Why do old washing machines become unbalanced easily ?
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Default Why do old washing machines become unbalanced easily ?

    I am currently sharing a house and our washing machine becomes unbalanced very easily. I have heard they do this when old but don't know what sort of mechanism is in there to keep them balanced. Could some kind person please give me a very brief description ? Currently the machine makes a very loud clunking and tries to walk around, until the automatic cutout turns it off.

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! gsmack's Avatar
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    top loader or front loader ? L

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    1000+ Posts okalford's Avatar
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    Default Top loaders

    I have found both my old Simpson top loader and new F&P one go out of balance quite easily. I have to be careful to evenly spread the load around the drum. If I don't they can sure walk quite a distance!
    Last edited by okalford; 28th September 2012 at 05:57 PM. Reason: typo!

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    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    Is the floor stable and is the machine level?

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    Check if the tub is suspended on springs. Could be four, one for each corner. If one of those breaks an imbalance can be the result.

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    Most have a shaped cement block strapped to the drum so that it offsets the out of balance weight of the clothes to some extent. That block can work itself loose over time.

  7. #7
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    Depends how old your "old" machine is. The body of machines these days are quite thin. I suspect over time the folds and swages pressed into the metal to give it rigidity have distorted some of the surrounding metal and allowing greater flex in the body.

    Also the rubber/plastic or whatever feet may wear or shrink over time. With one leg shorter than the others any machine will get the speed wobbles.
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  8. #8
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    Icon12 Unbalanced washerperson !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beano View Post
    I am currently sharing a house and our washing machine becomes unbalanced very easily. I have heard they do this when old but don't know what sort of mechanism is in there to keep them balanced. Could some kind person please give me a very brief description ? Currently the machine makes a very loud clunking and tries to walk around, until the automatic cutout turns it off.
    Hi
    The theory is easy. The drum is suspended very softly so the spin speed is much higher than the critical speed. So it should go through the critical out of balance speed quickly and spins ok at a high speed, out of ballance to some degree, but no problems most times.
    Now you can see where a problem could be. If the pump does not work well, and the residual water slows it down or the drive belt is bad or the drum hangs against the side, etc then it cannot accelerate through the critical speed and it clunks itself out on the overtravel trips regularly. There is no actual ballancing of the drum and load. Just a trip if the movement is too bad, eg two towels stuck together and no load opposite.
    myJaahn

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Because the F&P is a big DC motor, it will vary the spin speed until it optimises the RPM. Obviously large out of balance forces will need manually correcting, but otherwise I think they're a great thing. I'm up to my second one. Bought the first one in 1990ish.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    The F &P motors are widely used in home made wind generators as well.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Thanks folks, in light of these comments I will take a look underneath it on the weekend. BTW, it's a top loader, and is secured quite stably on a level surface..

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    They become unbalanced because people don't talk to them nicely - all they ever do is throw dirty clothes at them and expect them to wash wash wash. You'd become unbalanced if that was the way you were treated.

    I'd suspec that either a suspension spring has broken or stretched or that it is being overloaded or mixed loads. eg putting a towel in with a load of sheets will create a heavy spot in the spin.
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    I was experiencing constant random unbalancing of my 25kg / 50 lbd Girdeu, commercial washer. The service guy was called out and traced the problem to the 6 shockers, not disimular to those on a car. They have since been replaced and the cage/barrell sits much firmer and has not had a problem since.

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    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    Check to see if the transport locks have been removed????????
    And the polystyriene blocks taken out.....

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