Banging or Clanking sound as the front loaded washer speeds up

Washing machine - Front loading 6kg - electronically controlled

I am seeking help regarding the a problem described in the next para in my front load washer. The washer is about 6 year old. I am using the word 'drum' for referring to the washing drum which is composed of immovable outside portion and the inside portion both. The inside-rotating-portion of the drum is connected to a spoked sort of a 'wheel' at the back of the drum. A motor attached to the bottom of the drum. The motor is connected using a belt to 'this wheel'. Also like all front loaders it has mounting springs at top (3 in number in this case) and shock absorbers at the bottom (2 in number in this case)).

I want help in resolving a banging or clanking sound (sound is actually somewhat like extremely loud clicks and it seems that two metal pieces or a metal piece against a stone piece are hitting each other). Now, at low speeds (washing or tumbling action speeds) the inner drum rotates without any abnormality. This banging sound comes when the drum is spinning at higher speeds (the draining or spinning action speeds).

This sound started appearing after I tinkered, as explained next, with the 'wheel' and the inner drum mounting over a bearing.

The inner drum as "appears to me" to be ending in a shaft which is mounted inside a single bearing (in its inner hole), while the bearing itself is fixed inside a bracket screwed into the back of the whole drum. I think this is called the tub bearing.

I started tinkering after I had heard grinding noises whenever the drum used to spin - the faster it spinned the louder was the grinding noise. Hearing the noise I thought, may be just simply greasing the 'main bearing' (the one mentioned above - which mounts the inner drum) could solve the grinding noise and also later that assumption turned to be correct.

Upon disassembling the wheel from the inner drum during the greasing attempt, I noticed that the bearing was a sealed bearing type - I thought I should try to replace it instead of greasing and decided to try and remove the bearing. To disengage the bearing from the inner drum, I tried to hammer the inner drum shaft using a 'tiny' hammer that I felt was right to be used considering I did not know the internal mounting at all. The tiny hammer seemed not to do any effect and I gave up and instead tried to push grease past the seals of the bearing. The seal on my side of the bearing seemed not be obscuring the interior completely - even though it was a rubber seal, so some grease went in.

But after using the machine again, the end result was that though the grease seemed to have gone past the seals as the grinding noise had gone a new trouble appeared - the banging or clanking sound at the higher speeds now appeared. In detail what happens now is whenever the drum starts picking up the speed to do the spinning work, there seems to be a loud banging or clanking noise coming out of the drum. Hearing this noise I stop the machine. For inspecting this problem I removed the top cover of the machine and started the operation. I watched the machine's operation while running. I saw that the drum plays freely on the suspension springs when the speeds are slow (I cannot see the underneath shock absorber, since the machine needs to be turned upside down to see the shock absorbers, and I do not yet have any assistant to turn over the whole machine even when the machine is not running). But when the drum is speeded up, the play of the drum first smoothens out, but as the speeds keep rising at one point the loud banging or the clanking sound starts coming and it seems that either the inner drum is clanking inside or the outside drum is clanking against some shock absorber. I do not know if any of the above is possible or if some other thing is causing this high frequency noise - it clanks at about 1 click per second.

Though the one improvement that happened of the girnding noise going away completely - but the starting of more troublesome clanking sound has made the machine useless.

Any suggestions/help will be highly appreciated.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Nicely stated question, how about a make and model number?

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I am sorry I did not want to put the make or the model number fearing how many people would be knowing about the IFB company and its Digital 6kg model!

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You mean like these? http://www.ifbappliances.com/laundry/fro...

Is it the VX, SX or Smart? Are you in India?

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You are right, I am from India. You have also reached the correct website. But the model has been discontinued by this company. The model that could be somewhat close match is Elena Aqua SX - 6 kg except my washer does not have in built softener (see http://www.ifbappliances.com/laundry/fro...)

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Sorry about my previous post. Please note a correction.

