Tips and Procedures
Learn how to restore appliances to the appearance and function they had when new.

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Appliance Restoration

Why Restore?

An appliance is REPAIRED to regain the function that you lost. An appliance can be RESTORED to approach the appearance and functions that it had when it was new.

The Sears/Whirlpool belted washer has been around for many years because it is a good solid design except for one serious flaw: the upper agitator shaft seal. Back in the 60's and early 70's Whirlpool decided, for some strange reason, to shorten the length of the spin tube. This put the agitator shaft seal under water for most normal wash loads. This seal will eventually leak and allow water to run down the shaft into the gearcase and displace the grease. This condition is terminal and many repairmen will correctly recommend that the owner buy a new washer. These machines can be restored (see spin tube and transmission below for the procedures.

I am getting e-mail from folks out there on the Internet who are inheriting old appliances from their parents or grandparents. The most common requests are for restoring old gas range ovens. The first step in restoring one of these is a thorough cleaning. Under all that dirt and grease you may find some parts that will have to be replaced. Go to the hard to find parts section for help in finding that old part.

Hand-me-down major appliances frequently can use some cosmetic restoration before you install them in your home. Some spare cash can be made restoring used washers, dryers and refrigerators and then reselling or leasing them.

Restoring for Profit

If you are going to restore a washer or dryer to make some money, you need to acquire it at a very low cost to realize a profit at resale. An appliance repairman will frequently declare a machine economically unrepairable because the cost to repair it is nearly equal to the cost of buying a new one. Out on the curb it goes!! Can you be adequately repaid for your labor after the cost of parts is subtracted from the sale price? Yes, if you use good used parts and inexpensive new ones. Sears Kenmore and Whirlpool washers and dryers have good consumer brand recognition and acceptance. Whirlpool manufactures Sears washers and dryers. Whirlpool washer cabinets and enamel painted tops are prone to rust. Whirlpool belt-drive washers have an agitator shaft seal that can allow water to enter the transmission and displace the grease. When this happens the washer is soon headed for the landfill. Washers with good cabinets and bad transmissions can be used with washers that have rusted cabinets and good transmissions to build washers with attractive cabinets and functional internal components. Porcelain washer tops can be used to replace enamel painted tops and enamel painted dryer tops that have been used for work benches can be repainted. On the other hand, I have never found a Maytag washer or dryer that needed restoration!! Both Maytag washers and dryers have porcelain tops and their cabinets have multiple coats of paint that resist rust. A thorough cleaning will get a used Maytag washer and dryer ready for resale.