Author Topic: Checking servicability before buying washer: Samsung WF431AM or LG WM3360HWCA?  (Read 3385 times)

Offline StevePgh

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I am the *ahem* proud owner of a Frigidaire GLTF2940FS2 front loader whose poor design where servicability and longevity are concerned can turn what should be a $50 parts cost bearing replacement into $700 150 lb. landfill deposit of broken parts.  The need for an entire new drum because the hub and spoke spider reacts with softened water and/or bleach and the 'spider' is not able to be ordered separately from the tub.  Then there is the bearing, which is molded into the tub (instead of merely a sleeve that a bearing can be pressed and unpressed from).  Plus, I understand that brushes for the motor cannot be ordered.  To top it all off is this hidden test tube in a rubber boot 'filter' that protects debris from the pump's impeller.  You know, the job that requires you unstack, lay the washer on the side, pry off the clamps, and dump out.  This thing collects tons of change, paperclips, washers, etc. because of a poor front gasket/seal design.  What were they thinking?

As to not repeat my folly of purchasing utter and complete garbage, I decided to browse repair forums and attempt to grab a service manual to understand how the thing is put together and see the parts unit breakdown. These things should be easily downloadable by anyone, I don't understand why they are not.  If anyone has access to either of these manuals or a parts breakdown, please let me know - I don't see them linked on the site. 

In any case, if you (the repair technician who has seen it all) were buying a new front loader, which of the two would you select?  The decision is limited to models Sears carries (as I have a credit coming), and I like the feature of these two where the pump pre-filter can be easily cleaned, plus these two brands are 'tied' for having the least repairs according to Consumer Reports.  Since they are newer models, there is not much data on them specifically, but how would you guys/gals rate the more recent stuff from each brand against each other?

Thanks for your time and input,
Steve

Offline StevePgh

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Just noticed AJ posted a link to the WM3360HWCA manual earlier, Thanks! - http://appliancejunk.com/forums/index.php?topic=9015.0

Offline StevePgh

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Heh - furthermore, I thought my initial post on this question was deleted - I did not notice that it moved, so this is a dupe of http://appliancejunk.com/forums/index.php?topic=9016.0, where there also was a link to a Samsung and LG manual posted.  I appreciate the quick response!

Offline AJ

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Hi Steve,


Just some quick notes to add before I eat dinner.


I split your first post into it's own topic and JW posted a service manual for you there too.
http://appliancejunk.com/forums/index.php?topic=9016.0


Quote
These things should be easily downloadable by anyone, I don't understand why they are not.  If anyone has access to either of these manuals or a parts breakdown, please let me know - I don't see them linked on the site.


I agree, :)
That is our goal with our download section , but there is not a service manual out there for every appliance ever made. I wish there was.
Service manuals can also take up a lot of server space and bandwidth so I try to add the ones I feel are the most popular or ones that are asked for. I believe between all the techs that are members of our site we have some of the best resources around for locating a service manual if one is out there.


Quote
In any case, if you (the repair technician who has seen it all) were buying a new front loader, which of the two would you select?
I will have a closer look at both models later tonight when I have some  more time and report back. :)


I would also be interested in hearing what the other members have to say about comparing these two models.












Hope you find our site helpful.

Offline AJ

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Quote
Heh - furthermore, I thought my initial post on this question was deleted


Sorry about the confusion. You should have got a PM or email notice that it had been moved, may have been a fluke thing if you did not.


This is a open forum and only spam gets deleted.


Dinner is calling. :)
Hope you find our site helpful.

Offline wildimaginations

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Try this.  At the top of this page is a search window.  Type in LG to see how many results you get and then type in Samsung and see how many results you get on that.  I think that will tell you which way to go. 

Hope this helps.
Appliance Service Technician
Authorized servicer on LG appliances.
About 45 mins east of San Francisco

Offline AJ

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Between the Samsung and LG on one hand I would pick the LG because I'm more familiar with servicing them.
On the other hand being I have never worked on a Samsung front loader they maybe better. ;)

What ever you decide to buy let us know and keep us updated as to how you like it.

Here is a on going review of a LG washer that you maybe interested in reading.

LG Tromm WM2496HWM Washer and DLG9588WM Dryer Review
Hope you find our site helpful.

Offline JWWebster

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we hardly ever hear about samsung probos but frequently hear about LG probos. My 2 cents
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline Mettalikatt

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I've been into more samsungs,  but am just now getting parts available for the lg products.  Both are shiny and new.  They seem quite similar,  in fact some parts are interchangeable.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

Offline whirlpooltech

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I've been into more samsungs,  but am just now getting parts available for the lg products.  Both are shiny and new.  They seem quite similar,  in fact some parts are interchangeable.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

What parts?

Offline StevePgh

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Thank you all for your input and information.

