WASHER / DRYER TIPS

In the article below, Robert Comperini offers some excellent tips for his older, non-vented Bendix washer/dryer in his 1997 D.   Some of these tips probably still apply to the current Splendide line of vented washer/dryers.

I (Bob Cook) have also had great experience with Westmoreland Sales.   They have a website with great info at www.westlandsales.com and also at www.splendide.com, email address is splendide@westlandsales.com.   Their phone number is (503) 655-2563, Fax: (503) 656-8829.

Here is Robert Comperini's comments:

I had an interesting experience this weekend.  Fired up the washer ("Bendix") to do a load of clothes.  Shortly after I started it, the drum quit turning.  The clothes just sat there getting soaked.  Great!

I looked all over the machine, trying to find a number for repair.  Nothing.   Checked the owner's manual.  Even less information.  Wonderful.  This is going to be fun.

Today, I went to my local Fleetwood dealer, and asked them who to call.   They gave me the number for Marine Appliances International in Burbank California, who apparently distributed these washers to Fleetwood.  I called them, and got an answering machine.  I waited, but got no call back.

I then called Fleetwood directly, and described my problem.  They suggested I call Westland Sales in Oregon.

So, I called Westland, and spoke with a Mr.  Darrell Klein.  I described my problem.  He seemed to know a LOT about that particular machine, and common failure points on the washer.  When I told him I had no luck trying to get in touch with the local rep, he responded with "Gee, you didn't try calling Marine Appliances, did you? They'll never return your call".  He then went on to tell me that for whatever reason, they will no longer support customers that have these units in their Discoveries (and the story/history was pretty scary too).  Apparently Fleetwood no longer uses this model in the Discoveries...  so this probably only affect those of us with early models.  For kicks, I went to the BBB website, and looked up that company.   Sure enough, it appears they don't have a very good record.

Anyway, he spent about 30 minutes on the phone with me walking me thru the process of checking the 2 or 3 common things that cause the problem I described.  And by golly, he was right.  Turns out there was a fuse blown on a controller panel.  And he even recommended that I replace that "odd sized" fuse with a more standard one that I could buy locally, instead of ordering those odd-sized (expensive) ones from him.

I mention all this only because I think its pretty nice when someone will spend all that time on the phone helping a fellow out for no charge.  He could have easily tried to sell me "parts", or send me to a repair facility.  He did give me the name and number of a person he deals with in the Los Angeles area, in case I needed to take it in for repairs, but he said "lets try a few things on the phone first, before we send you all the way down there".

Many thanks to Westland and Mr.  Klein.

Now, if you're still reading this, here's what was checked, and what apparently is common on these early units:

  1. Take off the back cover of the washer (about 6 sheet metal screws)

  2. The drive motor for the drum is located on the bottom of the unit.   There are about 7 wires connected to the motor.  These wires come from the Controller board, which is mounted on the lower left side of the washer, as you look at it from the rear.  2 of these wires are white.  Those white wires were "added" to the circuit sometime after the original design of the washer to satisfy some UL requirements (God knows what they do).  Anyway, because they were "added" after the initial design, they were not part of the larger bundle of wires that connect to the motor, and they were often not secured properly (like the other wires).  This means that over time, those two white wires (which are not supported well) vibrate, and can actually break near the area where they enter the motor itself.  The break is normally internal to the wire (so it can't be seen just by looking at it, since the insulation doesn't break as easily).  An easy way to check for breaks, is to simply grab the wire and gently pull on it to see if the wire "stretches" (indicating that the copper wire under the insulation was broke).  Yes, this could also be checked with a continuity tester, but its hard to find the two ends of this wire to perform the check.

    It was suggested that I add some small nylon wire ties to those two wires to secure them to the other wires, so they don't vibrate/move around as much.

  3. Follow the "bundle" of wires from the motor up to the controller board, which is mounted on the left side of the washer (when viewed from the rear).  There are about 4 sets of wire bundles that each plug into this controller board.  Check that all plugs are securely plugged in.  Again, often they can become dislodged from vibration.

  4. On the controller board there is a small fuse, located near "Pin 11".   Each wire going into the controller is labeled, and these numbers are clearly visible.  Check this fuse, which supplies power to the controller (and of course the motor that drives the drum).  This fuse is small and not easily seen unless you know right where to look.

    Sometimes, the fuse can blow if the washer was in operation and there was a voltage spike (low voltage probably).  As it turns out, this is what happened to mine.

    FYI: The fuse is an odd size that isn't easily found at your local hardware/automotive/Electronics store, so it was suggested that I wire in a more "standard" sized fuse holder, which I will do.