I just got my washing machine and it's broken.
June 12, 2012 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Help me repair my washing machine!

After spending $200 on buying and transporting a used Haier XQJ50-31 portable washing machine from Craigslist, it doesn't quite work. Very frustrating! Before I chuck it and buy a new one instead out of sheer frustration, is there anything that I can do to try to fix it?

Here's what's wrong with it:
1) The first time I tried it, I washed a medium-sized load, and the rinse cycle kept repeating itself until I manually switched it over to the spin cycle.
2) The second time I tried it, the rinse cycle didn't even come on, because the water kept draining out during the wash cycle. About an hour and far too much water later, I finally switched it over to the spin cycle.

It's not a model that is made by Haier any more, and I'm sure it'll cost more than I want to pay to get it fixed. Any suggestions, O mighty denizens of Ask Mefi?
posted by so much modern time to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Since it seems to work mechanically, and you can manually switch cycles, it is probably a fried timer/circuit board. Sears Parts lists parts and part numbers for it, and there are two parts listed, each at $85.49. ("Control Board" or "Microcomputer".) Your local appliance store chain or parts center should have them too.

Here, I can't diagnose which part would be bad, but it is probably only one of the two. Despite how that Sears diagram looks, it would probably be easy to replace the bad board. A washing machine tech could find which board is bad, and possibly even repair the board, but a service call alone could cost $100+. If you know someone interested in electronics or computers, he/she could just open it up and take a look - the one bad board will possibly show a blown part, easy to see and then easy to replace. If damage or a blown part can't be seen, a real washing machine tech with a service manual would have to test and check each of the two circuit boards.
posted by caclwmr4 at 11:43 PM on June 12, 2012

I didn't search for your particular problem, but 've found a lot of advice over the years on this website. (Still amazed that the rogue underwire was preventing water from draining from the washer.)
posted by she's not there at 3:37 AM on June 13, 2012

It's hard to see from the picture, but is that the larger version of the portable washer, with the faucet connector and hose that goes in the sink? (As opposed to a permanently installed non-portable washer)

I have the smaller version, and one thing that I saw in the directions was that the drain hose had to remain connected up at the top, or else the water would siphon out.

Were is the water going? Just squirting out the drain hose?

Also, in many water appliances (washers and dishwashers), they have pumps that do different things depending on what direction they are going, and/or sometimes there is a little solenoid that will click to change modes. Like spinning clockwise would pump the water out, and counter clockwise would simply recirculate. Like during the wash cycle, the solenoid would be off, which would cause a lever to block a cam from rotating in a certain direction. Then, during drain mode, the solenoid would click on, unblock the cam and allow the pump to spin and drain. Maybe it's something like this, and the lever has popped out of place allowing the pump to spin all the time.

So, it might help to flip it over and have a look at the guts to see if there is anything that looks broken.

(Completely aside: I had an old Cutlass that used the same kind of setup for the windshield washers. The squirter used the same motor that moved the blades, and the squirter switch would do the same thing- hit the button, the squirter would operate for one revolution of the blades, and then stop. Except mine was broken, so the squirter wouldn't "un-click" and keep going forever.

And laser printers can have the same problem- the paper picker upper is supposed to rotate only once, but it would get stuck and keep feeding paper.)
posted by gjc at 6:23 AM on June 13, 2012

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