Anatomy of Appliances - Washers

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In this latest installment of the recurring series, Anatomy of Appliances, we will be exploring the components with which your washing machine is comprised. There are several types of washers: front-load, top-load, agitator or no agitator, etc. At Appliances Connection, we strive to bring you the best of every major appliance category and in doing so, hope to keep you informed on the important factors involved in buying the proper machines. Building a comprehensive knowledge of the components of your appliances can help you discern common issues from major ones and decide whether you need a replacement or simply a repair. Below we will dissect the common parts of modern washing machines. Be sure to check out the rest of the Anatomy series on Appliances Connection's extensive Learning Center!

Anatomy of a Washer Diagram 1
anatomy of a Washer Diagram 2

Control Panel

Washer Lid

Leveling Feet

Lid Switch

Spin Basket


Drive Motor

Drain Pump

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Agitator - Rotates to move clothes around inside the spin basket during a washing. Mounted inside the spin-basket.

Basket Drive - Holds the brake mechanism for the spin basket and rotates the spin basket during a wash. Located on top of the motor assembly.

Clutch Band - Creates friction between the clutch hub and the clutch lining to make the clutch assembly rotate and release the break.

Clutch Assembly - Releases the braking mechanism to allow the basket to spin.

Dispenser - Small mechanism for dispensing detergent.

Door Boot - A gasket to prevent leaks located between the door and the drum of a washer.

Door Lock - Prevents the front-load washer door from being opened during a cycle and uses a switch to signal to the control system the status of the washer door.

Door Strike - Pushes into door latch when closed and is part of the door lock system.

Drain Pump - Removes water from the washer during a cycle.

Drive Belt - Connects the drive motor and large drive pulley on the wash tub to create spinning and tumbling motion during a cycle.

Drive Block - Rotates the spin basket during a cycle and is located on the top of the spin tube.

Drive Motor - Provides force to rotate the spin basket and the agitator.

Drive Pulley - Rotates via the drive belt and motor to spin the basket during a cycle.

Electronic Temperature Control Board - Detects the temperature of water entering the tub and controls the water inlet valves to accurately fill the tub with the proper temperature water.

Gearcase - Drives the agitator, impeller, and spin basket by shifting drive shaft and spinning the basket.

Heating Element - Heats water before use during a wash cycle.

Impeller - Low-profile plate in the bottom of a non-agitator washer with a gentle wash action and less water/energy usage.

Leveling Feet - Used for adjusting the washing machine’s height to prevent vibration.

Lid Switch - Detects whether the washer lid is open or closed as a safety precaution. Prevents activation of washing machine while lid is open.

Main Electronic Control Board - Controls the timing and execution of washer functions.

Motor Control Board - Monitors and controls the motor speed during tumble and spin cycles.

Motor Coupler - Protects the drive motor from damage in the event of a malfunction.

Outer Wash Tub - Contains the inner spin basket and seals in water to prevent leaks.

Shifter Assembly - Shifts the drive motor system between spinning and agitation modes during a cycle.

Shock Absorber - Absorbs the vibrations and movements of the washing machine to prevent damage.

Spin Basket - Perforated tub that holds laundry during a cycle. Located inside the outer tub and connects to the drive motor system to rotate during washes.

Temperature Selector Switch - Mechanism to set the temperature of the water in the washer.

Timer - Controls the wash cycle functions and connects via internal motors to send proper signals to energize appropriate components for use.

User Interface Board - Contains various buttons and knobs for selecting functions and options for a wash cycle.

Water Inlet Valve Assembly - Controls flowing of water into the washer with a solenoid coil.

Water Supply Hose - Carries water from plumbing to the washing machine.

Water-Level Pressure Switch - Senses and controls the water level in the outer wash tub. Shuts off the water when the washer is full.

anatomy of a washer featured models banner

GE - GTW750CPLDG - GE pushes to the forefront of the laundry market with its latest 27" smart top-load washer. Enjoy modern convenience by utilizing the built-in wi-fi connectivity that allows you to control and monitor the status of your laundry. Additionally, GE has included their state-of-the-art SmartDispense technology to make laundry day that much easier. The SmartDispense feature can hold up to 75 oz. of detergent and the appropriate amount will be automatically dispensed depending on the settings and functions you select. Pour in your favorite detergent and forget about changing it for up to two months!

LG - WM9000HWA - LG continues to impress with their advanced laundry solutions. This 29" smart front load washer is packed to the gills with modern technology to make laundry day a cinch. As with many of LG's current suite of appliances, this washer model is equipped with SmartThinq which allows you to control and monitor your laundry from your smartphone at the click of a button. You'll also find this model employs LG's patented Direct Drive Motor which uses fewer moving parts, operates at peak efficiency, and is quieter than the competition.

Fisher Paykel - WH2424F1 - Fisher Paykel is proud to debut its latest 24" front load washer and it does not disappoint. This energy star certified washing machine is also one of the quietest thanks to the SmartDrive direct drive motor technology. Without the noisy, heavy components of washers past, this machine creates fewer vibrations which equals less noise. We've all experienced the mid-wash discovery of a rogue garment that avoided the laundry basket. With Fisher Paykel's Add A Garment function on this washing machine, you'll be able to momentarily pause your cycle to add any of those pesky items mid-wash.

Whirlpool - WTW7500GW - Whirlpool is already a powerhouse in the appliance industry with their comprehensive lineup of appliances in every major category. Their new 28" top load washer features unmatched capacity and cleaning capabilities. The ColorLast cycle function uses a precise combo of gentle washing, optimal temperatures, and appropriate time sequences to keep your clothing's colors vibrant. Furthermore, the Adaptive Wash technology with Active Bloom wash action improves clothes washing. The technology senses the size of the wash load and adapts water levels and wash functions for the perfect cleaning experience. Your clothes will look and feel fresh and as clean as the day you bought them!

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