FRFW3700LW - FRIGIDAIRE FRONT LOAD WASHER 3.8 Cubic FT. - Buzzing noise and stopped working?

daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Model Number
FRFW3700LW
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
6-10 years
Pretty much as the title says...but here are the details.

I was in getting some food in the kitchen and thought I smelled faint burning electrical wire, so I run all over the place trying to find it. My nose let me to the laundry room where I had a load of clothes going. The washer had stopped. I opened the door and the clothes were soaking wet with a small pool of water still in the tub. So I switched to "SPIN/DRAIN" cycle and turned on the machine. The door locked as it should but then all I heard was a loud BUZZING noise...like something was not engaging. Also had the slight electrical smell present.

So, I am going to assume one of two things. 1) The pump motor is burned out or 2) The main motor to the tub???

BUT...I am not a pro...so what do you people think? If it is a motor, heck...those are only $100 bucks and 3 bolts from what I have read....BUT, here I am with an 8 year old basic washer that already has signs of a bad control panel (the beeping issue the goes and comes) so am I wondering what to do?

Any help appreciated and hope I gave a good enough description.

It sure was a pain in the ass to pull out sopping wet clothes and wring them out by hand into a bucket before getting them to the dryer.

One last question in preparation. If I do junk my machine, I live in a condo that the laundry room (which was built in the early 80"s) can only accommodate a small depth machine like this one I own and it's depth is 30.3" - So where do you find small space washers like that as all the nice fancy ones I see are way deeper and the doors would not close on my laundry room?

Thank

peace out,
daddylogan
 

daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Here is a link to a youtube video of the sound it is making when trying to make the machine run. Need help with a diagnosis....I can pretty much replace anything on this machine myself (except the seals and bearings of course):


If it is the motor, is this the right part number: AP4499537


All help appreciated! ;-)

peace out,
daddylogan
 

daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Ok...more information to help diagnosis. I read through the owners manual. Mine is the one without the digital displays, so I decided to see if there was a way I could get any error codes and found that by holding the START button and the PAUSE-CANCEL button at the same time 5 seconds after waking the machine that is stores any error codes. So I did that and the 5 buttons above the Pause-Cancel button flashed TWO times and the START button flashed THREE times. Now, according to the manual that would indicate an E23 error which would be the following: Drain Pump Relay on control board failed / Replace control board

However the instructions also said if I keep holding the buttons in the code would repeat itself and that did not hold true. It would return to normal "start" mode as the way the buttons are normally lit. So that kind of throws me off a bit.

So this where an expert comes in. So far this is what I have determined without taking the machine apart yet:

1) Washer stopped in the middle of a cycle (in between wash and fabric softener mode as the fabric softener was still in the dispenser) and I smelled an electrically burning smell from the machine

2) As per the video I posted above, I unplugged the machine and plugged it back in. I then turned it off. I then selected the DRAIN-SPIN mode and hit the START button. You can hear the door lock...then after a short pause a loud "buzzing noise" comes from the lower left side of the machine towards the back.

3) By the location of the noise and the fact the machine is doing absolutely nothing, I am starting the either believe the MOTOR has burned out (due to the electrical smell) OR the MOTOR CONTROL BOARD may have fried since it is right next to the motor (in the same area as the buzzing is coming from?)

Ok....so in my mind I am down to three choice of failure - The Motor, the motor control board or the main control board. What I don't know is if that E23 error code is correct and if that noise I hear would occur with that error??? Once again, that is an area I need schooling in.

I could remove the motor and measure the ohms to eliminate that I suppose but was hoping to get some advice on here before I begin tear down. I don't think I am experienced enough to test a Motor control board so i would probably have to take that to a shop to be tested.

In any case all 3 components are around the same price and I feel my washer is worth keeping if I can isolate the issue to one of the above (Basically if I can repair myself for less then $200) Anything more then that is just not worth it on an 8 year old washer that I payed $499 for new in 2011.

I have tried to do my due diligence by studying up before asking questions here so I hope that is appreciated and I can get some further help.

peace out,
daddylogan
 
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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
102,630
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Here's the tech. data sheet for your model: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AIQy_EBZgPpYoSQi28LVs8xncwC2noNX

That buzzing noise sounds like the drain pump. I'd check your drain pump first, Myself and many other members here have found a foreign object in it and caused the E23.

Its very easy to get access to the drain motor. Lots of times I see these get clogged/stuck/jammed with stuff and make that buzzing sound and not drain properly on my service calls, UNPLUG THE WASHER FIRST, then just remove the hoses that connect to it and remove the drain pump then get a flashlight and check to see if anything is inside it.

The drain pump is located inside the bottom of your washer, you just remove the front bottom access panel and get a flashlight or droplight to see under there.

Get a bunch of old towels to soak up water that will come out. Or you can use hose pinch-off pliers to keep the water from flooding out.

