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Author Topic: Maytag Washer Motor Shutting Off  (Read 6449 times)

Offline TechnicianBrian

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2007
  • Posts: 390
  • Country: us
Maytag Washer Motor Shutting Off
« on: October 08, 2008, 07:14:22 AM »

Model #SAV5710AWW, this washer would wash properly, but would intermittently stop during the middle of a cycle. Once stopped, the washer would not start again unless the customer allowed it to sit for about 20 minutes with the power cord unplugged. A rather frustrating problem for the customer and being intermittent only made it more difficult to deal with.

Often times, when the motor on a top load washer stops during a wash cycle, the problem is usually associated with the lid switch or timer assembly. A failed lid switch will stop the operation, but it will always stop at the same point in the cycle. A timer problem, however, can be a bit more intermittent because of the number of switch contacts within the timer housing, the problem may seem to move around. But what is usually common with both the switch and timer failures is they don't just start working after 20 minuets. For that symptom, you need to overload the motor.

Motors used in washers have an internal thermal overload used to protect the motor from overheating and damaging the inner workings. These overloads are rare to trip open in normal operation, but overloading the washer, or to many clothes for to little water can demonstrate it's function. The washer I was on was stopping during different sized washes, and it even stopped for me with nothing in the basket. And to make matters worse, sometimes it would wash just fine.

Curtain I was dealing with an overload issue, I continued to start and stop the motor with the timer to see if I could get the motor to overheat, fail, or at least do something. My lucky break occurred during one of these tests where I heard a loud noise coming from the motor as if it was trying to start while it was running. When I touched the timer knob to shut the motor off, the noise went away while the motor continued to operate. Moving the knob shaft in and out, made the noise come and go with some level of consistency. Now looking like a timer issue, I got out my meter and the wiring diagram to see if I could find out what was going on.

Basically, most top load washers will rotate the motor one direction during agitation, and reverse direction during spin. To accomplish this, switch contacts within the timer will energize a different set of windings for each mode of operation and the timer should keep everything going in the correct direction. But this timer, depending on the position of the shaft, was trying to get the motor to rotate in both directions at the same time. This resulted in noise, and a lot of excess heat being generated. Enough heat, in fact to cause the overload to open requiring the unit to remain off until the motor cooled allowing the overload to reset itself.

Finding the timer bad, I installed a new timericon into the control console and put the washer into another wash cycle. This time, the unit functioned perfectly for me, and also for the customer.

On rare occasions, the motor may become damaged due to excessive overheating requiring it's replacement. The motor will smell hot while in use and may eventually fail during operation for good. But the motoricon can also be replaced with just a bit more effort.