Tub "spider" corrosion/breakage

impaladb

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
3
Location
Michigan
Model Number
GLTF1040AS0
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
1-5 years
My Frigidaire Gallery front loader GLTF1040AS0 had a catastrophic failure on Thanksgiving day. Exactly 3.5 years after purchase.

Since the labor warranty is expired and I have mechanical skills, I tore into the machine on Friday.

2 of the arms were so corroded they broke, needless to say there was also damage to the plastic housing as well.

Frigidaire/Electrolux would not help. Told me they would warranty the basket only, not the parts the failed basket damaged. After talking to 3 different Electrolux people and finally a supervisor, they said they would not repair my machine and offered me a voucher for 45% off a new Frigidaire machine. I declined the offer, stating I'd like a check for 45% of the retail price of my failed machine. They would not deal so Frigidaire/Electrolux has lost a customer forever.

I found the part needed as a complete assembly 134453200 at RepairClinic.com. The complete assembly (front and rear shells assembled with the wash tub and pulley). They are located in Canton MI about 35 miles from where I live.

In speaking to the repair techs at RSI, they said they see higher failure rates of the tub spiders in folks using well water and water softeners.

I decided I would do something to reduce the possibility of corrosion.

I pulled the new tub assembly apart and removed the Stainless basket assembly. Unbolted the spider/shaft assembly from the basket. I cleaned the aluminum spider to remove all grease. Masked off the shaft and seal surfaces and proceeded to paint the spider with Epoxy appliance paint. I heated the aluminum using a hair dryer to promote better paint adhesion before painting.

I reattached the spider/shaft to the stainless basket (using thread lock on the bolts). Reassembled the complete tub assembly and installed it in the washing machine.

Dry time on the paint is 5 to 7 hours. I waited 16 hours and did a run on the reassembled machine to check for leaks. No leaks found and it's as quiet as the day it was new.

For $230.00 and about 7 hours work I now have a machine that is better than new. I know the epoxy paint may not keep the aluminum from ever corroding, but I'm sure I've at least doubled the life of it.

I hope this helps someone out there.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
100,741
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McMullen Valley, Arizona
Great job impaladb!:)

I will keep this thread sticky!

Jake
 

BridgetteFoxx

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Messages
1
Location
Phoenix
"Common" sense?

C'mon you engineers at Frigidaire!! Regarding the spider, did you really not know that aluminum will not last under water? To make matters worse, the inner tub is stainless and they are coupled together. Add water to these dissimilar metals, and you have a basic electrical cell with the aluminum slowly donating it's atoms down the drain! It's like the spider arm was meant to corrode away...

I see reason here for a class-action lawsuit, if I only had the time...
 

daschtick

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
1
Location
Wisconsin
Good Customer Support from Sears

I have also suffered the dreaded "spider" breakage on 2 of the 3 brackets on my Kenmore 417.42142100 after 3.5 years of use.

I have also had a hole punched through the back of the shell as a result of this breakage, almost identical to one other posting that I have seen on this forum.

But, because the manual states that the drum is covered by a "Limited Lifetime Warranty", I decided to pursue this with the Sears where I purchsed it. I took all of my paperwork, and there 3 photos to the Appliance Manager, then calmly and kindly spoke of my dissatisfaction, and inquired about what they could do to help.

The manager indicated that nothing could be decided until Sears had a chance to look at the washer, typically a $65 service call, a fee which Sears kindly waived for me. So I scheduled an appointment for the next day, then cleaned and neatly organized all of the parts that I had dissassembled.

The next morning, the technician viewed the damage, and indicated that all of the damaged parts (wash drum, rear shell, and front shell) would be replaced under this "Limited Lifetime Warranty", and that all I would have to pay would be a discounted rate of $132 total for labor.

Unfortunately, this ordeal is not yet done, as the parts are now on order, and not expected to arrive for up to 2 weeks. But, so far, I am very pleased with service I have received, but I will reserve final judgement until all is said and done.

Interestingly, the tech indicated that the normal price of these parts would have been $605, and total cost of repair would have run $867, all for a machine that is currently priced at $599! In the auto industry, this machine would have been "totalled", but it seems that Sears must be charging Frigidaire for this issue, they seem more than willing to assist.

I will post again once everything is up and running again, but my best recommendation for those who have suffered this damage, is to try to pursue matters as I have done.
 
