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Hoover Optima Ophs612 Taking Much Longer For Program Than Stated Time


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Hello and thanks for a wonderful website.

My girlfriend's washing machine has been working fine until recently when it's started taking way over the stated times to do the programs. For example the 29 minute wash takes 1hr 45 mins. The only thing she could tell me was that the clothes felt warm when they came out.

I've carried out all the checks you suggest in your guides (ie: check it's plumbed in properly, check the height etc of the waste outlet etc). I checked inside the machine and it doesn't have a pressure pipe running from below the inlet to a pressure cell. It appears to have a small white disk with 2 wires coming from it which I have traced to the inlet switch (after it travels around half the machine). There is another set of wires (blue) on what looks like the other side of the double headed pressure switch at the back of the inlet valve.

I started running it through a cycle this morning to see how long it took for each part and to check water levels and it took water in to about half way up the door. I tried to stop the machine, get it to abort that program and run a drain cycle but regardless of what I did it continually took in water until it was getting very high up the door and refuse to follow any commands to cancel the program or start any other program like a drain for instance. I drained it manually, took what I believed to be the small plastic disk, which I think is the pressure sensor out and sucked and blew on it to check it but tbh I never felt it do anything so I put it back in place (it almost looks like a mini plastic speaker).

After that I've run it through a cold wash cycle but could hear a very slight hissing noise (like a very, very low sound of a kettle boiling) despite being on a cold wash. Drained it once it finished and spun it. The programmer seemed to be taking a long. long time between each command and a lot of pauses so once that program had ended I checked the wiring connections on the what I presumed was the pressure sensor, pushed all the wiring firmly in place on the programmer etc and also on what I think is the thermostat. I've run it on a 29 min program which, took 31 min 45 seconds to complete so it appears to be working again. Fair to say I gave a wee knock at the thermostat and the pressure sensor and the programmer with the back of a screwdriver (VERY lightly). The 29 minute program is a 30 degree wash and I checked that the element wasn't heating (by listening for it) as I had noticed on the other previous program which was also a 30 degree wash that the element was hissing like it was heating and that I could feel heat through the glass door.

I'm concerned that it appears to be fixed yet I don't know how I've fixed it. I don't like that situation because I haven't really learned anything as to the cause or as to how to fix it, if it happens again. Is it possible that a small loom of wiring at the rear of the programmer could have caused this (because I did feel it bed into place, which i didn't feel with any other parts of the wiring I checked)?

Also is it possible to identify a couple of parts for me please?

1. A small white disk with 2 white wires (almost like thin speaker wire) at the base of the plastic drum at the rear just above number 2 below - I'm assuming it to be the pressure sensor. Am I correct?

2. Just below that and immediately above the motor there is a metal part (lozenge shaped) with 2 red (what appears to be mains wires) coming from it and an earth, plus it has a bolt in the middle - I was assuming this was the heating element. Is this correct?

3. There's a plastic round part about 2 to 21/2 inches in diameter sitting just below the programmer with a small (approx 6mm) plastic pipe coming away from it and heading down the side of the plastic tub to where I have no idea. Can you tell me what that is please?

Your help would be very much appreciated as I'd like to know what these parts are, so that should it not be the case that the problem is solved, then at least I have a better idea what parts I'm looking at are.

Many thanks

Eric

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Thanks Eric. Check out my article on how washing machines control water levels if you haven't already seen it. Your pressure switch will look different but this article will help a lot. If water is filling so far up the glass it would explain it taking a lot longer to complete the cycles. The most common cause of overfilling is a blockage in the pressure system. If there is a blockage of gunge, it needs properly clearing out or it will eventually completely overfill and flood the kitchen. Check the article for full understanding.

Your pressure switch looks like it's in the first picture you supplied. The other two pictures show the heater and the thermistor (thermostat), which is filled with temperature sensing components that have varying electrical resistance at different temperatures. (What is an NTC Thermistor?)

If there is a blockage in the pressure system it would be at the other end of the small see-through plastic tubing attached to the pressure switch in your first photo. It will be connected to a plastic bottle attached to the tub.

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Thank you very much folks for your help and prompt replies. I seem to have cured it at the moment so I'm wondering if it's been that wiring that clicked into place when I was giving all the wiring connections the once over check. Every program seems to now be taking the correct amount of time and there's been no problem with overfilling or anything else.

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  • 4 weeks later...

