GE Electric Motor - Power hookup for use in DIY projects

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
I have a GE electric motor that came out of a washing machine that I would like to use to power DIY tools, like a sander. It is a 3 phase motor, but runs from a standard plug, not a 240v. The label shows "120v 60Hz 6.1 LRA 3 Phase". I am a total rookie when it comes to this kind of electronics, so if my questions are stupid, please bear with me! ;)
Is there a way to connect this to a power cord with an on/off switch so the motor will run at full speed all the time, or maybe with the speed controlled by a switch of some kind? From what I have been reading from Google searches, generally 3 phase motors need a capacitor to start them, but this one has a PCB board attached to it with 2 large capacitors on it. (See the Pictures). So I am going to assume that is already taken care of.
I have labeled the photos as best as I could with what connections I could figure out. There are two connections that go from the board on the motor to the windings, and there doesn't appear to be brushes on this motor.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me with this

Connections.jpgSide Connection.jpgMotor Board showing Connections.jpgMotor Board.jpg
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
1,308
"" Is there a way to connect this to a power cord with an on/off switch so the motor will run at full speed all the time, or maybe with the speed controlled by a switch of some kind? ""
No,
and 3-Phase Motors don't need Capacitors, but a
"Variable-Frequency-Drive" Inverter/Controller does.

Trying to make a 3-Phase-Motor, run on Single-Phase Power,
by using various Capacitor Schemes is always very tricky, and disappointing,
and Single-Phase to 3-Phase VFD-Controllers are quite expensive.
.
.
.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,906
If you can decifer the present hook up of the VFD to motor, it may be possible to use both if they have no issues/faults etc.
The means of control signal would be needed, is there a print of the machine inside the cover etc?
Or if you know the model it came from you may be lucky in finding a print via Google.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,952
Is what the TS has a real 3PH motor or is it a BLDC motor with 3 phases? Many of the newer appliances are now using that type of motor. I can't believe this is really a 3 PH motor running on 120VAC.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,906
There where some 3ph induction motors that were made expressly for washing machine use.
If the motor leads are shorted and the rotor spun, if physical resistance is felt, it will show right away if PM, which I doubt.
.
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
"" Is there a way to connect this to a power cord with an on/off switch so the motor will run at full speed all the time, or maybe with the speed controlled by a switch of some kind? ""
No,
and 3-Phase Motors don't need Capacitors, but a
"Variable-Frequency-Drive" Inverter/Controller does.

Trying to make a 3-Phase-Motor, run on Single-Phase Power,
by using various Capacitor Schemes is always very tricky, and disappointing,
and Single-Phase to 3-Phase VFD-Controllers are quite expensive.
.
.
.
That is interesting, as this machine does indeed run when plugged into a standard electrical socket, 3 prong, 110v US standard plug in. Does this mean that there is an expensive VFD Controller built into the control boards of the washing machine then? Or is this motor perhaps a different type than what you think it is?
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
If you can decifer the present hook up of the VFD to motor, it may be possible to use both if they have no issues/faults etc.
The means of control signal would be needed, is there a print of the machine inside the cover etc?
Or if you know the model it came from you may be lucky in finding a print via Google.
Not sure what you mean when you talk about the present hook up of the VFD to motor...do you mean there is already a VFD built into the washing machine somewhere? There are 3 pcb boards on the machine, which were the ones that were attached to the plastic control panel. (where the knobs you use to set the cycles/spin/etc... and the on button are). I doesn't look like there is anything special about these boards, no large components or anything, but they do control the entire process of the machine....and yes, there was a print of a sort-of schematic on the inside of the control panel. It is labeled Control Circuit Board, and shows a very limited schematic of the panel. I will post a picture of that in a few minutes.
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
Is what the TS has a real 3PH motor or is it a BLDC motor with 3 phases? Many of the newer appliances are now using that type of motor. I can't believe this is really a 3 PH motor running on 120VAC.
If by BLDC you mean a brushless DC motor, then no I don't think it is that. It does run on AC, as it is plugged into a standard 3 prong 110v US electric socket. I suppose there could be an AC-DC adapter built into the control boards somewhere though. You can see on the label that it states "120V 60Hz 6.1LBA 3 Phase" and does not have anything like Induction or Inverter on the label anywhere. Nor does it have VFD noted anywhere.
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
Here is a copy of the Control Circuit Board printout that was included in the control panel of the washing machine.
The box labeled C4 Inverter is showing the connectors on the motor. Could the PCB on the motor itself be the VFD controller?

