How to replace carbon brushes in a washing machine
Replacing Carbon Brushes in a Washing Machine
Carbon brushes are the part of the motor designed to come in contact with the moving part to pass power through. This means, after time, they do wear down and will need to be replaced. Signs that could mean your carbon brushes need replacing are; Your machine is filling and draining per usual, but not turning/ Spitting or spluttering sounds coming from your machine/ Sparks coming from the underneath of the machine.
Disclaimer and Safety Warning
Disclaimer: Any persons attempting to reproduce the acts represented in this article or any other repair information/article on the Repair Cafe Wiki site, either wholly or in part must be aware that they do so at their own risk. Neither the Author/s or contributing Repair Cafes accept liability or responsibility for any loss, damage, injury or any other unexpected consequences as a result of any attempt to replicate the actions in any article.
This information is intended for sharing between experienced and competent repairers. If you are not technically competent then seek professional advice. You may also invalidate the manufacturers warranty.
Safety Warning: Always check that electrical items are fully disconnected from the mains supply before opening enclosures, and be aware that some items retain charge even when physically disconnected from the mains supply. Always read and comply with safety warnings on the product/appliance and within the manufacturer's documentation; on repair substances, replacement parts, materials and tools used. Always take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety and that of those around you when undertaking fault diagnosis, repair and subsequent testing of any product.
Difficulty level & repair time
Tools you may need
- Torx head screwdriver
- Socket spanner
Don’t have the tools you need? Maybe ask a friend or neighbor if they have some you could borrow? Or maybe invest in a few basic tools that could help you get handy around the house, fixing your home appliances to save you money.
Let's Get Fixing
First, you will need access to the back of your machine. It’s advised to disconnect your washing machine and move it somewhere you have plenty of space, this will reduce some of the stress of your repair task without having to be crammed up trying to see what you’re doing.
Remove Top and Back Panel
You will need to remove the top lid and back panel to reveal the back of the machine drum, the drive belt and the motor that should be situated underneath the drum.
Removing the Motor
Carefully remove your drive belt, and any wires connected to your motor. Use a socket spanner to then release the motor. Then, once removed, you should easily be able to easily replace the carbon brushes.
NB: some machines do allow you to replace the carbon brushes without removing the motor. Check the user manual to see if this is possible. However, if you like more space to work, it may be easier to still remove the motor so you can easily see what you are doing.
Locating the Carbon Brushes
You will find the carbon brushes situated on either side of the motor, pointing in towards the commutator. It is important to note that the carbon brushes are actually inserted at an angle, which is why the bottom edge of the brush is slanted so that the commutator can smoothly glide along. It is very important to insert the brushes in the correct position. It is easiest to do this by taking note of the position of your old carbon brushes when removing them. Then you can simply replace your new carbon brushes the same way.
Replacing the Carbon Brushes
To replace the carbon brushes, simply remove the old ones by taking off the clip and taking out the pin, gently pull out the spring followed by the carbon brush itself (remember to look which way it was facing!). Then, simply replace it with your new one by gently inserting the carbon brush, pushing in the spring afterwards (which may be fiddly but stick with it) and then re-secure the pin and clip to keep it all in place.
Once this is done, you can simply replace all the components back in the machine (don’t forget anything!) and your motor will once again be running smoothly.
Why replace them on your own? Quite simply, it could save you an expensive bill from an electrician. It could also be faster than having to wait for an appointment slot. The procedure is quick and simple, and will leave you feeling accomplished having repaired your washing machine back to tip top condition.
Head to Partshub - a proud partner of the Repair Cafe - for a wide range of spare parts and more information on how you can best care and maintain for your favourite household appliances.