How To Test Washer Motor? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
15 min read

What is the best way to test a washer motor? You’ll learn how to do it in five simple steps as you continue reading this post.

While it is possible for a washing machine’s engine to begin to show indications of wear and tear from regular use by failing to start, overheating, or making unusual noises while running, this is quite rare.

You need to check your washing machine if you see any of these signs. If your washing machine isn’t working properly, it could be for any number of reasons. To begin, a series of circuit testing on your motor will be required to identify if this is the issue. After the problem has been discovered, you can do standard washing machine maintenance.

You need to check your washing machine if you see any of these signs. If your washing machine isn’t working properly, it could be for any number of reasons. To begin, a series of circuit testing on your motor will be required to identify if this is the issue. After the problem has been discovered, you can do standard washing machine maintenance.

Steps To Test Washer Motor

If you are familiar with the operation of your washing machine and have access to some essential tools, you may do a self-test on the motor. Low-cost diagnostic equipment such as a digital multimeter is capable of measuring a wide range of electrical properties on the go. Because it provides more accurate readings, a digital multimeter is preferable over an analog one. The good news is that an easy-to-follow instruction manual for using a multimeter to inspect a washing machine’s motor is provided just for you!

Step #1. To begin, turn on the washer’s motor

An independent motor test can be carried out by anyone who is familiar with their washing machine and has access to basic tools. A digital multimeter, for example, is a low-cost, portable diagnostic tool that can measure a wide range of electrical properties. A digital multimeter is better than an analog one because it offers more accurate readings. Good news: You’ll find an instruction booklet for using the multimeter to test the washing machine’s motor here!

How to Repair | How to test a washing machine motor

The most common name for this motor type is an AC series motor. Universal motors can run on both DC and AC currents, unlike DC series motors. As a result, this electric motor can run on AC since the field coils and armature, as well as their respective magnetic fields, can be synced with both the supply voltage and the AC frequency. The polarity of the commutator and the field coils determines the rotation’s direction regardless of the voltage employed.

Step #2. Motor brush of your washing machine

A brush, known as a carbon brush or a fixed wire, can be used to transfer an electrical current between two moving objects. For example, motors, generators, and alternators are all examples of electrical devices that use this mechanism. A specific type of generator or electric motor requires the rotor’s coils to be coupled to function. As a result, springs and a brass or copper commutator pressed braided copper wire against the shaft.

Brushes on conductive rings are part of the washer. Use of brushes on the commutator that moved back and forth was a hindrance. Because of this, graphite-based “high-resistance brushes” were developed, and in certain cases copper was added. Even if it was just a few hundred milliohms, there was still enough resistance to allow a seamless transition from one commutator section to the other. Many individuals are divided on whether or not the term “brush” should be used at all. It is necessary to replace brushes on a regular basis because they wear out and can be replaced easily.

When you’ve checked the carbon brushes in the washing machine’s motor for any signs of wear and tear, it’s time for the next step.

Step #3. Changing the speed of the washing machine

Simple potentiometers can be used to change the speed of a washing machine’s motor. There are two methods of modulation that can be used to encode digital data: pulse-duration modulation (PDM) and pulse-width modulation. This modulation method can encode data for transmission of inertial loads, such as motors. There are a number of ways to charge a solar battery, including PWM and maximum power tracking. Make sure you know how fast your washing machine spins.

Step #4. Wire a washing machine motor controller

Use a light dimmer if you can’t think of anything else. Any of the above mentioned equipment, as well as an electric cart or bike and an automatic wood splitter, can be controlled by this circuit. And sure, you can apply this to revolutions per minute of between 10,000 and 13,000 per minute.

Step #5. Connect washing machine motor

This approach can be used to connect a 120/220 volt washing machine motor. A direct drive wiring arrangement uses the mains power supply directly so that the washing machine motor can begin spinning at full speed as soon as the motor is attached.

5 Common Washing Machine Motor Problems

1. Washer Won’t Pump or Spin

Occasionally, the washing machine may not be able to pump water in and out, or spin. If this doesn’t happen while the motor is running, the lid switch is most likely to blame. This switch can be found within the washing machine, close to the door frame. If it’s broken, you’ll want to get a new one.

2. Pumps, but Won’t Spin

Once again, the lid switch could cause the washer to fill with water, but not spin it at all. It’s also conceivable that the plastic or rubber coupler that connects the motor shaft to the transmission has failed. When something goes down, the only option is to replace it. A broken belt, a worn clutch, or a defective drive motor could also be to blame. Drive motors have two directions of movement built in. It has the ability to burn out while travelling in one direction and continue to work in the opposite direction. Sadly, if this fails, the entire motor will need to be replaced.

3. Washer Won’t Agitate

Before the spin cycle, the agitator is used to move the laundry around in the water. It is possible that the lid switch, motor coupler, belt or clutch, drive motor or pulley, or transmission are all malfunctioning if the washer won’t agitate. An oily black stuff under the washer may indicate that the clutch has failed. As a result, the clutch needs to be changed out.

4. Clothes Still Wet

A malfunctioning washing machine may leave wet garments after the spin cycle. Again, the motor coupler may be at blame. Between brands, this varies. In the case of Maytag appliances, it may be a scuffed belt, whereas in the case of GE appliances, it could be a scuffed clutch.

5. Problems in Every Cycle

A defective drive motor may be to blame for a washing machine that refuses to spin, agitate, or complete a cycle. The clutch shift lever may have failed on some GE washers, in which case a specialist will need to fix the machine.

