Question about Washing Machines
I'd appreciate if anybody could indicate what may be causing my machine to trip the mains power minutes AFTER the washing cycle has finished. Switching off the machine removes the short circuit; switching on again trips the power immediately.
This started about a month ago on a machine that is otherwise in very good condition.
The machine is 10-yrs old but hasn't been very heavily used.
Couple of other questions and some ideas.
Do you know what sort of breaker is getting taken out? Is it Earth Leakage, or Overcurrent? Earth leakage with a delayed onset would be really odd - while overcurrent breakers often have a slow-acting thermal element to protect against small ooverloads. In this case. it's not that the fault develops after a delay, it's just that the breaker leaves it a while before tripping.
A small overload when the machine is nominally off is quite a hazardous situation - it means that something somewhere in the system is likely to be getting very hot, and being allowed to get on with it for several minutes. This is a good way for house fires to start. The best way to test for this is to put a clamp meter (these are relatively cheap) round the live conductor (only) in the power lead, and see if you're drawing excess current at the end of the cycle. If you are, then it's just a matter of progressively disconnecting components within the machine until you find the culprit.
Ifyou're tripping an earth leakage breaker, then Dazmaraz's insulation tester is the only real way to go. Once again, get the problem to show on the tester, then progressively disconnect components until the problem disappears. Experience suggests that a proper insulation tester is much more likely to be successful than a multimeter (multimeters don't work at a high enough voltage to excite a lot of insulation breakdown type faults).
Posted on Mar 04, 2008
If there are no problems during the cycle then I think you are "right on" with your observation about the power switch. That is the only component "in play" after the cycle is over. Most power switches are single throw-double pole, so that when you push down the power circuit gets completed. If it only happens a few minutes after you leave the switch ON after the cycle ends, there is still power to one side of the switch and if a short circuit takes place between the 2 poles due to a fault in the switch itself, probably due to something in the switch overheating, then it will also blow the main breaker. Apparently, If you leave it OFF for a while, you can then run another cycle O.K. because whatever overheated in the switch then cooled down and was no longer short-circuiting.
Posted on Mar 04, 2008
Get yourself an insulation resistence tester and put one lead on the earth pin of the mains plug select continuity on the tester and touch any bare metal on your machine it should beep. After put the lead that you connected to metal on the live pin of the plug close the washer door turn machine on.Now select 500 v on the tester and press the ideal range must be above 2 meg ohms with a minimum of 0.5 ohms if you get a reading below then you have a prolem with the washer, but if above 2 meg ohms it maybe your mains socket. Good luck
Posted on Mar 03, 2008
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