Monday, December 18, 2006

The Power of Old Maytags and New Websites

There was water under the washing machine the other day. Change is hard. Maybe it will just go away. But when my wife watched another load, there was more water. Not a lot, but enough.

We got Consumer Reports from the library. Their advice - any top loading washer older that 4-6 years is better to replace than repair. Our Maytag is 32 years old. We bought it when our son was born.

The Maytag repair number in our local book suggested we have the repairman come look. They don't build them like they used to. All our calls are for new ones, and they don't last very long.

A quick Google search got me to I found the Discuss-o-mat page and went to the Imperial link (machines built before 1985). There I added Thread #9522 Maytag A207 - purchased 1974 in which I put a picture (above) and asked the world if we shoul repair or replace.

There were 8 responses by the time we got home from the movies (Factotum.) Not only were they unanimously for repair, but they suggested what the likely problem was, told me how to get the front and top panels off, and gave me a diagram of the insides of the washer.

To see this amazing example of community recreated on the web, hit the link above, go to the Imperial link, and then click on Thread 9522. Thanks to all the guys - I think they were all guys - who helped diagnose and give me great instructions.

On top you can see pictures of the Maytag as it normally looks. Then there's the picture of the top panel lifted up. Finally, we have the fill-flume that was suggested as the culprit and so it appears to be. Lots of calcium build-up. There was a lot more gunk where the screwdriver is, but we cleaned it up a bit. But most likely the water that deposited all the gunk, was the water that was leaking.

[for later post on this topic click here.]


  1. You know I think thats might be the problem with a friends washer!

    its neat the power of the internet and the many things to do find and learn.


  2. I'm having trouble with my Maytag A207 - a Google search brought me here, and your link brought me to the site -- hopefully someone there will have a solution. Mine isn't leaking, rather, something isn't working with the timer dial and it's not advancing cycles. I wish I had access to yours which probably had a perfectly working timer dial!

    Anyhoo, thanks.

  3. It is March 2009 and we have the very same make and model of washer. It was given to me by my great-grandmother approx. 28 years ago. We just put the old gal down (the washer, not my great-grandmother), it was an oldie,but a goodie and it was hard to say goodbye. We still have the matching dryer and it works great. They truly don't make them like they use to.

  4. Still have my maytag A207 bought new by my grandparents. Passed on to me after they're passing, and still going strong, twenty years later with me... Great Product! "Beetle"

  5. I also have a matching washer and dryer set - Maytag A207 - bought it 14 years ago from a sweet elderly lady in Brea, California for $75! I've replaced about every moving part in the washer and the heating element in the dryer - totally worth every penny. There is so much quality in those old manchines. The new ones have a much shorter lifespan of dependability. It's getting tougher to find parts, so I have stocked up on what is available from the local repair shop. Most if not all repairs on these Maytags can be performed by the average do it yourselfer. I would gladly offer any advice in terms of the repairs I've performed so far. If you can find one at a garage sale or second hand store, grab it - having an extra unit for spare parts is priceless!

  6. Anon, thanks for contributing. Keeping these old machines going is really an homage to good craftsmanship and a stand against the waste in the modern throwaway world.

  7. I'm still running my old Maytag A207 1974 washer. First time I had a repair (it was water leak). The repairman was a $2.00 part :). We both laughed about the price of the bill. Today I ordered the drive and pump belts. High pitched squealing when it spins. I love this machine and would really dread having few parts. Sometimes simple is better.

    1. Anon, What I've learned from our new washer is that you can use a lot less water and soap with new technology. What we need is long lasting, no repairing, AND environmentally friendly washing machines. Congrats on your old Maytag.

  8. I have my parents' A207 too - just starting on a repair process (I'm not a DIYer, alas). Had a leak (repair guy tightened a clamp - hopefully that takes care of that!), also timer won't advance (tho' machine runs) and needs a new hot water valve. I'm hoping the repair co. can get any parts necessary - but I'm hopeful, with all the great commentary here and on This machine is still superior (and simpler!!) to anything on the market. I hate buying new and having it break down, which happens so often these days. Will try to get back with a followup, once the work is done. Thanks!

  9. Hi, Unknown, Thanks for leaving a note and good luck on your machine. We did eventually get a new machine as other things went wrong. It does use a lot less water and we've had no problems. There's a post about it here.
    And I just saw the missing pictures on this post. Not sure I can find the originals any more.

  10. Back again (previous entry as "Unknown" on April 20: Northeast Appliance got the parts in just a couple of days, and the repair guy just finished up. Good as new! Although the machine isn't as water-saving as a new machine, the repair was so much cheaper than a new machine, and I know what I'm dealing with, and don't do a lot of laundry. Ordinarily I wouldn't mention the company name, but they've been a real pleasure to deal with. Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. Boston, I know exactly how you feel. I would have loved to have kept the old Maytag. The water savings is just my rationalization for not being able to. :) May it last forever.


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