Here's the drain pump for your model:
Drain Pump 137221600


Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Hi Jake,

Thank you for the reply. My only question on this before I investigate is what caused the slight burning electrical smell? Would the pump cause that odor if clogged and also like I said, the buzz is coming from the back left of the machine, not the bottom where the pump is. Also my machine is not performing the error code cycle properly which I find odd. It only displays it once even though I continue to hold the start button /pause cancel button in. According to the manual (mine is the good model) it should cycle over and over every 2 or more seconds and it does not which makes me think something else is wrong.

I will give the pump a look though as that is easy enough...I have a feeling it is going to smell bad......

peace out,
daddylogan
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
102,630
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Its possible its coming from the motor, but you'll need to get access to the motor to make sure. But if you just open the lower front access panel you should see the drain pump, just put your hand on it and see if the buzzing is coming from that.

Also my machine is not performing the error code cycle properly which I find odd. It only displays it once even though I continue to hold the start button /pause cancel button in.
That's likely because you need the control board replaced like I mentioned here:

Jake
 

daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Thank you again Jake. Unfortunately mine does not have the removable lower panel (I thought it did) so I will have to take off the top and front to get to the pump and drain hoses.

Yes, you are right...I had that beeping issue that went away for a very long time by just simply unplugging the machine overnight. Did not beep again for like 6 or more months and when it did act up and just repeated the procedure and it would go away for a while.

So, I made a decision. I am going to tear it down tomorrow and check the pump, the drain hoses and the coin catcher...and then I will test the motor. If both look good I will put it back together and give it a whirl. If it works, then great...if it doesn't then it goes to the trash. I don't have the knowledge to guess if it is the main control board or the motor control board and that would be about a $160 guess either way...and to have it diagnosed by a professional I am looking at another $85 so that is already $245 in on an 8 year old $499 dollar washer that I would have to install the part myself on.

I will let you know what I find so it might help someone else. Thanks again for your input ;-)

peace out,
daddylogan
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
102,630
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok sounds good, let us know what you find.

Jake
 

daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Ok...I am back with a progress report.

I tore the machine apart. Here is what I found on an 8 year old machine.
The first thing I inspected was the belt after I took off the back panel. A-ok!!!! I then pulled the motor and tested it with a multimeter. It tested good at the following specs:


M1 - M2 = 5.3 +/- 7% (4 to 6 ohms) Black lead in M1 and Red in M2
M1 - M3 = 5.3 +/- 7% (4 to 6 ohms) Black lead in M1 and Red in M3
M2 - M3 = 5.3 +/- 7% (4 to 6 ohms) Black lead in M2 and Red in M3 - Motor Windings
M4 - M5 = 118 +/- 7% (105 to 130 ohms) Black lead in M4 and Red in M5 - Tachometer (Speed from control board)

Make sure it spins feely.

So next I moved onto the tub to pump hose and the pump. Believe it or not, after 8 years...not a single coin, guitar pick or anything in the coin catcher in the drain hose. A miracle. It was as clean as a new born baby's ass!!!!! (well...kind of...but there was crud in there). Next I removed the pump....checked for blockage and if it spins and all was a-ok.

At this point I am almost assured this will be a control panel issue...be it main control panel or motor control panel. This machine will be trashed if that is the case. I do ot have the expertise to figure which one is bad and do not have the money to guess.

I can try to provide pictures of the tear down......lets see if it works.
 

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Wx4usa

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Nov 23, 2013
Messages
78
Location
Alabama
An idea for you: Check the pump impeller for movement. The ohms test validated the motor windings are ok. I’ve seen many impellers with excessive motion side to side and even in and out on their shaft. When energized the impeller pushes out against the housing and doesn’t spin. Also the impeller shouldn’t spin freely, you will feel some resistance from being magnetized. As you spin it by hand: resistance, free, resistance, free etc. If it is completely free spinning, replace it since the impeller is lose from the shaft. Also if you feel grit as you spin it by hand replace the pump.
 
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daddylogan

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
9
Location
California
Wx4usa-

The impeller spins as it should and just like you said....for every turn, there is resistance...and so on and so on. I know exactly what you mean. I must say...I am surprised how clean everything was after 8 years. However, I do live by myself and only do laundry 1 -2 days a week and I am very aware of clearing pockets of items before putting them in the machine. To have a coin catcher with nothing in it is a miracle ;-)

But alas...my skills are not enough to test the control panels and I would hate to buy one (at around $160) to find out I was wrong especially on an 8 year old machine. I would like to think you can get 15+ years out of an appliance like the good old "non-digital" days...but they don't build them like that any more. Hey...that could be a Greg Kihn song - "They just don't build them like that anymore!" LOL

Thanks for all the help folks...I learned much

peace out,
daddylogan
 
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