Learn How a Washing Machine Works

You use it all the time and don’t think about it. You press a few buttons, wait for it to fill with water, throw out detergent and your clothes, and go, but have you ever really stopped to think about how the washing machines at The Good Guys work? This article explains the basics of this popular household appliance


Behind the metallic exterior, a washing machine is essentially a basin which retains water, a motor which controls an agitator and makes the basin rotate, and a set of paddles in the basin which agitates clothing. A collection of hot and cold water pipes supplies water to the basin. Sometimes a washer-dryer combination appears as a stacked unit which contains both washer and the dryer in one unit. The washer and dryer are separate units. These kits include hot and cold water supplies, the engine, and the water drain assembly.

The basin should be filled with water before placing detergent and clothing in the container. There are 2 reasons for that. A full basin is measured by the manufacturer before placing the garments in the basin. If clothes are placed in the basin before water is inserted, they will displace some of the water, which will cause a water shortage. The second reason is that placing laundry directly on clothes is very difficult on most fabrics. Dilute the detergent in water before putting the clothes in the basin.

The essential operation of a washing machine is simple. It fills the pool with water and activates a motor that turns the agitator, that forces the clothes to go in the pool. The agent pushes clothes downstairs in the center of the basin and raises the clothes on the outer walls of the basin. This causes rolling motion in the water and is an essential function during the cleaning process. If the pool is too full of clothing, this rollover function will not occur, and the quality of cleaning will be impaired.

Finally, the water is released from the basin. When this occurs, the synchronization control opens a valve in the discharge assembly, and the water flows from the basin to an external drain, usually a sink or drain. At the same time, the motor rotates the basin, which forces the water outwards towards holes on the outer walls of the basin. The basin is made up of two drums, one with holes, and another that you can’t see that is holding water. Water flows through the holes in the inner drum into the outer drum, then out of the washing machine.

The rest of the machine’s operation is based on reusing these concepts. The control unit activates the water pipes, starts and stops the discharge unit, and controls the rotation of the drum. This is how a washing machine works.

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