Model #RAX6144EW1, this top load washer would intermittently stop running in the middle of a wash cycle. The customer noticed that sometimes she could get it to run again my pressing down on the lid or by opening and closing the lid. But this seemed to be working less often and the customer was interested in finding a more permanent solution for this problem.
Top load washers all use switches of some kind as a means to determine when the lid has been opened and when it is closed. The switch is part of an interlock circuit, designed to prevent injury to consumers while the machine is in operation. Depending on the age of the washer, the interlock may only stop the operation during the spin cycles, while newer models disable all wash motor functions when the lid is opened. And still some others will lock the door anytime the motor is in operation requiring the cycle to be paused to gain access to the clothes. Whatever type you have, the purpose is the same, to provide a measure of safety during washer operation.
This washer was exhibiting the typical signs of a failing lid switch so I figured I would start there. The switch is mounted on the right side of the tub opening and is actuated by a post attached to the lid. When the lid is closed, the switch contacts close completing the circuit to the motor. Often times, the two screws that hold this switch in place will come loose and allows the switch body to sag preventing the post from contacting it. And still other times, the internal switch contacts will become bent due to age and use, requiring the actuator arm to travel further to close the switch. Looking at this switch, the mounting holes were in good shape, but the arm had to travel very far before I heard the ‘click’ from the internal switch contacts. Looks like a new switch is going to be needed for this repair.
If you notice your washer behaving in a similar manor, the lid switch may be the reason for the troubles. There are many different switches used in washers these days so when looking for replacement washer parts, make sure you are using the complete model number for your washer. After finding the correct switch for this washer, I removed the cabinet to make things easier and installed the new lid switch using the existing screws.
Once everything was put back together, I explained to the customer how the switch works and showed her how sometimes the ‘click’ could be heard when the lid was closed and other times not. By pressing down on the lid (as the customer noticed), the post was able to travel the extra distance actuating the switch. With the job complete, the customer started a wash cycle, and this time it didn’t stop in the middle.
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