Tub "spider" corrosion/breakage

petec

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
50
Location
ellington, ct
Been reading this excellent forum for an apparent broken door lock problem I am having. Reading about this POS aluminum spider arm has me concerned that I will be in the same boat soon as I have very hard well water that likes to eat pretty much all of my plumbing fittings.

Is there anything I can do to slow down the corrosion? I will tell my wife to not even think about using bleach as I know that bleach and aluminum is not a good combination.
 

biguggy

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
18
Location
Canada
Many posts on many sites claim that the corrosion of the spiders is due to galvanic action. I do not agree, I believe it is primarily chemical corrosion.

Should the corrosion have been galvanic between the stainless steel drum and the aluminium spider the majority of the corrosion would have been at the junction of the two metals i.e. at the ends of the arms. I have seen no photographs of spiders corroded in such a manner, nor read of any similar descriptions.

Aluminium is corroded when immersed in an aqueous solution with a pH value above about 8.0. All detergents have to be above about 8.0 or they would not work. The Material Safety Data Sheets put out by Proctor and Gamble state that the pH for one of the liquid ‘Tides’ is 8.0 and for one of the ‘Tide’ powdered detergents as 11.0. Bleach, (sodium hypochlorite) is also very corrosive to aluminium. I should add that for corrosion of the spider to take place these levels are considerably above the levels found in a washing machine during the wash/rinse phases of the cycle.

Sodium carbonate and sodium percarbonate found in some laundry aids are also corrosive to aluminium, provided the required concentrations are reached.

I believe the mechanics of the corrosion are as follows.
Even after the fastest spin small quantities of water will remain on the shaft and towards the centre of the spider. Any recesses in the spider close to the centre will aggravate this situation. This water will contain very, very small quantities of laundry aids used, soil from the laundry, chemicals from the ‘tap’ water, and the results of the interactions of all of the above. Should this water be allowed to stand the water will evaporate until such time as sufficient has gone to allow the pH of the remaining mixture to rise above the threshold at which corrosion will occur.

Additionally the retained water will quickly become foul smelling leading to, I believe, many of the complaints about mold and mildew.

The principal product of the corrosion of the aluminium ally spider is aluminium oxide. This substance is very hard and very abrasive; it is in fact the ‘grit’ found in sandpaper. This aluminium oxide is only very sparingly soluble in water and will adhere very strongly to the donor metal, in this case the spider. As the deposit of aluminium oxide grows on the spider some of this oxide will be carried in suspension in the water and will during the ‘spinning’ phases of the cycle, be deposited on the outer drum. Pictures of this can be seen in the thread here:

Discuss-o-Mat Thread: Everyone meet Horsey->LG


This aluminium oxide when mixed with water will, in my opinion, form a very effective lapping/grinding compound that will, in very short order, destroy the seal allowing water into the bearings. Corrosion and failure of the bearings will follow not to mention the damage also caused to the bearings by the abrasive aluminium oxide. This is not the only cause of bearing failure as there are a few instances recorded ‘on the web’ where the posters have indicated that the bearings have failed but that the seal has not. In fact I can personally vouch for one such case.

There is an informative paper on galvanic corrosion, which also explains why that although stainless steel is more noble than aluminium in this particular instance corrosion does not take place, by a couple of guys from the University of New Brunswick.

Similarly there is an informative one page paper on chemical corrosion, although the author refers to it as ‘micro-galvanic corrosion’ and I grew up calling it ‘pitting corrosion’.

I am sorry but the poster who advocated anodizing the spider to prevent corrosion is in error as explained in the above paper. Anodising is the artificial thickening of the naturally occurring oxide coating.

The ‘tub kit’ referenced in this thread was still available in March of this year, and in the same quote informed me that the inner tub and spider alone was available too! I have previous fitted one of these 'tub kits' to a machine owned by a relative.
 
Last edited:

tunage2000

New member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
1
Location
Lake Villa, IL
I just had to say thanks as well! The information in this thread enabled me to get Electrolux to send me a new wash basket and I did not void my warranty because I told them an authorized technician was going to do the work ! ;) I went ahead and replaced the bearings and seal while I was in there. The machine sounds quieter than the day I first got it ! Thanks again to everyone!
 

DIYchick

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2
Location
south shore---Mass.
I have a Wascomat WE16 which is just the commercial name for this same Frigidaire model. Via the help of this thread (Kudos to your descriptions and suggestions) I was able to disassemble and recognized the problem to be a cracked arm just like the one pictured here. So, I have to attempt the call to Wascomat and persist for the warranty to be honored and hope that they will send me a whole new drum as opposed to shelling out the $260. But, is there no way of just removing the cracked arm and replacing with a good one? This blog is saving me from replacing the whole machine which has only been in use for a few years.

~~~ Thanks much!!
 

biguggy

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
18
Location
Canada
I have a Wascomat WE16 which is just the commercial name for this same Frigidaire model. Via the help of this thread (Kudos to your descriptions and suggestions) I was able to disassemble and recognized the problem to be a cracked arm just like the one pictured here. So, I have to attempt the call to Wascomat and persist for the warranty to be honored and hope that they will send me a whole new drum as opposed to shelling out the $260. But, is there no way of just removing the cracked arm and replacing with a good one? This blog is saving me from replacing the whole machine which has only been in use for a few years.