It seems the IFB front loaders models, now, all have automatic imbalance sensing and control -- my washer does not have that. It spins mercilessly - ignoring if the drums goes bumping against the body to announce to the whole neighbourhood that our clothes are being washed! :)

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3 Answers

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Cause 1

Tub Bearing

The tub bearing is mounted in the middle of the outer tub. The tub bearing helps to keep the inner tub spinning smoothly. Replacing the tub bearing is a very involved repair and will require disassembling most of the washer. If the tub bearing is defective, we recommend replacing both the outer tub and bearing as an assembly if the manufacturer offers the components together.

Cause 2

Tub Seal and Bearing Kit

The tub bearing is mounted in the middle of the outer tub. The tub bearing helps to keep the inner tub spinning smoothly. If the washer is noisy during the spin cycle or is leaking from the bottom of the tub near the transmission, the tub seal and bearing are likely defective. Replacing the tub bearing is a very involved repair and will require disassembling most of the washer. If the tub bearing is defective, we recommend replacing the outer tub and bearing at the same time.

Cause 3

Rear Drum with Bearing

The rear drum has a bearing or bearings in it to keep the inner tub spinning smoothly. If the tub bearing system is defective the washer can become very noisy. On some machines bearings are sold separately from the rear drum, however we recommend replacing both the outer drum and bearing as an assembly if the manufacturer offers the components together because removing and pressing in the new bearing can be exceptionally difficult. Be aware that replacing the outer tub and bearing is also not easy and can be very costly.

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As to getting parts, I would try the manufacture or do a search on alibaba for "ifb washing machine & bearing", https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb...

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Thank you for the quick answer.

I am afraid I do not understand the difference between rear drum and outer tub and rear drum bearing and "outer drum bearing" (or maybe just the "tub bearing"?). From my experience with my washer, I have seen only one bearing in my washer- the one that seems to be matching with the description of tub bearing that you gave. May be my washer is simpler enough not to have a rear drum or rear bearing. Or maybe since the bearing I am seeing is at the rear end of the drum - then in my washer rear drum bearing and tub bearing functions are served by a single bearing.

Next, I must accept (as felt from your three sub answers) that replacing bearing is going to be a tough job - well I must accept yes when I attempted myself lately. However, in my washer the bearing was replaced by the company at our house when the machine was in warranty, without replacing the tub - I guess for cost cutting. Continued to the next comment (because of word limit).

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Here, DIY lacks and manual labour is cheaper (at least for the company) than parts - so economically it helps the company not to sell such simplified combined units. The company does not seem to disclose, online, any spare parts information (I am afraid I would be able to even find out the bearings specification itself from any of the accessible documentation publically released by this particular company). I will either visit their spare parts center or use their customer support (which many people online are already complaining for their callous and nonchalant attitude :( ) or try to figure out the part numbers by inspection.

Now, it seems from your suggestion that if it comes to changing bearing then it is probably best left to company customer care - so I will test if they cooperate with me I will go that way - or may it is the time for a new washer - in that case I think I will not again go for this company this time because of poor spare parts.

By any chance do you suspect any issue with the suspension?

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Yes under shock check to see if they are fix securly and the springs up top too

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After seeing your detailed post

Loud grinding in high speed near deafing the house is the bearings in the outer tub

The ticking i would say it's the same thing due to your tinkering

There are a lot of good YouTube repair guides I fallow one my self took about two hours to do this repair.

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Even though a video of a machinery is not the same and you seem handy you will l Do well

Google the machinery with the make and "model number"( it will be on a sticker) for "after market replacement parts"

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Dear lawrencesemenuk, you are really a very kind person and a very helpful person. I really appreciate your care and kindness. I also appreciate your helpful advises.

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@subash I understand what you are trying to accomplish and am not disagreeing with you. The issue that you seem to forget is, that we have all kinds of Users on here. There are many multinational users and English may not be the primary language. there are also many age groups that answer questions on here. The youngest one that I know of being a 7th grader (11years old). So while we have to consider the audience we alsohave to consider the background of the person that answers.

