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Whasing machine motor help? Answered

I have a washing machine motor that I want to use for some projects of mine, and before I burn it using the wrong voltage, I wanted to ask you guys how it's done right.
The motor is from a Whirlpool washer, and it's got 5 wires going in it.  From whirlpool's manuals I understand that leads 1,2,3 are the motor windings, and leads 4,5 are the tachometer.
The resistance between leads 1 and 2, 1 and 3, and 2 and 3, are all 6 ohms.
The attached picture shows the sticker on the motor.

My question is, how do I make the motor spin?  Do I just plug it to the mains?  I'm guessing the tachometer wires are useless to me, since I don't have a control unit, which means I have 3 wires to work with. 
Also, is there a way to make it spin slower/faster without a control unit?
Thanks for the help!


So would it be accurate to say that there's no easy way to make it work?

I would rig a contactor through fuses and try two wires to 120 VAC first then with a capacitor as i drew for you and see what happens.
If it turns disconnect the capacitor , if it still runs wait 3 minutes, shut down and feel if the motor body is warm or burning hot ?
Then try 220 VAC and repeat everything.

I'm including a video of a brush repulsion start, induction motor run, just to
demo a serious motor.


I have to admit, my schematic reading skills are... Less than perfect :)
If I understand your schematic drawing, there's a starter motor that starts the main motor spinning, right?
And I see 6 leads into the main motor. In my case I have 3 leads, so which ones should I connect to the 120 VAC, does it matter?
Also, how many Amps should the fuse be? Will a regular 250 VAC 1 Amp glass tube fuse do?

The thing in the box represents the bare essentals of a timer gear-motor controller in old washing machines and some of the switches it might activate in various wash cycles...
On the left is / are two coils of your measured three motor wires 1, 2 and 3
So put 110VAC to pins 1 and 2 then close the top SW
if nothing happens attach a capacitor to pin 3 and close a Start SW.
if nothing happens rotate 123 to 231 to 312 etc
Then repeat with 220VAC 123, 231, 312
If still nothing, then, its only use is as a boat anchor !

The fuse should be a slow blow 4 or 5 amp just above the name plate 3.5 A of your motor !
If a fuse blows the particular wires are no good don't use 231 again if it blew the fuse.
Replace fuse and continue until you or the motor wins !

I get it now... you have been killed by electricity before... in your past life :-)
This thing could shoot electric sparks 2 or 3 or 5 feet, take some precautions
wear glasses be ready to pull out the power plug some distance away from the boat anchor !!!


I don't know about past lives, but in this life I usualy don't enjoy being zapped :)

Just to clarify (I know i'm slow, but better slow than dead), you said to try putting the juice through pins 1 and 2, and if that dowsn't work to add the cap to pin 3. Where would the other end of the cap go? back to the switch? if so, to which end, the one connected to 1 or to 2?

You are starting to get it :-) The CAP would go through the 3d switch in the controiier box ending on the same power line as motor pin 1. .


Erm... you don't happen to have this motor still attached to its washing machine?  Looking at the way it used to be connected might give you some clues.  Also sometimes there is a printed-on-paper wiring diagram pasted to the inside of the washing machine somewhere.  That diagram could be helpful if you can find it.

From the label you have attached, it looks like this motor was intended to run from circa 230 VAC.  I am guessing that is the mains voltage where you live.  Also there is mention of a 16 uF capacitor.  Hopefully you've got that part too.

Not sure how to wire it up, but maybe a Google(r) image search for the phrase "washing machine motor wiring" might help,  or maybe a search using the name (sole?) or number of that particular motor.

Anyway, that's all I've got for you.

Thanks for the comments, I have more info.
I don't have the wahing machine anymore, but I do have the 16uF capacitor that was in it.
I don't have the wiring diagram for that machine, but I have found one online of another machine by the same manufacturer, and it looks close to what I had... It's got the diagram in it, maybe that could help. https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/eab852a13fbc842085256aa200643dd6/$FILE/Duet%20Job%20Aid.pdf
Page 67 in the PDF shows the wiring diagram.  On page 42 yo can see that the cable harness that comes out of the motor (into the motor coltrol unit) has 5 cables in it, and that 4,5 are the tachometer leads.  It is also shown in the diagram, those leads are marked with T on the motor.

Also, you are correct that the mains here is 220 VAC.
Since I don't have the control unit from the washing machine, I will be happy with just making the motor spin.
Another question I have, If you guys can help me understand, how does the motor use 3 coils that are all connected to eachother (1 to 2, 1 to 3, 2 to 3).

Probably 1 and 2 are power and 3 is the start winding through the capacitor.

I have never seen a three phase whasing machine before.
Also a three phase motor does not need a starter winding.


I think the Whirlpool(r) GHW9100L washing machine (manual linked above) really does have a three phase motor in it.  I've never seen one before either, in real life, but I found this:

Washing machine having a variable speed motor

I admit it seems strange for a 3-phase motor to have a sticker on it mentioning capacitor sizes.

Yet it would also be strange for a capacitor-start motor to measure the same resistance across any two terminals, balanced, like the windings of a 3-phase motor would be.

I agree the measurement is indicative of a three phase winding.
It would be the very first thing I would verify.

But the picture of the motor nameplate does not mention 3 phase !
When I look at the 2001 Yr link it shows a 60 cycle single phase plug and wall outlet.
Even in recent US neighborhoods there are no three phase homes.

From looking at p 67 of that manual,
it kind of looks to me like that is a three phase induction motor. Moreover, I am guessing that box labeled "motor control unit" is what converts the single phase mains power into three phase power, which is output on the wires labeled U,V,W.

It would be nice if you had this "motor control unit", or some other means of converting 1-phase power into 3-phase power.

Also from looking at that diagram I have no idea where the 16 uF capacitor goes, if anywhere.

Someone else should look at this diagram.  A picture of the part of that diagram with the motor wiring is attached to this reply.
(link to larger image: https://www.instructables.com/file/F4KC520GPBD3OPV/)


7 years ago

This is a 50 cycle AC motor that uses a 450 volt 16 uF AC start capacitor and
a 300 volt 16 uF AC start capacitor.
I would be really surprised if the two leads 4,5 are a tachometer on an AC motor.
but then I could not find a schematic on the web.