Friday, January 11, 2008

Rebirth of the Ole Duet

This blog chronicles my duel with the (GHW9150PW4) Whirlpool Duet front-loading washer. At this time our Duet is "washing" clothes for the first time since its purchase a little over a year ago. This washer was bought as a replacement for our first front-loading washer which was a Frigidaire. The orginal front-loader lasted about eight years before the tub-to-axle support broke and the washer self destructed before our eyes. This was an orginal investment of $700.00 dollars and repair parts would exceed $400.00 dollars, so the old Frigidaire had to go. Our only complaint with the Frigidaire washer was a mildew smell caused by trapped water around the door gasket; regular use of a little bleach solved this problem. Just adding a note to say this has been our experience with Whirlpool and doesn't mean that all of their products are defective. Please do your research before purchasing and remember if you havent seen anything posted about the model you plan to purchase it maybe because the manufacture changes the model as often as there is a new moon! One more thing please add year and model # information to any comments you post or blogs you host. This will help others avoid our pitfalls.



I would like to say "I'm sorry," to my wife for not listening to her complaints about the new washer not getting the clothes clean and not removing the soap from the clothes. Dear, I'm very sorry for not listening. I begain to get concerned when my sister was visting us and she complained to my wife that she was concerned about using our towels to dry with because they smelled so bad, and she was afraid that they would make her smell just as bad. At this point things started to heat up real fast, and I knew that I was going to have to do something before I found myself buying another new washer (which I considered), but what would I replace it with? If I bought a different brand front-loading washer, would it do a good job of cleaning the clothes? My first step was to contact the manufacturer, Whirlpool. The washer was still under the manufacturer's warranty period, one year. They agreed to send a service man to repair the machine. The only tool that the gentleman used while he was at our home was a flash light. It was a neat little flash light but it didn't know a thing about repairing a washer that was on the fritz. At this point I knew that the three year extended warrenty wasn't going to be much help in my quest for clean clothes and a happy wife.



Ok, lets get started. My original observation about the washer was that it wasn't using enough water to wash the clothes. The machine was only adding enough water to get the clothes wet, and you could hear them slapping around inside. The repairman had assured us that this was an energy efficient and enviromently friendly appliance, oh yes, "It's working just fine, just like the manufacturer had planned." Massive amounts of soap bubbles filled the washer. When we told him that the clothes that were washing at that time had been taken out of our clean clothes closet and were being washed without adding any soap to the wash he said that "someone" was using too much soap. I measured the amount of soap that my wife indicated that she had been using and determined that it was only 2 - 3 tablespoons of "HE-2X" Tide, the soap designed for front-load washers, in fact the same soap that Whirlpool shipped with the new washer. The repairman told us that we needed to use another brand of detegerent, we ask what would he recommend, he said, "Another brand."

