Whirlpool Duet front-loading washers have suspension springs that keep the washtub balanced as it agitates and spins. The springs are fastened to the washtub’s exterior and the cabinet’s frame. If one fails, you can usually replace it or the entire set yourself without having to contact a Whirlpool-authorized repair technician.
Suspension Spring Basics
A Whirlpool Duet washing machine has three metal suspension springs -- each about 1 inch in length. The springs are equally spread out along the outer perimeter of the back of the washtub. When a spring breaks, the washing machine vibrates excessively and makes a lot of noise since it’s now unbalanced. Although sometimes you can replace only the worn-out spring, it’s often best to replace the entire set at one time to ensure consistent wear.
Obtaining Replacement Springs
You can purchase suspension springs for your Whirlpool Duet washer by contacting Whirlpool’s Replacement Parts Department and having a new set shipped to your home or from an appliance parts retailer that sells Whirlpool replacement products. Each spring is sold separately and costs about $3 as of 2011, plus shipping costs, according to the Part Select website. Make sure to provide the washer’s model number from the owner’s manual, when you place the order, to ensure you get the right size replacement springs for your model. The one advantage of purchasing replacement parts from Whirlpool is that they typically come with installation instructions. However, you can usually request them separately if needed.
Replacing Suspension Springs
Unplug your Whirlpool Duet washer and pull it away from the wall. Shut off the cold and hot water valves by turning them clockwise until tight then disconnect the water supply hoses at the rear of the washer. Tilt the washing machine so that it lays flat on its side. This allows two of the three existing suspension springs to relax, which makes them easier to remove. Remove the four screws that hold the washer’s back access cover in place and set the cover aside. Once the cover is off, you should be able to see each suspension spring on the washtub. If you can’t, unscrew the top cover panel and remove it so that both the top and back of the washtub are in view. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to unfasten the two relaxed suspension springs from the washtub and then from the cabinet’s frame. Prop up the drum with a board to relax the third suspension spring and remove it with the pliers. Starting with the last suspension spring that you removed, attach its replacement spring by hooking it first to the cabinet’s frame and then the washtub. Remove the support board and replace the other two suspension springs. Replace the back access cover and top cover panel if you removed it and stand the washer upright. Reconnect the water supply hoses then plug in the washer and move it back against the wall. Turn the water supply valves counterclockwise to loosen and open them.
Replacing the suspension springs on a Whirlpool Duet washer is relatively easy and should take between 15 and 30 minutes to complete from start to finish, according to the Part Select website. However, if you have never performed a repair on your washer before, the task could take longer, especially if you can’t get one or more of the existing springs to relax enough to make removal easy. If at any point during the replacement process you have problems, contact Whirlpool for technical assistance. Additionally, don’t hesitate to schedule a service appointment to have a repair technician perform the replacement for you if you're uncomfortable with making the repair.