How Does A Washing Machine Work?

We all love our washing machines, don’t we? After all, where would we be without one? A washing machine might not be the most glamorous machine you have in your home, but it does a lot of the dirty jobs that would be difficult to do otherwise.

After all, who really wants to go back to the old-fashioned way of doing things when it comes to cleaning clothes? A washing machine makes some of those really messy household jobs so much easier but how do they work exactly?

It might surprise you to learn that a washing machine isn’t as complicated as you might think, they are complex machines but understanding how they work is relatively simple. Let’s start with taking a look at all the main components of a washing machine and see what they do.

Inside a washing machine

Introducing The Components Of A Washing Machine

Before we take a look at the main components of a washing machine let’s take a quick look at how it works. A washing machine agitates (spins) your clothes while dousing them with soap suds and water, this is caused by the detergent you use.

The combination of water and soap will remove any dirt and stains and it’s assisted by the spinning of your washing machine. So, now we have a base idea of how a washing machine works let’s take a closer look at the main components.

The Drum

Washing Machine Inner Drum Tub

The drum is one of the main components of a washing machine but what you might not know is that there are actually two different drums. One drum is the compartment you put clothes in and it fills with water while the inner drum spins around, you can usually see the inner drum when you look in the machine. Usually, the inner drum as a lot of holes punched into it which is what allows the water to enter the machine.

The Paddles

Drum Paddles

The paddles sit along the edge of your washing machine’s drum and they do a very important job. The paddles work by moving the clothes around your drum to help them get more thoroughly washed.

The Outer Drum

Outer Drum

Yes, another drum but this one is very different, the outer drum is designed to hold water while the inner drum spins around. The outer drum is designed to completely watertight, so it will ensure there’s no risk of leaking in your machine. If you do experience a leak in your washing machine, then it’s highly likely that it will be due to a problem with the outer drum.

The Agitator

The Agitator

This component is very similar to the paddles you find in regular washing machines and they work in much the same way however, agitators are usually only used in top-loaded washing machines.

The Pump

water pump

Probably one of the most vital components in a washing machine the pump as the important job of removing water from the drum after the wash cycle. Sometimes this is referred to as a drainage pump as well.

Thermostat and Heater

Thermostat and Heater

The thermostat is what controls the temperature of the water in your washing machine. Sometimes they are referred to as heating elements as well.

Assorted Pipes and Valves

Pipes and valves come in a great assortment of different types in a washing machine but they all do very similar jobs.

The Dial/ Control Panel

Depending on the model of washing machine you have you could have a more old-fashioned dial or a more modern control panel. These do the same job they are used to input to the programmer on your machine and are what allow you to select different modes and wash cycles.

Differences Between Models

Washing machines might all seem very similar, but they do come in a range of different makes and models. Some notable differences to look out for our semi-automatic and fully automatic models. A fully automatic model is designed to do everything with just the push of a button, they will even help you adjust your settings for optimal efficiency.

While a semi-automatic model may require a bit more input from you, they still work in pretty much the same manner, but a fully automatic model will be sure to save you some time. Another thing to watch out for is the differences between front-loaded and top-loaded washing machines.

A front-loaded washing machine is probably what you picture when you think of a traditional washing machine. They open at the side and usually have a circular like door, while a top-loaded washing machine opens at the top.

They do work slightly differently but many of the main components feature in both types of washing machine while some like the agitator as I previously mentioned only feature in certain models, this time being a component you’ll only find in a top-loaded washing machine.

High-efficiency (HE) washers are a reasonably new introduction on the market. Compared to traditional washers, high-efficiency washing machines work in a different way. Read on what makes high-efficiency washers so special and learn the differences between a traditional washing machine and an HE model.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions please contact our customer support team on 020 7183 6944, we are here to help. Here are some helpful tips from Repair Aid:

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