Easy Washing Machine Agitator Clutch Repair

It’s really easy to repair the slipping agitator clutch on many washing machines – $6 in parts, a couple simple tools, and this how to article could save you an appliance repair bill. Anyone can do it, and you might even get your clothes washer fixed quicker by doing it yourself.

“The agitator in my washing machine isn’t agitating!”

Fixing our broken Kenmore Elite top loading washing machine (apparently similar to Whirlpool, Roper and Inglis) turns out to be a really simple 10 minute job.  Seriously, if your agitator is slipping don’t call a repairman for this, a twelve year old could probably do it.  It’s so easy that I would recommend that if you don’t have a socket wrench and extension (the only tools required) that you buy one rather than call an appliance repair man just to change the agitator clutch.  Also, the parts were only $6.

The agitator on our washing machine stopped agitating.
The top part of the agitator on our washing machine stopped agitating.

So, my lovely wife informs me that the washing machine is broken.  Continue reading “Easy Washing Machine Agitator Clutch Repair”

The Best Whirlpool Smooth Stove Top Cleaner

We finally replaced our old open element range with a new Whirlpool smooth ceramic top stove model. We immediately discovered that if you spill anything on it at all that you get some really stubborn stains. The recommended product that came with the range would barely even do anything at all. So, to make a long story short all you have to do is sprinkle a small amount of automatic dishwasher detergent (great value brand from Wal-Mart gets consumer reports highest rating by the way) and a little water then gently scrub with a green scotchbrite pad and it cleans up just like new. After figuring this out I keep a spray bottle of solution (2-3 tablespoons of detergent in 12 oz water more or less) handy and cleanup is a snap.

This same solution also works great for other tough cleaning jobs like the stainless steel exterior of the gas grill. This solution of automatic dishwasher detergent does a great job of loosening and removing stains, but it will leave the surface hazy unless you follow up with a damp rag or a glass plus type of multi purpose cleaner.

By the way, the instructions that came with our stove say to only use the factory recommended cleaner, and a clean soft cotton cloth or some such malarky, but after several months of using my method our smooth top stove looks like new. Who knows what they are thinking at Whirlpool.

Just in case you had any desire to know – Automatic dishwasher detergent uses enzymes which are biological catalysts to drastically speed up the chemical reaction of breaking down fats and proteins. Since the stubborn cooked on stains on your stove top are from foods containing fats and proteins, then dishwasher detergent is just the ticket. So, this isn’t just the best whirlpool stove top cleaner, also keep it in mind for all kinds of food stains including blood. As with any strong cleaner use with caution and at your own risk.

How to Fix a Toilet That Runs On

Repairing a run on Toilet is an EASY do it yourself fix!

Looking down at the contents of a typical toilet tank

This is what you see when you look down into your typical toilet tank. The yellow thing at top left is the flush valve also known as a “ballcock”. The gray thing in the middle is the flapper valve. By the way, despite the rust stains in these pictures, the water in the toilet tank is completely clean. This is not a nasty job.

Toilet supply connections

Typical supply connections. Continue reading “How to Fix a Toilet That Runs On”

How to replace a Clothes Dryer Element

If your electric clothes dryer runs but doesn’t get warm then you probably need a new heating element.

This is an Amana brand dryer. Apparently all Amana and Speed Queen dryers use the exact same parts and repair procedure. I would consider this a very simple clothes dryer repair that is well within the reach of just about anyone who would be willing to tackle it. Estimated time required is 30-60 minutes. The Part was about $40.

Replacing a dryer element

These are the only tools that you need for this job: A 5/16″ nut driver, wire stripper, electrical tape, and flashlight.

Replacing a dryer element

First, unplug the dryer.

Replacing a dryer element

Those screws that are just visible at the bottom front corners are the ones you need to remove to open the cabinet.

Replacing a dryer element

This is the new heating element.

Replacing a dryer element

This is the other side of the new heating element.

Replacing a dryer element

Here I’m using my handy dandy Enders brand 6 in 1 screw driver as a 5/16 nut driver to remove the access panel.

Replacing a dryer element

Putting a two by four under the front edge of the dryer makes it a lot easier to get at these screws.

Replacing a dryer element

Off comes the access panel…

Replacing a dryer element

First glimps inside of the clothes dryer…

Replacing a dryer element

That black plastic blower housing doesn’t have to come off, but removing it only involves 3 screws and greatly improves access.

Replacing a dryer element

Replacing a dryer element

Replacing a dryer element

Here’s the view inside. Way back on the left is the old element. Plenty of dryer lint in there… Vacuming it out would probably be a really good idea.

Replacing a dryer element

The dryer element is only held in place by two 5/16 screws that are easily accessable. Although access does involve laying face down on the floor and reaching about as far back as I can reach.

Replacing a dryer element

Here is the new element on the right and the old one on the left. If you look close you will notice that the wires aren’t plugged into the correct places on the new element. It is quite easy to switch them around when they are side by side like this.

Replacing a dryer element

This burnt insulation means that I have to replace the female spade connector. Luckily my replacement part came with two pre-made “pigtails” for just such occasions.

Replacing a dryer element

Cut the burnt part of the wire off.

Replacing a dryer element

Strip about 3/4″ of both wires…

Replacing a dryer element

Twist them together and then trim to about 1/2″. Be Sure and twist clockwise so that the splice will tighten when you screw on the wire nut.

Replacing a dryer element

Screw on the wire nut as far as it will go. BTW the wire nuts came with the new element.

Replacing a dryer element

Since a clothes dryer is subject to vibration it is a good idea to secure the wire nut with a few turns of electrical tape.

Replacing a dryer element

All connections are made and the heating element is ready to install. I recommend that you do plug in the wires and make the connections before installing the element, because it’s pretty hard to reach back in there after it’s in place, and the wires don’t get in your way at all.

Replacing a dryer element

The new element is in place. Now just replace the black plastic blower housing, the front access cover, remove the 2 by 4, and plug ‘er in. Total clothes dryer repair elapsed time, about 30 minutes, If you don’t run into any snags.

Your Dryer isn’t like this? Try looking here for Dryer Disasembly how to’s on other brands.