No harm no foul. It is all good and there are no lasting issues or animosities.

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Firstly, thanks to lawrencesemenuk for encouragement and opinions. Thanks to mayer for listing the common possible causes. A you tube of bosch machine's tub bearing and rear bearing replacement was insightful of modern washer inside structures.

Dear lawrencesemenuk, You are spot on correct stating that my tinkering induced the clanking sound problem. But what we may not have been able to guess was that the problem was because of one less SPRING WASHER - Amazing indeed. As a glimpse of the cause of the sound, I say that one less spring washer caused one screw to become loose and then the vibrations increased and this had a cascading effect of lossening other screws and further increasing the vibrations and setting of this vicious cycle that ultimately lead to scary sounds being heard outside.

Since I have also guessed 'some' of the inside structure of the washer in todays explorations, that I will describe below, so I cannot vouch for it, nevertheless, I feel I have learnt something about the history of the front load washers in my adventures with my washer, as I call it adventure now instead of an ordeal! Also I learnt about some terminologies of the parts inside.

Now you could be surprised that I learnt that the washers in the earlier days were very different in construction from what are contemporary. My washer, even though not much old, is based on an older type of construction. The washer has a stainless steel drum AS WELL AS A STAINLESS STEEL TUB! SECONDLY, there is a spider bolted OUTSIDE to the tub and there is a bearing INSIDE THIS SPIDER! And the drum is mounted into this bearing.

Since, I did not (neither dared to nor needed to) disassemble the spider away from the tub I do not know maybe even in my old style washer there is a second bearing beyond this spider bearing (mounted perhaps inside the tub at its opening towards the spider or a bearing could be at the spider mouth facing the drum), but the spider bearing, on the outer side of the spider, is LARGE SIZED and not small sized like that of a modern washer's rear bearings Though I am not sure, but there is a STRONG POSSIBILITY that there is JUST ONE bearing in this machine - as opposed to the contemporary machines having tub bearing as well as a smaller rear bearing behind it (2 bearings in modern washers are supposed to keep the axis of drum shaft perpendicular to the plane of the bearing rotation). The reason that I feel that there could be just one bearing is that the pulley is mounted onto the drum shaft's end and there is a 'very heavy' washer between the pulley and this 'washer' connects to the inside ring of the bearing, taking an additional transverse support from the bearing - though in that case this could be producing a very high stress on the bearing!

Anyway ignoring this debate of existence of one or two bearings, and coming to the cause of the clanking sound: The spider is bolted to the drum using six bolts - each should have been having one spring washer - incidentally, the company repair person who had changed the bearing earlier (as I alluded about it earlier) did not return the spring washer in one of the bolts. He tightened the bolt very hard (even bending the bolt's edges in that process). I did not use that much of torquage yesterday, since I did not know about this mischief, leading to this bolt getting loosened off. Now as the bolts started getting loose one after the other, the spider must have started getting losser on the bolts away from the tub and at high speed this must be creating the world class scariest clanking sound that would not have been heard by anywhere else - exaggerating :) .

Dear mayer, though you rightly think that the bearing should be replaced as I had said there was grinding sound heard earlier. Maybe it was past midnight when I wrote my question and maybe I was more scared about the grinding noise and it could be just squeaking sound and the grease slipping past the rubber seal was all that was needed! Secondly, the company is no more supporting the parts of this model - and though today is sunday and I could not enquire about it, I feel they can refuse replacing the bearing citing no more support!

I did not carefully go through alibaba because at a glancing superficial look most results are coming for bulk orders. Though I saw single order bearing available from the mainland China - but to me there does not seem to be a simple way through which I can find out that these bearings are for my model. Thank you nevertheless for overall quite insightful suggestions and opinions.

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It is amazing that one simple missing Smal part as a springing washer or even a small bolt or screw can thrown out the balance of spinning physics.

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Is this fixed.

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I am very great full for your coments.

I would be most enlightened to be there to see this very strongly built washing machine.

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Subash will be eternally grateful.
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