It's been running like a champ until .... it started making a lot of noise during the spin cycle. I finally decided it was time to get a repair technician out here to assess the situation. He showed up bright and early Friday morning.
I demonstrated for him what it was doing and like a retard stated, "The bearing is shot, isn't it?" Talk about announcing that I'm a sucker. That statement had "Please fleece me" written all over it. Stupid, stupid, stupid on my part.
Sure enough he agrees with me and writes me up a repair estimate for $830. Before he had even left I was looking at new washing machines with dread. I really didn't want to buy a new machine. It's not the money (even though it's become absurd how much a washing machine costs), I like having a matched set. Yes, I'm that anal.
Mr. Repairman gave me a coupon towards the purchase of a new machine that more than compensates me for the cost of his "services". Oh, joy. I'm still not interested in buying a new machine, damnit.
After he leaves, I Google my model number just to verify the tub size when I see this comment left on one of those Epinions sites.
A review of several appliance repair forums/blogs shows that this particular model has very few problems, but there is one issue that has appeared three times...knocking noise during spin cycle. If you are at all handy I strongly suggest you tackle this yourself (I just got done doing it). The problem is the 15/16ths inch nut in the center of the large pulley coming loose and allowing slop between the spindle and drum/basket. This nut is easily accessed by removing the back panel. The whole deal is a 20 minute job tops!! Why do it yourself?...because an incompetent/dishonest service tech can easily turn this into a $500 to $800 repair by claiming the bearing and sleeve are shot, which requires replacing the entire stainless interior basket assembly...and Sears won't give you squat in the way of standing behind the product.
Orly!?!? Hmmm. Well, granted, I am one lazy mo-fo but we're talking $830! I drag all the stuff off of the countertop over my washer and dryer, remove the countertop, and wiggle my not insubstantial ass behind the machine with my tools. After removing something like 234987435 screws I have access to the back of the washer.
For as much as this bad boy cost, there's SURPRISINGLY LITTLE STUFF BACK THERE. A pully and this cage attached to the drum. A SINGLE NUT holds the shaft (he he he I said shaft) to the drum. And, guess what? It was ever-so-slighty loose. Just enough to cause a huge clatter when the machine was spinning.
I whipped out my vice grips and managed to loosen up and re-tighten the nut. Having just done laundry a few days before I resorted to grabbing a bunch of towels to run it through a test load just to see if all this manual labor was going to pay off.
Silence. Blissful, money-saving silence. Whisper quiet like the day it was installed. This bad boy better last another 5 years. I already warned TOH that he'll be getting a bill for $830 ;).