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My washer started playing up a month or so ago, although only to the point that it wouldn't go into a spin at the end of a wash. As a result, I had to turn the dial through a wash cycle until I could get it to kick in.

Today, it seems to have died completely. I cannot get the drum to move at all, the dial just clicks and moves around the cycle, but the drum does nothing. However, the input and output of water is not a problem, it still fills and drains. I also noticed that I can now open the door even when it's mid cycle. This isn't something I could do before today, as I'd tried it at the end of a wash when it had failed to spin.

I took the top of the washing machine off, and the motor seemed to be doing nothing, I touched the belt hoping to kick it into life, and it did briefly, accompanied by a lot of sparks, but now it has died again and I cannot repeat this.

So basically, I have a washer that will happily fill and drain, but nothing more, and I can open the door even when it's filling. The drum seems to want to do nothing, but it the washing machine does cycle through the wash.

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It's dangerous touching anything inside the washing machine with it still connected to the mains, especially touching the belt or motor while the motor is supposed to be running. People have lost fingers and worse. Please always ensure the washing machine is unplugged. ( DIY repair safety tips )

It sounds like the carbon brushes, with the machine unplugged, gently prize out the carbon brushes from each side of the motor. They are held in place with a plastic tag than needs levering. You should be able to work it out easily. Take the tub weight off to get to the brush nearest to it, it makes the job much easier. You should find at least one of the brushes is charred and sooty. There is a possibility that the armature is worn or the TOC in the field coil windings has gone but you can't really test for this without a meter and you should really check the insulation of the motor with a proper insulation test meter.

9 times out of 10, replacing the carbon brushes with genuine Hotpoint ones will fix this problem. ( check out Hotpoint and Creda carbon brushes diagnostics & fitting )

The new brushes will be supplied in holders and the carbon brush is held captive for protection by a brass lug which needs prizing out fully to allow the brush to slide out. Although, trickier, it's best to do this after the brush is pushed into the motor (I use a stanley blade)

You can buy Hotppoint or Creda carbons here - Purchase Hotpoint and Creda carbon brushes

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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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As you suggested I removed the brushes and found them both to be very worn down on one side. As a very short term fix, I switched the brushes over to the other side, in order to gain some contact, at least to try it out. It all seems to be working as before now.

Obviously I am going to need to buy replacements, but at least now I know that's definately what it is.

Thanks for all of your help, you certainly know your stuff!

You've saved my bank balancetaking a big hit, as usually I'd find myself having to get assistance

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Excellent. Don't use the washing machine though. Get replacement carbon brushes before you use it again. It's possible that the armature could get damaged or it could short out and blow the TOC in the field coil.

It's not worth the risk.

Need a repair or spare parts? 

Book a Repair | Buy Spares (Cheapest prices guaranteed)

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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Hi again Andy. As you advised, I fitted new Hotpoint brushes. I now have a working washing machine, to an extent. The machine and motor are now working, at least in a fashion, certainly more than before. Previously I had no response from the drum whatsoever.

When completely empty, the washer functions in a correct fashion, no problems whatsoever. However, when under load, with the greater weighted load being worse, it stalls as it tries to turn. It is making the effort to turn, and every so often it manages to make a full turn, but usually it just stutters as it tries to move the drum under weight.

Would this be anything to do with the brushes trying to bed in, or have I possibly knocked something i shouldn't have? Also, I now have a very high pitched, but not particularly loud squeak coming from the drum as it turns.

It's hard to explain the stalling, I'm sure you'll have seen it before, it's not that it's not working but just that the power doesn't seem to be there to enable it to make the full cycle, either that or it's catching somewhere. It's still 100% better than it was previously, as at least I have movement now.

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Did you take the motor off at all or slacken it's bolts? If the belt is slack then it will run OK with no clothes in but water and clothes will make the belt slip. This could produce the kind of symptoms you describe.

Other than that, is the motor flashing when it's struggling to turn? If not, the armature could be worn.

Need a repair or spare parts? 

Book a Repair | Buy Spares (Cheapest prices guaranteed)

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 had slackened the bolt as I was struggling to remove the brush nearest the casing, although in the end I managed it anyway. I'm sure I tightened it satisfactorily again, but I will double check.

Strangely halfway through the first wash it seems to have sorted itself out, the spin was fine, and it's now turning as normal. I'm running a second wash and it's showing no problems again.

If it does happen again, I'll take the lid off, check the belt tension and watch for sparks.

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