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Whirlpool Cabrio, Maytag Bravo, & Kenmore Oasis Stator Drive Washing Machine Repair Information & Troubleshooting Guide
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The Whirlpool Cabrio, Maytag Bravo, and Kenmore Oasis washing machines are three cosmetically different versions of the same appliance that was developed by the New Zealand appliance company, Fisher & Paykel.
Whirlpool originally released their version of this washing machine under the Cabrio and Kenmore Oasis names early 2006 followed by the Maytag Bravo soon after. With new model variations being released by the Whirlpool Corporation in late 2010; this very unique washing machine design is likely going to stick around for a while. You should note that in the new 2010 washing machine line-up some lower end models are branded Cabrio, Bravo, and Oasis do not have the same mechanical design, even though cosmetically they look almost identical. These “belt drive models” have been rumored to have motor issues. I will cover that version in the future, right now I am discussing the “stator drive” washing machine models.
Most energy saving washers are front-loading and very mechanically complicated, however, this water saving washing machine operates without a transmission, motor coupling, belt, drive tube, clutch or break assembly. Instead this washer uses a magnetic DC stator motor to operate either the impeller or agitator for the wash portion of the cycle (depending on the washer model) then during the spin cycle, the washer’s motor spins the inner tub between 800 and 1000 Revolutions per minute (RPM) without the use of a transmission or clutch. It’s like a magnetic bullet train to Cleansville.
My first encounter with this washing machine design was for the Whirlpool repair training in San Diego California just before the washer was introduced. I was immediately impressed with the simplicity of its design and the ease diagnosis and repair. Now that a few years have passed since this washer’s introduction, it has become more apparent that the control board of this washing machine is fairly prone to failure, also the customer feed back concerning the washer’s ability to clean clothes is mixed.
Because of its huge wash capacity and simple mechanical design I highly recommend this washer style as a good energy saving washer alternative to the much more problematic frontloading washing machine designs with two control boards and complicated inner mechanics. However, impeller models are probably best used in light duty cleaning situations. If you are an auto mechanic or farmer you may want to buy an agitator model.
Even though your washing machine may have a bleach dispenser that doesn't mean you must use it! Bleach and bleach vapors greatly contribute to washing machine rust and corrosion. If you want your washer to last as long as possible use a plastic tub or something similar to bleach clothing, then rinse with cold water to avoid bleach vapors.
Fitted sheets can sometimes turn into a large heavy ball as they collect other items inside themselves during the wash cycle; this ball is nearly impossible to balance at 1000 RPM. Solution…don't wash fitted sheets with heavy items like towels or blankets, and stay close while the cycle is active so you can stop the cycle and readjust the load if necessary. As a general rule towels should only be washed with other towels and heavy items that can be properly balanced. If you wash a bunch of shirts with on big towel the load will go off balance almost every time.
Funky smelling clothes coming from an appliance designed to clean clothes doesn't make much sense, and also wont get you much action. Afresh washing machine cleaning tablets.
Use HE (High Efficiency) soap. Yes it is more expensive but you will also be using less soap so it's a wash :) Not using HE soap will cause error codes, dirty clothes, bad tub bearings (very expensive fix) and other problems.
Some lower end Whirlpool Cabrio, Maytag Bravo, and Kenmore Oasis washing machines first released in 2010 do not have the same mechanical design as the stator washing machines I discussed in this guide, even though cosmetically they look almost identical. These "belt drive models" have been rumored to have some motor issues. However, as of the writing of this guide I have had no exposure to this style of washing machine. They may be the best thing since sliced bread, but I hate deceptive marketing practices.
One common problem is related to "flood stop" water supply hoses closing internally, blocking water from reaching the washer's valve. To correct this problem, turn off the water supply valves, disconnect the hoses from the washing machine and valves to reset the internal diaphragms.