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Bambiblaster

Appliance Tech
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
459
Location
S. Central PA
Frigidaire does not get the bill for those warranty parts... every year they haggle with the Sears to sell their product and in turn they offer a lump sum for warranty repairs... if Sears goes over the amount then they take the hit... thats one reason for thier parts being so high... they make it up somewhere... I usually get 1 of those every 2 weeks to repair... Looks like the tech you get back is getting a break as you have it apart...
 

gerryb

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
1
Location
New Hampshire
spider corrosion

I also took my washer apart after the 2nd failure. It failed in 2.4 years. I have had 2 washers in 6 years. I could not believe how much buildup of oxide there was in, on & under the aluminum tripod. There was a hole about the size of a quarter thru one of the 2 arms that failed - must have been a defect. I have a water softener but use very little salt. Aluminum & water is not a good combination. Can you imagine aluminum water pipes?

Good idea painting the tripod btw. It is a simple, inexpensive technique to extend the life that even Frigidaire could do. The tripod could be nickel plated also to give greater life or they could have chosen a better material - one that would not corrode in water.

If you advertise a stainless basket then the tripod should be of similar corrosion resistance. Think of all the people that were taken by unsuspectingly buying these washers not knowing that their water would cause prematurely failure. Why hasn't a lawyer picked up on this appliance fraud?

I hope to post some pictures after I get it cleaned up.

GB
 

kalamajama

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
1
Location
Tacoma Washington
Spider arm corrosion

My less than 2 year old Kenmore frontloader started making a clunking noise during it's spin cycle and and progressively got worse. I tore it apart and sure enough, two broken spider arm due to severe corrsion. It was apparent that it was caused by dissimilar metal bonded together without some sort of separation between aluminum and stainles steel. Didn't see any sign of corrosion preventitive finish on the aluminum spider arm. I am going to Sears today to see if I can get an explanation on how they can sell this product under it's present design. I can't believe that this would fall under warranty catagory since the failure of the part is designed into the product. Hopefully Sears will somehow acknowledge that there is a problem here.
I have attached some photos of the corrosion. Keep in mind that this unit is less than 2 years old.
MM
 

Fridgidaire Hater

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
3
Location
Manitoba Canada
http://www.applianceblog.com/washers/RearBearingV6.pdf

If you are from Canada, you can buy the entire tub assembly kit, which includes everything, for only 152.00. It , to me, was a bargain as compared to buying the individual parts, and changing the bearings, which I calculated as about 120.00 for all the individual parts and a new seal. For 32.00 difference it is a no-brainer. The tub I got was marked electrohome, but it is the identical fridgidaire/sears unit.

Just a quick tip for the average guy who wants to do it on their own. I followed the blog, and my wife and I had it all done in about 2 hours. Works just fine.

I ordered the parts from the sears canada parts depot. Make sure you ask for the tub kit assembly .
 
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Harleyuki

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
3
Location
NJ
Is this what I have to look forward to . . .

I purchased my Frigidaire based on a report from a consumer magazine. The model # of my machine is: GLTF1670AS0
Have had it for about 2 years and it's used once a week (along with the matching gas dryer) for 2 to 4 medium-sized loads. Have there been any improvements made regarding the 'spider' on the back of the inner drum? I don't use a water softener or the 'add-in' fabric softeners, but do use HE liquid detergent as required and occasionally a small amount of bleach. The door and boot is dried after use and the door is left open to avoid the mildew odor that forms otherwise. I just want to know if mine is one of those 'spiders' that I can look forward to having fail in the near future.:confused:
 

gfedyk

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
1
Location
Ohio
Run! Spider failure

It seems like a lot of people have corroded and cracked spiders. Although they are under a limited lifetime warranty, consider the costs. I chose to throw out the washer FWT647GHS0 and donate the dryer. As has been noted - dissimilar metals, water and electric isolation result in galvanic reduction. Any company worth its salt would have had proper designers and design reviews. Run away from Frigidaire. I did! I just like to find out why things work and don't work. Great forum! Thanks!
 

Attachments

Wiz_222

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
14
Location
Seacoast NH
I think I may have a broken tub spider.
Details:

  • Washer is a FWT445GS2 front load Frigidaire, purchased in 1998
  • On fast spin it's making a loud clanking banging noise.
  • About two months ago, I replaced the shocks with the new design ones as one was broken.
  • At the same time, I replaced the water valve because it leaked sometimes. The old one was pretty rusty inside.
  • We have well water, but don't have a softener.
  • I've removed the top and front access panel and can clearly hear the noise but can't seem to find any place the outer drum might be hitting
  • I can reach in and push the stainless drum and it seems to move an inch or more in relation to the outer drum.
  • If I spin the back pulley the inner drum turns easily and has no play so I don't think it is bearings. I also don't hear the banging so don't think it is a nail or other debris behind the drum.
Questions:

  • Do I have to tear it apart to know for sure that a spider arm is broken?
  • I've read various posts starting in 2005, some in the Kenmore forum about limited warranty coverage for drum parts. I think one older post said, Electrolux would only cover the stainless drum but I think later posts said the might cover all of it. What is the latest on this?
  • Will they cover it under warranty I install it?
Thanks in advance!
Paul
 
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Wiz_222

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
14
Location
Seacoast NH
I did have broken spider arms. I disassembled the washer and found two broken arms. That's when it got complicated. I called Frigidaire and asked for the drum to be sent to me under warranty. They said to call a local repair shop. I did but none of them would touch it because I had already disassembled the washer and the suggested asking Frigidaire for the part. They didn't want to order the part because they would be out the cost and have to wait for reimbursement and since they were not installing it, the would not be making any money on labor.

I called Frigidare three more times and asked for the part. They came up with some bulls*it claiming I had voided the warranty by working on it myself. I asked them to tell me where it said that, because I had a copy of the warranty shipped with the washer in front of me and it did not say that. They said they couldn't find it but that was their policy.

Then they said, that they had changed their warranty terms and the new warranty excluded self repair. I politely informed them that under contract law in any state, that they could not modify the warranty at will and the warranty would apply. I got more and more frustrated and asked for a supervisor who just parroted the same line and I kept asking "JUST SEND ME THE PART!" She kept saying that I had to get a local shop to order it and we when over the list of dealer one by one and I told them what to say. Eventually she gave me more stores/repair companies to try.

When you call the the Fridgidaire help line it asks if you want to participate in a customer service survey after your done so when I told her I wanted to be transfered she seem suprised I was unhappy. On the survey I told exactly what had transpired and how unhappy I was.

After I got off the phone, I called the new names including, Nards Appliance in Somersworth NH and he said he would order it for me if I paid shipping! I said great and ordered it.

The next day Fridgidaire said called and said they would ship me a drum! It was too late to cancel my order with Nards so now I have an extra stainless drum!

I will never, ever buy a Fridgidare product again.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
100,741
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Sorry to hear the problems you had with Frigidaire.

Jake
 

impaladb

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
3
Location
Michigan
I am the original poster of this thread.

Just wanted to let everyone know that the machine I repaired in 2005 is still working fine.

A friend of mine had the same failure on his washer about 4 months after mine. His machine was just over 2 1/2 years old at the time. He did the same repair as I did. He has 3 kids and the machine is used daily. His machine has been fine as well.
 

ejb

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Boise, Idaho
I have an idea...

Hi Folks,

My Frigidaire washer has just failed last week. I haven't had it apart yet but it has all the symptoms: clunk, clunk, clunk! I'm pretty sure it's a broken spider. I came to this site after searching Google and finding thousands of people frustrated and angry over this absurd situation:
  1. The part is guaranteed to fail. Bare aluminum (especially cast aluminum) just can't survive in such a corrosive environment. This isn't about water quality or type of detergent. It's just a bad design.
  2. The manufacturer continues to include this design flaw into dozens of different models under various brand names - even though it's a known issue.
  3. The manufacturer has decided to "fix" the problem by changing the warranty so that it isn't included under the extended tub coverage. Those who have old washers and old warranties have to fight for coverage (and pay massive labor costs for diagnosis and repair).
  4. The manufacturer has decided not to make the spider part available as a repair part so people are forced to buy the whole tub assembly (more than $200!).
My situation is a bit different. In addition to having a broken washing machine, I am also the owner of a fully equipped machine shop. I can make a new spider - better than the original. I can get it anodized so that it WILL NOT corrode again (why didn't Electrolux think of this?).

Doing this for just one person (me) is a rather expensive proposition. Minimum charge for anodizing is $70. Add to that the cost of raw materials (aluminum) and design/machining time and I might as well buy the whole tub assembly (plus a spare!) and be done with it. But, if there were a bunch of people interested in getting a new corrosion proof super spider, then it would make the whole thing much more cost effective. I think it can be done for $100 (or less) in quantity.

So, what do people think? Please reply with your questions and concerns.

Ed Bennett
 

ejb

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Boise, Idaho
Did you ever end up make a spider for this machine??

Thanks

Nope. You're only the fourth person to inquire about it. There needs to be demand for hundreds of these to make it financially viable.