~~~ Thanks much!!
Should you be able to find a source of the spider (arm) alone I, and I believe many other people, would love to know as it is a pain in the proverbial.

May I suggest that as you have the machine apart that you renew the bearings and seal in the rear section of the outer tub.

The bearings are 'standard' and available from any reputable bearing supplier. The seal is another matter, the owner of the following website states he has found a source: Handyman Service - Yellow Van Handyman
I have never used him so cannot comment on that aspect any further. Should you elect to to renew the seal and bearings PLEASE do not fit the bearings into the outer tub as he does in the video (using a piece of wood across the whole bearing).

Pressure should only be put on the outer race of the bearing as per the following website, under the heading 'How to Mount Bearings': Bearing Basics

There is a 'Shop Manual' for this series of washers, I'm attaching it below.

Please note Frigidaire is totally owned by Electrolux so please do not be misled by the name at the top of the first page.

Any other questions please post them and I will do my best to answer. Please note I am not an appliance repair technician, just an old, retired guy who has a bit of engineering experience and try to put it to good use.

Good luck with your repair.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

DIYchick

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2
Location
south shore---Mass.
Just replaced all 3 Wascomat WE16 front loaders at our properties (NEVER AGAIN) and will sell good spider arms if anyone is interested email: EvolvingProp (at) hotmail.com
I have other good parts as well. After purchasing and replacing a new basket due to premature corroded parts, the metal that the springs are suspended from at the top of the machine housinghad let go. I know I could have finagled a fix for that as well however all three machines continually needed attention. Those machines aren't worth the time they require to maintain and understand the problems in this thread. I now have three good baskets and spider arm's that show little signs of corrosion (especially that newer one). After experiencing the frustration of getting replacement parts I'd be happy to pass them along to someone else who can put them to good use.
 

adam12

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
24
Location
Chicago
In October 2011 my spider broke right before I went on vacation. While at Disney world I called the manufacturer... argued the usual with them that the manual said nothing about a "certified repair person" and the fact that no "certified repair persons" would even take this job because when I called them to to be a front for ordering the part... they said they wouldn't even do this job legitimately because it's a huge PITA and Frigidaire doesn't pay enough $$$ to make it worth their time. Frigidaire eventually sent me the part after I emailed their CEO and accepted voiding the warranty.

I painted what I could with Epoxy Spray paint.... now it's been almost 5 years and not a day of that gross smell and no breakage. Hopefully the lack of that smell is a good sign.

As far as the corrosion is concerned how about doing what they do for aluminum boats?... attach zinc anodes strips to the spider? Next time this happens I hope I can hold off the misses long enough to pull this off.
 

handywidow

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
3
Location
Virginia
Hey, Cavernap, I know its been a long time since you replaced the inner tub on your Frigidaire washer, but can you update this repair: how well has the epoxy paint prevented corrosion since 2011?
 

Doh13

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
3
Location
canada
reviving an old thread here ... I have a kenmore front loader and here is a pic of the crappy broken corroded spider

IMG_20170817_131952.jpg.

I was actually thinking about coating the new spider metal (if i can find one)with plastidip or adding sacrificial anodes (zincs) to the spider when i found this thread.. I think a lot of these parts are made by the same company. Whoever the engineer was that decided to use such crap metal for a major load bearing component had to have been told to do so because they knew it would eventually fail (usually after warranty) and the person would be forced to buy a new washer which equals more money .
 

BWell

Premium Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
2
Location
NY
I've been wanting a front load washer for a long time now as it's the only kind I can really wash my outdoor gear in (ie: down clothes and sleeping bags). However, this spider arm corrosion really upsets me and it seems an issue across all brands..... these in this forum plus LG, Samsung,....

Some of the front load washer have a hot water clean mode (sanitize mode). I understand the water is heated to around 160 degrees and run through the wash to clean/sanitize. Will this mode also clean the spider arm? If the soap residue is corroding the arm will sanitize mode clean it off?

Is there any company/brand/model with a good spider arm? Please list a brand and model if you know one.

Thanks! This is driving me nuts. I read on another forum Samsung discontinued selling their spider arm separately(earlier this year). I guess too many self repairs were cutting into profits.....sad.
 

DIY-Todd

New member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Chicago area
Hello, I have a question about fixing the spider arm on a Frigidaire FTF2140FE0.
I removed the drum and discovered the spider arm was completely corroded.
Next I found a spider arm. I received the part and now am trying to
remove my old spider(whats left of it) from the drum. Having big problems
removing the 6 screws that hold the spider to the drum. I have already broken
one of the heads off. Is there some special thread locker that the factory uses to
hold these bolts on? I have tried heat and all the tricks to loosen the bolts, they
are not moving. Can anyone help? Also, I will need to find new bolts as I imagine
damaging more as I try to remove them. Thanks for your help, any advice would
be much appreciated!
 
Top