So much for the repairman. Having spent twenty-five years working in industry as an electronics technician, servicing NC (numercial control), CNC (computer numerical controlled) equipment and working with PLC (programmable logic controller) technology, it just seemed the right thing to do to take over some of the control functions of the washer with a little of my own equipment. Having spent some time looking on the web for information on my washer (Whirlpool Duet GHW9150PW4) I found a service manual for a 9100PW0 and PW1 washer. The picture in the manual looked just like my washer, the only difference that I could see was mine was a 9150PW4 (the 4 ment revision four). Four should be better than 0 or 1, right? That's what I'm thinking. Well, after pulling the top off the washer I could see only one difference in my washer and the one pictured in the manual. My #4 revision and 50 numerically advanced model didn't have a water flow transducer like the ones pictured in the manual. Oh, the CCU, which is the computer brain box that controlls the washer, had a port for a flow transducer, but had nothing plugged in that port. The problem with our washer all along has been that it doesn't use enough water to wash the clothes during the wash cycle when soap is added, yet it uses the same amount of water to try and rinse the clothes that had inadequate water to clean them, leaving soap in the fabric to harden in the dryer...perfect conditions to harbor bacteria, thus creating an odor. For my money the problem with my washer is that it does not use enough water to do the job. Before I ever removed the top of the washer and before I found the manual for the 9100 series Duet washer, I knew that the manufacturer would use a pressure transducer to determine the level of water in the washer, so it was no suprise that I found one when the top came off. My first thought at this point was that this fix was going to be a lot easier that I thought. Water level too low to clean or rinse the clothes, the pressure transducer that determined the amount of water that the washer would use must be defective! I found a great site for repair parts (repairclinic.com). You can buy any part that you want for your appliance, so let's get a new pressure transducer and solve the problem with out even breaking a sweat. The thing was less than $40.00, and when it came in it was identical to the one in the washer, even the calibration; the new one worked just like the orginal one did. Nothing had changed. The washer still would not dispense adequate water to do the job. Before spending any more money I would have to take time to do some testing to determine if the machine could be made to wash clothing sucessfully if the amount of water used could be controlled. To do this required me to sit with the washer through the entire wash cycle and control the amount of water used for each cycle. I accomplished this using two standard power strips that were equipped with on/off switches. Using the two power strips, I cut the female receptical off of two extension cords and used the cords with the male end pluged into the powerstrips and attached the other end to the cold water valve. The second cord was attached to the line feeding the drain pump. With this setup I could control the amount of water entering the washer and could drain and refill the tub as often as I liked during the cycle. With many nights under my belt sitting at the washer missing all the good tv programs, I determined that the washer could sucessfully wash and rinse cloths if given enough water to do so. It was at this point that I realized that I had become the ole washwoman while my wife sat in her chair watching my ball games. Actually she hates most any television program that I like, so that anytime I looked out of the laundary room to get a glimpse of what was on, you guessed it, it wasn't something that I would watch. My wife always says that I would watch anything but this experence with the washing machine has proved this wrong, there are some things on TV that I won't watch!

Ok, it was time to do something and get out of that laundry room. I never realized just how much work was involved in keeping clean clothes for the family and my wife had been doing it for years by herself without complaint. You can bet the next time she complains about some machine that she uses, not doing a good job, I won't ignore her. I'm still doing all the washing, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel. If I could control the OLE DUET with two ordinary powerstrips and sucessfully wash and rinse clothes, I could come up with some automated way to do it and get back to enjoying some TV.

It just so happened that hanging by the door in the man room was a little device that would ultimately free me from the drudgery of wash day everyday and create a little excitement in my life again. Doing something with all that junk that I've collected over the years that just hangs around collecting dust and quite oftens elicits a response from my wife that I will not be able to write about here, looks good to me.

This is my solution, not necessarily yours, but I decided to try and write this to hopefully get others to work on solutions to this and similar problems. I am using a small single chip based processor and board solution from Comfile Technology to monitor and control water levels in the washer and to have the ability to control draining of the water, allowing me to sucessfully wash and rinse a load of clothes without having to sit by the washer throughout the whole cycle. Remember the pressure transducer that I mentioned earlier, it has four functions: tank empty, Level 1, overfill, suds condition. The pressure transducer contains at least four sets of dry contacts that are used to signal the CCU in the DUET, indicating when there is no water in the tub, when there is water in the tub but not to the required level, when the desired water level has been reached and when there is a high-suds condition. This is all done with a single pneumatic connection to the lower side of the tank. The one function that I have not spent a lot of time trying to understand, how it works, is the high suds condition contact. If I'm in charge of the amount of soap used per load, this function should never be required. Thus, I have no need at this time to understand how it works, but it may be interesting sometime to try and understand this feature.


