the hub retaining screws and hub assembly.

Installation of the new one is just a reverse of steps from 6 to 1. The hub fits very snug.

Even replacing the motor is fairly easy much like the Shift Actuator, but if the motor is bad, that will cost between $150-200. If the washer is fairly new, the motor and Shift Actuator should be fine. If your motor spins but the tub does not rotated, the motor\agitator coupler may have broken so a Drive Hub kit may be needed.

Bottom Line

Knowing that the cheapest new washer is $400, it very well may be cheaper to fix it yourself because the typical service call is around $100. Part prices may have another 10-20% added than those listed above. Of course, it is the diagnosis of what is really wrong that is the hardest part. If the repair includes or is the motor, then the repair is nearing the $300 mark, still cheaper than a new, but depending on age, will it be worth it?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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