Advice on how to repurpose Simpson Riviera 306 Top Loader washing machine motor using DC

Thread Starter

Siebs

Joined Jun 1, 2020
8
Hi all,

I have removed a washing machine motor from a Simpson Riviera 306 washing machine. I wish to power it with 12-24V DC. In turn it will power a belt driven vintage water pump which I am converting to be solar powered. There are many videos on youtube and advice how to's written for washing machine motors, but none of them show the specific motor that I have. It's from quite an old machine.

There are only 3 wires that run off the motor into the plug. They are Red, White and Blue. From the rear of the motor there is an earth wire (green and yellow). Initially I just tried connecting the red and blue wires together, then running a positive to the joined red and blue wires and a negative to the white wire (12V power). I tried this because I read that here: repurpose a washing machine motor all about circuits

This resulted in a noise from the motor but no movement. When I disconnect power the motor pulley jerks for perhaps 1/4". If i spin the motor by hand when power is applied there is resistance.

So It didn't really work. Then I thought perhaps I have a capacitor type motor, so I went and looked at the machine body and pulled off a few parts. To be honest none of them look like capacitors, although I should say my electronics knowledge is rudimentary. I did try hooking up the red and blue wires to the plugs (on the what could be a capacitor pictured) and then connecting positive to one terminal of the capacitor and negative to the white wire.

This resulted in the same as above, tiny little movement when power is disconnected but no spinning up.

What I would like to achieve is successful connection to 12v (initially). At least so I know it works. Then I will likely try to run it off solar directly. Long term plan would be a solar panel, battery etc.

I sure would appreciate any help on this, thanks in advance!

I'm not that electronically minded but I can generally figure out 12/24v problems eventually.

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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
6,070
The very first step is to see if there is a label on the motor that describes what voltage it is intended to operate from. Most washer machine motors, for many years, were AC powered directly from the mains. I looked at the photo of the motor, which took a long time to load, and it certainly looks like an AC motor that would run on mains power directly. If you still have access to the washer machine I suggest looking for a circuit drawing. THAT will provide the needed information.
Was this a front-load wash machine or a top-load type? You mentioned that it was old, and so that will make some difference. Also, what is the item in the second photo?
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,699
@Siebs What makes you think it is a low voltage motor, the only time I can think of using a low voltage maybe for a mobile DC source application, boat, trailer etc.
It certainly looks like a typical AC motor also the solenoid appears to be AC version.
If it is AC as suspected, then there is no chance of running on low voltage, DC especially.
BTW, if it were a DC motor, just shorting the leads and trying to spin it would confirm a P.M. DC.
Max.
 

debe

Joined Sep 21, 2010
1,167
Its an AC reversible motor. With 3 wires there should be a capacitor between 2 of the wires. The common wire is one ac conection the other 2 going to the capacitor are connected to power depending on which way you want it to rotate. Its a common reversible agitator motor.
 

Thread Starter

Siebs

Joined Jun 1, 2020
8
Hello everyone,

Thankyou very much for replying. Through my naivety I believed this to be a “universal motor”. It’s from a mid 80s-90s machine. It is a top loader.

I went back to the machine today (in my scrap pile) and there is no wiring diagram anywhere. I did find the capacitor in the control panel though.

The other object pictured I believed to be a capacitor, it’s not! (As pointed out). It is a moving part so a solenoid makes sense.

Am I right in assuming that powering with low voltage is impossible?

At least I learned something!

On hand I also have scrap:
-corded grinder
-corded drill
-electric chainsaw stihl
-fisher and paykel smartdrive (believe this is only good for wind turbines, being a inverter type?)
-12v fridge

And others I’ve forgotten. Is there anything in there that will have a universal motor I can run from DC?

I live very remotely (no shops), so what I’ve got is what I’ve got. No mail for months.

Pictured is the capacitor I found in the machine and the pump I’d like to run with any sort of dc motor.

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MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,699
Most corded hand tools and vacuum's have a Universal motor, simple to tell, runs on AC (as well as DC) and motor has brushes & commutator.
It will take a high level of DC to run with any decent torque.
Max.
 

Thread Starter

Siebs

Joined Jun 1, 2020
8
Most corded hand tools and vacuum's have a Universal motor, simple to tell, runs on AC (as well as DC) and motor has brushes & commutator.
It will take a high level of DC to run with any decent torque.
Max.
Thanks Max and everyone else who contributed.

Can I ask what level of DC would be appropriate? As a ballpark. I will probably struggle to get more than 24V. I’m limited by the solar panels and batteries I have.

And how does one work out the motor power required to drive a belt? Ie the pump itself is very old and no information available. I’d guess it would be originally powered by 1/3 or 1/2hp engine. How do I take that and translate it into an amount of DC voltage for a universal motor. I recognise it will depend on what the motor is from.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
20,699
A Universal motor is a series field motor which posses very high torque at zero RPM, but operates in a run away condition due to field weakening as RPM increases with no load present..
When operated at lower voltages that it is designed for, the performance is unknown without empirical test.
It is often not the best kind of motor, if a specific result is required.
Max.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
7,688
With all of the things you listed as being in your "scrap", it looks like you have mains available to you. So why not just wire your washing machine motor to work off the mains?
 

Thread Starter

Siebs

Joined Jun 1, 2020
8
With all of the things you listed as being in your "scrap", it looks like you have mains available to you. So why not just wire your washing machine motor to work off the mains?
Hi short bus,

I totally agree (under normal circumstances). But let me clarify.

