Washer Repair and Tips
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Can I use non-HE detergent in my front load washer?
The simple answer is NO. Front load washers use considerably less water than their top load counterparts and for this reason, too much detergent, or the wrong type of detergent can cause problems. Not only for the machine itself, but for your clothing as well. The HE labeled detergents use a low sudsing formula to prevent detergent from getting into places it shouldn't be such as the rear tub bearings where it can begin to break down the grease and eventually result in an expensive failure. Those same suds will prevent your clothes from getting clean because of the detergent that remains within the fibers after the wash.
All manufacturers recommend the use of low sudsing he detergents, and our personal suggestion is to use only the amount needed to get your clothes clean. This varies depending on the hardness of the water in your area, but use less than what it says on the container. If your clothes are getting clean, then that is the right amount. Remember, to much detergent won't get your clothes any cleaner, it will just waste money. And if your washer looks like the one in the photo while in use, you are using way too much detergent.
Fabric softeners are waxy and can gum up in the washer if introduced undiluted with water before dispensing. To aide this, mix them with water before use. If there's a fabric softener dispenser on your machine, add the recommended amount and then top off with water. If you're pouring from a cup, use a 3-to-1 ratio of softener to water. Avoid overloading the washer. Add clothes until the unit is filled to just below top of the agitator axle without packing down the clothes. An overloaded washer strains the motor and transmission, shortening their lives. Once a month: Remove and clean intake screens where water-supply hoses enter the washing machine. The screens get clogged with sediment and/or mineral buildup. Because they're difficult to reset—improperly installed, they can jam open an internal valve—replace them with flat screened washers (available at most hardware stores) in the end of the hose. Be extra careful when removing and replacing hoses, as the plastic threads on the intakes at the back of the washer are easily stripped. Every five years: Replace rubber water-supply hoses if they're splitting, cracking or are losing flexibility. Rubber replacement hoses last approximately five years, but hoses that use a braided-jacket of stainless steel, although more expensive, last at least twice as long. Replace pinch-type hose clamps with more reliable worm-driven clamps.
If your washing machine is not level, it can vibrate strongly during the spin cycle. If your washing machine is not perfectly level--with all four legs touching the floor--it can bang and rock back and forth, and even begin to "walk" across the room. This isn't good for the machine and may damage anything near the machine. Use the adjustable front and/or back leveling legs on the washer to adjust the machine to the proper height, then tighten the lock nut up against the body of the machine to keep the leg from rotating.
Most machines, however, have "self-adjusting" rear legs. You set these legs by tilting the entire machine forward onto its front legs (with the rear legs 3 to 4 inches off the floor) and then setting the machine back down. The legs should adjust automatically. If they don't, you may need to tilt the machine forward and rap on the rear legs with the handle of a hammer to loosen them--a procedure that's easier to accomplish with a helper.
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