Replace Frigidaire FWT445GES2 Washing Machine Door Lock Assembly

My washing machine door would buzz sometimes, presumably due to vibrations from the solenoid coil. But worse, the door started popping open sometimes during the wash cycle. This machine has been running since the mid 90’s. I’d prefer to keep it running rather than landfill it and replace it with a more complicated modern machine that probably wouldn’t last nearly as long.

My friend noticed that the strike plate on the door, the one with plastic barbs that fit into the holes on the door lock assembly, had one of the barbs broken off. That might account for the door popping open.

Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as simple as ordering a new strike plate. No, we couldn’t have that. It turns out the whole door lock assembly has been redesigned and the strike plate has been redesigned to match. The new strike plate will not fit into the old holes. The whole barb has been rotated 90 degrees. If you replace the strike plate with the new incompatible one and close the dryer door, you’ll not be able to open the dryer door, until you force it at which point plastic in the door lock assembly will crack (my experience).

The old parts are very difficult to find, and if you do, cost upwards of $250. It’s best to go with the new door lock assembly and the new matching strike plate.

Old door lock assembly part number: 131269400
Superseded by new door lock assembly part number: 131763202
New door strike plate part number: 131763310

The new door lock part can be gotten for $25 shipped, even though some appliance parts sites list it as much as $130. The new strike plate is $7. With a little effort and under $40, I hope to get another 10 years out of this machine.

The new part numbers are advertised as compatible with the FWT445GE2, and technically they are, but only if (1) the entire wiring harness is replaced, or (2) you are willing to make a couple wires with spade connectors crimped on and follow the instructions down below.

This video on YouTube is instrumental to learning how to open the rubber lining, get to the door lock and redo the connections to the new door lock. However, it assumes the replacement part is identical with the original. It is not!

How to replace the Door Lock Assembly

The new assembly fits perfectly where the old assembly was. However, the connector pins are very different. The old assembly has 6 wires: two female spade connectors to the solenoid, a female connector with two pins, and two female spade connectors that go to a microswitch. The new assembly has 8 male spade connector pins.

After some Internet research, I found a diagram from a 2012 post that maps the old wires coming from the washing machine to the connector pins on the new lock. It turns out that each of the 6 wires has a unique color coded insulation so you can tell them apart, and each goes to a specific pin on the new lock. Here is the image, in case it becomes even more difficult to find:

Image copied from post below copied from parts pros copied from…

The two-pin connector from the washer has the “red and white” wires. Rather than cut that connector off, I made some extensions as suggested in this post:

I went to the auto parts store and bought some 16-18 gauge spade pins. Two male and two female are needed. Then I took two 4-inch lengths of wire, put a male one one end of each and female on the other end of each. The two male ends plug into the two-pin connector from the washer. I wrapped that connector and the pins in electrical tape so they wouldn’t pull out. Then the other two ends connect to the spade terminals on the red part of the door lock assembly.

The other four wires plug in where noted on the image above. It’s a bit tight to get in there, but I was able to connect those four pins without making more extensions for them. We have white & blue/white that go to a 120V coil, and black & black/red that go to a switch. The coil and switch are shown in a little diagram embossed on the gray part of the door lock. The remaining two pins apparently go to another switch that remains unused.

Next, screw the door lock in place. Then apply little dabs of contact adhesive and position the rubber lining back in place over the metal lip.

Result: the door closes fine, the washer works just like before and the door remains closed and locked.

Note: I was dismayed to find the new lock made an even louder buzzing sound than the old one when it is first closed. The buzzing stops when the door is pressed firmly closed. So my advice is not to try to replace the door lock merely because it is buzzing; that will not work. Replace it if the strike plate needs to be replaced, or if the door lock otherwise does not work.

Cryptogram Helper

Whether you like doing daily cryptograms from the local newspaper or creating your own, you may find Cryptogram Helper interesting. Click below to try it out.

This utility will let you type in a cryptogram, or copy/paste it from another web page, and work on it easily without worrying about pencil and eraser.

If you give up, there is a Solve option that will work on most puzzles. But never give up!

Waiting For the Robert E Lee

This fun piece from 1912 was made popular by Al Jolson and other performers. It’s from the ragtime era (1900-1920) and is sometimes heard at ragtime festivals.

After seeing a version of this being played on a calliope, I found the original sheet music as published by F. A. Mills in 1912, and re-typeset it with just a few minor changes to improve the MIDI playback. The baritone sax is supposed to mimic a baritone, but falls short.

The recommended tempo is 120 to the quarter note (duration 3:07 if using all repeats).

Whitewash Man

One thing led to another and I discovered Whitewash Man, a 1908 ragtime piece by Jean Schwartz.

First I saw Neville Dickie performing miscellaneous pieces at the 2018 West Coast Ragtime Festival, and subsequently looked him up on YouTube, where I saw his 2009 performance of The Whitewash Man, with Hal Smith accompanying on drums. This is a truly joyful arrangement by Mr. Dickie that is in a higher register than the original with expert embellishments.

