If you’re faced with a broken spider arm, you have three choices:
- You can replace the arm with a new one but you’ll inevitably end up having to replace it again due to the corrosion or…
- You can construct a stainless steel arm from scratch, like we’re about to show you or…
- You can buy a new machine…
…the choice is yours.
How Does This Happen?
The detergents and bleach are corrosive to aluminum due to their pH levels. With a family of four, the continuous use of the machine and abrasion from the chemicals eventually leads to the deterioration of the spider arm.
If you want to avoid this from happening in the future, than I would suggest making a custom spider arm made of stainless steel.
Let me first start off by telling you that this is not difficult…provided you have enough gumption…
…but you’ll be glad you did.
If you’re strong you’ll probably be able to handle it yourself but if you aren’t, you may need another person to help you with lifting the tub/basin.
Check If Your Spider Arm is Broken
So, if you already know that your spider arm is broken and needs to be replaced, then you can skip the following and move on to the directions.
If you ‘re unsure as to whether or not the arm needs to be replaced, you can check by doing one or both of the following:
- Open the door and reach in and shake the tub. If it’s moving around where it feels loose, then the arm is broken.
- Run your machine on spin cycle. If the machine is running but doesn’t spin, or wobbles, or spins slowly, the arm is broken.
Get the materials:
- Stainless steel bars – Get the widest stainless steel bar that will fit into the grooves of the tub. I would recommend at least 1/4″ thickness but you may be able to get by with 3/8″ if the bar is 2″ wide or greater. You’ll need one extra bar for the ends so that the bar can be screwed to the tub. Just measure how deep your tub is and that’s the width of the bar you’ll need.
- Stainless steel pipe – You’ll also need to get a stainless steel pipe. I can’t recall what the diameter was but I’m pretty sure the thickness was 3/8″. Ask the shop if they scraps as they sometimes give those away for free.
- Stainless steel screws, washers, and nuts – Self-explanatory here. Be sure to tighten these real good. I made the mistake of not tightening it enough that the arm came loose and I had to disassemble the washer to tighten it. That was a fun day.
Find a good welder. Some will come to you but just make sure they’re reputable and that they can weld stainless steel. I encountered a lot of assholes until I finally found one that was amazing at what he does.
There are several ways to design the spider arm. The welder suggested the method that you see in the image above and so far after half a year, it’s still running strong.
You’ll notice that the shaft will still probably be attached but if the spider arm is corroded enough, you should be able to break it loose.