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Washing Machine and travel power


WhiteSuit
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I think our Hotpoint washing machine has died (I believe it was an original fit to the boat so 20 years old). It worked from either mains hook up or 3.5KW travel power. By process of elimination it is the washing machine that is tripping the rcd. I don't believe it to be financially viable to attempt to repair so it is time to replace. 

I know some modern machines are prone to not working with certain inverters but wonder if there are problems with the travel power (silver box)?

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54 minutes ago, WhiteSuit said:

I think our Hotpoint washing machine has died (I believe it was an original fit to the boat so 20 years old). It worked from either mains hook up or 3.5KW travel power. By process of elimination it is the washing machine that is tripping the rcd. I don't believe it to be financially viable to attempt to repair so it is time to replace. 

I know some modern machines are prone to not working with certain inverters but wonder if there are problems with the travel power (silver box)?

Its done well, bet that a new one won't do 20 years.  It could be something simple like the heater element.  If you pull both the wires off it and try it you will know.

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I too think it is worth investigating the fault. As Tracy says, it is a racing certainty the heater element has failed, causing the tripping, and heater elements are reasonably easy to replace. The hard part is getting the machine out of its hole for access, but you'll have to do this anyway if you buy a new machine.

 

The main reason for fixing the old one though, is new machines are mostly controlled by a PCB instead of an electromechanical sequencer. PCBs fail for fun and washing machine PCBs tend to cost much the same as a whole new machine.

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13 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Its done well, bet that a new one won't do 20 years.  It could be something simple like the heater element.  If you pull both the wires off it and try it you will know.

 

We have lived in our current house for 26 years. In that time we have had three episodes of circuit breaking tripping.

 

One was traced to the heating element in the oven, one was traced to the heating element in the washer and the other was traced to the heating element in the condensing drier.

 

If I was a betting man my money would also be on the OP's washing machine element. The easy way to tell if its the element is when it trips the breaker. It normally won't immediately the cycle starts but will do so when the washer starts to heat the water or part way through the heating process.

 

 

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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I also go for the heater. When I lived in an 'ouse the washer was fine for one wash but if I did 2 or 3 in a row it would trip. That was the heater.

 

A few washers will struggle with Travelpower as the voltage will likely drop out of spec with the heater on and the revs low (going through a lock?) so if you have a machine that you know works then stick with it.

 

Our "John Lewis" machine has an electronic brain and works fine but it did have a major wobble yesterday when the heater stayed on after we had turned the washer off (in fact stopped engine mid cycle, when we next started engine the washer was off with heater on)

 

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2 hours ago, MtB said:

I too think it is worth investigating the fault. As Tracy says, it is a racing certainty the heater element has failed, causing the tripping, and heater elements are reasonably easy to replace. The hard part is getting the machine out of its hole for access, but you'll have to do this anyway if you buy a new machine.

 

The main reason for fixing the old one though, is new machines are mostly controlled by a PCB instead of an electromechanical sequencer. PCBs fail for fun and washing machine PCBs tend to cost much the same as a whole new machine.

 

I remember my wife was round at a friends house once and a guy turned up to fix the washer.  It turned out to be the PCB which didn't take long to replace, then the guy calmly hands over a bill for just shy of £200 which at the time would have bought a brand new replacement.  

 

Unfortunately the government's plan to make household appliances repairable is the product of muddy thinking.  Just forcing manufacturers to make spare parts available isn't going to end planned obsolescence if the cost of repairs is still ridiculous.

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2 hours ago, Neil2 said:

 

I remember my wife was round at a friends house once and a guy turned up to fix the washer.  It turned out to be the PCB which didn't take long to replace, then the guy calmly hands over a bill for just shy of £200 which at the time would have bought a brand new replacement.  

 

Unfortunately the government's plan to make household appliances repairable is the product of muddy thinking.  Just forcing manufacturers to make spare parts available isn't going to end planned obsolescence if the cost of repairs is still ridiculous.

Replacement main PCB for our Miele dishwasher £500. Twice. But still within the 5 year guarantee... 🙂

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8 minutes ago, IanD said:

Replacement main PCB for our Miele dishwasher £500. Twice. But still within the 5 year guarantee... 🙂

 

That's a surprise - we have a Miele washing machine, a semi commercial thing I bought secondhand ten years ago and it has cost us literally nothing, despite being in almost constant use.  Mind you, that might be the reason..?

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26 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

 

That's a surprise - we have a Miele washing machine, a semi commercial thing I bought secondhand ten years ago and it has cost us literally nothing, despite being in almost constant use.  Mind you, that might be the reason..?

