What is the likely outcome if I keep using my washer?
January 20, 2020 11:39 AM   Subscribe

The pump on my LG front loader is suddenly making a grinding noise but works perfectly fine. I cleaned out the trap; no improvement. I scheduled a service call for tomorrow ($79 minimum that I don't have). Am I courting disaster to continue doing laundry today? What about canceling the call and seeing how long I can continue to do laundry before it dies? Will a small repair turn into a much larger one?
posted by HotToddy to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Googled the model # manual for a parts drawing and a trouble shooter section on this model??
posted by Freedomboy at 11:53 AM on January 20

I have the same problem on my washer on occasion. Due to bad design, it's possible for a dime to slip into the ejection pump, but it will not pump out. Every time the washer runs, there's a nasty grinding noise. The first time this happened I let it go for a while, and the coin broke the pump case, and I ended up with a load of water on the floor.

$100 service call and $75 pump. The next time I had this problem, I called right away. Another $100, but I got to keep the dime.

My fix was a giant sign on the washer that says "CHECK YOUR POCKETS!," and I learned how to pull a coin out of the pump, it's not to hard. I keep the broken pump on a shelf over the washer to remind me not to let it slide.
posted by Marky at 11:53 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]

LG front loader owner here, and I once had a dead pump. At first it made a grinding like you noticed, and when it died it shows up as an beeping OE error on the display (meaning: can't drain the water). I disassembled it myself (youtube ftw), recentered the impeller hub and actually got it to work a few more days before it really tore itself to pieces.

It's not a disaster when it happens. You can manually drain the tub by using the hose inside the filter door. DO NOT OPEN THE BIG TRAP until the water is all out or else the tub will drain out that hole all at once.

I kind of disagree with the dime theory, I've always had coins catch in the plastic filter catch and can't see how anything larger than crumbs can get through the holes in that thing. Maybe that washer is different.

I say keep going until it really dies. It won't damage your clothing and at worst you'll just have to drain and remove the wet clothes and process them some other way.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:43 PM on January 20

When my LG washer pump started making a grinding noise during before/during the spin cycle, I was able to keep using it for several more months before I got around to replacing the part. However, for others the pump gives out within a week or two. This, from reading the reviews on various appliance part websites. It depends on your luck. When I pulled out my old pump, there was nothing in it. It was just worn out after 7 years.

We changed this part out ourselves, and to be honest it is a complete pain to do so. However, the price of the pump alone was about $40-$50, so for us it was worth the time and steep learning curve.
posted by GliblyKronor at 2:53 PM on January 20

IMO the washer pump was easier than, say, replacing the motor on an LG gas dryer. But if you want to judge for yourself here’s the video on how to replace it. I thought it was kind of fun, and I’m not the handiest person out there.
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:10 PM on January 20

I had a washer with a similar problem. A repairman (out for something different) told me it would work fine for a while, but the noise would get louder and louder, and eventually it would fail completely and it would be time to get a new washing machine. That's what happened, but I got about three more months out of it.
posted by ubiquity at 3:22 PM on January 20

Well I went ahead and put another load in and five minutes later it died altogether. Ha.
posted by HotToddy at 5:21 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Check how old it is, using the serial number. The internet makes this easy. Then check average lifespan of a washer. If you're over the average life, don't invest money in repairs. Get a new machine. That's my rule of appliances. Is it good? I don't know but it's what I do.

I'm not quite over the average life of an American male, but even if I were, alas, I've no legal choice to end it.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:54 PM on January 20

Says it's a 2015 and lifespan of washers is 11-14 years, so I guess I'll be fixing it. That was helpful, thanks.
posted by HotToddy at 6:00 PM on January 20

I had literally the same experience two years ago with my LG front loader purchased in 2013-2014, down to the grinding sound and OE error as described by JoeyZydeco. I bought this pump, swapped it out (took about 15 minutes to figure out which screws were the right one), and that was that.
posted by disconnect at 10:34 AM on January 21

It is fixed. $180. I assumed I would have to unstack the dryer to fix it myself (very very difficult, it’s in a closet and I have a bad back so can’t help at all, trying to round up two able-bodied people at the same time to help too difficult, etc) so paid for the repair but goddammit he didn’t have to take the dryer off at all! Next time I’ll know. (And I assume there will be a next time, since this one crapped out after only 5 years.)
posted by HotToddy at 2:17 PM on January 21

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