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FIXED Kenmore Top Load Direct Drive Washing Machine Won't Drain/Spin - Motor or Capacitor?

anotary

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Colorado
Model Number
110.20702990
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
More than 10 years
My top loading washer (direct drive) stopped in mid-cycle on Sunday after washing/agitating. My wife came into the laundry room to find it "humming". Tub was full of water. I came home and played around with it, and found:

1. The hum occurred on all cycles when it got to the point of draining, but agitation is fine on all cycles. (Did this after jumping the lid switch harness - the lid switch is not the problem.)
2. The motor capacitor seemed to check out OK with an ohm-meter (but I can't confirm the microfarad reading)
3. I pulled the motor: The coupling and water pump are fine. The coupling connected to the transmission spins easily. Pump is not clogged. It is not a mechanical problem in my opinion.
4. I wired up the motor while it was off of the machine, and the hum still occurred when the timer gets to the point where it should drain; this happens on all cycles. One time, while it was humming, I twisted the shaft and got it start up.
5. Thinking I needed a new motor, I bought one ($180+), installed it, and the problem still occurred!! It won't drain (or spin).
6. A new capacitor should arrive today, and I'll install it in a few seconds...

If the capacitor doesn't do the trick, what could the problem be??
 

anotary

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Colorado
Follow up by original poster:

I put in the new capacitor tonite, and the symptoms are exactly the same. Does this mean that it has to be the timer???
 

jeff1

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Messages
25,604
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hi,

Might help.....

A copy:

You said the motor "hummed" so we can ASSUME you indeed have 120v at the blue wire to ground or white in the plug.
Now for the problem you seem to have. The start circuit for this motor is very simple if you think of the motor as being 2 motors in 1.
The first motor only decides which direction we want to go in. The second motor tells it how fast. Do you follow me?
Now since starting the motor in any one of two directions is a primary or must have kinda thing we will start there. There is a red wire and a yellow wire on the motor plug. (think of these the same as you would the old belt drive wig wag washer. The wig wag used the yellow wire to shift in for agitate and red for spin. They used these same two wire colors in designation for the direction for spin and agitate on the direct drive model. Just remember this much and you will always be OK)
Now the start circuit having only 2 wires will cause you some pain if you do not remember the rule above. Why, because L1 and neutral will be switched by the timer depending on what direction the motor will be going in. For agitate the L1 is the yellow wire. For spin the L1 is the red wire.
We also have a capacitor attached to the red wire that is part of the start circuit. This may be found in the console area or attached to the motor or on newer machines in a box in the rt. rear corner.
Now if we know what our timer position is, we can know what wire is hot and which is neutral.
Lets start the timer in spin. Go down to the motor plug and which wire should we measure 120v to ground on? We all know it is the red wire. If we do not measure 120v here then we know the red wire is broken or the capacitor is open or the timer is bad. We can unplug the washer and ohm the yellow wire to neutral Rx1 and note a good connection if we do not have a complete circuit then perhaps our timer is at fault or there is a wiring break. Finding a break used to be a real pain but now after finding this great tool (Fluke VoltAlert) I can just run it on the outside of the wire and find the problem easy. So we know that in spin the L1 is on the red wire and neutral is on the yellow wire. Reverse this agitation, L1 is on the yellow wire and neutral is on the red wire. (Another rule, (usually 99.9999% of the time) if the motor agitates ok or spins ok then the start circuit in the motor is just fine). The only exception is an internal ground on the start winding allowing 1 direction only, very rare).
Now after fully understanding the above we can go on to the speed part. 1, 2 or 3 speed motors.
The run winding is always the small hum you hear when a motor does not start. If the HUM is much louder it involves the start windings as well. Lets say a jammed pump. This will really cause a HUMMMMM. Are you following me here Bill. Good, I thought I lost you for a minute somewhere on the last paragraph. But anyhow, The speed part of the motor is controlled by only 2 things, a speed switch and the timer. If there is no speed switch then the timer will control the speed of the motor all by itself. If you advance the timer into the drain only portion of the cycle then the timer will ALWAYS control the speed (HIGH) Blue wire.
Your low speed on 2 speed units will always be
orange.
For 3 speed washers your Med., and Slow will come in on the small plug attached to the side of the 3 speed motor. White orange for slow and White violet for med. (don't hold me to the colors look at the chart).
After testing for correct voltages at the wall plug, (We always do this, don't we) (L1 is L1, neutral is neutral and ground is ground) you can now make easy tests of the motor circuit using ground to test the L1 circuits. (you do this after testing for motor plug neutral and line neutral of course, of course)
So now on to your problem, is it a big hum or little hum? if little hum the speed is OK, and you lost start circuit.

jeff.
 

anotary

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Colorado
I followed all of that, but my question is this - if I put a brand new motor and capacitor on the machine, and the same symptoms/motor humming occurred when it got to the drain/spin portion of the cycles, haven't we isolated the problem to the switches in the timer? For some reason, the (new and old) motor doesn't reverse polarity and fire up.
 

anotary

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Location
Colorado
Case closed - I put on a new timer and it runs fine. Now I have a machine with a new timer, motor, capacitor and coupling. All the local repair folks I've talked to said they would have started with a new motor as well based on the symptom. Oh well...
 
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