In order to accuratly control water level, I added the missing water flow transducer that Whirlpool left out of my model. I got it through Repairclinic.com, they seem to have about anything one might want to repair that old appliance. The flow transducer cost within a dollar of the price of the pressure switch. It might have been possible to have recalibrated the settings of the pressure switch, and I still plan to try someday soon to do just that, because I am looking for a simple and inexpensive way to solve this problem for the many people out there who spent their hard earned money in good faith with a company that at one time had a good name in the business and produced quaility products. From what I have been reading, this has changed. I hope its not too late for Whirlpool to regain quaility as their number one product. Ok, I'm stepping down from the old soapbox and getting back to the job at hand, getting the ole duet washing clothes sucessfully. To do this I needed my little PLC to know just how much water had entered the machine. It might be possible to do this without a flow device, if one would take the time to build a data look-up table based on time and pressure to determine how much water had entered the machine in a given time interval, if water pressure stays constant. I chose to take the simple way by adding the little flow device. It works like a small water wheel enclosed in a watertight housing; as water flows through the device, the wheel turns and a magnetic reed switch responds to a passing magnet attached to the internal wheel. The purpose of the PLC is to monitor the reed switch and determine when to shut off the water, based on a preset value that was determined by trial and error. It was not important to me to know how many gallons of water entered the machine, but just to control the level of the water in the machine. All that I had to do was set the internal counter in the PLC to zero, turn on the water and see the number of pulses registered by the PLC when the water level reached the desired level. Once this is known its very simple to have the PLC repeat this process each time you run a load of clothes. You will spend a bit of time determining how much washing and rinsing are required to clean your cloths, but the fact that the washer will now do this means you have won the battle and it's only a matter of a little fine tuning to get what you paid for in the first place. I plan to continue this blog with more specific information on how I solved the problem for the OLE DUET and if successful, an easier and less dramatic solution to the problem.

One thing that I don't know is how many models of the DUET will not do a good job cleaning clothes. If anyone with a DUET is having problems getting their clothing clean and soap free, please include the model number of your machine if you decide to comment on this blog. Just go to Google and type in "Whirlpool Duet and Stinky Towels," and see for yourself who's having problems. I've listed the link to this site.

Please people when you leave a post about your problem give us some specifics on your machine this will let us know if it is a single model that has problems or if all of the manufactures products are junk. Manufacture, Model, Model Number

My email address is ( joe.tass@yahoo.com ), I would love to hear about your machine and what you have done to solve the problem. I read a post by someone that said they wanted to load clothes in their washer, add detergent, hit the start button and walk away to do something else. This is what we are doing now, no special washes without clothes, no special additives, no problems!!! Just added water and problem was gone.

I would like to add at this time that I have just finished watching the 42nd Super Bowl (GO GIANTS) and washed a load of clothes without having to sit by the washer, there were two winners today!!! :)

I would like to get some pictures added to the blog but before I do this I would like to find some time to try and refine the packaging of the little controller. At this time the unit is mounted on a plastic cutting board purchased from Wal-Mart. The controller is a single board unit, the I/O ports opperate at twenty-four volts DC and require me to add two seperate I/O cards. One of the cards is a four-point relay card with isolated contacts, this card is used to mirror the output of the four contacts in the pressure transducer and connects directly to the CCU in the washer. The pressure transducer interfaces directly to the controller board at twenty-four volts since the unit just uses dry contacts, nothing special is required. The other I/O card is a solidstate four-point relay card which is used to control both the hot and cold water valves and the drain pump. The flowmeter has a magnetic reed switch which supplies a dry contact thus allowing a direct connection to the controllers 24vdc input point. Now comes the fun part, the controller I'm using doesn't have a way to directly input 120vac so I had to add three 120vac relays which convert the 120vac signals from the CCU that control water valves and drain pump so that my controller could follow the cycles of the washer and know when water was required and when it was time to drain water from the machine. This works great but adds overhead to the project and I would like to come up with a method to directly interface the CCU in the washer to my controller. That's it for now, it's back to work.



