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HOW A WASHER WORKS
Most of today's washers, even the least expensive ones, have pre-wash soak and/or rinse cycles, detergent and bleach/dye dispensers, water temperature controls, water level controls for conserving water when washing small or medium loads, lint filters, and a series of washing cycle controls to vary the action of the agitator and the spin cycle. An automatic washer basically does what you would do if you were going to wash clothes by hand, but it does it faster: clothes go in, water comes in and the clothes are washed, dirty water goes out, clean water comes in, clothes rinse, water goes out, and clothes come out. When you set the selector switch and apply power, a double solenoid valve is activated. Water is allowed to flow in to the preset level, at which point the solenoids slam shut and cut off the inflow of water. (Many washers also have an overflow sensor or some system to handle an overflow of water if the solenoids fail to shut off the water.) Next the washing cycle is activated. The agitator moves back and forth, and sometimes up and down as well, to clean the clothes. Agitator action is driven by a motor, a system of gears and/or belts, and a cam to create the reciprocal (back and forth) motion needed. Meanwhile, in most units a pump is used to recirculate and filter the wash water. The pump is activated and the wash water is drained from the tub. To reduce the amount of water even more, the motor causes the tub to spin. The water is pulled out of the clothes by centrifugal force, leaving the clothes damp instead of soaking wet. During machine operation, short pauses occur as the washer moves from one cycle to another, or even in the middle of a particular wash or rinse cycle. These pauses are part of normal operation of a servo-mechanism inside the appliance as it changes from one mode to another.
Maintenance tips for your washer
Many owner's manuals suggest occasionally sanitizing the interior of your washer to help prevent the spread of illness among family members. This is particularly important whenever children are suffering from communicable diseases, or when there has been exposure to hepatitis, herpes, etc. This sanitizing procedure is also good for periodic freshening and deodorizing of the washer. For the best effectiveness, sanitize the washer immediately prior to washing a load of clothes. Pour 11/2cups of liquid chlorine bleach in the
bleach dispenser and close the lid. Use a warm rinse, normal agitate and 0
spin cycle, and set the water level selector at small load. Run the washer through the shortest wash cycle on the selector knob. The washer will fill with water, dispense the chlorine bleach, agitate and spin the water out, leaving the washer clean and sanitized. Even when you do not sanitize the machine, it will increase longevity of the appliance if you use a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe dry all interior surfaces at the end of each laundry day. Leave the lid tip for at least an hour, to let the inside air dry and freshen.
To improve the quality of washing with non-phosphate detergents, pretreat stains and grease spots before loading clothes into the machine, use soft water, and use the hottest water permitted for the fabric. Be sure to use enough detergent, and dissolve non-phosphate detergents in water before adding to a load of clothes. Never pour the detergent directly on any clothing.
The so-called all-purpose detergents wash dirt out of clothing, and can be used for soaking, pre-washes, as well as the actual washing. Be sure to read instructions that come with the package before using any detergent.
In soft water, any detergent or soap may be used.
Soft water generally means that a lesser amount of cleaner is required to wash clothes completely. In hard water, soap forms ascum. For this reason, use detergents if your water tests hard. Soap should only be used if you also add a water conditioner such as Calgon or Spring Rain to the wash water.
At the end of the cycle, be sure to thoroughly wipe out the interior of the tub and the enamel exterior surfaces with a clean, damp cloth.
Then as a safety step, be sure that all switches are off. (You can also lengthen the life of the hoses and valves by shutting off the water at the faucets.)
All of the above tips are for informational purposes only. For your safety, we strongly encourage any washer repairs to be performed only by a certified technician.