Proper Operation
Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.

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Sears and Whirlpool Belted Washer

Whirlpool vs Kenmore

Whirlpool manufactures most Sears Kenmore top-load washers as well as their own Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Inglis brands. The main difference between those brands' products is the control console configuration, markings and styling. The underlying mechanics are pretty much identical.

Belted vs Direct Drive

Belt Drive and Direct Drive Washer Backs

How do you tell whether you have a belted or direct drive washer? The direct drive washer's cabinet is usually a couple of inches narrower (27 inches or less) as opposed to that of the belted washer design which is 29 inches wide. The back panel of the direct drive washer covers the entire back of the washer from top to bottom and has no access panels. The belt driven washer's back has a small access panel toward the bottom and the control console has its own separate back panel.

The last year that belted washers were manufactured was 1986. How do you tell how old a Sears washer is? Look at the model number, i.e., 110.8X2XXXXX. The first and third number is usually the year of manufacture. This machine was manufactured in 1982.

Problem Diagnostics

Check Mark

Motor Runs but Won't Spin

  • Sounds like it shifts into spin cycle when spin cycle is selected. Motor runs and water is pumped out. You need to tighten the belt.
  • Smelled smoke before it stopped spinning. Motor runs but no agitate, spin or water pump out. You need to replace the belt.
  • Will agitate and pump water out but don't hear it shift into spin during spin cycle. Check the lid switch and if it's OK, check the spin coil on the control magnet or wig wag. If the control magnet is OK, check the timer.
Check Mark

Fills too Slow

  • If the water pressure is low, the fault does not lie with your washer. There are wire mesh filters in the hot and cold water inlets to your washer. Turn the water off at the water faucets. Remove the water inlet hoses at the faucets and clean the hose screens if they are present. Replace the hoses on the faucets. Remove the cold water hose at the rear of the washer and turn the hot water faucet on. Turn the water temperature control to "warm" and set the timer at the beginning of a cycle and pull the timer knob out and push it back in. This will blow hot water out the cold water inlet and back flush the cold water inlet filter. If you place a drinking glass under the cold water inlet, you will catch the back flushed residue. Replace the cold water hose on the inlet and remove the hot water hose at the inlet. Back flush the hot water inlet using the same procedure.
Check Mark

Fills but won't Agitate

  • Tub fills OK and motor runs but there is no agitation, water recirculation or pump out. You need to replace the belt.
  • Tub fills OK and then motor runs with no agitation but water is pumped out and fill starts again. Check the agitate coil on the control magnet or wig wag. If the control magnet is OK, check the timer.
Check Mark

Washes and Spins but Won't Drain

  • Motor runs when pump out is expected but water recirculates in washer instead of draining. The pump may not have shifted to drain; check the pump clip.
  • Motor runs when pump out is expected but water goes nowhere. Look for a kinked drain hose or seized pump bearing.
  • Water is not pumped out during spin. Water comes back up into basket after spin but will pump out if spin cycle is repeated. An air lock is forming in the manifold trap.
Check Mark

Skips Wash, Rinse or Spin

  • Agitates and recirculates water during all cycles or skips cycles.Check the timer.
Check Mark

Water on the Floor

  • Look to see if the drain hose jumped out of the sewer drain.
  • Water is dripping off tub platform. Look for tub leaks.
  • Water is dripping on the floor under the right rear corner of the cabinet. Look for a bad pump seal.
  • Water is dripping into the tub when power to the washer is off.After a day or so, the tub will overflow. Check for faulty water solenoid valves.
Check Mark

Tub Crashes around During Spin