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Is it the capacitor or the motor that isn't working?

Last night it overheated, element was working but the drum didn't turn. Today,I took the lid off,turned the dial to put it on and it is as if the motor is trying to run but the drum isn't turning unless you give it a nudge, and doing so, the drum will turn. Is it the capacitor or the motor?

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It's the motor to weak to jurn over,i see it all the time,replace the motor if you want(ebay)the model number is inside the door-mike

Posted on Jun 16, 2009


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1 Answer

Drum wont turn but the moter does

Hello Deanna - This particular issue could be caused by a variety of reasons. I would suggest trying the following steps:

1) Verify a circuit breaker isn't tripped

2) Advance the timer control dial slowly 360 degrees-

If the washer starts spinning, then that means the motor and drive belt are fine but that there is something wrong with either the timer control dial or the agitator solenoid. Call in a professional for this.

If the washer doesn't budge, then verify that the drive belt(s) is attached and not broken by removing the back panel. If the belt is broken, replace it. If it is loose, then tighten it by loosening up the bolt holding the motor and moving it on its swingarm (much like a car alternator) until there is a 1/2 to 3/4 inch deflection in the belt.
Some washers use reversing motors. It's possible the motor works on the spin cycle but not on the wash cycle. If so, call a pro.

3) Visually inspect the lid safety switch- Is it loose or cracked? If so, the washer might work intermittently, stopping at different cycles.

4) Check motor and drive belt- Remove the main access panel (usually in the back). Is the motor spinning, but the drive belt isn't? If so, then you have a drive belt problem.

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Check if there is a small pin just under the bottom of the lid on the laptop (near the hinge), see if that is moving freely. If it isn't try to free it. This is the cut off switch that powers the laptop screen off when the lid is closed.
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Does the motor make a 'hum' sound wen you press start?
If so then it may need a new capacitor.
A capacitor is what starts an electric motor.
Usually the capacitor is a cylindrical shape and white in colour, but colour can vary from white, black or silver.

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sounds like motor is overheating,if capacitor is faulty this could be cause,the microfarards should be as per whats on side of capacitor,or motor could be bad ,most motors have a thermistor which stops motor from running if it overheats,next time it happens check if the motor is very hot ,be careful it could be very hot,make sure unit is switched off,also could be an overheated mains wire but usually fuse blows in this case,hope this helps

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Check list:
clear vent pipe
dryer clean of lint
blower wheel tight
drum turns freely
fuse tight against heater.
Wires not shorted on high limit mounted above heater
electric bill paid.

If you need further help, reach me via phone at

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if coils is heating are you sure motor isn't running or just the drum not turning ? if drum not turning suspect belt ..if motor not running but element still heating suspect element is contacting outer case ..with coil touching case 110 volts is present even without motor turning if timer is turned to heat position element will not heat to capacity but will get hot enough to eventually blow element fuse

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The problem dosen't sound like the motor. Check to see if the drive belt is loose and slipping. This is the usual cause of the problem you describe. If not, the bearings for the drum may be going bad. The heating elements should turn off shortly if the drum stops so there is little danger of overheating.


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I had the same problem,fixed it today with a replacement capacitor,cost $10 2nd hand (only cos I couldnt find a new one today and wanted it fixed now!)Unplug appliance, took off the back panel,underneath the motor on bottom left is the capacitor,remove the 2 wires, pull the capacitor out its bracket,replace,refit the 2 wires,replace back panel and Badabing Badabang!! My machine is working to full capacity again.
Pays to check out these forums doesnt it!!!

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Hi Mike,

The motor probably has experienced locked rotor current and fried the windings. Of course the capacitor could have shorted. If you can find it, look at the capacitor and if the can looks like it's lid is swollen or pooched out, then go for replacing the Capacitor. If you remove the motor and smell the case and it smells burned, you motor is shot. It does not have to lock down to be bad. The windings do not rotate in an AC motor.

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