New Clothes Washing Machine

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Hi All, We are fairly new to solar living, we have owned our house for about a year. My question is what could make our clothes washer "burn up" so to speak? We just purchased a new washer and ran it for two loads with no problem, then on the third load it wouldn't drain and there was a faint hot or burning smell. We were running it off of our 300 generator which is also a welding machine. The same thing happened to the old washer which is why we had to purchase a new one. Any ideas?

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  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    the voltage could be higher than it should be or it may even be too low. either condition may possibly cause a problem. for it to happen so soon makes me think it is in extreme with the voltage deviation. it may even be the frequency of the generator has changed as well or in addition to a voltage change. if you don't have a meter to monitor the voltage/frequency, then find somebody who can. if doing it yourself, need i say be careful? in any case it sounds like you may need a new generator and not just the washer. i hope i'm wrong about that.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,478 admin
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    Assuming that you are in the US--I would suggest that you get a Kill-a-Watt meter for around $27 + shipping.

    Displays voltage, current, frequency, VA, Watts, Power Factor, and kWatt-Hours (120 VAC 60 Hz basic operation--plugs into a standard 3-prong US outlet)...

    A true generator generally has a good sine wave--so my worries would be around voltage and frequency--both of which can kill appliances.

    Motors hate low voltage and low frequencies. Solenoids don't like high voltage. High frequencies can make motors run too fast.

    PF (power factor), VA and watts--if they are wildly off from normal could indicate other issues.

    If this was a square wave inverter--that could overheat motors and electronics. But, unless the generator is something special, does not sound like an issue here.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    300 watts isn't enough for a washing machine, maybe you meant 3000 but with other loads the voltage probably dropped and allowed the motor to stall and burn up the motor and controller.

    Hey Neil, can you get the avatars fixed?? looks like there are one or two being put up in addiation to the custom one I selected
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    sorry henry as that's wind-s2's idea. i think they're lame too for the record and are much larger than the original avatars, which shouldn't be imho. i think they are to denote a ranking of posts made if i miss my guess so if you have an idea to give him, be my guest.:confused::roll:
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    Hi, it is a 350 Amp max machine, it its a diesel AC DC welding machine , and the plugs are 26Amp max load. I hope that will give you a better idea of what we are working with. Thanks
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine
    niel wrote: »
    sorry henry as that's wind-s2's idea. i think they're lame too for the record and are much larger than the original avatars, which shouldn't be imho. i think they are to denote a ranking of posts made if i miss my guess so if you have an idea to give him, be my guest.:confused::roll:

    Be nice or I will give you all Britney Spears icons.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    you mean the one where she's getting out of the car?:p:D
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine
    niel wrote: »
    you mean the one where she's getting out of the car?:p:D

    I was thinking more of the one where her dog was crapping on the $6000 dress :p

    But with Brit, there are SOOOO many to choose from...
  • halfcrazy
    halfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    i think the problem is the generator i know a lot of the newer front load stuff wont run on a lot of the generators just to dirty i would look at getting a small sinewave inverter or a inverter generator. the inverter generators by honda and yamaha will use much less gas then the welder also
  • nigtomdaw
    nigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    Hi not an answer but a tip that should be useful to most re washing machines. In europe , Spain the best advice given out on washing machines which are 99% front loaders here... is to buy the simplest basic model.

    ie no flashy digital display, no led indicators or special bells and whitles.You might ask why, as modern inverters give a good clean sinewave. The answer is most people off grid out here dont have enough solar or inverter power and tend to do a wash (probably there biggest load)with the generator running and as so generator fed washing machines run best on basic models, even the local shops have had enough failures from off grid run machines to offer this advice freely. Its one thing that is universally accepted over here. I have enough solar and run my machine directly off my sinewave SW3024E inverter without problems. (but it is a basic model) When I ran it from my modified sinewave DR2424E it would buck shake and rattle and role so bad that it smashed the main motor housing within 2 weeks. Repaired under warranty. So if your buying a front loader go simple go cheap seems to be the best universal advice from retailers and re suppy companies to off gridders in Spain.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: New Clothes Washing Machine

    That really does make sense and that's already what I almost did. However, I did some checking and encountered numerous horror stories about the basic models sold here, through Sears and the like, being of poor quality and very high failure rate. Not at all what I was expecting. By the way, that high failure rate in this case, has nothing to do with power source, it's things like the main bearings only lasting a couple of months etc and even the repair guys telling people when it's off warranty to replace it, don't fix it, as it's junk. This has really scared me away from front load machines, other than the 1948 Bendix front load that belonged to my grandmother and still works, although I haven't used it in a few years. I'm using a 30+ year old Sears (Inglis) top load and it works great. Replaced the belt about 10 years ago. Suck that one up Maytag. I can't see throwing it out, paying hundreds of dollars for something that's only going to last a year. Please convince me that I'm wrong.
    Thanks
    Wayne