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Kelly, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Highly accurate diagnostician with over 30 years experience!
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Whirlpool Washing Machine Tub Off Balance During Spin Cycle.

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Whirlpool tub in my washing machine is off balance during the spin cycle.

What do I need to do? Can I fix this on my own?

Hi, thanks for using JustAnswer. So I may give you model specific information, may I please have your model number?

Kelly and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It is a Whirlpool LSQ9010LW0. I checked and it is level.
Okay, is the tub sitting forward when the lid is opened? Does it come off balance every load?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It is off balance every load. No, the tub is not sitting forward. It doesn't look any different to me.
On top of the spin tub is a balance ring that is filled with liquid. If you gently grasp the agitator and shake the tub, can you hear sloshing sounds?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I assumed that would be on the outside edge of the spin tub. I don't think I heard anything.

It is possible that the balance ring has leaked its liquid and now it will not spin well. Number 15 in the diagram is the balance ring.

If we can verify this to be the problem, it is easily replaced and is not too expensive.

Would you like to disassemble the machine with my help to diagnose positively?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay, here we go. On the timer console behind the end caps are two phillips screws, one on each side. You will need to remove them. Once removed, pull the console forward and hinge it up. You will then see two brass colored clips that are holding the cabinet to the frame. Release those clips and unplug the lid switch. Grasp the cabinet at the lid opening and pull it forward and off of the frame. Then remove the top tub ring which is held in place by plastic clips on the outer tub. Once this is off, the balance ring will be visible and you can see if it has liquid when moved.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I can hear liquid. Should I be able to see it? What next?

If you can hear liquid, the balance ring is good. Do you have the cabinet off?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Yes, now what?

Cleaning it as best as we can. Is there a way to seperate the tub from the plastic tub it sits in to clean the outside of the metal tub?

There is, but you need a spanner wrench. Underneath, can you see a spring that runs from the rear of the tub to the base of the machine?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
See the spring. No spanner wrench.
You won't be able to remove the inner tub. The spring is on...that's good. The only other thing that will cause out of balance loads aside from flooring issues are the suspension pads. They are located between the base and the metal piece the tub is mounted to. They are brown plastic and there are three of them.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

They are there.

Is it possible that the gunk that has built up on the outside of the metal tub could throw it off. It is plastered to the top 8-10 inches. Rather gross.

It is unlikely, but possible. You can use a condenser brush, available at any home store, to clean in between the tubs. It needs to be cleaned anyway, so I would recommend doing this. Do the back legs move freely when the rear of the machine is lifted? They should both come down as they are on a spring loaded rail.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Both the back legs respond as they should. Should I be concerned about the gunk falling down into the plastic tub and clogging the hose when it drains?

Fill the tub up with hot water and it should pass okay through the pump.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.


Now we are wondering if we are hearing the water in the bottom of the plastic tub that didn't drain completely and not water in that ring. Any way to check that?

I am sure it is the water in the ring as the water in the tub will not make noise because there is not that much when the unit has pumped out. Once you get it cleaned, put it back together and see how it does. You have checked everything there is that will cause off balance. If it is still off balance when you get it cleaned and reassembled, you need to look at flooring issues.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I checked the level this morning so I think the floor is ok.

Is there a way to remove the ring? My husband feels there is enough water in the bottom to throw him off.

the ring will pry off. It is held in place by little metal clips that have "teeth" that attach it to the spin tub. You will have to just kind of pull it off, straight up and it will come off. You will likely have to straighten the clips or replace the ring because usually they get buggered up when this is removed.
Kelly and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

My husband pressed his flashlight against the plastic and gave it a little shake. We could see the water. Yea!

I'll finish cleaning it and give a spin. Thank you so much for your help Kelly! I have already emailed 5 friends about this site. Who knew!

Have a good day!

You, too! Please let me know how this turns out. You guys did a great job, by the way! Way to go....keep me posted.