Author Topic: Washing machine mystery  (Read 385 times)

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Washing machine mystery
« on: October 04, 2018, 04:48:15 PM »
Hi MMM team, I'm trying to solve a fault with our 2 year old Samsung, front-loading, horribly efficient clothes washer. The washer started tripping the GFCI outlet behind it. No biggie, I heard you shouldn't use GFCI's for appliances so figured the high current draw of the tumbler engaging had worn it out. So we connected it to another outlet in the adjoining bathroom. It worked for a few weeks and then it tripped the 20 amp breaker that outlet was on, without anything else being used at the same time. Finally, I began to think that there was some issue with this nearly new washer. I took a resistance reading on the washing machine plug, and got a resistance of 471 ohms between the hot and neutral prongs of the washer, implying there's some sort of internal short in the washer circuitry.

Could this be some relay getting wet? The repairman wants to replace the electronics board, but my thought is if this is caused by an ongoing leak, maybe the whole washer is trash? Also, would anyone know is there an issue trying to use this on a higher amp dedicated circuit? I'm assuming there would be since it tripped the 20 amp circuit.

Thanks all. And I should say, this is covered by a stupid home warranty, so I just want to make sure we don't NOT fix an important or dangerous issue.

BTDretire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2247
Re: Washing machine mystery
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 05:30:44 PM »
Hi MMM team, I'm trying to solve a fault with our 2 year old Samsung, front-loading, horribly efficient clothes washer. The washer started tripping the GFCI outlet behind it. No biggie, I heard you shouldn't use GFCI's for appliances so figured the high current draw of the tumbler engaging had worn it out. So we connected it to another outlet in the adjoining bathroom. It worked for a few weeks and then it tripped the 20 amp breaker that outlet was on, without anything else being used at the same time. Finally, I began to think that there was some issue with this nearly new washer. I took a resistance reading on the washing machine plug, and got a resistance of 471 ohms between the hot and neutral prongs of the washer, implying there's some sort of internal short in the washer circuitry.

 I would not conclude that the 471 ohms is a sign of any problem. There could easily be a circuit in the washer that is on all the time, just like your TV has a circuit that draws power even when not on.
If the 471 ohms reacts the same on AC as it does with your DC test, (and that's a big if), that is still only 1/4 of an amp, and you are popping a 20 amp breaker.
Can you find an identical machine and do the same ohms test?
  How often does this happen?
Does it happen at any particular stage of the cycle? Water valves tuning on, start of the wash cycle, start of the spin cycle, or...
 Wish I could be more helpful, I'm somewhat of an electronics guy, so I would connect an analog AC amp meter with a 20 amp full scale and watch it for a cycle. I may or may not learn anything.
 Oh, also I'd be searching some appliance repair forums/groups with your brand and Model Number, there could be ten people that have already had your problem and the fix is available.
  Here's a start,
https://www.google.com/search?q=Samsung+front+load+pops+circuit+breaker&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: Washing machine mystery
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2018, 10:53:21 AM »
Thanks so much BTDretire. I hadn't known about the appliance boards but it seems a good place to start. Samsungs also seem to have a great reputation for poor customer service, lousy warranties, and investing more in the washer playing a song to you when its done than having the machine work.

I'll check with neighbors if they have an AC amp meter. Is a 20 amp full scale just the capacity of the AC amp meter or a separate measuring device? Sorry for my novice question. Thanks too for putting this in perspective. It looks like in general I need to add a non GFi outlet to the laundry room for the washer.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1165
Re: Washing machine mystery
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 11:16:19 AM »
I used to design industrial laundry equipment for a living back in the day. One of the sure signs of a motor starting to go bad was that it would start pulling more amperage. A lot of the time that was due to a capacitor starting to fail on the motor. Those are fairly easy to replace if handy. I would start looking there first.

BTDretire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2247
Re: Washing machine mystery
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 02:43:58 PM »
Thanks so much BTDretire. I hadn't known about the appliance boards but it seems a good place to start. Samsungs also seem to have a great reputation for poor customer service, lousy warranties, and investing more in the washer playing a song to you when its done than having the machine work.

I'll check with neighbors if they have an AC amp meter. Is a 20 amp full scale just the capacity of the AC amp meter or a separate measuring device? Sorry for my novice question. Thanks too for putting this in perspective. It looks like in general I need to add a non GFi outlet to the laundry room for the washer.

 Ya, that's why I said I'm somewhat of an electronics guy, I have meters available that I could adjust/modify to
read 1/2 scale while the machine is running and watch for sudden increases of the current being drawn. Most likely to happen during a change in the cycle. This would just be part of the troubleshooting sequence. Yes, just a 20 amp AC meter, because that is the max continuous current draw before you pop the breaker, but be aware a motor could draw as much as 40 amps for a few milliseconds at start, the time is so short the analog meter needle would not make it to 40.
  ithenderson, may be on mark with the motor capacitor failing, if that is the case, without equipment to test, it may be easiest to just get the proper one for your washer and replace it.
  If the capacitor is going bad, I suspect what may happen is when the electronics tell the motor it is supposed to start it won't, but it will draw current in a stalled state and then in a second to 10 seconds the excess current will pop the breaker.
 It is possible when the motor is under light load that it will start rotating and all will seem normal, but if you have a heavy load the motor can't start rotating and pops the breaker.
  Did you find any questions about your model in the google search I posted?
Post your Brand and Model, maybe someone can find something.
 I have got appliance parts from Ebay, Amazon and other appliance part supply companies, so mostly easily available.
Might cost you $10 to $20.
 Last capacitor I had go bad was on the fan motor of my air conditioner condenser unit, I just happen to have
a squirrel cage fan in my shop with proper value, I swapped in and it worked until my Amazon order arrived.
 Cost me $12.
  It was a smaller motor so didn't draw enough current to pop the breaker, but it got extremely hot setting stalled.