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Old 19th Nov 2012, 23:52   #1
Angilion
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washing machine drum not moving - ideas?

I've got an old washing machine that's seen a hell of a lot of use. I've had it about 12 years and it was used when I bought it.

It was fine up until today, no sign of any impending problems at all.

I put some washing on tonight and went down to get it out a while later, only to find that it was much wetter than usual, especially the clothes that had been at the bottom.

Hmm...so I put them back in on the same cycle and watched the machine for a bit. The problem is that the drum isn't moving at all, neither during the wash cycles nor the spin cycles.

Everything else is as normal. The machine is filling and draining correctly and is going through the cycles correctly without any unusual noises or catching fire

The drum can be freely rotated by hand.

I'm inclined to say "well, I got my money's worth from that" and get a new one (probably a used reconditioned one from Home Aids Services in Hanley, where I got this one), but I'm concerned that maybe it's something obvious and cheap to fix and I'd be wasting money replacing it. On the other hand, it is at least 12 years old. It's a bit rusty on the outside. It really is very used. But if someone here can say it's the <thing> with the <thing> and costs a tenner to fix, it'd be silly to get a new one instead.

It's an Indesit WG1234T. The manual online is of no use at all in this situation.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 00:00   #2
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http://www.yourspares.co.uk/parts/in...4j5-POL26.aspx


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Old 20th Nov 2012, 00:01   #3
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An Indesit? Dimple is going to go ballistic.

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Old 20th Nov 2012, 00:03   #4
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Carbon brushes in the motor assuming the belt is on.

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Old 20th Nov 2012, 00:14   #5
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Drum freely rotating?

Belt snapped.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 00:23   #6
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the most common fault is the brushes. These power the motor and allow the drum to spin. You can check them by removing them and seeing if they have worn down or not
They are really easy to change yourself provided you buy the correct ones for your machine.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 00:34   #7
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Originally Posted by bitslice View Post
Drum freely rotating?

Belt snapped.
^
This. Usually it's fairly stiff but possible to move still due to the "gearing" ratios and resistance of the motor when not powered. Belt snapped = no more resistance against the motor.


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Old 20th Nov 2012, 01:16   #8
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serve it an eviction notice
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 01:37   #9
Angilion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gammawolf View Post
^
This. Usually it's fairly stiff but possible to move still due to the "gearing" ratios and resistance of the motor when not powered. Belt snapped = no more resistance against the motor.
Good point.

My original post was a bit misleading in that respect, though. When I wrote "The drum can be freely rotated by hand", what I meant was "the drum can be rotated by hand without significant resistance", i.e. the drum isn't jammed or catching on anything. I've always been able to rotate the drum without any significant resistance - I think it's neither easier nor harder to do so now.

My own searching online highlighted the belt and brushes as the most likely causes (belt more so than brushes) but it also implied that the belt probably wouldn't break unless there was an underlying problem (so replacing the belt would only be a temporary fix at best).

Hmm...what to do? Not much point getting someone out to try to repair it - that'll cost me nearly as much as a reconditioned washing machine that'll be much newer and have a guarantee. So...have a go at fixing it myself based on best guess as to the cause or just buy a replacement (which I may well have to do, if the best guess is wrong or there's an underlying problem).

There's always something going wrong when you own your home and the stuff in it. Worth it, though.
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 06:42   #10
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Take the top off, if the belt is on, change the brushes, they will be about 10 a pair.

If the belt is off, as you say it could indicate other problems.

We change brushes more than we put belts on or replace them them.

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Old 20th Nov 2012, 08:39   #11
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1) Check the belt is attached & not damaged or slipping
2) Check the Carbon brushes on the motor


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Old 20th Nov 2012, 08:39   #12
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double post - mod pls remove


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Old 20th Nov 2012, 09:05   #13
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Originally Posted by Hostile-17 View Post
1) Check the belt is attached & not damaged or slipping
2) Check the Carbon brushes on the motor
This!

While the belt shouldn't just snap for no reason after 12 years of decent use it's probably just perished and fallen apart.

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Old 20th Nov 2012, 09:32   #14
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ooo, rtfop mal

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Old 21st Nov 2012, 06:28   #15
Angilion
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Access was a problem, but I managed to remove the brushes. They're worn down to maybe 2mm on side and maybe 4mm on the other, so there's the problem.

