OK – I am rather proud of myself – I fixed my washing machine. I actually emailed friends telling them I was the goddess of washing machine repair! To have a repair person out would have cost me $140. To fix it myself cost me just over $16 for the part (including tax).
I first thought it was the belt – because the water ran, but it would not spin. I found out that many washers don’t have belts, they have something called a “motor coupling”. Most of this process was quite easy. This is what a motor coupling looks like. It is actually three pieces that fit together.
I have a Roper top-loader. However, I have discovered that most of the top-loading machines are pretty similar inside. Please note that I am not a professional repair person – just someone who figured out how do do something and is sharing what I know.
To fix the motor:
1 – UNPLUG THE MACHINE!
2 – Depending on the type of machine you have and how new it is, there will probably be tiny screws that hold the panel with all the settings onto the rest of the machine. On some machines they can be found on the front bottom of the settings panel, and on others – like mine – they are found on the back of the machine. When you find these screws – unscrew them and lift the panel up moving the bottom part of the panel toward you and then up. It will hang by its hinges.
3 – Unplug the wires between the controls and the machine.
4 – On either side are odd-looking brass clips. Take a screwdriver and pop out these clips. This might take a little bit of effort to do. I didn’t worry if I scratched the machine with the screwdriver – this part is hidden.
5 – Pull the outer part of the machine toward you and lift off. This cabinet is remarkable light and easy to lift and place. Obviously I couldn’t take a picture and lift at the same time – it is light, but bulky.
6 – Remove the pump from the motor. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of this either. On my machine the pump was held to the motor with pressure brackets. They came off quite easily with a regular (flat head) screwdriver. The pump is the white part in the bottom left of this picture that is attached to the hoses. This is what it looks like after the pump has been removed.
7 – Unplug the wires leading to the motor.
8 – Remove the tiny screws on the pressure brackets attached to the motor.
9 – Remove the pressure brackets holding the motor in place. On my machine the bottom one came off pretty easily, but the top one required a little more muscle – but I was still able to do it with just a little more effort.
10 – Once the motor is free from the base, in back (and it was a little tough to see) is where the coupling is located. The old coupling came off incredibly easy, and the new one went on in only seconds. There are three parts to the coupling – here is the broken coupling I took off my machine.
11 – Line up the coupling so that all pieces fit together. I found it easier to put all three pieces of the coupling together on the base part, and push the motor back onto it to make it fit.
12 – Reattach the pressure brackets and attach the screws. I will tell you that putting on the first bracket and screw was easy – the second about did me in. This was the toughest part of the fix for me. The top one was done first, and finally I ended up taking a mini bungie cord and hooking it to the back of the pressure bracket, resting a large hammer over the base of the machine, and pressing down on the handle of the hammer (which acted as a lever) and pushed up on the bracket while I pulled on the bungie cord. Reattach the screw on the second bracket. You may not have this kind of problem at all – I imagine it just has to do with how tightly each model is put together.
13 – Reattach the pump with the pressure brackets.
14 – Reattach the wires going to the motor.
15 – Replace the cabinet to sit on top of the metal base.
16 – Reattach the brass brackets.
17 – Reattach the wires.
18 – Put the controls panel down and screw back into place.
19 – Plug in and check your work.