The Whitewash Man – as performed by Neville Dickie & Hal Smith

Of course I found and downloaded the sheet music, where the only version to be found was the original publication, which is rather simple and dry (although not entirely trivial to play). I played it a lot and kind of customized my rendition, but have since stopped playing it that way in favor of the Sutton version below. The plain original can be seen here on a digital player and is not too exciting:

The Whitewash Man by Jean Schwartz – Original Sheet Music

Further research turned up Ralph Sutton’s extremely jubilant performance, which was published on an album called Carolina in the Morning in January 1949. It can be heard below, and I managed to find a high quality FLAC audio file archived from a 78 record. Amazingly there were less than 90 views of this video in the past 5 years. Let’s fix that!

The Whitewash Man – as performed by Ralph Sutton

I wanted to be able to play this version, and decided to try transcribing it. I used the Transcribe! software, but soon gave up. The less-than-great audio quality and the complexity of the piece made it too hard to determine which notes were being played.

Around a year later, I ran across the AnthemScore software that claims to convert audio files into sheet music, and gave it a shot. Success! Although the music output by the program is a real mess, it gave innumerable insights into what the music might be, and then working with Transcribe! I was able to interpret and write down what I think is close to what Mr. Sutton played. This took entirely too much time.

Then I spent too much time learning to play it at speed. I will try to record my (poor) rendition of this at some point.

Mr. Sutton’s tempo is an extremely fast 120 to the quarter note (duration 2:50). During the course of detailed analysis at very slow speeds, I never ran across anything that could be definitively be called a “mistake”. If there were any, they were perfectly integrated into the performance and are part of the transcription.

Squirrel Toss

It’s near time for the 2019 West Coast Ragtime Festival. I felt motivated to compose another ragtime song. This one took a couple of weeks off and on.

This piece tells a short story about squirrels. If I could draw, I’d add a cover page illustration!

  1. Introduction: Bob notices something outside the window.
  2. Squirrels are playing in the yard.
  3. Bob uses a box trap to catch the squirrels.
  4. The squirrels are anxious. Bob uses gloves to remove them from the trap, then catapults them into the trees using an inner-tube slingshot.
  5. Coda: The last squirrel bites Bob, who flings it onto the roof before going back inside.

I guess there is little else to say…

The recommended tempo is 84 to the quarter note (duration 2:25).

Sinky O

For the first time, I attended the 3-day West Coast Ragtime Festival (2018) in Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento, California. It was about time, as I’ve been playing ragtime since high school and thinking about the festival for several years.

I spent about 3 solid days writing Sinky O, an original ragtime piece. I hoped to perform it during one of the few “open piano” sessions at the festival, which I did, but only a couple people were present and I did a lot of messing up.

There are some rough edges in the piece. The ending is sudden and the minor section is a little limited and repetitive. I may work on it some more.

The name is a play on the term “cinquillo,” which is one of three Spanish rhythms along with the tresillo and habanera. Cinquillo denotes a particular rhythm consisting of: 8th, 16th, 8th, 16th, 8th. Jelly Roll Morton’s works were influenced by Spanish music; he added what he referred to as the “Spanish Tinge”. Some ragtimes (e.g. Solace) were written using habanera.

The recommended tempo is 200 to the 8th note (duration 3:00).

Merry Go Duet

If you have not yet seen the original post about my Merry Go transcription for player piano, please read about it here.

The transcription was initially organized in four voices in the Lilypond source file. This made it relatively easy to direct Lilypond to write out a couple extra scores for a single-piano duet version. The two treble voices can be played by Primo, and the two bass voices by Secondo. This shows the power of Lilypond for maintaining multiple renditions from a single source file.

The duet was still not immediately playable. A few chords had too many notes and needed minor tweaks. The last 3 measures needed an alternate playable version; I think I struck a reasonable compromise by having the players alternate the fast final runs, and by reducing the 3-octave run to 2-octave. And in this version, the final chord does not contain all eight C keys on the piano!

As of this writing, the duet has not been performed by two people. I did record myself playing Secondo and then played Primo over it, but there may remain some awkward overlaps with two players on one piano.

If you’d like to print the 6-page duet in book form, I would recommend printing page 4 as simplex, pages 1 and 5 as duplex, pages 2 and 6 as duplex, and page 3 as simplex. Then you’ll be able to have Secondo on the left facing Primo on the right, for 3 pairs of pages. The page numbering is designed with this scheme in mind.

Stars and Stripes Forever

In 2013, I learned to play the Sousa/Horowitz piano transcription as best as I could. I found three sheet music transcriptions (Pellisorius Editions by Jon Skinner; Christian Jensen, 1999; Florian Wolf, 2010). Each edition differed from each other, and also differed from the available audio recordings in minor but unsatisfying ways.

I took it upon myself to create a new, highly accurate transcription of one particular performance by Horowitz: the seminal April 23, 1951 radio broadcast from Carnegie Hall. I attempted to capture as much detail as possible all aspects including notes, dynamics, pedaling, and tempi. I even tried to capture his apparent mistakes, which I have largely indicated in the music. (Of course, this being his own version, “mistakes” is a very subjective term.)

Once again, I relied on Transcribe! software for listening and GNU LilyPond for typesetting. The process took many days.

The PDF file of the sheet music:

The MIDI file generated by LilyPond. I didn’t put much effort into this so the dynamics leave a lot to be desired. Generating a MIDI file was not an objective.

My amateur performance on YouTube:

The original recording I started with was from the video below. A fourth sheet music transcription that is displayed matched to the music doesn’t correspond well.

A couple other notable professional and amateur performances: