View Full Version : washing M/c question.

Poppa John
04-11-2011, 06:54 PM
Hi All.
We have an F&P Smart touch MW511 washing m/c about 9yrs old. Never given a moments worry.Recently it is going into"out of balance & shutdown when spinning." .

Manymany years ao we had a Hoover m/c that did the same thingh from new out of the box. This proved to be balance weights incorrectly placed, (just like car tyres). Cannot see anything like that on this F&P. Any ideas? TIA. PJ

04-11-2011, 07:16 PM
Possible cause: blockage just before the pump. Fixed one a while ago by removing pump and picking the accumulated crud and plastic out of the plumbing. Relatively straightforward. Well-done F&P for not designing an in-line filter.

Poppa John
04-11-2011, 07:34 PM
Possible cause: blockage just before the pump. Fixed one a while ago by removing pump and picking the accumulated crud and plastic out of the plumbing. Relatively straightforward. Well-done F&P for not designing an in-line filter.

Thanks for that info. The next able bodied male who visits will be press ganged into tipping m/c onto its sde. PJ

Billy T
04-11-2011, 08:00 PM
I can't see a pump issue giving an 'out of balance' alarm. IMHO it is more likely that one of the bowl suspension units has broken or detached, allowing the bowl to move excessively when loaded.

Coincidentally, our F&P has just started making suspension noises when agitating and 'out of balance' noises when spinning and I'm due to take a look under the hood to see if any suspension components are loose.

I have good reason to believe that I will find such a problem, because Mrs T cannot grasp the concept that heavy items (like bath mats or bedspreads) must be equably distributed within the bowl before spinning starts. The laundry is just around the corner from my office and I have to dive out and hit pause before it launches into orbit. If she gets it really wrong, the whole machine is bouncing from side to side before it shuts down.


Billy 8-{)

04-11-2011, 08:43 PM
The reason the blocked pump makes the machine out of balance is the water doesn't pump out properly so the clothes stay half wet and the machine can't balance itself properly. Took me 6 months to rip it to bits in desperation(a new machine was the option) and got lucky.

Speedy Gonzales
04-11-2011, 08:52 PM
Dont know this applies, but I've got a F&P manual here (PDF). Does this happen?


Out of Balance (First Rinse or Final Spin and Current Spin Speed LED is flashing)

This warning is indicated by a rinse or spin LED and the current spin speed LED flashing. Smartdrive will also be making a rippling set of 5 beeps repeated every 6 seconds and the product will be paused.

1. Generally this can be caused by a large load. Smartdrive will normally manage to redistribute the load and spin. Under exceptional circumstances the user may need to redistribute the wash load manually
once the bowl is stationary.

2. Check that Smartdrive is correctly installed, is level and does not wobble.

3. Check the bias spring is fitted between the wrapper and the outer bowl.

4. Check the OOB lever, switch and bracket.

5. Check the switch operates correctly with a multimeter. Resistance should be less than 2 ohms.

6. Check the suspension is not catching or bouncy.

7. Check both balance rings on the inner bowl contain water.

8. The Motor Controller, (Display for Phase 1) should only be replaced if fault code 43.

There's a manual for the MW511 here (http://www.stokesap.com.au/Manufacturer_Info/FP/WASHERS_DRYERS/517751%20Washers%20Ph%206%20Series%2011&12%20MW511,MWC11,GW511,512,611,6.pdf)

And there's info here about Fault codes (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25379715/Fisher-_-Paykel-Washer-Diagnostic-Fault-Codes)

04-11-2011, 10:27 PM
I had this problem consistently during spray rinse. The problem was the "scrud" buildup on the drum was such that a number of the holes were blocked & the water hung around too long at the upper levels of the drum while the machine slowly spun up, causing the imbalance. Fixed by poking the holes with a fine screwdriver. Took a while to figure that one out...

Poppa John
13-11-2011, 11:03 AM
Speedy...I read thro the Manual but did not see a "Fault Finding" section, do you know of one?

Billy T...Have you looked at your m/c yet, if so, what did you find.

I got the garden hose at full bore & backwashed up the drain hose to flush thro the pump. Got scungy stuff in the bowl. Pumped it out. Hi pressure hosed the perforations in the drum & pumped out. Backwashed again & pumped out. Removed & cleaned the base of the impeller, which is the primary lint filter by the look of it. Put water in bowl & ran m/c to pump out. Pump outflow much better.

Did a load of washing & no spin problems. Did a second one & got "Out of balance" fail. Damn. Will now have to tip m/c on its side or see if the top cover comes off, exposing whatever balance sensing can be seen. PJ

Poppa John
13-11-2011, 12:20 PM
Further to the above. I managed to partialy lift the top off the m/c. At each corer of the case onto the outer drum is a long stiff suspension spring. All 4 are attached & all 4 seem of equal tension. Cannot see any micro swithces that stop the spin on out of balance. PJ

14-11-2011, 03:38 AM
I see the F&P machines returned to the stores as unreliable and untrustworthy here in the States. They really haven't caught on here well except by those people who want a cheap unit. They may be alright - but they look 'foreign' to most people (good or bad) and they don't hold the size loads that the US machines do.

I could live with them in a small apartment I guess, but I prefer a larger load capacity.


The rear feet are self-adjusting and can raise all sorts of a ruckus if they're not adjusted properly - and they may only need to be reset to make it work and not trip the out of balance sensor.

1) Machine off, station oneself in front of the unit with the access door open.
2) Firmly grasp the machine on the ledge of the opened area - NOT THE DOOR ITSELF -
3) And PULL the machine to tip it forward, allowing the rear legs to drop down from their current adjustment. DO NOT PULL ON THE CONTROL PANEL!
4) Gently replace machine on rear feet - DON'T JUST DROP IT.
5) Rear legs will have now reset themselves in whatever position they find as level.

This is what the F&P installer's manual in the US says about their machines under the chapter about "Unbalanced Loads" and "Initial Installation" setup problems.

Actually - this is what every major manufacturer of washing machines now uses to auto-adjust their legs.

BTW: The micro switch or motion detector piezzo unit may be located on the transmission of the machine and not around the periphery of the drum.

And for what it's worth - most washing machines never totally empty the water from the previous load. There's always a few gallons of the last load of rinse water in the bottom of the outer drum.

That's why it's not hygienic to use public or coin operated washing machines without running a whole cycle first without your clothes in it to expel the last person's dirt and germans.

Phil B
14-11-2011, 10:51 AM
One of the main problems with out of balance is stuffing to much washing in the machine. It then goes round & round in a clump. It seems to affect top loaders more than front. We had F&P top loaders in the past. Never again. They last until 5 minutes after the warranty expires & you try approaching F&P to get it fixed. Yes you could go the CGA route etc, but why bother. Get a front loader. Superior wash, reliable & use less water. That's us anyway :)

14-11-2011, 11:05 AM
Best thing is buy an old F&P 380 or 400, easy to fix and extremely reliable.