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Strange Smell from AEG 6955 Washing Machine

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I have an AEG washing machine Lavamat 6955. It is 22 years old had quite heavy use throughout its life and apart from replacing the carbon brushes twice, it has been 100% reliable. However, after the last replacement brushes were fitted about 2 weeks ago the machine has made a strange smell. This is impossible to describe so I will say what it is not. It is not a bad smell like anything rotting. It does not come from the drum or the detergent drawer. I have tried a very hot wash and that made no difference. The motor is too hot to touch after a wash but I understand that is normal. The smell is not burning (rubber or plastic) it appears to come from the motor area or can be observed at the top back right hand corner (above the motor). The only way I can begin to describe it is to say it is a hot smell and perhaps a little sweetish. I removed the plastic sheet drip cover and that made no difference. It starts after the machine has been on for a while and dissipates swiftly when it finishes.

If anyone has any ideas, I would be grateful to hear them.

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Hello there. 22 years is almost a world record these days. It sounds like it could be the armature windings on the motor. Is it a very pungent and persistent smell? It sounds like the lacquer on the windings of the motor somewhere. It sounds like it's had its day to be honest. Don't keep trying to run it as it is likely to completely burn out.


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Hi Andy.

Thanks for the reply. I will have to give it a long service medal!

The smell is pervasive rather than persistent. It goes soon after the machine finishes but it can be noticed easily for some distance from the machine whilst it is running, even in the next room. Yes, I think it may smell like heated lacquer so that could be the cause.

As it has been so reliable, is it worth replacing the motor? If I do use it and it does burn out, will it just stop working or is the moment of failure likely to be more dramatic/dangerous?

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In all honesty, I would not fit a new motor on a 22 year old washing machine. Realistically, the chances of lasting much longer are slim. It wouldn't be so bad if it only cost about £50 but it could be hundreds of pounds for a new motor. I wouldn't even be surprised if it was totally obsolete too. In fact I would be surprised if you could buy one even if you wanted to.


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Fair enough, perhaps I had better just put it out of its misery.

However, if I do continue to use it until it does go (or I get a new one) , is it dangerous?

Will it go with a bang or a whimper?  

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Yes it could burn out and fill kitchen with smoke, or flash and short out electrics or worse. If the windings are overheating and causing the insulation on the armature or field coil to melt and produce that horrible smell you should not use it at all.


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