I have some insight as to why the spider and drum are sold as one assembly. I managed to find a spider (from someone who had an extra spider/drum assembly) and purchased just the spider and bolts (he kept the drum). Some of the old bolts were so corroded that they rounded off (yes, I was using a socket, not pliers or a crecent wrench). In addition to having my knuckles grated against the drum (ouch!), I had to drill out several of these. It took hours. Nobody would pay a technician to go through this for an on-site repair.

Ed
 

jasper

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
34
Location
Minnesota
Just in case anyone else has this trouble with a Frigidaire front load washer....let me throw in my two cents worth.

Purchased both a Frigidaire front load washer and dryer new in September 2003. Things worked fine until about the fall of 2007 when the washer started making this very loud roaring noise during the spin cycle. I googled the problem and found out it was a very common problem for this model as well as the corrosion of the aluminim parts holding the tub assembly to the back of the machine.

I called Frigidaire to find out what my options were. I don't buy extended warranties since I figure out good money should buy appliances that last more than 4 or 5 years. The customer service gal told me they were not aware of the problem (ya...sure they weren't) and since I didn't have any type of warranty in effect there was nothing they could do other than spend my own money to fix the problem. I called the local repair center and found out the repair would cost around $500 to $600 dollars since they needed to replace the bearing in the rear of the clam shell surrounding the tub....but the bearing is pressed into the rear part of the clam shell so they needed to replace the entire part. The repair guy gave me a very valuable piece of advice. He told me he's done a quite a number of this exact repair. He told me to call Frigidaire and stay on the phone with them as long as possible telling them that a 4 year life of a $600.00 washer was unacceptable. I did just that. I was on the phone with the first gal for about 30 minutes....and she just kept telling me that there was nothing they could do. I asked to talk to her supervisor....I was on the phone with her for about 30 more minutes. I just calmly without anger kept telling her that I expected more of their appliances than 4 years regardless of warranty. It's unacceptable to send this washer to the landfill after 4 years etc... Finally....after an hour on the phone I think I wore her down....lol. She, with exasperation on her voice asked me if I would be happy if they paid for the parts and I paid for the labor ? I said...sure. She gave me an authorization number to give to the repair guy.

I contacted the repair guy again and he smiled and told me he was glad my persistance worked out. He and another fellow came out once the clam shell/bearing had arrived and also brought with him a new stainless steel tub with those aluminum spider things on the back telling me he always assumed those would be a problem shortly in the future even if they weren't yet and that they were covered under a 5 year (at least I think it was a 5 year warranty...maybe it was even longer) warranty. In about an hour and a half they had basically disassembled the entire washer to get to the necessary parts.....and put it all back together with needed new parts....the labor was $170.00 which I thought was very reasonable given two guys were involved for almost 2 hours plus travel time etc...

Oh...also, there is this little rubber boot (part of the washer plumbing system) under the tub that rendered me over $17.00 worth of change for my piggy bank :)

Anyway....lesson learned for me. I was leary about Frigidaire in the first place. I've never owned anything but Whirlpool appliances with a GE microwave here and there in the several new homes we've built. I can plainly and with certainty tell you that the Frigidaire washers and dryers are NOT the quality of other brands...they just seem "tinny" if that makes any sense. I won't be buying Frigidaire any time soon after this.
 
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cavernap

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
1
Location
Los Angeles
Thank you for this thread! :) After eight years of light use, the spider arm broke on my Frigidaire washing machine. A friend of mine (a very handy guy) and I took the machine apart to verify the damage. My paperwork said the inner tub had a 25-year warranty, and it did not say anything about the repair being done by a certified repairman.

I called Frigidaire and did not tell them much (I didn't tell them that I had already taken the machine apart), I just told them that I needed a new inner tub and that part was under warranty (I never mentioned spider arm, since that is part of the inner tub). The woman confirmed that the part was under warranty, and asked which certified repairman was going to fix it. I said my repairman was not certified by Frigidaire, but he didn't have to be according to the warranty.

She checked with someone (supervisor?) and then told me that I could have the part, but that would void the warranty. I said fine, and she sent me the inner tub! The entire conversation took about half an hour (I was put on hold a lot while she verified this and that), but it was a lot less of a battle than I was prepared for.

I guess my warranty is void (whatever that means), but if I get another eight years out of the washing machine, I'll be happy! On that note, my friend painted the spider arms with epoxy paint (just the outside--we didn't want to take them off the tub) so hopefully that will prolong their life.
 

Jake

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Messages
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Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Good job getting her to send you a new inner tub.:)

I guess my warranty is void (whatever that means)
That means you no longer have warranty on the inner tub.:)

But like you said, you should get 8 more years out of it at any rate.:)

Jake
 
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