If your clothes come out of the wash dirty, this can be the cause.
Here are a few pictures of our friendly Western Appliance Repair service calls. If you look closely, the square thing in the upper right area above the drain trap, you will see the re-circulation pump. In this instance the pump was making a loud noise when running and a replacement was necessary.
When you wash a load of clothes in your washing machine you should reasonably expect the results to be good, in other words, you expect the clothes to be cleaned. If they are not coming out clean there can be many different reasons. One in particular can be the re-circulation pump.
The re-circulation pump performs one function and that is to recirculate the water from the bottom of the outer tub to a nozzle located on the upper part of the inner door boot seal. This nozzle sprays the water back onto the top of the load to recirculate.
After the clothes are loaded and the tub is filled with water the pump should turn on. If you listen closely you can hear a low hum. That is the pump working.
These re-circulation pumps are not installed on all front load washers. Most medium to high end washers will include these pumps. The washers that do not include this feature will wash the clothes clean but not as well. How will you know if it’s included? Good question, you won’t. If you buy a low-end washer then you should assume that it will not include this features.
There isn’t a good way to know if your re-circulation pump is going bad. If it’s completely seized you may smell it overheating. Not always. Most pumps, when they do go bad, will get real noisy.