Newb Question: Basic components to run an AC motor

Thread Starter

muszyngr

Joined Feb 11, 2022
14
Hi all, I have set out to learn more or anything for that matter about AC motors, in order to do so I have taken apart an old KENMORE clothes washing machine and am just wondering what do I need to look for or connect to simply get the AC motor to spin, not looking to fix the washer by any means, don't care about any of the water pump functionality just want to get the motor to spin, what are the minimal components required between the 120 volt plug that goes to the wall and the actual motor, I picked this up for FREE off of Craigslist as it was not running


I have included some pics of this beast for your enjoyment and entertainment, please and thank you for your help

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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,876
IF you have access to the schematic diagram it will be a simple mater to see which wires run the motor.
From the photo it appears that you have the control panel and wiring, and so iif you are able to identify the mains power input connection you might even be able to run the motor, or at least trace the circuit to see which connections make it run.

What kind of washer was it? Front load or tip load? Frontload and some top load washers use a reversing scheme, meaning that there will need to be at least four wires connected to run the motor.
From the tag we can see that it is a three speed motor, and that makes it a bit more complicated. You need to try to recover the circuit schematic, it is important.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,077
That's quite a coincidence. My clothes washing machine quit two days ago after 32 years of service. In my case the washer is belt driven and the motor still runs. I assume that the problem is in the gearbox because the washer runs in the spin cycle but not in agitate mode. So I think the motor is coming off to be repurposed in the workshop.
 

Thread Starter

muszyngr

Joined Feb 11, 2022
14
That's quite a coincidence. My clothes washing machine quit two days ago after 32 years of service. In my case the washer is belt driven and the motor still runs. I assume that the problem is in the gearbox because the washer runs in the spin cycle but not in agitate mode. So I think the motor is coming off to be repurposed in the workshop.
32 years of service, looks like somebody got a lemon, LOL and the funny thing is our dishwasher broke (well actually our son tripped over the door that somebody left opened in the middle of the night) so we went out and bought a new clothes washing machine instead, you can not make this tuff up folks !!!
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,876
The switching is a bit more complex., and tracing and redrawing very carefully will reveal the actual circuit, and the start switch is a bit tricky as well.
AND A WARNING: Do not bypass the over-temp switchthat is between the W wire and the W-BK wires That is what the little bump on the line is. The overtemp switch is sort of important. Also note that the start switch opens two connections, both the extra speed winding and the capacitor start winding. That is where the third run winding is connected. So the original interpretation is not quite correct. And also, it is not a "permanent capacitor" motor as the start switch disconnects the capacitor.
It is important to observe the whole circuit, and not presume that it is already known.

But if that recently failed washern still spins but does not agitate it is probably a failed gear shift solenoid, much cheaper than a new machine.
 

Thread Starter

muszyngr

Joined Feb 11, 2022
14
now I need to figure out the 4 speeds, that silly two wire pig tail coming off of the motor is throwing me a curve ball that's for sure, so what I am wondering is can I leave that pig tail unplugged and just work the extra Orange, Blue, and Violet/White wires?

here's what the back of that 4 speed switch looks like

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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,876
Keep in mind that in the original circuit there are TWO windings energized for starting. I doubt they would have gone to that expense if they were not required. So there is no "Silly Little" part of that circuit that you should ignore, except for changing the wash-cycle mode switch.
The correct circuit is not like that simple circuit that we have seen. Thace back the winding connections from the original schematic of the machine. You will see that TWO windings are for starting, one with the series capacitor and a second one direct through the starting switch ALSO..
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
2,038
This is a 3-Speed, not a 4-Speed Motor.
Do not use the original Speed-Selector Switch,
there is NOTHING that follows any kind of "standard" in a "Home-Appliance".

There may be all kinds of screw-ball wiring schemes that
the manufacturer uses to get their desired end result.

With a known good Start-Capacitor in place,
try running the Motor with ONLY 1 Run-Winding connected to the Hot-Wire,
try this, one Winding at a time, to see how the Motor responds.
Connecting more than one Winding at a time to the Hot-Wire could possibly burn-up the Motor.

The Motor should run quiet and not get excessively hot with no Load on it.

I would suggest that You not use the Low and Medium-Speed Windings, for anything,
these may be designed to run "in series" with the High-Speed Winding,
and not necessarily powered individually by themselves.
Using the Low and Medium Speed windings could result in over-heating the Motor.

Use only the High-Speed Winding, ( Blue ),
and the Start-Winding wired through the Centrifugal-Switch and Capacitor.
.
.
.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,876
Once again, examine the drawing. Switch 14 is closed for High speed, 7 is closed for regular speeds.
THIS IS BY NO MEANS A STANDARD MOTOR CONNECTION!!!
You need to understand the connections used for each different mode, and observe that the high speed is used for fairly short term operation only. So this is another reason to use the white wire connection as the only neutral connection to run the motor.
It appears that switches #7 and #14 reverse the direction of current in the start winding, so that the motor may be running in the opposite direction at times, which is common for some Kenmore washers with centrifugal pumps constantly driven.
I suggest tracing out the connections for the different modes, the good news is you would only do that for the longer modes, as they are the ones OK for continuous duty operation.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
11,876
Disassembling things to see how they work, or how they should be working, is indeed often a lot of fun. But I discovered very early that the real big thrill was putting them back together and having them work again. That did lead to a fun career in engineering where the things only existed in imagination until they were assembled and made to work.
 
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