The belt looks like new, surprisingly.

Thanks for the advice. There may be some other problem, but I may well get away with fixing it myself with a new pair of brushes for ~10.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 08:50   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angilion View Post
Access was a problem, but I managed to remove the brushes. They're worn down to maybe 2mm on side and maybe 4mm on the other, so there's the problem.

The belt looks like new, surprisingly.

Thanks for the advice. There may be some other problem, but I may well get away with fixing it myself with a new pair of brushes for ~10.
Glad you got it sorted


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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 06:06   #17
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Hmm...success...I think...mostly.

I've fitted new brushes and the washing machine now works, but it's noisier. I can clearly hear a whining noise up here during the spin cycle, which I couldn't before. It's not a definitely wrong noise. I had something jam before and the motor was busily setting itself on fire. That sounded different in a definitely wrong way. This just sounds louder, like the motor is working harder.

Also, the door seal is flapping about a bit while the drum is spinning and I think that the drum is moving up and down slightly as it rotates. It seems as though the drum is maybe slightly off-centre or slightly loose, so it can wobble slightly as it rotates.

I had to move the washer a lot to get at the brushes, including having it face down and upside down. I took care to move it slowly in a controlled way, but I'm concerned that something has bent or loosened and the balance of the drum has been reduced. Is that possible? It's obviously not badly out because it's working and the washer isn't moving. None of the "the kitchen is my dance floor" stuff

EDIT: 18.95 for the brushes. More than I was expecting, but they were original manufacturer parts bought from a small high street shop.
Last edited by Angilion; 22nd Nov 2012 at 06:09.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 06:24   #18
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The whine is normal when new brushes are fitted, it will reduce as they 'wear in'.
As for the apparent loss of balance its probably the case that it needs re-leveling via the adjustable feet.

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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 07:33   #19
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More likely one of the drum springs are broken.
Lid back off and inspect the springs!


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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 08:52   #20
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If the spring is broken it would shake itself to bits. It is quick to check, pop the lid off. Also check the shock absorbers, quite why you had it upside down is beyond me, the weight of the tub could have pulled one of them out.

To be honest, it is 12 years old and the OP is running into problems, it might be the right time to cut your losses and think of getting a new one.

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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 09:42   #21
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I can't help wondering if the bearings are on their way out. They would labour the motor and the drum would move around in the tub more than normal.

It's not an expensive job to do, but it's hard work from what Youtube tells me.


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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 10:22   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoals View Post
If the spring is broken it would shake itself to bits. It is quick to check, pop the lid off. Also check the shock absorbers, quite why you had it upside down is beyond me, the weight of the tub could have pulled one of them out.

To be honest, it is 12 years old and the OP is running into problems, it might be the right time to cut your losses and think of getting a new one.
+1 Fair play if its lasted 12 years, I assume you dont live in a hard water area so limescale isnt an issue


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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 11:45   #23
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Shocks went on ours, we kind of stuck them back together in a very unsafe fashion.

It didn't last very long after. Possible very unsafe too.

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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 11:56   #24
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wow I was 7 when that thing made its first spin

OH no i was 16, how time fly's....

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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 00:11   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malfunkshun View Post
The whine is normal when new brushes are fitted, it will reduce as they 'wear in'.
That's good to know.

Quote:
As for the apparent loss of balance its probably the case that it needs re-leveling via the adjustable feet.
Unfortunately, in this case it's the "used to be adjustable before they rusted solid" feet

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoals View Post
If the spring is broken it would shake itself to bits. It is quick to check, pop the lid off. Also check the shock absorbers, quite why you had it upside down is beyond me, the weight of the tub could have pulled one of them out.
It was the only way I could find to gain access to the brushes. I did think that it might not be a good idea...after I'd already done it. Live and learn.

All of the workings are at the bottom of the washer, so a lid wouldn't be of any use. There's an inspection hatch at the back, but that only shows the back of the drum. You could use it to change a belt, with a bit of a stretch to get it onto the motor at the bottom of the machine by feel, but that's about all you could do without going in from the bottom. Rubbish design all round, really.

