Washer water heater burst, filling room with sparks and smoke

ApplianceWhirlpool Washer


Level of DifficultyEasy

Time to do repair30 - 60 mins

Age of Appliance5 - 10 years

Tools Wrench set
Screw drivers

Thomas From Conway, AR

Dec 01, 2010

1 out of 2 people found this instruction helpful

UPDATE: The initial repair went well, but another part failed a few days later. See below for details.

(The washer failed November 1st, and I operated the washer with the heater unplugged for about 25 days until I ordered and received the heater later in November.)

Heater Repair Procedure:

Unplugged washer power. Disconnected hot and cold water hoses, and drain connection. Turned washer on its side. Removed Torx screws from bottom panel and removed panel. Due to location of heater, also removed Torx screws from back panel and removed panel.

Disconnected electrical connections to heater. Used combination wrench to remove nut holding heater to flange on washer drum. Removed flange. Loosened nut on heater that compresses the rubber seal. Pried old heater from hole in washer drum using a large flat-bladed screwdriver.

Inspected hole in washer drum to be sure I got all of the old heater (it had burst, and dripped molten metal in washer).

Inserted replacement heater into hole. Tightened nut to compress heater rubber seal. Replaced metal flange that holds heater steady against washer drum. Replaced nut that holds flange. Re-connected three electrical connections to heater.

Replaced back panel using torx screws. (The top three screws on the back panel are longer than the rest.) Replaced bottom panel using its torx screws.

Set washer back on its feet. Re-connected hot and cold water and drain connections. Connected washer into electrical outlet. Ran a quick wash (no clothes) to see that tub filled without leaking. Stopped cycle and ran spin cycle until tub emptied, then stopped it.

Ran a "test" load of laundry on its hottest setting. Washer window seemed to feel hotter during washing cycle. (Ideally I would measure that it actually gets hotter than the specified sanitizing temperature.)

UPDATE: The repaired washer worked perfectly...for two days. Then the main washer motor quit turning. (I replaced the heater on a Monday and the motor quit on the following Wednesday.) The pump continued working. Because I have no repair manual with electrical specs I called the dealer who sent their tech out. This unit has no repair specifications in the cabinet as in US Whirlpool units (it only has the harness schematic), so he had to call Whirlpool. They gave him the coil resistances for the motor and determined that the motor has not failed, so it's the control unit. (The tech said as soon as he gave Whirlpool the model number, their first advice was "RUN!") The control unit retails for nearly $600. Even though PartSelect sells it for less, I decided to replace the washer because a working washer is important for family harmony.

I have the LHW0050PQ in my garage thinking I might be able to replace the power semiconductors and the capacitors for a few bucks and see if I can get it going.

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Diagrams and Parts List for this repair

Part PhotoPart DescriptionPriceAvailability


Part Number: PS972083

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