View Full Version : Washing Machine: breakdown of the cement balance weight around the drum

10-27-2009, 07:15 AM
Hi guys,

We have a Zanussi Washer-Dryer WJS 1397 W.

I wonder if you could give me some advice. The other day it made a big thumping noise while it was in its last spinning cycle.

When we went to check and opened the w/m door the top part of the circular cement balance weight, which surrounds the drum, collapsed inward. It looks like it got cracked too in one part.

Luckily the water was already all drained out so that didn't cause a flood at least.

I have taken a couple of pictures which show the top part of the circular cement weight trapped between the w/m door seal and the drum itself -please look below.

Does anyone have an idea if I should attempt to fix this problem or if I should just buy a new appliance?
If you think it is fixable do you have any idea how? I checked previous posts but couldn't find a similar problem.

Just in case I have also taken a picture of the top part of the w/m, once I took the cover off. As you can see it is all assembled very tightly so it's not so easy to get access - please see picture below.

Any suggestions will be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Runs with bison
10-27-2009, 07:39 AM
It is totalled. How old is it and what is the warranty? That is a catastrophic defect and should be covered if within warranty.

10-27-2009, 08:08 AM
Thanks for your quick response. The appliance is about 10 years old so the warranty has elapsed.
You are rightly saying it is a catastrophic defect, have you seen anything similar? I might send these pictures to Zanussi so maybe they can review some of their designs...

Do you have a suggestion for a very reliable and long lasting replacement without breaking the bank to much? Thanks again!

Ian Gills
10-27-2009, 09:01 AM
I'd get another Zanussi.

Or a Bosch if you can afford it.

10-27-2009, 11:24 AM
Thanks Ian, yeah Zanussi or Bosch are always good

10-27-2009, 12:02 PM
This looks exactly like the dryer I just bought.

What happened to mine was that one of the support springs that hold up the drum snapped - probably from the previous owner overloading the washer (which is easy to do). If you're handy, it won't hurt you to tear the chassis open and give it a shot.

For my repair, I had to purchase two new springs and a set of rubber bellows, the thing that is twisted in your picture. I paid about $110 in parts all in all, and the washer works good as new.

You can get a schematic from your manufacturer most likely - mine was a Sears model, so they had it right on their site. Then carefully remove the chassis and see what you're in for. Be sure to carefully remove the springs that hold the bellows to the chassis and to the drum, otherwise you'll be replacing those too. If you need a place to get inexpensive appliance parts, go to ApplianceZone.com - their customer service sucks, but you can get good parts, relatively quickly.

Runs with bison
10-27-2009, 03:18 PM
As far as brand names go, I'm using an LG and have not had any problems so far. I believe my mother-in-law has had a Maytag Neptune for a few years, but it might be another relative. I can't remember who the other one is that has one. None of us have had any trouble with ours. The early Maytag's had some trouble 5+ years ago but my understanding is that was resolved. Maytag is now owned by Whirlpool and Whirlpool's track record with appliances has plummeted in the past 10 years so I won't buy them anymore.

10-27-2009, 03:55 PM
Thanks to both of you for your advice

10-27-2009, 09:24 PM


10-28-2009, 06:23 AM
There is a pizza joint here named Zanussi's. I didn't know they also made washing machines.

Does algor know they are putting cement in the washer? That has got to affect the electric bill?

Runs with bison
10-28-2009, 06:35 AM
Does algor know they are putting cement in the washer? That has got to affect the electric bill?

Yep, the concrete makes the bill go down apparently. ;) I was surprised to find that my front loader used about half as much juice (Killawatt meter tested both) as what my top loader had, even though I was using the highest spin speed for the front loader. Direct drive vs. belt drive and not running an agitator made the difference I suppose... But the bigger impact is in the dryer because there is a lot less water left to remove.