Control Circuit Board Printout.jpg
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
I suppose I could simply wire the three wires that are noted as power and ground to a plug with a switch on it and try this, but I really don't want to destroy the motor if I am wrong...Not that it's an expensive motor or anything...I think you can buy this particular one NEW on Amazon from $55 to $100, Depending on who you buy it from. And I actually got it free from tearing down the washing machine I got from a curbside pickup! :) Still hate to waste things for no reason though...
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,906
The VFD is shown pictured in the OP is it not ?
Presumably all you may need is the 120v power in, the motor hooked up and find out the means of control signal input.
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
The VFD is shown pictured in the OP is it not ?
Presumably all you may need is the 120v power in, the motor hooked up and find out the means of control signal input.
I think I understand that you are saying the VFD is the board that is connected directly to the motor. I was thinking this was the case myself, but wasn't too sure. The three other wires that connect to the motor must be the control signal input, so I am under the impression that power to one or more of these would determine motor speed. They aren't connected to any power line though, just directly to the control circuit. The connections labeled Rx Yx and Nx on the control circuit board printout. I have no way of tracing the connections except by visually tracing the lines on the PCB, which with my eyesight might prove to be out of my capability! :) Thanks for your input!!
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,906
You have the three 3ph power leads from motor to board and then the AC power supply input, then there should be some kind of input from what never programs or controls the washer cycles etc.
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
You have the three 3ph power leads from motor to board and then the AC power supply input, then there should be some kind of input from what never programs or controls the washer cycles etc.
Ok. I think I'm going to try hooking up the power connections, and then either the common or power connections one at a time to the power leads...I'm thinking that there are 3 speeds, one for gentle cycle, one for normal, and one for spin cycle. Slowest to fastest. Thanks again for your replies...I do appreciate it greatly! :)
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
Did you try and look for machine diagram/print?
Often they are out there if you know the model of the washer.
I posted a copy of what was in the machine a couple posts ago...but that's all I have. I did try hooking this motor up to power and different combinations with the 3 wires from the circuit board, but no luck. I also hooked up the entire board like it was in the machine, but obviously without all the sensors detecting what they should that didn't work either...I did get a single beep from it though LOL!
I think since this is such a specific motor I am going to move on and see if I can't find an older one or one that is more like the ones on the youtube videos...hopefully I can find one here in the US, as all the vids are apparently from either the UK or Germany.

Thanks to everyone that replied to this...You guys are great!!
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,793
Is what the TS has a real 3PH motor or is it a BLDC motor with 3 phases? Many of the newer appliances are now using that type of motor. I can't believe this is really a 3 PH motor running on 120VAC.
It certainly looks like a brushess DC motor and so it need to have not only that circuit board that we see, but also whatever additional control circuits are part of the system. There is probably a service document some place inside that washer that will include all of the needed connection information, and so it will be very worth the effort to locate and rescue that document.
 

Thread Starter

Aues

Joined Jun 2, 2021
14
It certainly looks like a brushess DC motor and so it need to have not only that circuit board that we see, but also whatever additional control circuits are part of the system. There is probably a service document some place inside that washer that will include all of the needed connection information, and so it will be very worth the effort to locate and rescue that document.
I already posted the only documentation that came with it, it was inside the control panel, so I'm pretty certain it is the service document, or at least what they consider to be that. Very few control boards on this machine, but I am also certain that you are correct about them being needed for this motor to run. It is way past the point of being a simple to start motor though, so I think I will continue to look for ones similar to the ones on the YouTube posts...apparently they will be older models than what I got. Thanks for your input!
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,793
OK, I look at the post #1 and the images there show a board that wms to be part of the motor assembly. That might be the inverter board shown on the paper that you have. It appears that here are two motor speeds , and so it may be useful to examine whatever markings are on that motor driver board as they may give a clue about the power connections.
 
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