OMG - machine's been running ok since last time, but now it's started to overfill again just today! My girlfriend stopped it and switched the programmer round to Drain, which it did. But when she switched to Spin, it went back to filling! Can't get it to Drain or Spin - it just keeps filling. She's very concerned, as the machine is in a 2nd floor flat and naturally wants to avoid flooding the flat/s below. (She's now turned the water inlet off.)

Anyone any ideas what's the cause of this, please?

Many thanks.

Eric

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Filling on spin should obviously never happen. If it's a mechanical control knob there's a theoretical chance the knob is cracked and has spun round so the programmes are out of sync. It's unlikely but I have seen it many times. It's easily checked for by setting the knob to off positions where it should do nothing.

It's also not forced to be the same fault, could be coincidentally a new fault although obviously suspicions point to it being maybe related. Due to the amount of things you've already checked, the intermittent nature, the new extra symptom and the serious consequences of overfilling I suggest you get it looked at by an engineer.

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Yes thanks already thought it might be programmer or knob it's not exactly in line with where it should be but when switched to off it does nothing - like you'd expect. Wondered if it could be the thermistor being faulty and thinking things were hot and filling to cool but unfortunately the faults gone now and it never did it in front of me so I can't vouch for what happened. I took off the pressure switch pipe and gently blew and it didn't appear to offer any resistance. Unfortunately they've buried the end at the drum on the side 1/4 way up and there's no way I can see of getting to it. I gave it a powerful blow, re secured, checked all wiring and manually drained and damned things washed 3 loads on different settings as a trial and worked perfect.

Am I right in thinking you can program it to self diagnose? If so how do I do that? Like you say because of the nature if the beast maybe better a proper engineer check it out as at least they'll have the tools to check it properly thanks!

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There may be an engineers procedure to get the machine to report the last known error code but if it's registering an error code it should be displaying it anyway. Is there no error code displaying or lights flashing, specific option LEDs lit up when it goes faulty?

Regarding filling and emptying at the same time that can be a symptom of a faulty NTC thermistor if the machine thinks its overheating though it shouldn't really do this on spin (Washing machine fills and drains at same time)

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Thanks. There's no lights or signals this time but it was flashing with the initial fault but unfortunately at that time I didn't realise that was a code. :-(

Apparently it was rinsing this time, didn't apear to be progressing through the program and just kept filling up. When she moved it to drain I think it did but then when she moved it to spin it started filling up. When I got there I'd say it was 3/4 way up the door nearly :-( am I right on thinking the thermistor is a wee round disk just above the heater? Think your links here price it as £12.99. Is it worth changing to see if that makes any difference ( considering it's so cheap)?

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That sounds like the thermistor, but it shouldn't cause it to overfill really. If the machine went into a cooling down procedure because it thought it had overheated I can't say if the water levels get raised or not but wouldn't expect it to because it pumps water out to make room for the new cold water it's bringing in. Also it should signal an error code if that was happening.

Just check this article out if you haven't already found it - washing machine overfilling

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Sorry I should have said I've thoroughly read that overfilling article several times thanks. When you say that sounds like the thermistor do you mean possibly causing the problem or my description sounds like that of a thermistor lol?

Sorry if I'm confusing you... The washing machine was on a 44 minute wash (which uses 40degree water according to the book). 17 minutes in my girlfriend could heart the machine clunk stop clunk stop clunk stop. This was it constantly drawing water then stopping then drawing water then stopping. She realised something was wrong so went to check and the water was half way up the door. She switched it off and turned it to drain and the water was drained away. She switched it to spin and it just started filling again until eventually it reached 3/4 up the door. She switched electricity off (like I advised her by text) and it stopped filling. She put electricity back on and REGARDLESS OF WHAT SHE TURNED THE PROGRAMMER TO IT JUST KEPT FILLING. when I had the first incident that's also what it did with me. It was like the machine was he'll bent on filling up regardless of what timer position I selected. Anyway I asked her to unplug mains, switch off water and wait till I got home. As I said I manually drained it, lightly very lightly blew down the tubing realising a powerful blow wouldn't tell me anything (the light blow met no resistance so it was clear) both ends of the pressure tube are secured in place, I checked all wiring was secure turned it in for a trial wash and it's working perfect. God I used to do lots of fault finding for my job. I hate intermittent faults. Don't know if that's any clearer an explanation?

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Sorry forgot to mention that we called the repair man who said it could be

1. I've left one end of the pressure hose off when I looked at it last time...which it most defo isn't!!!! Apart from fact that doesn't account for its first overfilling episode

2. It could be inlet valve is faulty... Which it can't be cos it stops filling when I remove power.

3. it could be grit in something (she can't remember what he said but she thought it was something like propeller (possible impeller) any thoughts on that please?