I'm not sure that searching for the number of hits on each in this forum is telling of reliability, as who knows how many units of each are out in the wild.  There is also not a 'Samsung' section here, which means it may not attract repair techs or others to post.  Consumer Reports rates these two brands with identical reliability.  JD Power (in 2011) rates these brands slightly favoring Samsung with a score of 834 vs. 827 on LG vs. 825 on Kenmore Elite (which I think are all LG OEMed).  I'm not a huge believer of brand ratings in white goods - due to price point pressures by retailers, every major brand these days creates models that are not as well designed because they need to compete on price (I sold appliances in the early 90's, trust me, I know).  Some high-end only brands are immune to this pressure because creating a 'cheap' version destroys the brand equity.

I physically took a look at both products last night and was surprised how similar they were in overall design.  The seal between the drum/tub/front panel/door seemed of very similar if not exact design.  The motors are brushless and direct drive. Both have cleanouts for the pump's prefilter.  Both service manuals have what looks to be extensive diagnostics.  They both have a cleaning cycle for the drum/tub - that seems to be present in all steam washers, however.  Neither cook hot dogs, however, but I am told a special cycle will be added for models released on 4/1/2012 - unfortunately I can't wait that long to buy one.  O0

The Samsung warranty: 1 year P&L, 10 years parts motor (not specified what motor parts/sensors), 2 years parts on control board, and 3 years on the drum.  It also has the "Power Foam" feature, and the drum is designed quite differently from other brands in that it has very small holes.  The repair manual posted here (not for this specific unit, but probably telling enough to draw conclusions on the real one) is very well done, including control board electronic component call outs.  In searching other repair forums around the interwebs, you don't see many mentions of Samsung, and I was unable to find anything that I could determine to be a consistent problem across the brand. I don't see the bearing as a line item in the parts list (again, manual is not for this unit), so it may involve a tub replacement.

As for the LG...  Warranty: 1 year P&L, 10 years parts motor (stator, rotor, and hall sensor), and lifetime on the drum.  The service manual makes most tasks look easy.  I did not like that the manual kind of 'ends' early with the parts explosion without calling out component names or full part numbers. A quick trip to Sears Parts Direct yielded the parts diagram with MOST of the names (some parts are listed against the wrong diagram so check all three), and reasonable pricing.  The manual is also not as complete (board components missing) as the Samsung. The bearing looks to be replaceable without replacing the tub (it says that the bearing is included with the tub, however).  I'm not sure that Samsung has it or not, but I like the slot (technically for the heater) that is called out as a means to use a rod to extract items that may be caught between the drum and tub.  I wonder if a boroscope would fit in that gap if more visualization is needed...  Many of the Kenmore's were OEMs from LG, which tells me there should be decent part supply.  Are the actual part numbers, schematics, and board components, etc. called out in technical service documentation that is inside the washer?

Ultimately, I'm probably going to go with the LG - perhaps I should start an ongoing review thread like the one AJ referenced - that was very helpful. I haven't seen very many repeat issues on the LG aside from the oversudsing sensor, which from what I can read seems more like folks not using HE detergent.  Anything else to look out for on the LG?

As far as maintenance and visual checkups on these units, is there anything other than this list?
- inspect and clean water supply line filters.  Every year?
- run sanitary cycle with Affresh after cleaning pump prefilter. Every month?
- check and clean bellows.  Every use?

Offline Mettalikatt

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I've been into more samsungs,  but am just now getting parts available for the lg products.  Both are shiny and new.  They seem quite similar,  in fact some parts are interchangeable.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

What parts?

I was able to use samsung rollers on an lg yesterday.  The heating element is similar however I haven't checked it yet

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

Offline StevePgh

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I ended up purchasing an LG WM3360HWCA, and so far I am happy with it.  I do wish it had a spin only cycle. 

I was not present when it was delivered by Sears (my wife was), and unfortunately the delivery folks took the shipping bolts with them.  I called within two hours of the delivery time to see if they can get a hold of the delivery team and grab the bolts, but I presume the call taker in another country couldn't do that.  Instead, they ordered the bolts new and had them shipped to me.  I ended up receiving a total of six bolts.  It looks like they ordered two of each A104 (4011FR3159E), A105 (4011FR3159D), and A106 (4011FR3159J).  The A106 part was substituted by another A105, so I have two A104 and four A105 bolts.  Does this substitution make sense?  If it does, I am not sure as to why they have A106 called out separately... 

Thanks for all the assistance!

Offline wildimaginations

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To go into spin directly:

Push Power ON
Push the SPIN button to desired speed setting
Push START

It will go into drain and spin directly.




The shipping bolts are different.  I don't know what it would be but it's LG prerogative what they do.
Appliance Service Technician
Authorized servicer on LG appliances.
About 45 mins east of San Francisco

Offline g

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StevePgh, thanks for the research you instigated.  I recently 3 days ago took my Kenmore 42062 3.1 cuft washer tub apart because it sounded to be self destructing during the spin.  The process was pretty easy and inside 1 hour I had the drum separated from the back half of the tub.  I found the spider corroded and cracked just like you found and the tub liner significantly damaged.  My unit had 8.5 years on it and 2600 cycles.  Cost to own [not operate] $200/yr.  I need a new unit and the reliability and repairability of it is critical since the cost of the washer is about 20x the cost of water and energy in BC. Can you share why you picked the wf431 or wm3360 as the ones to focus on?

I look forward to your reply.

 

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