How a Washing Machine Works

    Although it may not be necessary to understand how a washing machine works in order to use one, a working knowledge can be prove helpful in the event of faults arising with your machine and knowing how to diagnose them.

    For information on how to tackle and resolve faults and problems on a wide range of appliances see our other articles »

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    Video Transcript: How a Washing Machine Works

    Welcome to BuySpares.

    This video will show you how a washing machine works.

    Important: before replacing a part in any electrical appliance, you must ensure that the appliance is first disconnected from the mains.

    If you are experiencing problems with your washing machine it can be helpful to know how the machine works to locate the source of the fault and determine how to fix it.

    We'll start by removing the top and back panel from the machine so you can see inside.

    The control panel is positioned at the top on the front machine.

    And on some machines this will include the power module which may be fitted behind the control panel,

    at the top the machine or at the back.

    The power module controls most aspects of the machine such as the flow of water, temperature duration of the cycle and the drum speed.

    The module is also connected to the door lock which insures the door remains locked while the machine in is use.

    Some machines have a hot and cold water inlet. It's important if this is the case that both the inlets are connect to the supply otherwise some cycles may not work.

    However that may spark a machine now when the cold fill and then heat the water as required.

    The water comes into the machine through the solenoid valves, it then passes through these hoses to the dispenser assembly

    through jets into the dispenser drawer.

    There are normally separate compartment for the pre-wash, main wash and conditioner.

    And this is controlled by which solenoid valve is activated.

    The detergent or condition is washed out of the draw through this pipe into the drum.

    The drum is actually composed of two parts.

    An outer tub which is stationary, and the inner metal drum which is the part that spins and is lined with holes to allow the water through.

    As the water-filled the drum it causes this pressure chamber to squeeze air up this pipe to a water level sensor or pressure switch at the top.

    From this the control board can determine when there's enough water in the drum at which point it tells the solenoid valve to close and stop water flowing in.

    The drum is spun by the motor, machine like this have a separate motor and drum connected by a belt and pulley while others are direct drive with the motor mounted onto the drum.

    The water heating element is located below between the tub and the drum and is turned on if required by the power module.

    The drum has additional weight spring and dampers which help to control it's movement and absorb some of the vibration caused by unbalances when spinning.

    However if the washing is very unbalanced by a very heavy item like a single large towel it may not be possible to control this movement.

    When the machine has finished washing the drain pump here pump the water out of the drum through the outlet hose before the water gets to the pump it passes through the filter and trap,

    This helps to catch debris and stop it getting into the pump and causing a blockage.

    To see how to fix a wide range of faults on washing machines see our other videos.

    For all the spares you need visit the BuySpares website.

    * All information provided is a guide only. BuySpares accepts no liability for any problems occurred while attempting any advice shown. If in any doubt contact a qualified repair service.