We have had an AEG Lavamat washing machine for 9 years and it's given very good service, probably running on average, a wash load a day for a family of four, including two teenage boys.
I'd started to notice that the spin was gradually getting louder , and recently some extra random bangs and knocks were introduced into the cacophony. It looked as if the main bearings were worn out, which was confirmed by some play in the drum when pushed up.
I maintained an old Servis washing machine which we had before the AEG, and it was forever breaking down with either clogged filter (nicely placed underneath the machine for zero accessibility) or the brushes wore out in the motor. I had arrived at the opinion that a washing machines bearings were the equivalent of a cars "big end" i.e. something that when it goes is considered terminal and I had no experience of replacing them. But I decided it was worth it as a new set cost around £20 and the machine should go on for some time after replacement. I had little to lose ...
I googled AEG and bearings and found this fantastic website which explains exactly how to remove the old bearings and fit the new ones. While the model was not precisely the same as mine (72620) these instructions worked a treat, and my machine is back in action. How quiet it is now. I think with washing machines and also vacuum cleaners they get louder over time, so you only notice it when you either fix or replace them.
PostscriptYesterday the machine started making a strange noise during pump out. The sound appeared to be coming from the bottom left hand corner, where the water pump is. I thought "Oh no - another part to replace"
Anyway I opened the filter hatch, drained off the excess water and removed the filter. Amongst the water was a lolly stick, which had been in someone's pocket and made it's way into the trap, then had been fowling the impeller blades in the pump. Easily solved
Update November 2011
My washing machine has been working OK, but I had noticed what looked like a growing pool of water on the floor beneath. This was not one large deluge , more something that was accumulating over time. I decided that perhaps the bearings needed replacing again. While not below the water level, some water can escape through the main bearings if the grease starts to break down. I ordered a new set of bearings, waited for them to arrive and that weekend , opened up the back of the machine.
I have no excuse, I have read all the Sherlock Holmes stories many many times, and he always states "never theorise before you have all the facts".
It wasn't the bearings. There was some water staining on the damping on the back of the outer drum, but this looked like it was old, probably from the last replacement. The water appeared to be leaking from where a flexible oval cross section hose mated with the detergent tray. Removing the detergent tray was a rather complicated and difficult job, and while a replacement hose could be purchased I had another problem. The staining on the floor appeared to have a greasy , wax-like property. It could have been that a mix of liquid detergent and water had slowly leaked out from the hose over time, leaving only the detergent residue. However the path that the water had taken seemed to run down one of the shock absorbers. The patch on the floor had a familiar chemical smell, like tins of fluxite. I wasn't sure if the leak had been washing out hydraulic fluid from the shock absorber.
It was going from bad to worse as it would take days to get more components and be a hard refit. The machine was over 12 years old.
I decided it was time for a new machine. I'm lucky to have a local small independent Electrical goods store ("Ace Electric") and an hour later I had ordered a new Bosch Exxcel machine, which was fitted on the Monday, the old AEG taken away.
So that kind of brings this thread to a close. I guess I would have to say that the most important lesson in trying to mend things is knowing your limits and when to stop.
The new Bosch is very good, has all sorts of ECO programmes, a larger drum and a 1400 rpm spin speed which really dries out clothes before they are removed.
And finally, I have a spare set of AEG bearings, if you need them let me know
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