How to Wiring Universal Washing Machine Motor - YouTube

Many of the parts that can go wrong with a washing machine are directly linked to the motor. Components that allow the washer to fill with water, agitate, spin and drain are powered by the motor. Even if you can fix some small, inexpensive parts by yourself, keep in mind that larger jobs may necessitate the services of a professional or the complete replacement of a major component.

How To Repair A Washer That’s Not Spinning

Direct Drive Motor Coupling

There may be an issue with the direct drive motor coupling between the transmission and the motor if your top-load washer won’t spin. It consists of two plastic drive forks, one coupled to the drive motor’s shaft and the other to the transmission’s input shaft. The forks are protected by a rubber connection that absorbs the torque. The connection, on the other hand, can wear out with time, allowing the plastic forks to slip around and squeal. When the spin basket becomes obstructed or the transmission seizes, the coupling is in risk of breaking. Unplug the washing machine and remove the pump and motor from behind the cabinet to have access to the direct drive motor coupler. Enter your model number into the search engine to locate the exact location of this coupling.

Door Lock & Interlock

Before the washer will work, the door must be closed completely and the door lock must be engaged in most front-loading washing machines and certain top-loaders as well. To find the door switch, open the door and inspect the door frame or the door lock. As long as the door is securely locked, this element tells the timer or control board to proceed with the spin cycle. A secure door requires a strike that is fully integrated into the lock assembly. Check the switch for electrical continuity by unplugging the washer, removing the front panel, and using a multimeter. Use our fault code dictionary to see if your machine’s door lock, or interlock, is to blame for the machine’s inability to spin. Door lock assemblies can be replaced if the fault code shows that the switch is malfunctioning or there is no continuity there.

Wax Motor

The door lock for some models of front-loading washers is operated by a wax motor, which pushes a pin out to lock the door when a cycle starts. Washers include a safety function that prevents them from spinning unless the door is locked. That is because an unlocked door signal cannot be received by an unlocked machine with a defective wax motor. Since a broken wax motor leaves little to no visible evidence, the simplest way to determine if it is working is to use a multi-meter to do a continuity test. An open circuit will result from a broken wax motor, while a working one will provide resistance ranging from 1500 to 1900 ohms.

Lid Switch

It is impossible for the washer’s spin cycle motor to run if the top lid of the machine is raised, causing the lid switch to open. You should not disable this safety feature because it is critical in preventing major injury. A malfunctioning lid switch will prevent your washing machine from spinning, so you’ll need to get it fixed. Locate the lid switch, which is usually found beneath the main top, and then go from there. When the lid is closed, a pin or lever attached to the lid will activate the switch. Check to check if the lid closing trips the switch when the washer is unplugged. Remove the switch’s cables and check for electrical continuity with your multimeter. Changing the switch if it isn’t giving power to the motor circuits is a good option. The direct drive motor coupling and the rest of the components in this area should be checked if the switch still maintains continuity.

Clutch Assembly

Some kinds of top-loading washers include a clutch assembly for connecting the wash basket drive to the transmission’s input shaft. If your washer isn’t spinning or is spinning too slowly to remove all the water from the clothing, there could be an issue with the clutch. Clothes baskets can spin thanks to the clutch assembly’s ability to latch on to the transmission input shaft. The pads wear out because they are constantly rubbing against the housing. During the spin cycle, if you hear a scraping sound or a loud noise, if the machine smells burnt, or if brake dust—which looks like shavings—is left behind, you know the clutch has failed. In order to remove the washer’s motor and transmission assembly, unplug it, remove its cabinet, remove its drive motor, and then remove its clutch assembly from the outer tub, which is normally attached to the basket drive assembly. If the clutch assembly appears to be worn or broken, get it replaced.

Drive Belt or Spin Belt

If you have a top-load washer, the transmission and the drive motor may be connected via a drive belt. If the drive belt fails, the machine will not be able to spin its load. A burning smell or a strange noise may be a sign of this issue. It’s possible that your drive belt is a fabric-covered rubber V-belt. As an alternative, an idler pulley or rubber belt could be used as a tensioning device, reducing the amount of friction on the belt. In front-loading washers, the drive belt connects the motor to the wash basket.

How to wire AC Universal Appliance motors (Washer/Drier) - YouTube

Belts with several ribs and a tighter stretch are common in this type of washer compared to the top-loading washer’s driving belt. The drive belt for your washer might be found under the machine, behind the cabinet, or on the front panel, depending on the model you have. For your convenience, below is a checklist of things to do:

If you have a top-loading washer, check to see if the transmission pulley moves smoothly and freely in both directions.

-Remove any grease or oil from the drive and motor’s belts and pulleys.

The belt tensioner, motor glide, and idler assembly should all move freely and without difficulty before use.

If you have a front-loading washer, spin the tub with your hand to see if it’s obstructed or blocked.

Use your hand to spin the inner tub of your top-loading machine to make sure it is not obstructed or blocked.

When a belt is worn or damaged, you should replace it with the same type of belt that your machine used to use.

-Adjust and tighten the belt in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s A Wrap!

In order to run your washing machine’s pump and drum, you need an electric motor. If the motor dies, the machine will stop working. The engine in your washing machine may be faulty, causing it to malfunction. It’s possible to get the same results in a washing machine because there are so many things that might go wrong. Only a circuit tester can tell you if your motor has been damaged. Anyway, you already know how to perform a washer motor test. I’ll see you all again soon. Read up on how to level a washer, as well as how to use bleach in the washing.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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