OK so I'm a little lazy, at least at this time I have put the top back on the washer, picked up my tools and cleaned the area up just a bit. No pictures at this time to prove it though. Now that I'm back to watching TV at night it's hard to want to get up and start working on packaging for the unit. If I'm ever to be completely free again it will have to happen. You'll notice in one of the pictures a couple of switches dangling from the dryer vent pipe, these will allow you to add either hot or cold water if needed, when adding bleach or fabric softner or even soap if you waited until the washer quit filling with water, waiting for a commercial!! I'm sure you want be able to see the short piece of wire attached to an I/O point in the lower lefthand corner, of the picture of the processor board. This will stop water flow by just touching it to one of the twenty-four volt lugs that you see daisy-chained in the picture (red wires). I tried to explain to my wife the other day, knowing about this wire is like knowing where the fire extinguisher is located, in case of fire!!! This is when she told me not to worry that I would be the only one that needed to know about that wire!!! Darn, not attached at the hip anymore but I still have a ball and chain to contend with for the time being. Looks like when the weather warms up it's going to be time to get out the ole saw and hammer and get started on that new control panel if I ever want to break free. Oh by the way the two white boxes mounted on the wall to the right of the washer are my tankless waterheaters, they provide all of the hotwater for the main part of our home, the kitchen has it's on small tank style unit. They do a great job for what I paid for them ( aprox. $250 each ) some years ago but I'm thinking that I can improve on them with some new technology, this may be one of my next blogs. Either the hot waterheaters or with spring coming on maybe the ole home built zero turn radius hydrastatic mower will be next. OK I've got to get back to work so that's it for now.

Here is the link to the repair manual for the 9100/9200 series Duet ( http://adcxns1.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/eab852a13fbc842085256aa200643dd6/$FILE/Duet%20Job%20Aid.pdf ). If anyone is trying to work on their own washer this manual should help. You'll find a schematic for the unit at the end of the manual, this really help me determine the correct connections to the CCU that I needed to make my control system be able to monitor and control the water level in the washer. I think you'll find it interesting to see the amount of water required for a cycle listed in this manual. I may be repeating myself but after reading the information on the required amount of water used for a complete cycle I used a large plastic tub placing the drain hose in the tub I ran a complete heavy load cycle and recovered less than half the required amount listed in the manual. When the cycle was complete, including an extra rinse cycle with and added extra rinse the tub contained only seven "7" gallons of water.This just reassured me that I was on the right track.

Here is a link to a great site for repair parts and advice. ( http://www.repairclinic.com/0046.asp )

This is a link to a tech manual for I think a Kenmore machine, a Whirlpool clone. ( http://www.servicematters.com/docs/wiring/Tech%20Sheet%20-%208182208.pdf )

This link takes you to the Whirlpool instructions on how to clean your washer and get rid of the mold smell. ( https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/a9c27c267a3fa32785256a45005190c7/4f0b8f4a368dc937852570a00070cd1f/$FILE/UD28-9.pdf )


This is an on going project as I have time I will add specifics, part numbers, pictures and links when available.

Good News
I hope to have good news to add to the blog soon. My sister is coming tomorrow to spend a couple of days with us and if you remember she is the reason that this crises came to a head in the first place. She had told my wife that she was unable to use our towels because they smelled bad. This was not good for me because I had been trying to ignore the problem because I knew it would mean ethier spend a lot of money that I didn't have to spend or it ment spending a lot of time trying to solve the problem. You guessed it I chose the latter. Tomorrow I will put all of my work to the ultimate test when my sister inspects our laundary. May the force be with me!

This whole process could be so simple if we could get the word back to Whirlpool and hope that they would respond by suppling their repair techs with the parts required to make their product do what it should have done before it was ever offered for sell. Just supply us with recalibrated pressure trasducers, add flow meters to those models where they were left off and upgrade the CCU firmware to work with these new parts.

Water Water every where and this could help get some of it in the washer to clean your cloths.

You know a creative guy could solve this water problem by going to RED LION CONTROL and purchasing a programmable timer and using a double pole double throw relay (120vac) to make a set/reset function to select hot or cold water. With just a little expermenting to determine the time required to fill the washer to a functioning level with water, letting the hot water signal from the CCU set the relay to direct the output of the timer module to control the hotwater valve and then when the washer calls for cold water use this signal to reset the control relay allowing the timer output to be directed to the cold water valve. This could help someone salvage an other wise useless appliance. Oh use the hot and cold water signals from the CCU to start the timer when the washer is calling for water!!!

***Be sure to take a look at my other post, Mike's Duet (look under my profile section for additional post). Mike solved the problem by resetting the water level function on the pressure switch. It only takes a small screwdriver and a little time!!!
Thats what I'm talking about. Great job, Mike. I'm sure this will really help some folks out with their machines with no expense involved!


