By Richard Caldwell
A typical wash cycle of a typical agitator-type washing machine begins with a fill period of anywhere from 2 to 5 min. depending on the water level selected and the water pressure. Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore (Sears), Frigidaire, and GE may have minor capacity differences and thus time differences. The washing period, which will be for anywhere from 2 to 12 minutes, also depends on the setting the operator has selected. After the wash cycle is completed, the machine pauses for 1 min for the purpose of reversing motor rotation. After the 1-min pause, water is pumped from the spin basket and the outer tub. The spin basket does not spin during this operation, although, if there is no clothing or very little clothing in the spin basket, there is a tendency for it to move slightly. The washer agitator may also move very slightly, and this must not be mistaken for a fault in the washer. The motion of both the basket and the agitator will not occur in cases where there is a least a minimum amount of clothing in the basket.
The following is the general cycle of operation, with the approximate time used in the various states:
Wash fill – 3 to 4 minutes
Wash – 1 to 15 minutes
Spin – 2 to 3 minutes
Rinse Fill 3 to 4 minutes
Rinses 2 to 3 minutes
Spin Dry 3 to 5 minutes
Total Time 14 to 34 minutes
This is not exact cycle and like I said above, there are minor differences between such brands as Whirlpool, Kenmore (Sears), Maytag, GE, and others. The time for one complete cycle may range from as little as 14 minutes to as long as 34 min, depending on the particular machine and length of the washer period which the user selects.
During the washer pump out period, water enters the spin basket and removes all suds from the outer tub as well as the spin basket and clothes load. By the end of the pump out period, all water has been removed from the spin basket and the outer tub. After the pump out period, the spin basket spins under power for a period of minute. After this time, power to the motor is turned off, and the basket is free to coast. The spin basket coasts through the next 2 min. during which time rinse water enters the washer basket and pump still operates.
The initial power spin and the subsequent coasting of the spin basket, together with the spin-spray water entering the clothes, have a tendency to wash any lighter-than-water soil from the fabric and flush it away from the clothing. The washer spin basket is operating only at slow speed at this time; therefore, the clothing is not packed so tightly that a scum or lighter-than-water soil will be trapped.
After the initial spin rinse, the normal extraction spin of our typical washer occurs for a period of 2 minutes, after which the spin basket wills with water for a period of not less than 2 minutes and not more than 4 min, depending upon the original setting of the water level switch. The difference between the initial fill and the rinse fill comes about through the fact that the clothes in the spin basket contain some water which is not found in the original load.
After our typical washer is filled with rinse water, there is a 4 min period of agitated deep-wave rinse. The 1 min pause and 2 min pump out periods are repeated, after which the spin basket operates for a total of 7 min to extract water from the clothes. After the first 3/4 min, a1 /4 min spin spray occurs for an additional fresh-water rinsing. Please understand the cycle of operations, because if washers pause for 1 min and you do not realize the reason for it, you may have already have called the service technician before the machine starts again. The cycle times of various operations of the washers are given in the service manuals.
Please use this as a basic guide to understand the basic operating principles of the top-load automatic washing machine. Once again, there are slight variations between Maytag, Whirlpool, and Kenmore (Sears), so special considerations may be necessary.
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