How Does the Spinner in a Washer Work?


Quick Answer

The spinning inner tub in a top-load washing machine is powered by a reversing motor that enables it to spin around in a circular motion. The motor powers the inner tub, where the clothing is loaded, and the agitator that cleans the clothes.

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How Does the Spinner in a Washer Work?
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Full Answer

A washing machine has an inner and outer tub. Clothing is placed into the inner tub of the washing machine. The inner tub of the washing machine has an agitator in its center. The washing machine's motor powers the spinning inner tub and agitator. Most top-load washing machines have a two-directional motor that spins the inner tub of the washing machine as it moves in one direction and moves the agitator to clean clothes when it moves in the other direction. This is also known as a reversing motor.

The motor is attached to the washing machine's metal frame along with a concrete counterweight. Also attached to the frame is a gearbox assembly. The frame is attached to pulleys, which stabilize the washing machine as it spins and vibrates. In each of the four corners of the washing machine, there are devices similar to disc brakes. These brakes are attached to the inner frame with a spring and use friction to help absorb vibration and keep the washing machine's inner assembly from constantly moving around.

Front-load washing machines do not have agitators and are instead spun around by a drum. The drum rotates on a horizontal axis. Front-load washers work much like dryers.

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