Please see my other post by viewing my profile (View my complete profile ). You will find this at the top left corner of my blog, Rebirth of the Ole Duet. GOOD LUCK! I've started posting emails in the comment section of my blog, at the bottom of the blog. Check it out and let's us hear about any success stories.

Email me with your results at (joe.tass@yahoo.com) Remember to include the machine name, model number. This will help others. If you have a link to schematics to your machine, please include it with your email. Thanks



See- ya again soon.
Joe T.

13 comments:

KD5JHA said...

Quite an honor to be the first person to post on your new blog :)

Having now seen this solution in action, I have to say that it works rather well and as you miniaturize the form factor the WAF will defiantly go up.

Looking forward to the next project :)

,KD5JHA

BrntToast said...

the screws with the red locite are the calibration screws, sorry i dont know which one is for each function

Anonymous said...

My God, you sound just like my husband rewiring something that I will never know how to use or fix in his absence. It is nice to have you clever guys around, however! We have been thinking of buying the Duet no-Steam washer and Steam dryer. Your comments were very helpful. We may hold off a bit and definitely take more time to research. Thanks very much.

Senior Chief said...

Good research and links. Use the Mike fix, adjust the pressure switch until you get the desired water level. How cool,how stupid on the manufacturers part.

annoyed-EE said...

Bless you... Took me a minute to get to your "Mike" fix. For anyone else, click the "view profile" link, where a link to the "Mike" fix will be available. Whirlpool website says that proper water fill for newer models is to just cover the wider section of an agitator blade (about 1/2 inch of the whole blade remaining above water) with the blade at the bottom and filled using "quick wash." I sent back my first one (a 9600) which only had 3/4" of water in the bottom to start. Replacement matches Whirlpool description for water level and works reasonably OK, but I'm going to use the Mike suggestion to get more water. The amount that the machine uses seems ridiculously low. On the upside, I am impressed with the spin system on these machines. Huge loads of clothes spinning at outrageous speeds with very little vibration and remarkably little noise. A little more water things should be great.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe!


I can not thank you enough for posting your information about Mike's Duet. I made the adjustments on mine (model number GHW9400PLO) yesterday and then did four loads of laundry. What an amazing difference! I can actually smell my fabric softener instead of the stink of I don't know what, and my clothes are soft again. WOW! I was getting ready to buy a whole new set and these are only 2 1/2 years old. I too made almost two full revolutions before I was done, but now have a little over 5 inches of water (I didn't measure the actual gallons in the end because I was sick of scooping water out of the washing machine) where I started with about 2 3/4 inches which translated to 1.75 gallons of water. Not nearly enough to get clothes clean. I actually found my clothes were drying faster too! I encourage anyone with stink problems to try this simple adjustment. Three more gallons of water per load is cheaper than constantly buying new clothes and towels!


Thank you again!


Amy

BrntToast said...

BrntToast,
Please read the email that I posted from Mike. Mike discovered that the small silver screw at the bottom of the pressure switch was the one to adjust to increase the water level in the machine. Each time I get and email from someone that has had success in getting their machine to clean cloths again I've been posting it under my info page, from this point on I'll try and post the emails under the comment section. I'm very excited that some people have discovered this site and that it has made a difference. Please pass the word I'm a novice at this and have had trouble trying to get the word out. It's in the street now, shout it out everyone!!! Good Luck ALL and let us hear about your success stories.
Thanks,
Joe T.

Shandley said...

Shandley Mc
Mike, or Joe - not sure which one to give credit to.

I jsut did your suggested alteration to my whirlpool duet - took 5 mins to get lid off (3 screws at back) took 3 trial and error adjustments to that bottom screw on the pressure switch (at the final setting i had made 2 full rotations clockwise of the screw), and now the machine fills to the bottom of the door, right to the point where it passes the overflow/rubber section of the bottom of the steel tub.
Its brilliant. I haven’t re-washed my towels yet to see if the stink is gone, but Im confident that it will make a big difference.
It took no more than 10 minutes of work and an hour of watching and waiting to see the fill level. interestingly, the first 1.5 turns of the screw did nothing to the water level, which got me a little discouraged at first that it wasnt working.
Thanks so much.I'm really thankful that you spent the time to document this for me. You're a kind guy.

