Washing Machine Capacitor: Functions, Damage Characteristics and How to Install

There is a component called a capacitor on each washing machine, either in a single-tube washing machine or a two-tube washing machine. The number, size, and magnitude of the capacitor are different in each washing machine. However, normally a single-tube washing machine only has one capacitor in its dynamo motor.

Whereas on a 2-tube washing machines parts, there are two capacitors connected with the washing dynamo motor and drying dynamo motor each. There are also different types of capacitors, such as two-wire capacitors and four-wire capacitors.

The Functions of Washing Machine Capacitor

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Washing machine capacitor

There are two types of functions in the washing machine capacitor, first as a start capacitor which only works when the dynamo motor will spin. Whereas the second function of the capacitor is as a running capacitor, which will work continuously as long as the dynamo is working.

Technically, the capacitor function in the washing machine is to shift the phase angle between current and voltage on the primary coil and auxiliary coil. Which on a single-phase electrical network, there is no angular shift between current and voltage, or it can be said that the angle is 0.

According to the manufacturer and the type of the washing machine, the capacitor magnitude on washing machine has 2 different values, such as 4 μf and 6 μf, 6 μf and 10 μf, 6 μf and 12 μf.

Generally, a capacitor with less magnitude is installed in series on an auxiliary coil. So, auxiliary and primary coil experience an angular phase shift between current and voltage, so the spin motor can rotate. Whereas a capacitor with a larger magnitude is installed on the washing motor.

There are primary coil and auxiliary coil on the washing motor, but there is no difference in the coil number or coil diameter, so the angular phase shift is considered non-existence or 0. Therefore, the capacitor is needed to shift the phase angle between current and voltage.

The equalization of the coil, which is related to wire number and wire diameter, has a function to make the washing motor rotate back and forth according to the timer on the washing machine. So, when the washing motor work, it is expected the load on the two coils is balanced.

After knowing the functions of the washing machine capacitor, the next step is how to install the capacitor on the washing machine. Because the washing machine capacitor is one of the washing machine parts that are prone to damage, so it is expected that you can install the capacitor by yourself.

The Characteristics of Damaged Washing Machine Capacitor

There are several kinds of washing machine damage, one of them is because of the capacitor. The causal factor that makes the washing machine capacitor being damaged is the prolonged use of the washing machine or the washing machine that has never been used.

To know the damage that happens on the washing machine capacitor, you can see the characteristic bellows:

  • There is a buzzing sound, but the dynamo motor is not rotating. This sound appears when you set the timer of the washing motor or drying motor, but it is not rotating and only generate a buzzing sound.
  • The dynamo motor rotation is weak. On a normal washing machine, the longer the dynamo motor rotates, the rotation will be faster. However, suppose the rotation is not accelerating or even weakens, it can be said that the washing machine capacitor is damaged/broken.
  • The dynamo motor can not rotate. The dynamo motor can not rotate when you want to set the timer, and there is no buzzing sound.
  • Inflated capacitor. To know it, you need to open the back cover of the washing machine. If the capacitor is inflated/bulging, then it can be said that the capacitor is broken.

Suppose your washing machine is experiencing those characteristics. In that case, you should replace the washing machine capacitor quickly so that the washing machine can be used again. You can also check it by using a multitester.

  • Prepare the multitester that will be used to check the capacitor.
  • Set the multitester to ohm x 1 settings.
  • Put both ends of the multitester probe (red and black cable) on both ends of the capacitor terminal; back and forth does not matter.
  • If the multitester indicator moves to the right and immediately back to the left, it can be ascertained that the capacitor is in good condition.
  • However, if the indicator moves to the right and does not return to the left or the arrow does not move, then it can be ascertained that the capacitor is damaged/broken.

How to Install Washing Machine capacitor

The first thing to be considered when installing the washing machine capacitor is to see the capacitor magnitude. It must be remembered, the larger capacitor magnitude is for the washing motor, and the smaller capacitor magnitude is for the drying motor or spin motor.

Next, you can follow these steps to install the washing machine capacitor:

  • First, remove the back cover of the washing machine.
  • Find the washing machine capacitor, it has a cylindrical shape with 4-wires.
  • Remove the capacitor wires that will be changed, then take the capacitor.
  • Install the new capacitor with the appropriate capacity and voltage.
  • After all the wire is installed, trim and insulate the wire connection.
  • Close the back cover of the washing machine.

When you’re troubled to install it, it will be better to call a technician to repair or install it.