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How do you fix a sewing machine that won't stop running? Answered

I have a great old sewing machine and it would work fine if i could control the needle with the presser foot. It is a Zig Zag model E-388 Precision Made in Japan.

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JulesBD

3 months ago

Hi, for what it's worth, I have an old Singer sewing machine Model 421G. After 2 minutes of sewing it would start to sew on its own, slowly at first, then faster & faster. I would have to constantly unplug it and let it cool down, then start again. Grrrr. I followed the same scary advice of opening my pedal unit and removing the capacitor. It's a really simple case of rewiring. Open up the pedal unit, take a photo (always a good idea in case you loose your way or loose your nerve and need to backtrack!), make a note of which two terminals connect to the two ends of the capacitor (that's the thing that looks a bit like an AA battery), then unscrew the contacts to the capacitor, remove the capacitor, then join up (i.e. connect up) the two points that were connected to the capacitor terminals. I believe some pedal units have 2 capacitors - same principle, just twice. It sounds scary, like you're creating a short-circuit, but it really works.
I suggest you do a Google search for "singer sewing machine running on its own".
Good luck,
Jules BD

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MohamadA39

3 months ago

Hi. I've a Singer Genie with a blown radio capacitor. Heard that u can still operate the machine without replacing it but am unsure. Still recovering from shock from the popping cap while sewing. Hard to get replacement. Thank you

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MaryB410

8 months ago

I have a morse sewing machine it's my mother, don't know the year but when I plug it up it starts sewing on its own

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quilter1012

9 years ago

Make sure there is not a thing in the case/or table that has two plug ins. One may be reversed, and then as soon as it is turned on, the motor will start and not stop. Make sure to put the motor cord in the plug in that says motor. I have a straight stitch 1962 made in japan, and I had that issue, and that was what the problem was. Good luck!

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Bikegirl4Lifequilter1012

Answer 11 months ago

I know this post is so old, I just wanted to thank you for this info! I’ve been trying to fix my old White machine and since we moved it hasn’t worked right, and all I had to do was switch the two plugs around! SUCH A RELIEF!!! I’m so grateful quilter1012!! Great big hugs and thank you’s!!

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MariaB21quilter1012

Answer 3 years ago

quilter1012, thank you so much! This totally fixed my issue and I wouldn't have figured it out otherwise! My husband was about to rewire the whole thing and this simple plug fix solved everything!

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AliciaS3quilter1012

Answer 4 years ago

I know you posted this 5 years ago for someone else, but it was exactly my problem - thank you so much!

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degutopia

1 year ago

I just wanted to add the solution that worked for me, I think it was hinted at by someone else here but they didn't give the whole solution. I have a Ricar 806 also Japanese made, which suddenly started running at full speed on its own. The problem was the capacitor in the foot pedal control. I discovered that the capacitor is present to prevent the machine interfering with the TV and radio (causing static to old style tuners, not really relevant these days...). Over time the capacitor leaks charge and eventually dies, causing the machine to run on its own at full speed. Since the capacitor is redundant you can simply remove it from the mechanism, which fixes the pedal. In my case the capacitor was wired in parallel with a resistor, and both could simply be removed by unscrewing them from the assembly. Hope this saves someone else some time!

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Meganraydegutopia

Answer 1 year ago

Thank you so much for this info. I have just been given an old Singer 201, which had the same, non stop, problem, we followed your instructions and it is working perfectly. Sincere thanks.

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linstv

1 year ago

Thanks for that I have removed the capacitor and it works a treat now. But will I have to put a new one in?

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Dr.Bill

9 years ago

the adjustable voltage regulator might be bad

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11010010110

9 years ago

in some machines the foot controller has a capacitor parallel to the switch. if the capacitor is bad it may either run all the time or fail to start at al and just go zzzzzz in many old controllers the variable speed is done by a resistor made of thin plates (carbon ?) that are compressed together at varying force. when off a contact outside of the resistor should be visually disconnected (and not only pressure on the resistor released). sometimes this contact does not fully disconnect. (be carefull to not lose or crack them if you disassemble the controller deeply. although it tolerates few missing or cracked)

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NachoMahma

9 years ago

. The foot control probably needs to be disassembled and cleaned/repaired. Possibly a short in the cord. . The foot control will most likely be "hot" all the time, so unplug everything from the wall before messing with it.

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YobettyNachoMahma

Answer 9 years ago

Thanks so much I will try that this weekend!