Best regards,
Austin
New York City.

Anonymous said...

I have a question:

Were these machines designed to use more water? Could it possible shorten the life of the washer? I wouldn't mind trying it just not sure. I have a Duet 9300 for almost 4 yrs and I haven't experienced any of these problems. I do agree it could use more water though....Just don't use too much detergent..The manufacturer recommendations are way too much.

Anonymous said...

Joe,
Hello, Read your blog about the washer, very interesting. The "small single chip based processor" was a bit beyond me. Did you consider making the tube to the pressure transducer longer? I'm thinking there would be more initial air volume so it would require more water in the tube (and the washer) to achieve the pressure to close the transducer. Could this work? What do you think?

Steve P.

Anonymous said...

Duet Owners and others,
Our Whirlpool Duet front loader doesn't use enough water to wash or rinse the cloths.

This past weekend I decided to try a little experimentation to determine just how the
pressure switch works in the machine. I decided to replicate the function of the machine by
cutting a piece of 1-1/4" pvc pipe the height of the washer and install a hose barb at the
base of the pipe to allow connection of a piece of 1/4" clear plastic tubing that would
connect to the pressure switch. I located the switch at the same height that it is in the
machine, connected an ohm meter so that I could tell when the contact closed that indicated
full water level. I really learned a lot by doing this, none of my original ideas proved to
be true but after seeing for myself how the switch reacted to water level I began to
understand what would have to be done to increase water level in the machine without having
to make an adjustment to the switch. It really is simple after you see how it reacts.
This is what I learned. The length of tubing has very little to do with when the switch
closes, the orientation of the tube has everything to do with when the switch will close.
Let me explain by getting you to draw a simple XY graph. First draw the vertical and
horizontal axis lines, next starting at X=0 and Y=0 draw a 45deg.line on the graph go back
and add two more lines equally spaced between the X axis line and the 45deg.line, do the
same for the Y axis. Be sure to allow the angular lines to extend the full length of the X
and Y lines. It should start to look like one quarter of a spoke wheel at this point. At
this point take a kids drawing compass and draw a quarter circle with the point of the
compass located at X 0, Y 0, allow the pencil to extend to the full height of X. Everywhere
the pencil crosses a line represents water level on the X axis based on the angle of the
tub with relationship to the vertical axis. If you were able to follow my crude

instructions you should now see how the orientation of the tubing that feeds pressure to

the
switch is effected by the angle that it leaves the machine tub and travels to the switch.
If it’s not plain yet just draw a line at each cross point parallel to the horizontal axis
and let it run to the vertical axis. Where it crosses the vertical axis represents water

level in the pvc pipe.
I haven't opened up our machine yet so I don't know if I will be able to increase water
level with what I have learned but I plan to try. All depends on how the line is oriented
now and if there is room for me to reroute the tube in a more vertical direction as it
leaves the connection point on the washers tub. Horizontal travel is additive and once you
have reached the maximum horizontal travel allowed by the switch calibration no amount of
vertical travel will change the trip point. You have to go vertically as quickly as
possible with the line to increase water height in the machine to the desired level at
which point you want to travel horizontally to the switch.
Look at the graph you'll see how water level increases when the tube travels in a more
vertical direction and decreases as you move toward the horizontal axis.
I sure hope I can make this work because it will be a simple fix for the water problem

that everyone is having with these front loaders and want require any electrical knowledge

and better than that want require any money unless you have to add some length to the tube.

Twenty feet of the clear 1/4" tubing cost me $2.68 and about the same for the double ended

3/16" hose barb. I'm hoping someone will see this and give it a try with success and pass

it own to others. If not I'll give it a try as soon as I have time.
If anyone gives this a try please let us hear from you on how it worked out. Remember look

at the graph, when I tried filling the pvc pipe with the tubing running straight up the

pipe I was able to get 28 inches of water in the tube before the switch tripped, this is a

lot more water that your machine will hold so take it slow. I'm sure you will not be able

to find a straight vertical path but vertical adds just like horizontal as long as you get

the vertical travel ahead of the horizontal. Remember always unplug the machine before you

start working on it!!!

