Further to my postings of 2nd and 5th October 2009 dealing with over pricing of spare parts and unsuitable (aluminium) components. I have a further development to report. Prior to dismantling my Frigidaire built front loading washing machine because of bearing failure my wife had been complaining of ‘a moldy, mildewy’ smell from the machine and on some of our laundry, particularly towels. On dismantling the machine I discovered a ‘deposit’ resembling powdered detergent that had got damp and ‘clumped’ around the inner one third of the aluminium spider.This deposit was relatively difficult to remove, even my first attempt with a pressure washer failed to remove all traces. Beneath this ‘deposit’ the spider was wasted (corroded). I believe this corrosion is caused by laundry aids, particularly ‘bleach’, but also including some detergents, as they all have a pH above about 8.0, which when in an aqueous solution, cause corrosion of aluminium, (other laundry aids also have pH values above 8.0). This is a well documented fact. As is the corrosion of these spiders, just ‘Google’ ‘Why Kenmore Front Load Washers Fail’ and watch the video. I don’t agree with the claim in the above video that the corrosion is caused by galvanic action between the spider and the stainless steel drum, should this be the case i would have expected the corrosion to be the most severe at the point where the spider is connected to the drum, that is at the extremities of the arms. Possible galvanic action may have contributed to the wastage but I believe it would have been between the steel shaft of the spider and the aluminium of the arms. After re-assembling our washer with a new tub/spider assembly (see post of 2 Oct. 2009) and new bearings my wife reports that there is no more ‘smell’. What is different? As far as I can see only the ‘deposit’ is missing. Conclusion, the ‘deposit’ caused the smell. Now did it cause the smell on its own during the corrosion process,or did it harbour an environment that allowed mold and mildew to form? I don’t know. I have found postings on ‘the net’ where people state that they have dismantled their machines and removed ‘mold’, some with descriptions very similar to my ‘deposit’, and then their offensive odors have disappeared. I fear that unless these people have altered their laundry practices the odors will, in time return. My complaint, in this case, is that the manufacturer uses components that are not only unsuitable due to corrosion, leading to early failure, but that this corrosion also causes, directly or indirectly, offensive odors from the machine and also on laundry.
PO Box 212378 Martinez, Georgia United States of America