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About Jim Locksley

One day when I was walking around my college campus, I saw a group of people with these yellow tripods. At first I thought they might be photographers, but they sure looked like strange ones! I went up and asked them what they were doing, and it turns out they were a group of students from a construction class who were surveying the land for a project. I was fascinated. I was able to sign up for the class the next semester, and while it didn't stick or change my professional trajectory, it did create a new hobby for me! Ever since then, I've been interested in construction, from surveying to management to the actual building. I figured running a blog about it would give me a nice excuse to keep up my interests!

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Troubleshooting Washing Machine Motors

by Mike Brewer

A well-functioning washing machine depends on its electric drive motors to operate the different cycles, from spin to agitate. Many problems stem from the motor or from it's peripherals, such as the belts and clutch. You can help narrow down the cause by zeroing in on the specific problem.

Problem #1: Machine Won't Operate

If your washing machine won't turn on at all, no matter which cycle you choose, the problem can lie in the power supply, timer and switches, or the motor.

Check the power supply first. Make sure the breakers are on and the outlet is working properly. Next, check that there is no damage to the cord. If the power supply seems to be operational, the next step is to verify that all the switches are operational. Replacing the knobs and timers will fix this issue.

The motor sometimes overheats and stops working if a machine is under heavy use. Waiting a couple of hours and then trying again may solve the problem. If the motor doesn't reset after it has cooled down, you will need to repair or replace the motor.

Problem #2: Washer Won't Spin

The spin cycle is vital for getting all the excess water out of the clothes, otherwise they are too wet and heavy for your dryer. In most cases, a broken belt or coupler is the problem. Replacing the belts is the first step. Belt types and placement varies depending on the make and model, so you will need to refer to the repair guide for your specific washer.

The electric motor is also equipped with a coupler. This connector joins the motor shaft to the transmission, which controls the spinning cycle. If the coupler breaks or suffers damage, you will need to repair it on the motor to get the spin cycle back in working condition.

Problem #3: Failure to Agitate

Agitating is similar to spinning, except the tub moves side-to-side instead of spinning rapidly. Fixing this problem is similar to fixing the spinner – check the belts and coupler on the motor. A faulty clutch could also be the culprit, but a replacement will soon get your machine working again. Often, when the clutch fails it leaks lubricant, which appears as a black sticky liquid beneath the machine.

Problem #4: Poor Performance

Poor overall performance in every cycle usually stems from a problem in the drive motor. Unless you have experience working on electric motors, it's usually best to call in a technician to service the machine. The problem could be as simple as a failed clutch lever, to as complicated as a seized motor that requires a full replacement.

Each make and model of washing machine is different, and prone to different issues with the electric motors. When possible, get the repair guide for your specific washing machine so you can troubleshoot the problem accurately. Be sure to contact professionals, such as Hackworth Electric Motors Inc, for further assistance.

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