Sincerely,
Tim Tucker
tim.tucker2881@yahoo.com

P.S. This has all been inspired by a guy named Joe Tass after having read his blog it got

me to thinking about a simple way to solve the problem. I sure hope that it works out. I'm

going to post this in the comment section on his blog as well. Good Luck All
(whirlpool-dueling-with-duet.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

Check out this site if you don't think there are problems with the Duet.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg1012004912002.html?20206

Tim T.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of buying a used 9150 Duet. It looks like they all have these problems... I can't do the repair you did. Does that mean....I should not buy this machine as I will have problems?

Thanks,

Danny

This was my reply.
Danny,
Sorry for the delay responding I've been out of town for a few days on business. I can only respond to

my experience with the Whirlpool (GWH9150PW4). The (PW4) did not come equipped with a flowmeter, the

(PW0 and PW1) although did have one. Though just because they have a flow meter doesn't mean they work

properly, its all in the machine firmware that the manufacture loaded the CCU with. I have not seen one

of these machines wash cloths so I can't comment on how they work although they could do a much better

job than mine did. For me the secret was just adding more water, this was all that was needed for the

machine to do a good job of cleaning and rinsing the cloths. I will remind you to do your homework

though and checkout as many of the blog sites on stinky towels and cloths, also look at the repair sites

to see what other problems people are having with these machines. I have not had any mechanical or

electrical problems with my machine the only thing was a deficiency in programming and the fact that

Whirlpool was cutting corners with my machine when they decided to leave the flowmeter out of the (PW4)

revision of the washer, without it they have very poor control of the amount of water they are using

during the cycle.
I may have a little good news though for the ones of us that already have these machines. I've been

working in conjunction with another guy Tim, that I met through my blog and he and I have been working

on an inexpensive method to improve water levels in these machines. If this works out Like I think it

will we may be able to increase water level without making any electrical adjustments to the machine! We

think that we can do this by rerouting and adding some length to the quarter inch rubber tubing that

connects the pressure switch to the tub of the machine. Just before I left town this week I started

adding the things to my control that I built for my machine to allow me to flip a switch and convert the

machine back to its original state before I made modifications to it. This will allow me to test our

theories about controlling water levels with only a pressure switch with out major modifications to the

machine, one that any home owner could do with only a few minutes of work. I hope this works out if so

it could help thousands of machine owners to enjoy clean fresh clothing again without the use of all of

the chemicals that I've read about that people are having to use to just get by with these machines. I

work slowly at times with all of the other things that I have to do so I can't tell you just when I will

have time to test the ideas that Tim and I have been working on. I will say that this does not address

all of the problems that people are reporting about the machine. If successful though this may mean that

I will have an inexpensive and ready source of repair parts for my machine in the future because of all

of the machines that have been cast off because of water level problems. I haven't looked but I bet you

could find one of these machines in working order for no cost just because someone has decided to

through it out because it want do the job that it was sold to do!!! This is my quest to find used but

almost new machines for free just because the owner got fed up with the machine and through it out. I'll

try and keep you posted through the blog as to the progress of the test that Tim and I are planning to

do. My suggestion to you if its cheap or free give it a try if you have the time and if not I have no

idea which machine to tell you to try. My machine does a great job when you use the right amount of

water and nothing else but soap.
I will take just a second to say one of the big problems when people write about their machine is they

fail to give the model and revision of their machine so there is no way to compile which machines are

having the problem of low water levels and which ones are having other types of problems. I will

concluded by saying that I am not an appliance repair guy just a home owner that didn't have a thousand

dollars to through away but needed his machine to wash cloths and with a little determination that's

what its doing at the moment. I hope for a simple solution for those that already own these machines but

as for suggesting that someone purchase one of these model machines I would only say try it if its a

very very very good deal, like free are close to it. Good luck and please let me know how things work

out if you decide to get the machine. Remember give the full make and revision number for the machine

and I will post the information on the blog for others to see.

Good Luck,
Joe