The island where I live is completely off grid (water, power and septic). We can use electric pumps but I try not to. We still use a windmill to pump water from a spring. The power system is solar and wind turbine.

If I’m using an electric pump I will usually run a generator. Yes we can use power tools, but I really pick the days with good solar. Or I use the generator.

The point of this pump project is to take an old (fairly obselete) technology and modernise it for off grid self sufficient use.

I’ve seen two old belt driven pumps on YouTube that run off solar. One uses an 18V treadmill motor and a solar panel and the other uses two panels and a 24V motor of unknown description. That was the inspiration for this project!

If and/or when I can make this happen I will end up with a pump that can function autonomously and not draw on our power system. Plus, it’s fun!

Hope that makes sense!
Cheers.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
7,688
Does your island have cars or a car junkyard? A windshield wiper motor or heater blower motor could be used. The solar panel charging a car battery then the battery powering the motor. This would then allow water to be pumped even a night.

Haven't seen one of those piston pumps for a long time. When I lived out in the country side my house had one of them. If your water source was a running stream or even an artesian well https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artesian_aquifer you could even use an older type of pump, a hydraulic ram pump https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_ram
 

Thread Starter

Siebs

Joined Jun 1, 2020
8
Does your island have cars or a car junkyard? A windshield wiper motor or heater blower motor could be used. The solar panel charging a car battery then the battery powering the motor. This would then allow water to be pumped even a night.

Haven't seen one of those piston pumps for a long time. When I lived out in the country side my house had one of them. If your water source was a running stream or even an artesian well https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artesian_aquifer you could even use an older type of pump, a hydraulic ram pump https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_ram
Hi Shortbus,

I like your thinking! It’s got a scrapyard as big as a castle! Motors can be a bit harder to find though! I’ve salvaged two wiper motors already. One I used on a coffee roaster and another I haven’t touched yet. It’s very powerful, didn’t occur to me that it could run a pump though!

This pump (mine) is actually centrifugal, but the one in the video is piston. I’ll get a vid of mine up.

We have a spring here so it’s not really running water. Also rainwater.

Hadn’t thought of a heater blower motor! Have to see if we have one in the old cars. They are pretty rusted out though!

Great ideas thanks!
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
7,688
This pump (mine) is actually centrifugal, but the one in the video is piston. I’ll get a vid of mine up.
I thought that was your pump. You do know that a centrifugal pump needs to be at or lower than the fluid it's pumping, right? That is why all of the old pumps were piston type they are more efficient at pulling water from a lower source. They changed to centrifugal well pumps as time and pumps got better, but mainly because they were quieter not more efficient. A centrifugal pump also need more speed input to work.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
6,070
The other consideration is that centrifugal pumps need to spin fairly fast. And fast takes power. So some sort of positive displacement pump will be a better choice. AND keeping the pump primed is also a requirement, not even all positive displacement pumps can stay primed. A fuel pump from an old car is an interesting possibility, but cleaning out the fuel will be a big challenge, and the discharge pressure is limited. But they can be run at any speed, which is handy.

The hydraulic ram suggested is only useful in applications with an unlimited supply of moving water, since it uses the inertia of the moving water to push small volumes of water up. The efficiency is seldom even 10%.
It may be that a scrapped one-cylinder engine could be converted to a piston pump, although rust may be a big challenge in that area. You would need to create two check valves since the normal engine valves would not be useful.
 

Thread Starter

Siebs

Joined Jun 1, 2020
8
I thought that was your pump. You do know that a centrifugal pump needs to be at or lower than the fluid it's pumping, right? That is why all of the old pumps were piston type they are more efficient at pulling water from a lower source. They changed to centrifugal well pumps as time and pumps got better, but mainly because they were quieter not more efficient. A centrifugal pump also need more speed input to work.
Hey, well actually I didn't, but that makes sense. That probably won't be an issue. However, I did find the original manual for this pump and it can draught (maximum) from up to 12ft below the pump. I'm assuming that would be using using the best engine for the pump however.

My pump is rated at a water flow of 30 gallons per minute at a 110ft head, using a 2.12hp motor at 3030RPM. That's the max they recommended for it. I doubt I'll be needing that much of a head, that's a pretty impressive number. My electric pump only has to pump 26m head.

The other consideration is that centrifugal pumps need to spin fairly fast. And fast takes power. So some sort of positive displacement pump will be a better choice. AND keeping the pump primed is also a requirement, not even all positive displacement pumps can stay primed. A fuel pump from an old car is an interesting possibility, but cleaning out the fuel will be a big challenge, and the discharge pressure is limited. But they can be run at any speed, which is handy.

The hydraulic ram suggested is only useful in applications with an unlimited supply of moving water, since it uses the inertia of the moving water to push small volumes of water up. The efficiency is seldom even 10%.
It may be that a scrapped one-cylinder engine could be converted to a piston pump, although rust may be a big challenge in that area. You would need to create two check valves since the normal engine valves would not be useful.
Totally agree. But in this case the ancient centrifugal is what I have so that's what I'll be messing around with! Using an old fuel pump to keep it primed is a good idea though! I also happen to have a 12V weed spraying pump, that's probably ideal.

Yep, not moving water here.

I'd like to change the thread title to something like: "Advice on powering centrifigual belt drive pump with solar power and DC motor".
 
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