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Aquarius Ultima 1200 (wd31) Motor Won't Run Properly


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My Aquarius Ultima 1200 (model WD31) motor has stopped running properly. By this I mean that it will sometimes start but after several minutes then stops or (most commonly) just won't start at all. The symptoms occur on anything to do with the motor (ie. wash, spin or tumble dry all exhibit exactly the same problem).

I've performed a continuity test across the what I believe are the feed pins to the motor (one blue/red and one purple) which is OK and so I have assumed the wiring inside the motor is OK. I've also performed a continuity test on all the pins of the motor connector to their equivilant pins on control module connector and again all these appear fine.

Is there any thing I can test for to see if the problem is actually a problem with the motor or with the control module itself? Is there anything else that you can suggest I should test?

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When you say it "stops", if you mean the washing machine goes totally dead then it can't be anything to do with the motor or module. If you mean the programme timer still clicks but the drum stops turning then motor problems can be the cause.

The most common problem with the Hotpoint motors is worn carbon brushes. If this is the case, although you would normally get an open circuit reading, you can still get a reading across the tags but the motor labours and sparks when turning. ( Buy Hotpoint and Creda carbon brushes - Link includes a link to carbon brush diagnostic advice )

From what you say, (no mention of motor sparking) it sounds like the washing machine goes totally dead, the main suspect in that case is the door interlock which has a live feed, a neutral and a common wire which allows the power to travel up to the programme timer when the interlock activates.

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Thanks. Sorry for a not giving a better description - no it doesn't go dead, the timer still 'clicks' but the drum stops - and yes, when it does actually turn there is (what I regard as) a lot of sparking and they are very blue sparks rather than the orange/white that you normally get with motors, if that means anything.

I've taken the carbon brushes out (although with the right hand one that's an awful lot easier said than done ) and they are very unevenly worn (I know motors do wear unevenly but this is very distinct) and you are absolutely right, one side is worn down more or less to it's plastic casing (the other side has 6mm or so protruding beyond its plastic casing).

I guess therefore that you've solved my problem. I'll source some replacements and hopefully be back washing again.

Many thanks for your help - it's much appreciated.

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Excellent. I usually take the top tub weight off to make it a lot easier to get to them. Make sure you only fit the genuine Hotpoint carbon brushes as non-genuine brushes can damage the armature. ( Genuine Hotpoint and Creda brushes )

The carbon brushes you require are the laminated ones. When fitting them, push them into position in the motor, then make sure you release them from their captive position by prizing the little gold tab away.

You can release them before putting them into the motor, but although tricker when left until fitted, it's better (as long as you release them properly) because the brush can overide the commutator on the armature or snap when pushed in place while released. I use a stanley knife blade to release the gold tab.

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Hello again Andy. I thought changing the brushes had sorted it, because everything worked fine afterwards and we've been able to complete the backlog of washing (5 or 6 washes, all OK).

However, the last wash didn't spin dry and I'm now back with a motor that won't run reliably - in fact it won't run at all most of the time. I suspect that what I actually had before was a dry connection somewhere and the brushes, whilst needing replacing, weren't the root problem. I guess that in fitting them I've restored the poor connection but it's now failed again?

I've checked all the connections to the brushes, motor connector and back to the program module are all properly seated. I've also put a meter across the motor connect pins and have, what I think, seems sensible continuity between various pins (I can give the results if it helps) and so I've assumed that the wiring inside the motor is OK.

I've also put the meter across the motor to program module connector and have continuity across all of them back to the program module. I've also read the other posts on your forum about the pressure switch and tried spinning with this disconnected but no joy. So I don't think it's that.

The purple wire (pin 1) from the motor connector goes to the underneath of my program module (rather than to the top left of it like the other 6 wires) and I've made sure this it's connector is also seated properly from underneath.

So to recap, the pump, water heater, trumble dryer heater are all working fine and the washing machine will fill with water and drain again but the motor won't turn on either a wash, a spin or a tumble dry.

Whilst I appreciate finding a dry connection is a needle and haystack affair, can you offer any pointers if there is a common point of failure?

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It could be coincidence, or it could be an unlucky second fault with the same symptoms (it does happen). You say the motor doesn't run at all most of the time, but when it does run, does the motor spark excessively?

If so, double check the brushes first before assuming it's another fault. It's quite possible for them to run fine for several washes and then pack in. This can be caused if the little brass tag isn't prized away fully so the brush sticks in the holder. Take out both carbon brushes and make shure they have bedded in properly.

Another cause is if you release the brushes before inserting them and when you push one into the motor it doesn't go in correctly or even snaps. Again, it can run for a while then start playing up.

Dry joints on the motor are pretty much unheard of with Hotpoint. Dry joints on the module can happen. Normally, if a motor is OK, with continuity through all pins (the tacho coil gives a very high reading which is almost open circuit but that's normal) then it's likely to be a wiring or module fault.

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Right again!

When I took the brushes out, the left hand one (standing at the front of the washer) had the actual carbon brush not fastened to the plastic casing - I've managed to finger the spring and the carbon stick from out of the motor casing but there's no "cord" keeping the carbon tensed against the spring inside the plastic housing. Is this just a faulty brush or is there something that could have caused this (I didn't break it pulling it out!).

Luckily, I'd kept the better of the 2 old brushes and putting this in didn't immediately cure the problem.

However, I went through all the previous checks and removing the tube from the pressure switch let it burst into life.

So I assume that the combination of faulty brush and (now) blocked pressure tube has caused the problem.

Just a couple of quick questions, how do you recommend "cleaning" the pressure tube (it doesn't look easy to get at) and should I assume the brush problem is just one of those things or have you seen this before indicating something wrong inside the motor?

Once again, many thanks.

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Nasty. You are lucky the motor didn't short out when the spring went inside out blow the printed circuit on the module and the TOC in the field coil windings. I've never seen a new brush become disconnected from the holder. Maybe you got a very dodgy one. Normally, if the brush becomes detached from its holder and the spring goes into the motor everything shorts out with a nasty bang.

Did the motor run reasonably well - without making any clicking noise or flashing too much? If so, a new set of brushes may get the motor running again.

make sure the washing machine is disconected from the mains supply and shine a torch into the motor. Turn it slowly by hand using the belt and check all the segments on the Armature's commutator are all there. A loose, raised, or missing segment can bust a carbon brush and drag the spring inside.

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Yes, I've had a look at the dodgy brush now and the braided copper "string" is still there coiled up inside the plastic brush holder. It's obviously become detached somehow from the end of the carbon stick. I think the reason it didn't short is that the carbon stick was still in place - it (and the spring) didn't (couldn't) come out until I began easing the brush holder back therfore it never went inside the motor whilst running.

I'd already looked at the commutator before I put the old brush back in and all the segments appear OK and (with pressure switch detached) the motor seems to run OK - however, there it does click (since you mentioned this in your post) but there is only minimal sparking. I'd assumed the clicking was just the brush "catching" until it became bedded in - do you think the clicking is indicative of something?

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The brushes do make a sort of clicking noise especially when not bedded in but a distinctive click can be indicitive of a loose segment on the commutator. This can be checked for by placing finger on the commutator (disconnect washing machine from electric supply!!) and turning the motor with the belt slowly. If one of the segments is loose or raised, then every revolution of the armature should detect the uneven bump under your finger.

Other possible causes of washing machine drum not going round or spinning

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