Intro: Freeing Clothes Caught in an LG WT4870CW Washer
My wife and I were amazed to find that while washing a tablecloth our LG Washer somehow managed to tuck and lodge it under the plate in the bottom of the wash tub as shown above. We were even more amazed that no amount of tugging on the tablecloth could free it!
Realizing that it would not come free on its own, and that tugging risked tearing it, I researched ways to remove the bottom plate to release the tablecloth. Thankfully, I found a diagram on a repair site that showed an exploded view of the washer (ref. http://www.washerpartsworld.com/brands/lg/wt4870cw).
What I learned from the diagram was that the plate is held in place by a single bolt that is housed under a removable, snap-locked, chromed, plastic cap at the center of the base of the tub. The following steps require no special skills (or tools) to remove the cap, the bolt and the plate.
Step 1: Tools You'll Need
These were the tools I used to perform the job.
2 Miniature Flat-Blade Screwdrivers
Ratchet Wrench with a 10mm Socket (an extender is optional)
Thread Locking compound (Loctite® Brand, Thread Locker Blue or equivalent)
Step 2: Removing the Plastic Chrome Cover
The cap is at the center of the bottom of the tub. As shown, it has three locking tabs that hold it snapped into place. The miniature flat-blade screwdrivers are pressed into two of the slots from the top of the cap. When pressed down firmly into the slots, and leaned outward slightly from the center, the screwdrivers gently deflect the tabs, unlocking them from an underside lip. Gently pull upward on the screwdrivers while leaning them outward and the cap will release on one side. While holding the released side to prevent it going back into place, move one screwdriver to the third slot and unlock its tab. The cap can now be raised and removed.
Step 3: Removing the Securing Bolt
Under the cap, the bolt that holds the plate secure is visible. It's a 10mm, hex-head bolt with an X-slot that appears to accept a Phillips-head screwdriver. However, the slot is shallow and a screwdriver does not fit securely, so the socket-wrench is recommended. The tub is quite deep, so the socket extension is recommended to save wear and tear on your rib cage!
You will need to hold the tub from rotating as you twist the wrench in a counterclockwise direction to loosen it. It may need some extra help since the bolt is held in place using thread locking compound (note the blue substance on the threads in the photo). In this case, a wrench with a longer handle or a break-down bar may be required.
Step 4: Removing the Bottom Plate
Once the bolt has been removed, there is essentially nothing else securing the plate to the tub. You simply have to gently pry it upward until it releases from the splined shaft from which you just removed the bolt. Be careful not to apply too much force or you risk warping the plate.
I was able to pull upward on the tablecloth with one hand while pressing down with the other to create a slight rocking motion where the table cloth was stuck. The slight rocking motion became more pronounced and the plate eventually lifted out vertically from the tub.
That was when I was able to see the locking nuts around the bottom of the tub. That explained why the tablecloth could not be removed by pulling, It became caught on the locking nuts! Once the plate was removed however, the tablecloth was easily removed.
Step 5: Reinstalling the Plate
Reassembly is accomplished by reversing the previous steps. Before reinstalling the plate however, make sure that the square washer shown in the photo is in place on the splined shaft of the tub, It may be stuck on the underside of the plate since it is coated with a bit of grease. That's fine! Just be sure that it stays there when you reinstall the plate, wiggling it slightly to make sure that it is properly aligned on its shaft.
Step 6: Finishing Up
Once the plate is firmly in place, dab a small amount of the thread locking compound on the blue-coated threads of the bolt (See photo). You do not need much since there is already some present. Do not coat all of the threads since you may be required to remove the bolt again sometime in the future and coating all of the threads will make it much harder to remove!
Reinstall the bolt, rotating the ratchet-wrench clockwise to tighten it. As you have to apply pressure to tighten it, you may feel it "skip" once or twice. This is normal; it's due to the locking washer that is attached to the bolt.
When the bolt is firmly tightened, snap the chromed plastic cap back into place and the job is finished!