Quote:
To be honest, it is 12 years old and the OP is running into problems, it might be the right time to cut your losses and think of getting a new one.
Ah, but now it's a challenge and I must win

If it involved spending more than ~20, I'd get a new one. I've certainly had my money's worth out of this one. But money is tight and the cost of a new washing machine isn't trivial to me, so if I can keep this one going a while longer for not much money I will.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 00:18   #26
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Shocks went on ours, we kind of stuck them back together in a very unsafe fashion.

It didn't last very long after. Possible very unsafe too.
What were the symptoms of the shocks going? I freely admit that I know next to nothing about washing machines, but I would expect at least fairly violent wobbling of the body of the washing machine while it was on.

It's possible that the drum in my machine isn't moving any more than it always has been. Last night was the first time I've watched it while it's on. It looks like it moves vertically by a couple of millimeters per rotation, that's all.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 00:01   #27
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Well, I took it apart a bit tonight to check the shock absorbers, as suggested by OldCoals...and I can't find them.

There are two large springs (one each side) attached to the drum which would be shock absorbers of a sort, but I don't see any sign of the rod-shaped shock absorbers that I was expecting. Is it possible that an old washing machine would just have springs at the top and fixed mountings at the bottom? I don't want to turn it upside down again so I can get a better look at what's under the drum. I don't recall seeing any shock absorbers last time, just solid rods, but I wasn't paying attention to anything other than the motor.

A spirit level indicates that the frame is almost level, but I have to take the washing machine out to check that (it's tucked under a work surface) and it's possible that the floor under the work surface isn't level. Only 1 of the 4 feet can be moved now - the other 3 are rusted solid - so there's not much I can do about levelling it.

The thrumming noise during the spin cycle isn't very bad - I can't hear it upstairs - but it wasn't there before and it might be bothersome to my neighbours. I'm also concerned about the movement breaking something sooner or later, causing lots of damage as the washing machine violently shakes itself to bits and spews gallons of water all over the place.

I tried videoing the inside of the washing machine, where I can't see, but unsurprisingly my 15 Notanipod is a bad camera in any light and useless in low light.

EDIT: Well, I've levelled it with cardboard under the feet Too late to test it now, so I'll leave it until tomorrow and see what happens.
Last edited by Angilion; 26th Nov 2012 at 01:45.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 00:06   #28
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Originally Posted by Angilion View Post
I've got an old washing machine that's seen a hell of a lot of use. I've had it about 12 years and it was used when I bought it.

It was fine up until today, no sign of any impending problems at all.

I put some washing on tonight and went down to get it out a while later, only to find that it was much wetter than usual, especially the clothes that had been at the bottom.

Hmm...so I put them back in on the same cycle and watched the machine for a bit. The problem is that the drum isn't moving at all, neither during the wash cycles nor the spin cycles.

Everything else is as normal. The machine is filling and draining correctly and is going through the cycles correctly without any unusual noises or catching fire

The drum can be freely rotated by hand.

I'm inclined to say "well, I got my money's worth from that" and get a new one (probably a used reconditioned one from Home Aids Services in Hanley, where I got this one), but I'm concerned that maybe it's something obvious and cheap to fix and I'd be wasting money replacing it. On the other hand, it is at least 12 years old. It's a bit rusty on the outside. It really is very used. But if someone here can say it's the <thing> with the <thing> and costs a tenner to fix, it'd be silly to get a new one instead.

It's an Indesit WG1234T. The manual online is of no use at all in this situation.
the belt fell off

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Old 26th Nov 2012, 08:10   #29
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the belt fell off
Is actually reading a thread too much trouble for you?
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 18:53   #30
Angilion
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Sweet! My cardboard shims did the trick. The improvement in levelling has reduced the noise significantly. I didn't realise how sensitive to imbalance washing machines were. I've only changed one corner by 4 very thin layers of compressed cardboard and another by 8 layers. The bubble in the spirit level was barely off-centre before. Maybe positioning is part of it - I think that part of the solid concrete floor is slightly uneven and the lino on it is loose. Taking the machine out (to look for the shock absorbers) and putting it back may have put it back in a more level position.

I now have an urge to buy a sound meter and experiment with different thicknesses to optimise my overclock...err...noise reduction

EDIT: One last thing. I noticed that the clothes seem drier than before. Is it possible that the badly worn brushes caused the drum to spin more slowly in the spin cycle, so that with new brushes it spins faster and therefore dries the clothes a bit more?
Last edited by Angilion; 26th Nov 2012 at 22:40.
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