How Washing Machine Programs Work

Washing machine programs usually have nothing to do with computers unless you’re talking about modern and high tech machines. All the “programming” that goes into standard style washing machines is of a mechanical/electrical nature. Let’s take a look at what’s going on when you turn the dial (also called a cycle switch) on an ordinary older style mechanical washing machine:

Cycle Switch

You’ll notice that the dial on a machine cycle switch dial takes a bit of force to turn Washer Repair Los Angeles. This is because it is turning a set of gears attached to a small motor. These gears have a large degree of gear reduction and thus the dial turns slowly.

Up toward the top of the switch, in the back part of the dial that the user turns, there are a series of bumps that, as the machine turns, raise and lower metal pieces to make electrical contacts. The size of these bumps and the spaces between them determines how long various cycles last and how long the pauses between them are.

Speed Control and Temperature Control

In terms of speed and temperature control, most washing machines use a simple switch system that when switched to different positions manually open or close sets of contacts. When switched one way, only hot water supply solenoid is engaged and only hot water flows into the washing machine. When the switch is put on a different setting only the cold water supply solenoid is engaged. And when the switch is put in a third position, both the hot and cold water solenoids engage and both hot and cold water enter the washing machine, creating warm water.

Water Level Sensor/Control

This device works on the basis of pressure. There is a pipe with both a large and small end. The large end connects to base of the tank/tub and the small end attaches to the sensor mechanism. As the water level rises in the washing machine tank, it also rises in the hose and traps air in the hose, thus increasing pressure. When this pressure gets high enough it pushes a piston up that closes an electrical contact that shuts off the water supply. The adjustment to this is a cam mechanism that pushes a spring against the cylinder, making it harder to push the piston up. Thus a higher water pressure is required to push the piston up and close the electrical contact.

With the advent of the digital age these types of devices have gotten more sophisticated and digitally based and will most likely continue to do so. But the basic functioning of most household devices such as cheap tumble dryers, a fridge freezer, a dishwasher, and laundry machines still relies heavily on simple mechanical/electrical technology, and many older machines are still in use. It pays to understand the basics of these machines for use in repair and maintenance. Electronic gadgetry may be used in the control system of various household appliances, but the final work is still done by mechanical electrical technology that has been around for quite a while now.

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