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englaisfitz 11-14-2012 06:49 AM

Washer won't agitate or spin, can turn motor by hand
The washer won't won't agitate or spin. I've checked the pump, that seems OK (no visible clogs, and I can turn it by hand). I've checked the coupler, no signs of wear. I bypassed the timer switch and checked the motor, this hums but won't start, unless I turn it by hand, then it will kick in and continue the motion.
One suggestion was a bad motor capacitor, but I've checked that using a multimeter, and the range starts high, but then dwindles to almost zero, which is what it's supposed to do, right?
Another suggestion is a bad clutch. Is there any way I can check for this?
Or are there any other suggestions you may have as to the cause of the problem?

Many thanks guys!


fairbank56 11-14-2012 06:58 AM

Does it drain?

englaisfitz 11-14-2012 08:51 AM

It doesn't get that far, the motor hums for about half a minute, then the system shuts off.

fairbank56 11-15-2012 11:43 AM

So, your saying with the motor on the floor, connected and everything else hooked up (timer), it will run if you start it by hand?

If your comfortable checking live 120vac with your multimeter, I can advise you further. Need to check for power at the motor harness connector.

You can check continuity of the motor windings and motor switch first. Check with connector unplugged. On the motor, you should have continuity between the terminals where the white and blue wires as well as between where the red and yellow wires connect. You should also have continuity between where the white wire connects and the violet wire coming out of the motor. These should read just a few ohms resistance. Then check from where the blue wire connects and the blue wire coming out of the motor, between where the red wire connects and the black wire coming out of the motor and between where the orange wire connects and the blue wire from the motor. These should be 0-.5 ohms. If these are all good, need to check for 120vac with the motor plugged in and running (or attempted running).


englaisfitz 11-18-2012 10:30 PM

Washer won't agitate or spin...
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying, with the motor on the floor, hooked up, even WITHOUT the timer (another guy gave me a way to bypass the timer, making a power cord with multiple connectors so we can simulate the cycles of the machine when the motor was in place, i.e. one direction spins the drum, the other direction moves the agitator post). So just power going into the motor, it hums, and waits for me to start it by hand, but will then continue.
-- When It does start (and stop, when I turn off the power), there is a reasonably loud click sound, like a switch activating.

Just to confirm, I'm checking wire locations ON THE MOTOR itself, where the harness plugs in, right, so I can remove the motor completely, set it aside from the washer, and check the wire connections with the multimeter, right? I'm not checking the harness end that is attached to the washer, I'm checking the motor terminals.

White to Blue = 1.1 ohms
Red to Yellow = 7.3 ohms
White to Violet = There is no violet wire
Blue in to Blue out = 0 ohms
Red in to Black out = 0.1 ohms
Orange in to Blue out = There is no orange wire

Haven't checked with power on yet, as I wasn't able to complete what you asked thus far.

I really appreciate your help with this Eric, it seems to have stumped every other website I've been to. One guy said it was the capacitor, but when I checked that, the reading started high, then dwindled away to almost zero, which is what it's meant to do, right? Another guy suggested the clutch, but when I checked this by starting the motor by hand (installed), it functioned normally for both agitation and spin operations. I dropped the clutch down, there's no leakage of oil, and everything looks clean and new inside.

Should I repeat the above wire connectivity tests with the power on?
Now when you say "comfortable", what, exactly, should I not be comfortable about...
And can I do it using the bypass harness, so we're checking just the motor, or should I wire it back up to the washer to check?

Many thanks!


fairbank56 11-19-2012 06:30 AM

I thought this was a 2-speed motor. 5 wires coming from motor is a single speed. Anyway, the readings are good although the start winding is on the high end of a 4-7ohms normal reading. I assume with your power cord setup, you are still using the capacitor in the circuit? The click you hear is the switch. The part on the motor that the wires are plugged into is a switch operated by a centrifugal mechanism inside the motor on the shaft. It opens contacts for the start winding when it gets up to speed as the start winding is not meant for continuous use. It also operates other contacts in a multi-speed motor.

The capacitor test you did is just a static test. It will tell you if it is shorted. The reading you get when the resistance starts out low and gradually comes up indicates it is not shorted and the capacitor is charging up but it is just a static test using low DC voltage from the meter. In operation the capacitor has 120vac across it. The static test doesn't give you the value of the capacitor either so the capacitor could still be bad. The capacitor provides a phase shift in the current applied between the run and start windings to produce a rotating magnetic field to get the motor going.

Testing the resistance of the switch contacts is also a static test using low dc voltage. It could read fine but break down when high current is passed through them. One other test you can do will bypass the start winding cutout switch. With your test setup, instead of connecting to where the red wire normally goes, disconnect the black wire from the motor and connect there. You'll need to make an adapter jumper wire. If the motor starts this way, turn it off right away as this bypasses the switch and you should not leave power applied to the start winding but for a second or two. If it still doesn't work, I would try another capacitor.

BTW, you can buy a suitable capacitor from Grainger for $6.31 Physical size may be slightly different so you may have to modify the mounting.


englaisfitz 11-20-2012 03:37 PM

Thanks Eric.

I hooked up the motor as you suggested, and it fired up immediately as I plugged it into the wall. Does this mean the capacitor is good (as I already ordered one from Grainger, thanks for that little bit of info! Talk about going the extra mile!)?
What's the next step, Sir?

Many thanks,


fairbank56 11-20-2012 04:08 PM

Yes, capacitor is good. Bad motor switch. The switch is replaceable but I'm not sure which motor you have. The parts manual shows it as part number 661600 which is a 2-speed motor. The switch for that motor is part number 8529896. Can you provide a good clear photo of the wiring diagram on the tech sheet located behind the control panel or possibly somewhere inside the cabinet?


englaisfitz 11-22-2012 11:55 AM

Alas, there is no tech sheet or wiring diagram anywhere on the machine, nothing on the case, nothing anywhere near the controls, nor on the body itself. I can take a photo of the existing switch, so you can see where the wires are located...

I also found a manual parts list, showing the part number for the motor switch as 62850

Whirlpool Repair Part List - 8179518-007 - YouserGuide

Which seems to pass me to the same part number you list.
Thanks again, Eric, I'll take that photo and hopefully this will solve the whole problem.



englaisfitz 11-24-2012 05:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the photo of the motor switch

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