How a washing machine works

Published

Ever wanted to know how a washing machine works? In this video Matt demonstrates how modern front loading washing machines get our clothes clean.

 

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Matt from eSpares.

In this video, I’m going to show you how a washing machine works. Now this is a typical front loader machine made by Bosch and I’m going to remove the whole of the front including the door, the top and the back panel, so that I can show you what’s going on inside.

So the machine works by agitating your clothes in warm, soapy water. Let’s from the flow of water as it comes through. From the back we’ve got a hot water and a cold water inlet. You may just be using the cold water and not the hot, and these solenoid valves open to let the water flow through into our detergent drawer. The detergent is washed down through this pipe and into the drum.

Now the drum itself is really two drums: there’s this outer plastic water tight tub and inner metal drum with the holes in it that the water can flow through. As the water sits in the bottom of the drum, its heated up  by this element, looks very much like a kettle element. And as the water fills up, this pressure chamber here fills and squeezes air up to our water level regulator which, when there’s enough water in the drum, tells the solenoid valves to switch off and stop the water flow.

Now, you can also see that we have this very large weight, this counter balance weight from the front of the drum and there’s another one here on the top. They’re just to give the whole thing a bit of stability and to stop the machine wondering off out the door when it’s on its fastest spin cycle. Now what’s actually causing it to spin? Let’s have a look at the back of the machine.

And here we have our motor, which is bolted to the bottom of the tub and that acts as another counter weight. That’s turning our belt and pulley which is attached to the drum through the water tight seal and a set of bearings. When it’s time for the machine to empty, out drain pump here, that just pumps away our waste water up through our waste pipe. And you can see on the front of the pump  housing here, we just have a little fluff filter, that catches any debris, stops going through the pump.

And so finally, we have the brains of the operation, which is the control module here. Now that makes all the important decisions about when to let the water in, when to drain the water out, what temperature to heat the water to and how fast to spin the drum at the end of the cycle. It’s also connected to the door interlock, and that just makes sure that the door stays firmly locked whilst the machine’s in operation.

So I’m sure you’ll agree, washing machine’s not as complicated as you first might think. And the parts inside can all be very easily replaced. Spare parts for all makes and models of appliance are available on the eSpares website.

Thanks for watching.