4. He says no point in coming out cos he won't be able to diagnose the problem and we've to wait till it happens and the lights start flashing the code

????????

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No worries, I meant you were correct in that your description sounded like it was the thermistor :)

Unfortunately the description contains certain anomalies which make it harder to fathom. When it was put onto spin the pump should be continuously running so even if the machine was letting in water constantly it should've been pumped away simultaneously and been very difficult for it to have got three quarters of the way up the drum. If the pump isn't pumping out fast enough due to a partial blockage that could explain the water getting in faster than it can pump away but normally the water pumping out is a lot greater than the amount coming in through the valves.

Another possibility is an insulation fault somewhere. On some of these modern washing machines leaks to Earth can cause very strange behaviour. However to diagnose that you would need an insulation test meter capable of putting 500 V DC through the machine. Old washing machines used to have a constant neutral supply to all parts and simply supplied a live feed to any part which would instantly function. Some machines can do it the opposite way round in that they have a constant live feed to all parts and in order to make any part function they switch in a neutral return to complete the circuit. In such circumstances leakages to Earth can act as a neutral return and cause parts to operate. If you do not have access to an insulation test meter you'd need an engineer.

Your description of the water valve kicking in in a jerky fashion sounds like a potential dodgy connection somewhere connecting an intermittent and short lived circuit. This behaviour could be explained by some weird insulation issue, a faulty pressure switch or a fault somewhere in the PCB.

The behaviour I described whereby the washer thinks it is overheating and tops up with cold water, pumps some away, and repeats this cycle in order to cool down what it thinks is boiling water should be a much more controlled thing. If the water valve has been energised for very short periods of time and being quite jerky it sounds much more like something in the above paragraph.

Regarding the repair man. Obviously number one is no help because the washing machine would completely flood the kitchen. With the pressure hose off the washing machine would never stop filling - ever.

Number two, a faulty inlet valve isn't an explanation either because as you rightly say if it somehow jammed open it would still fill with the machine switched off. The water valve is a simple electromagnet. When power and the circuit is made a metal plunger is drawn up allowing water to come in. When the connection is closed a spring pushes the plunger back which stops the flow of water. The only fault a valve can give is to not work at all because of an open circuit coil, or to jam open. It cannot autonomously decide to let water in. However, if a valve has a constant live feed, and is switched on via the neutral side by something making a neutral circuit then theoretically it could start opening if by any chance it gets a path back to neutral or earth.

Number three sounds like they mean a blockage in the pump which couldn't affect the water valves.

Number four, I have some sympathy with. An intermittent fault like this is a nightmare to try and fix. Unless it's doing it on every wash the chances are that any engineer that comes out will find it working fine and therefore very difficult to diagnose. However they could check the insulation and various other things, which could at least start the process of elimination procedure necessarily for fixing the fault. You would have to be prepared of course to pay a callout and repair charge with no guarantee of a fix, which most people wouldn't be happy with of course.

So you have the worst possible type of fault, and intermittent one, with potential serious consequences. This means you can't just leave it running and wait for it to do it again because it could flood the kitchen. However, if you can observe any flashing lights or lit option lights And report them it may indicate something.

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Thanks very much once again your replies are both full and very very interesting to me technically.

I think that's what annoyed me about the engineer. He could have come out to check stuff like insulation etc to ensure they were ruled out and we did ask what a check would cost because we realise we need to pay for someone to come out and do that even if he finds nothing.

Your comments about using specialist equipment to check electrics is WAY beyond my technical expertise I'm afraid. Although I have done lots of troubleshooting it's not on an electrical background so I'd have to admit I'm at the limits of my ability. Think we 're just concerned we're going to be throwing away a machine for the sake of a £12 part cos neither of us like waste and come from an era (just!! lol) when appliances and everything else was repairable and it cost less to fix that to replace.

Thanks again for all your help. We'll just need to hope it gives us some flashing lights telling us what is wrong soon. It is weird that simply draining it manually, having a probe around inside and feeling around wiring makes it work perfectly for 2-3 weeks before it goes faulty again :-)

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Ps: I had thought of running a wash with the pressure tube removed from the switch end (and elevated) replacing it with a small tube which I could blow up when I wanted to stop water at whatever level I wanted just to check the pressure switch wasn't sticking. Don't know if that sounds daft but theoretically I thought I could trigger it manually as often as I want, put it under "pressure" to see if it fails/works etc

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If you removed the pressure tube water would rise up inside it so you'd have to make sure it didn't leak out and make sure it's all drained away before reconnecting it.

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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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