To replace the drum spider:
- You will need to remove the entire drum from the unit.
- Start by unplugging the washer from the power source and disconnecting other supplies.
- Depending on your washer type and model remove the access panels carefully to locate the drum.
- Unbolt to remove the drum and then unscrew to separate the outer drum.
- Now carefully remove the old drum spider and install the replacement component.
It’s recommended to clean the surface before installing the replacement drum spider. This will ensure that the installation goes smoothly and that there is no rust or buildup on the surface.
- The drum spider is metallic central support that holds the washing machine’s drum in place.
- The drum spider is usually placed between the outer and the inner tubs. It typically consists of three arms or legs that extend from the center to the outer edge of the drum.
- Over time, these legs can break, become bent, or get corroded. This further causes the spider to become unbalanced and puts stress on other components of the washing machine.
What is a drum spider in a washing machine?
A drum spider is a part of a washing machine that holds the drum in place as it moves.
Most spider drums are made of metal, such as aluminum. However, in some models, you may find one made of stainless steel instead.
A drum spider usually consists of three arms that extend to the sides of the drum.
Some models have a drum spider that can be removed for easy cleaning, especially during service calls.
In simple words, it is a frame that holds the washing machine’s drum in place.
Where is a drum spider located in a washing machine?
Between the inner and outer tubs of your washing machine is where you can find the spider drum. To access it, you will need to separate the outer drum.
Once you have separated the outer drum, you will find that the inner spider is most likely bolted to the bottom of your washing machine’s inner drum.
How do the washer’s drum spiders wear out?
In general, a drum spider can last up to 10 years or more. In fact, it can last just as long as the washer lasts.
But in some cases, drum spiders have been said to wear out after 3 to 5 years of use.
Corrosion, lack of maintenance, and cracks or dents caused by other things are the main reasons why drum spiders wear out too soon.
Here are some of the common reasons why a drum spider wears out.
The most common reason is corrosion, such as galvanic corrosion.
Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical process that happens when two dissimilar metals come into contact with each other in the presence of an electrolyte.
In simple words, galvanic corrosion usually occurs if two different metals come into contact and stay in contact for longer.
The surrounding environment is also a big factor to consider. For example, washing machines are often in close proximity to water sources like leaks or spillages.
In most cases, the inner drums are typically made of stainless steel; however, the drum spider is made using aluminum.
Over time, there is a higher possibility of galvanic corrosion happening if the two metals are in contact with each other.
As a best practice, make sure to keep the door open and let your washer drum air out for some time after every wash.
Unlike other components of your washing machine that need cleaning, greasing, oiling, etc., drum spiders do need attention at regular intervals.
As a maintenance step, you can get the spiders cleaned or serviced at least once a year for better results.
Other factors involve bent or cracked arms of the spider due to loose or imbalanced drums.
Hence, if your drum seems imbalanced for any reason, you should stop using the machine and get to the cause.
Even a spider that is not working properly can cause the drum to create a banging noise and prevent it from moving.
How to replace the drum spider in a washing machine?
Replacing the spider drum will require some patience, as it might take up to 40 minutes to an hour to complete the task.
This is because you will need to remove the drum of your washing machine and then separate the two drums to access the spider.
The best way to proceed is by gathering the required components, such as the user manual of your washer, a Phillips head screwdriver, nut drivers, an adjustable wrench, and a replacement drum spider.
Once you have the key components handy, follow the below steps to replace the drum spider.
Step 1: Disconnect the power and supplies to the washer
Unplug the washer from the power source and then disconnect other supplies such as water inlets and drain hoses.
Note: Make sure the washer is empty and place some towels near the drain hose while separating it.
Step 2: Move the washer away
For better access simply move the washer away from the back wall.
Step 3: Remove the outer panels
You will need to remove the access panels in order to access and release the entire drum.
Refer to the user manual of your washer model if you are unsure about the drum’s location.
Start unscrewing the panels and keep them aside.
Next, remove the drain filter bracket and the control panel frames carefully.
Make sure to disconnect the electrical wires carefully and try to tag them accordingly (or take pictures) to make it easy to fix while reversing the steps later.
Step 4: Remove the washer drum
Some models may require you to remove the gasket seal to remove the washer’s drum.
Start by unbolting the securing nuts that secure the drum and sliding to remove the drum belt carefully.
Next, disconnect a few running wires and hoses from the drum.
Pull out the drum carefully and place it aside.
Step 5: Separate the drums
Now remove the screw seals that connect the outer and inner drums.
Separate the outer drum and keep it aside.
Note: In some washer types, you may be able to access the drum spider on the back. If this is the case you may not need to separate the drums.
Step 6: Remove and replace the drum spider
The drum spider may be difficult to remove from its mounting because of corrosion or other materials that have built up.
You can try to clear some rust using a metal brush and then apply some oil to the nuts.
If this does not work, you may need to use a metal cutting machine to cut the edges and then separate them.
Once the old spider is removed, make sure to thoroughly clean the areas, especially the rust.
If possible, try to replace a few of the bolts that have been heavily corroded and hold the spider to the drum.
Step 7: Reassemble the washing machine
Finally, start reassembling the washer carefully by reversing the steps.
Make sure to connect all the wires correctly and place the drum in its original location.
Finally, remember to replace the panels.
Step 8: Run a test cycle
Before running a test cycle, manually move the drum with your bare hands to see if it rotates freely and without resistance.
Also, look for any water or oil leaks before you proceed with the test cycle.
Now reconnect all the power and supply lines and pour some water into the tub.
Once done, start the washer on a test cycle and check for any leaks or issues.
If you have followed the steps properly, your washer should be up and running without any issues.
If you face any problems, then you can always call a professional for help.
Drum spiders help to keep the inner drum in place as the drum rotates.
Do not leave damp garments in the washer for longer, and always make sure to keep the washer’s door open for some time after every wash.
Even though these drum spiders tend to wear out quickly, this can be avoided with regular maintenance.
Before you proceed with the DIY fix at home, make sure to contact the manufacturer to discuss warranty details, as you can easily void the warranty.
If you are unsure about any steps in the replacement process, do not hesitate to contact a service professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all washers have a drum spider?
No, drum spiders are not available in all washer types; instead, different mechanisms are used for the same purpose. For more information, you can look at the user manual that came with your washing machine.
Is there a warranty on drum spiders?
In most cases, drum spiders are covered under the washer’s warranty. If your machine is still under warranty, you should get in touch with the company first before replacing it.
What is the cost of replacing the washing machine drum spider?
On average, it will cost around $250 to $400 to replace a washing machine spider. The washer spider prevents the unit’s tub from becoming unstable, and corrosive buildup is one of the main reasons why it wears out.
What are some of the signs that indicate a problem with the drum spider?
If you notice your washing machine making a lot of noise or if the clothes are not getting cleaned properly, then it is an indication that there is a problem with the drum spider. In some cases, you may also see water leaks and excess vibration.
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