After removing the concrete weights from the tub, I saw where the piddle of water was coming from: the stainless steel drum (formally: Basket) had been chewing on the plastic Tub for quite some time. That’s most likely the strange new sound Mary heard, but it’s impossible to see the affected area without gutting the entire washer.
The top left section, below the detergent dispenser.
The top right section.
I assumed the damage was limited to the top section, because the drum would pivot downward under load. That turned out to be incorrect, as I realized when I looked behind the lower concrete weight: the Tub was scored through all the way around.
Here’s a view of the interior, taken after I removed the Tub from the washer and pried off all the clamps that secure the Front Tub to the Rear Tub.
And a closeup…
The drum has a ridge around the front circumference where the round perforated shell joins the convoluted front piece that necks down into the opening behind the door. That ridge contacts the plastic Tub and, even though it’s smooth, generates enough friction to burn through the Tub.
Now, this is the point where the repairman turns to you and says that, although he (it’s always a he) can replace the drum and Tub, the total cost will be more than a whole new washer.
Sticker price for the parts, direct from Sears, looks like this:
- Stainless Steel Basket: $364
- Front Tub: $150
Onto that, reports from various forums indicate that you will have incurred some labor charges:
- Labor: $120+ to this point
- Parts Service Fee: $50 (I don’t know what that is, either)
A new HE3 washer is $850, more or less.
Ah, you ask, isn’t there a Lifetime Limited Warranty on the Stainless Steel Drum? Why, yes, there is, and that’s a story all in itself …