How to Test the Motor and Brushes of a Washing Machine

Jul 10, 2023, 15:20pm

The motor drives the washing machine. The motor carbons transmit the energy of the motor to the rotor, that is to say, to the element that makes the drum turn.

These elements are defective when:

  • The washing machine no longer spins
  • The washing machine is noisy
  • The washing machine makes noise when spinning,
  • The washing machine does not spin,
  • An error code is displayed on the front,
  • The washing machine does not start,
  • The washing machine stops mid-cycle.

The motor is located in the internal structure of the washing machine.

The motor and brushes are critical components in a washing machine, responsible for powering the drum’s movement during a wash cycle. Over time, these parts can wear out or develop faults, leading to issues such as a drum that won’t spin or strange noises during operation. Testing the motor and brushes can help diagnose potential problems and determine if they need to be replaced. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to test the motor and brushes of a washing machine.

How to Test the Motor and Brushes of a Washing Machine

Safety Precautions

Before starting any testing or maintenance work on your washing machine, it is important to prioritize safety. Always unplug the machine from the power source before attempting any repairs. Additionally, ensure you are working in a well-lit area and wear protective gloves to prevent injury.

Tools Required

To test the motor and brushes of a washing machine, you will need the following tools:

  • Multimeter (with continuity and resistance testing capabilities)
  • Screwdriver set (Phillips or Torx, depending on your machine)

Steps to Test the Motor and Brushes

Follow these steps to test the motor and brushes of a washing machine:

Step 1: Unplug the Washing Machine

Ensure the washing machine is disconnected from the power source by unplugging it from the wall socket.

Step 2: Access the Motor and Brushes

To access the motor and brushes, remove the back panel of the washing machine using the appropriate screwdriver. Set the screws aside in a safe place. You should now have a clear view of the motor and brushes.

Step 3: Test the Motor’s Continuity

Set your multimeter to the continuity or resistance testing mode. Touch the probes to the terminals of the motor. If the multimeter beeps or shows a low resistance reading, it indicates that the motor’s windings have continuity and are functioning properly. If there is no beep or the reading is significantly different from the expected value, it may indicate a fault in the motor that requires further inspection or replacement.

Step 4: Test the Brushes

Locate the carbon brushes, which are small rectangular or square components that make contact with the motor’s commutator. Gently remove the brushes from their holders. Measure the length of the brushes using a ruler or caliper. If the brushes are worn down to 5mm or less, they need to be replaced, as they may not make proper contact with the commutator.

Step 5: Check the Commutator

Inspect the commutator, which is a cylindrical component inside the motor that the brushes make contact with. It should be clean and free from any debris, carbon buildup, or signs of damage. If you notice any abnormalities, such as excessive wear, roughness, or burning, it may indicate a need for further motor repair or replacement.

Step 6: Reassemble the Washing Machine

Once you have completed the testing and inspection, reassemble the washing machine by placing the back panel back in its original position. Use the screws you previously removed to secure the panel tightly.

How to Test the Motor and Brushes of a Washing Machine

Step 7: Test the Machine

Plug your washing machine back into the power source. Turn it on and run a test cycle. Observe the motor’s performance and listen for any unusual noises. Monitor the drum’s movement to ensure it spins smoothly and evenly. If the machine operates correctly without any issues, it indicates that the motor and brushes are functioning properly.

If you encounter any persistent problems or suspect a fault in the motor or brushes despite testing, it is recommended to consult a professional appliance repair technician or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

In conclusion, testing the motor and brushes of a washing machine can help diagnose potential issues and ensure proper functioning. By following these steps and conducting the necessary tests, you can determine if the motor or brushes require replacement. Always refer to your washing machine’s user manual for specific instructions and guidelines, as different models may have slight variations in the motor and brush configurations. Regular maintenance and testing of these components will help keep your washing machine running smoothly for years to come.


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