Miele do have a better reliability reputation than most, but obviously not perfect...

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Thank you all for your thoughts. 

I was thinking of the easiest route back to a washing machine. I did ponder a faulty rcd, it has tripped occasionally with no apparent fault over the years, as the easiest thing to change. Digging the washing machine out is going to be fun as MTB said and I would need to do that to either repair or replace. From washers at home the first thing to go is the PCB which is almost the cost of the machine. The other advantage of our machine is that it has hot and cold fill.

Having racked my brains the last time I used it was with the tumble drier which makes me wonder if the problem lies there. I did about 3 loads of washing but had to dry the last one because of August's weather. It tripped the first time of use after that (on wash only). How easy is it to test heating elements? 

Oh the expensive and time consuming Joy's of boating!

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14 minutes ago, WhiteSuit said:

Thank you all for your thoughts. 

I was thinking of the easiest route back to a washing machine. I did ponder a faulty rcd, it has tripped occasionally with no apparent fault over the years, as the easiest thing to change. Digging the washing machine out is going to be fun as MTB said and I would need to do that to either repair or replace. From washers at home the first thing to go is the PCB which is almost the cost of the machine. The other advantage of our machine is that it has hot and cold fill.

Having racked my brains the last time I used it was with the tumble drier which makes me wonder if the problem lies there. I did about 3 loads of washing but had to dry the last one because of August's weather. It tripped the first time of use after that (on wash only). How easy is it to test heating elements? 

Oh the expensive and time consuming Joy's of boating!

 

As @Tracy D'arth said earlier disconnect the element and run it on on hot cycle. If it doesnt trip there is your answer.

 

A newer machine will likely sulk and throw up a fault code with the element disconnected. You could/should be fine with an older one.

 

Obviouusly unplug the washer and as a precaution tape up the ends of the element supply wires if attempting this.

 

All that said are the dryer and the washer on the same circuit? Were they on together? and if so what is the breaker they are on rated at.

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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1 minute ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

As @Tracy D'arth said earlier disconnect the element and run it on on hot cycle. If it doesnt trip there is your answer.

 

A newer machine will likely sulk and throw up a fault code with the element disconnected. You could/should be fine with an older one.

 

All that said are the dryer and the washer on the same circuit? Were they on together? and if so what is the breaker they are on rated at.

It's a combined washer/drier

Edited by WhiteSuit
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4 minutes ago, WhiteSuit said:

It's a combined washer/drier

Unplug it, does the rcd reset OK? That tells you whether the washer/dryer is OK or its something else.  If its the machine that's causing the earth leakage trip, pull it out and take ALL the wires off the element at the bottom of the tub at the back. What make and model is it? 

Insulate the wires and run a wash, it won't complete but it will fill and try to heat. If it then does NOT trip the rcd its a cert its the element that has a leak to earth on either the line or the neutral side, either will cause a trip out.

If then its the element just replace it, no need to test it.

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29 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Unplug it, does the rcd reset OK? That tells you whether the washer/dryer is OK or its something else.  If its the machine that's causing the earth leakage trip, pull it out and take ALL the wires off the element at the bottom of the tub at the back. What make and model is it? 

Insulate the wires and run a wash, it won't complete but it will fill and try to heat. If it then does NOT trip the rcd its a cert its the element that has a leak to earth on either the line or the neutral side, either will cause a trip out.

If then its the element just replace it, no need to test it.

Hotpoint aquarius 1200 wd62. The rcd reset with the machine switched off, I will have to dismantle some carpentry to get it out enough to switch off at the plug!!!!!

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Should you be defeated by said 20 year old washing machine even after the excellent advice in this thread, you might wish to consider replacing it with one of the much cheaper little twin tubs many boaters swear by.

 

Ours fits in the space left by a dead automatic. It draws far less current and the spinner leaves clothes dryer. Since drying is often the bigger challenge, these are worthy of some thought.

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5 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

Should you be defeated by said 20 year old washing machine even after the excellent advice in this thread, you might wish to consider replacing it with one of the much cheaper little twin tubs many boaters swear by.

 

Ours fits in the space left by a dead automatic. It draws far less current and the spinner leaves clothes dryer. Since drying is often the bigger challenge, these are worthy of some thought.

For us the automatic option works well, with the travel power it can chunter on doing our washing whilst we cruise without being a drain on the batteries. Just have to plan an area with few moored boats and locks. Drying has never been a problem using an airer on the roof or hanging in the cratch and engine room

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