Before we discuss the Washing machine parts, let’s reconcile the excellence created in the form of a laundry tool.
“Do you know that the drums of a washing machine hang on springs?”- the vibrations produced in the washing machine, due to the motor rotations, are arrested in a manner that you hardly bother- that the bottle or detergent packet that we often leave on the top of a front load washing machine may fall.
Washing machines in 2021, in no doubt, is one of the best combinations of principles of engineerings among the many home appliances that we see in our domestic life. Be it Mechanical, Electrical, or Electronics, it has a non-fluctuating understanding of the engineering principles that spurs smile on the users.
Several parts of a washing machine work in coordination with each other, leading to a clean wash.
It will be a long talk to point out each of the washing machine parts. But, laid below are some major elements that broadly constitute a washing machine and need to be replaced at an interval. The durability of these parts plays a key role when it comes to choose a washing machine.
I will write about the other parts as “Spare parts of a washing machine” in an upcoming article soon. But, as of now, let’s dwell on knowing the main components of the washing machine.
If you are looking to buy a new washing machine, make sure you read our recommendations on the best front load washing machines, best semi-automatic washing machine in India and best top load washing machines in India.
Washing Machine Parts – a brief look and purchase
1. Washing Machine Cabinet- The Outer Body
The outer body of a semi-automatic washing machine, in general, is made from high-quality thermoplastics like ABS(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PCABS (a poly-carbonate ABS blend). But in Full automatic and front load washing machines, the materials used are metal sheets- galvanized, and enamel finished to fight corrosion in the long run. However, the possibility of rusting and decay can not be ruled out after prolonged exposure to moisture. if you have an old washing machine with the corroded body, you can always change it with a matching one available in the markets.
2. The PCB
The PCB (Printed circuit board) is a one-point station for the operation and control of the washing cycles. These are all done by simply pressing some buttons. PCB lets you choose or set a wash program that suits your fabric quality or the stain type. Wires from all corners- the different components like a valve, motor, sensor, heater, etc. are connected to PCB through a jack. Your Washing machine may not work if there is a short-circuit in PCB or any washing machine’s electrical component. The PCB, if faulty, can be replaced with a new one.
As we know, the washing machine door is the entry point for loading or unloading the laundries. It needs to be robust and firmly fixed- especially in the front load washing machines. If we look at the installation- washing machine doors comes mounted at the front, on hinges. It has a hook that is thermo-locked when the washing machine is in operation. If you want to open the door, you have to power off the washing machine, in a front load washing machine, and wait till the cycle stops and water passes out through the drain pipe.
The door has a centrally mounted glass or a transparent polymer, allowing you to see the operations inside a washing machine. The glass design ensures safety against its weakening, due to the impact of some hard material striking with the glass during the wash cycle, in the long run. Also, a door seal (Silicon-based rubber) mounted on the circular cut-out in the machine body doesn’t allow water splash out from the wash drum.
4.The Wash Drum
(Heater; Pressure switch; temperature sensor also explained under the wash drum section)
The Wash drum is the central part of the washing machine where the major operations like washing; rinsing; spinning, and drying occur.
There are two drums in a washing machine- The inner drum and the outer drum. The construction material for drums can be plastic or stainless steel, depending on the type of washing machine you are using.
Mostly the semi-automatic washing machine comes with synthetic drums. The full-automatic top load and front load have a stainless steel drum installed in them.
The inner drums have holes through which the water gets accumulated in the outer drum and brought under use during the wash process. The outer drum may or may not contain a heating element. Again- it depends on the type of washing machine you are using. The drain pipe is also attached to the outer drum only. Some other components are found installed in the outer drum like the Pressure switch and water temperature sensor.
The Pressure switch senses the water volume level in the washtub and cuts off the supply if not needed. The temperature sensor detects the water temperature and cuts off the power supply to the heating element once it reaches the required temperature.
5. The Impeller or Pulsator
The impeller or pulsator is a replacement for agitator in modern washing machines. It is a rotating disc which creates turbulence in clothes during the wash cycle. Some modern machines also have rollers installed in the pulsator, which moves opposite to each other. The rollers/ propeller movement gives adequate friction to the clothes and helps to loosen the dirt better.
The front-load washing machines have paddles mounted on the wash drum to roll over the clothes while in motion.
The agitator is a perpendicular shaft like assembly that helps to agitate the clothes during the wash cycle. The modern machines do not come with agitators. They have been replaced by pulsator and paddles, as explained above.
7. The Motor
Like we have a heart, a washing machine has the motor. All the agitation and turbulence inside the wash drum take place only because a motor rotates it in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
In front load washing machines, the motor comes mounted on the drum’s outer surface and drives the inner drum through a belt and pulley or flywheel assembly.
New generation washing machines are coming with direct drive motors that come installed at the center of the axis of rotation of agitators or pulsator. The direct-drive motors provide better energy efficiency because of the less moving parts involvement. The maintenance cost has also reduced significantly with this new technology.
8.The Inlet Pipe
The inlet pipe is a flexible hose that comes with adapters at both ends. The adapters help better mounting of water inlet pipe with tap and at the washing machine’s rear end. The rear end hose connection has also got a filter that restricts any unwanted material in the inlet valves. These filters should be checked and cleaned at regular intervals.
Some machines (Without heating element) come with two flexible hose pipes, one for cold water and hot water inlet. Hence, there are two inlet valves, and only one operates at a time.
9. The Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve operates on the directions received from PCB. They come installed on the washing machine’s rear side, and the water is attached to them.
10.The drain Pipe
The drain pipe is another flexible hose attached to the outer wash drum through a valve and a drain pump. It operates in the direction of PCB. These pipes remove the wastewater from the drum when not needed.
11. The Detergent dispenser
The Detergent dispenser comes only in Full automatic washing machines. In contrast, in semi-automatic washing machines, the user has to manually add the detergent to the laundry. They lie inside the wash drums (towards the upper end) in top load washing machines and outside, on the body, of front loading washing machines (Left-hand Top corner). These dispensers have separate chambers for storing detergent and fabric conditioner. The user can easily take the detergent dispenser out from the washing machine for any maintenance need.
12. The Water pump
A washing machine may come with two water pumps- The re-circulation pump and the drain pump. The re-circulation pump is used to re-circulate the water during the wash cycle. The drain pump pulls the water out from the washtub and any extra water from the detergent dispenser to drain during the process cycle. The operation of the pump is in line with the PCB directions.
There is a Trap filter attached with the water pumps to trap some blockage like a coin or some cotton or clips and save pumps from getting damaged.
I am sure the above explanations on the washing machine Parts would help you identify the components and understand their working. If you liked this article, please share it with your loved ones!