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Drum Wont Turn After Laying Washer Down To Clear Pump


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I have a washing machine which had two coins stuck in the sump, which caused the water to not drain away during spin etc. I fixed this by placing the machine on it's side to get access to the bottom. Removed and assembled the machine and now the dum won't turn.

I looked at the motor again and it visually looks OK. Noting else seems to be a problem. I can only think the pressure switche is something to do with this. Can you explain how the pressure switch works and what it does?

Thanks

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If the motor is not running at all, it can't be anything to do with the pressure system as this only affects going into a spin. However, here's how the pressure system on a washing machine works -

The pressure switch is a small device with several wires on it. This part is always at the top of the washing machine under the lid. It's usually round or oval, and near to the programme timer.

At the bottom of this pressure switch is a thin plastic or rubber hose. This hose runs down to a pressure chamber, which is fitted to the tub.

This is how it works -

  • As water enters the washing machine, it also enters the pressure chamber
  • As the level of the water rises it forces air up the tubing, and when sufficient air pressure is reached, the pressure switch will switch on
  • This then cuts the power to the water valves and passes it on to the timer, which starts washing
  • When the washing machine empties the water, the water inside the pressure chamber (which is only really a small plastic bottle) drains out and the air pressure is released. The pressure switch switches off.
A common fault with this system, is a blockage of gunge in the pressure chamber bottle or at the bottom of the tube. The water then gets trapped because it can't get past the gunge. It acts like a one way valve. A few gallons of water inside the drum can often force sufficient water past the gunge into the bottle to activate the pressure switch, but only a small amount of water goes in there, and it can't get past the gunge to drain out when emptying.

This means that the air pressure is held inside the plastic tube and the pressure switch and the pressure switch is jammed ON.

If this happens, then one of two faults can occur. Either -

  • When you next put the washing machine onto a wash, the timer thinks there's already water in the machine and starts to wash without taking any water in
  • (This is more common) The washing machine appears to work OK, but when the water is pumped out prior to a spin, the small amount of water which is forcing air up the pressure tube and switching the pressure switch on, cannot get past the gunge and leaves the switch on. The washing machine then thinks the water hasn't gone out and won't spin. The washing machine can either stop dead on the spin programme or go to the end of the wash as normal without spinning
Please note though, that there are other possible causes for a washing machine to get to the end of a programme and not spin (including something as simple as an out of balanced load that the washing machine couldn't balance and so refused to go into a potentially violent spin)

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It doesn't appear to be a pressure switch.

I subsequently tested the motor (turned the drum and measured the voltage at the brushes terminals) and it appears to be not the brushes, they look worn but not bad condition. I tried to measure the field coil voltages (at least I think they are field coils) on the motor and could not measure anything. I assume from this that the motor is not getting power and so is not turning. I will look into this a bit more tomorrow as it is now 22:30 and I am cold and wet.

My thoughts are now that the controller board is faulty.

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A washing machine engineer should never try to diagnose faults by getting voltage readings from a plugged in washing machine. This is very dangerous and pointless. If you need to test if power is getting to a point on the washing machine you test down the plug using a continuity test meter. Testing a motor involves unplugging the motor and doing a continuity test across the appropriate pins.

If your motor worked before you took the coins out of the sump hose, then we are looking at either an extremely unlikely coincidental second fault, or something caused by you whilst working on the machine.

The most likely cause is a connection somewhere, it's not usual for something like this to happen just because you laid the machine down to work on it. Did you lay the machine down on the timer side? Was there still a fair bit of water inside at the time? Water could run onto the electrics, I personally usually lay the washing machine on its front or back.

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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I am wondering about a coincidental fault. I laid the machine on the side with the timer on, but I had drained the machine of all water and clothes by this point (all over the floor in the outhouse).

I can see no other wiring problem that is obvious. I took the PCB out and took it to work today to look at it but it seems fine. I suspected a Triac (AC semiconductor switch) but this tested out OK.

I am really quite perplexed what I have done wrong. At the moment I feel I am probing around in the dark without knowing exactly what I should be seeing at various places in the machine. I really appretiate your help. We have ordered a new washing machine for delivery on Saturday so we will give it a few more goes till then and then give up.

I will try to get a new controller in the mean time and try a last ditch blind replacement attempt.

Thanks for all your help. At least we got 4p from the sump towards the cost of the new machine.

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It's very risky fitting a programme controller if you have to buy one. No one will guarantee such a part (because so many people misdiagnose them) and they are very expensive.

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Ha Haaaa. I have fixed it :):)

Firstly I again tipped the washing machine onto it's front and then I spent all of last night on the internet trying to look at information about washing machine motors and specifically that one. Well I found very little so I gave up at 22:30. I gave up as my wife had ordered a new washing machine to be delivered next week and I was now comming to the conclusion that this one had me beaten. We had considered keeping it in it's broken state to fix at a later date but even this hope had drained from me. I was a broken man!

Finally I went removed the connector to the motor (quite why I am not sure) and replaced it firmly. I had not expected anything from this and was just playing now like a cat with a dead animal.

I righted the machine and put it on for one last fairwell drain. It drained (or would have done had I left any water in there) and it clicked......... and then it rotated.... it got faster and faster. I was in washing machine heaven. My wife came to see the strange noises from the outhouse (well this would be a lie as she actually said susssssh I am trying to watch TV) , however lets go with the Jeffery Archer type story.

I had a tin of larger with my new best friend telling it we must be mates for life etc as you do in a drunken haze and then lovingly replaced all its panels.

This morning I sprang out of bed to the cries of my two year old. He had wet the bed. It was a good omen. We sprinted down stairs and gave the machine a kiss from lady luck. On went the taps. On went the RCD. The dial was turned and finally the On/Off button was pressed. We waited in stunned silence as the machine filled up. We sat there waiting and waiting for the agitation phase...... Was it going to happen?????

The tears of joy were rolling down our cheeks as finally the washing machine rotated it's first proper wash in 5 days. It was like saying hello to a long lost friend.

However I wanted to say thanks for your help as we would not have been able to do it without you.

You are an unsung hero in our house (well bedroom from now on). Thanks for all your effort. I am truly greatful. All I have to do is get the new machine cancelled!!! This could be a new fight that I am prepared to take on.

Bring on the broken sink, bring on the satellite dish that won't rotate, I'll take you all on. Is there nothing I can not fix now??

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Excellent. That's why I advised you not to order a programme controller. There was too much of a risk that it wouldn't make any difference. As I said, "if your motor worked OK before you took the coins out of the sump hose then we are looking at either an extremely unlikely coincidental second fault or something caused by you working on the washing machine. The most likely cause is a connection somewhere ..."

The plug must have got slightly dislodged. This is generally a reliable rule. If a fault develops only after carrying out a repair, it's more than likely a connection fault somewhere or something caused by disturbing the washing machine.

washing machine troubleshooting help - washing machine drum (motor) doesn't turn or won't go into spin

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