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Worn washing machine motor brushes

How to change washing machine motor brushes

washing machine brushes

Washing is soggy at the end of the wash cycle.

This is a very common fault.


The machine washes as normal but when you come to empty it the washing is still sopping wet. The problem is the carbon brushes on the motor have worn and are no longer making a good contact inside the motor so the drum is not spinning, it actually may not even turn during the wash cycle itself. Either way it is the same fault!

Firstly, put the machine on the a spin only cycle and watch the drum (best done with the soggy washing still in the machine). 

When the machine enters the spin cycle is the drum turning? It might turn to start with (or not) but on the final fast spin part of the wash whilst you can hear the pump running the drum actually is not spinning around as it should. Probably not.

This fault can be intermittent so it might be ok on say a light load but something heavy like towels may show it up.

The Cure (1)

First option - a very quick and simple temporary cure.

Pull the machine out (or not as you prefer!) and give it a good shake front to back. If there is a high point on the brushes this might just snap it off and your machine may well work again. However, it can only really ever be a temporary fix...

The repair (2).

A set of brushes for your machine bought of, say, e-bay will probably cost about £15. They come in pairs and you need to replace both. This is best done as a "two person" job if only because you will need to turn the machine on its side. You will make a bit of a mess and you should allow about one hour to do the job, maybe a little more. 

A repair firm will probably charge quite a bit to do this job and may even insist on changing the motor, with some time and patience you could save a lot of money

You will need a few tools. Screwdriver, maybe a spanner or two and perhaps a torch.

Before you start you should pop in to Google the make and model of your washing machine and see if there is a video showing you how to do this job, there usually is, or if not your exact model one very much like it.

NOTE: A lot of machines use common parts. By example loads use an Indisit motor, just because your machine is a Hotpoint it does not mean lots of the parts inside are not made by another firm. 

A simplistic summary of the job:-

  • Pull the machine out in to the room so you can work around it and unplug it from the mains and turn the water off at the tap.
  • Pull the drain hose out from the drain pipe. You might like to drain any standing water out of this pipe and the machine by lowering it to ground level with the open end in a bowl.
  • Locate the motor, this is usually at the bottom of the machine but on some machines is at the top. If you need to turn the machine on its side pop a towel out on the floor under it unfolded as this will make picking the machine back up again easier.
  • You will see going to the motor two wires, these attach to the brushes. Pull off one wire and extract the brush, there is usually a clip on the brush to hold it in place, where a flat bladed screw driver will lever this up so you can remove it.
  • Put the new brush back in (the carbon brush will probably be much longer, take care not to snap it) and reconnect the wire.
  • Repeat for the other brush where sometimes one can be harder to get to than the other and you many need to loosen the motor on the mount to shift it over. Don't forget to tighten it up again and ensure the belt is on. If you need to do this make a mental note how tight the belt was before you start and get it back to around the same tension.
  • Having popped the new brushes in it is now a case of putting back everything you might have had to remove 
  • Stand the machine back up and put back any drain hoses, then turn the water and power back on and test it by running a spin cycle with the machine empty.
You should regard doing this as a "life skill", it is well worth the effort to learn the job as you may well have to do it again! 

TIP: Pop old carrier bags under the feet of the machine when you slide it back in any recess, this will make it easier to get out again should you need to.

Below is a random video of somebody doing this repair. It is not hard to do, just takes patience and a little time. 

Random video below and quite often you do not need to remove the motor from the machine but they have done this to clearly demonstrate what you need to do. Cleaning the armature is a good idea, but not really needed.

Washing machine brush replacement