Teardown of Washing Machine

Reading Time: 3 minutes




  • Motor & counterweight
  • Cable –pulley support system
  • Vibration damping system
  • Plumbing system
  • Clutch & coupling
  • Drive mechanism
  • Control system



Motor & Counterweight

  • The concrete is used to balance the equally heavy electric motor, which drives a very heavy gearbox that is attached to the steel inner tub.





Cable –pulley support system

  • There are a total of three pulleys, so that if one side of the frame moves up, the other side moves down. This system supports the weight of the heavy components, letting them move in such a way as not to shake the entire machine.




Vibration damping system

  • In each of the four corners of the machine is a mechanism that works a little like a disc brake. The part attached to the washer frame is a spring. It squeezes two pads against the metal plate that is attached to the black frame.




Plumbing system
It comprises of the following parts:

  • Solenoid valve
  • Anti-siphon device
  • Water inlet & overflow port
  • Pump vanes






Clutch & Coupling

  • The coupling is needed because the motor and clutch are mounted to the frame, which can move freely with the inner tub, whereas the pump is mounted to the stationary outer tub.





Drive mechanism

  • The drive mechanism on a washing machine has two jobs:

To agitate the clothes, moving them back and forth inside the wash tub.

To spin the entire wash tub, forcing the water out.





Control & Coordination


  • Water level control switch
  • Temperature control switch
  • Speed control switch
  • Cycle switch



Front Loading Machines


  • This layout mounts the inner basket and outer tub horizontally, and loading is through a door at the front of the machine.
  • Front-loaders control water usage through the surface tension of water, and the capillary wicking action this creates in the fabric weave.
  • Front-loading washers are mechanically simple compared to top-loaders, with the main motor (usually a universal motor) normally being connected to the drum via a grooved pulley belt and large pulley wheel, without the need for a gearbox, clutch or crank.





  • Clothing can be packed more tightly in a front loader, up to the full drum volume if using a cottons wash cycle.
  • Front-loading washers are mechanically simple compared to top-loaders.





  • Extreme overloading of front-loading washers pushes fabrics towards the small gap between the loading door and the front of the wash basket, potentially resulting in fabrics lost between the basket and outer tub, and in severe cases, tearing of clothing and jamming the motion of the basket.



Top Loading

  • This design places the clothes in a vertically mounted perforated basket that is contained within a water-retaining tub, with a finned water-pumping agitator in the center of the bottom.
  • In most top-loading washers, if the motor spins in one direction, the gearbox drives the agitator; if the motor spins the other way, the gearbox locks the agitator and spins the basket and agitator together. Similarly if the pump motor rotates one way it recirculates the sudsy water; in the other direction it pumps water from the machine during the spin cycle of the basket.





  • The top-loader’s spin cycle between washing and rinsing allows an extremely simple fabric softener dispenser, which operates passively through centrifugal force and gravity.
  •  Another advantage to the top loading design is the reliance on gravity to contain the water, rather than potentially trouble-prone or short-lived front door seals.
  • Top loaders may require less periodic maintenance since there is no need to clean a door seal or bellows, although a plastic tub may still require a periodic “maintenance wash” cycle.





  • Clothing should not be packed tightly into a top-loading washer. Although wet cloth usually fits into a smaller space than dry cloth, a dense wad of cloth can restrict water circulation, resulting in poor soap distribution and incomplete rinsing.
  • Extremely overloaded top-loading washers can either jam the motion of the agitator, overloading or damaging the motor or gearbox, or tearing fabrics.



Leave a Reply

CEV - Handout
%d bloggers like this: