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- > Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair Help > The Laundry Appliance Repair Forum > Washer motor seems broke, need help troubleshooting

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Washer motor seems broke, need help troubleshooting  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2005 01:06 am
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TyrranzzX
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I'v got a kenmore washer, model 110-20097-991.

Crank it into here for the exploded diagram
http://www3.sears.com/

The machine will do everything properly accept for that the motor doesn't work. There's a audiable and fairly powerful thunk when it tries to use the motor. This I know becuase I cracked the case open and acquired the sheet out of it that tells you how to get into the diagnostic mode on the washer and on all 3 settings (low, medium, and high) I heard clunks.

According to the wiring diagram, the motor is single phase with a start relay. It has 5 wires going into it; a start winding, low, medium, and high windings, and the output/neutral. It has a starter capacitor, my DVM says this capacitor is good and it appears in good working order(I work with comps and I know what a cap failure, especially a start cap failure, looks like; generally, very messy).

Additionally, it has a time-delay relay hooked pretty much in paralell to the centrifugal switch which keeps the start capacitor/start winding on after the centrifugal switch has opened. Meaning, the centrifugal switch and time delay relay both need to be closed/shorted for anything to hit the start winding, and if either open, nothing comes in. I'm guessing the time delay relay is in there to keep the centrifugal switch from clicking open and closed since water can do some funky stuff. It was marked as TDR, is in a little box with a normally open switch, and is wired in paralell with the start winding. One end of it is hooked into the centrifugal switch on one end of the motor start winding, the other end of it is hooked into the motor start winding. The switch is hooked up just before the starter capacitor and goes into the start winding on the motor.

I checked all 4 motor windings and got ohm ratings which were within the ranges specified. It is somewhat unexpected that a few are slightly (by 1-3 tenths of an ohm) lower than the ohm rating that the wiring schematic said it should be.

So I'v basically troubleshooted the motor down to 2 components; the centrifugal switch and the motor start module (Also known as the Time delay relay). If the centrifugal switch is bad then then it's obviously stuck in open and something is keeping it open. If it's the TDR then obviously the solenoid has an open in it somewhere.

Testing the TDR is easy enough; note where the wires go on a pad, take the screw off, open er' up, locate and test the connection to the solenoid. But the centrifugal switch is inside of the motor for one, and for two, I'v got to damn near take the entire washer apart to get to it. Ideally, I'd like to make sure both didn't fail (lady fate likes me, preferably well done and with steak sauce) since either can cause the circut to clunk.

Any ideas?



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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2005 04:14 am
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TyrranzzX
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/me bangs head on table

Allright, I'm an idiot. I found the wires leading to the centrifugal switch from the TDR and the starting cap and checked for continuity; .002 ohms and it's supposed to be normally closed. It's nice to know the motor probably doesn't need replacing (although with my luck, it'll explode the first time I switch it on).

*Sigh of relief because he doesn't have to blow $300 on a new motor*

So now begins the long, harrowing process of taking apart and potentially repairing the TDR, which will, due to poor design, require me either ripping out the motor to get one goddamn screw off or ripping off the casing and detaching a half a dozen pipes.

Anyone insane enough to send me a nade in the mail? BOOM!

Hopefully, I'm not an absolute crackmonkey on this. Ahh well, if nobody can understand my gibberish, at least I can provide someone with entertainment. I laugh at stupid people enough that I have come to value their entertainment potential.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2005 02:32 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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TyrranzzX wrote:
Allright, I'm an idiot. I found the wires leading to the centrifugal switch from the TDR and the starting cap and checked for continuity; .002 ohms and it's supposed to be normally closed.

This measurement confirms good continuity-- no problem here.  0.002 ohms is as close as you're gonna get to perfect continuity in an imperfect world.

Remove the cabinet and remove the pump off the motor shaft.  Jumper out the lid switch and run the washer this way to see if you still get the thunk.  If not, replace the pump.  If you still get the thunk, then drop the motor and check the drive coupler

 



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 Posted: Sat Apr 30th, 2005 02:27 am
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TyrranzzX
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AHH! So THAT'S what the big white thing on the end is :X

I was wonderin' what that was.

Swore a whole lot, got the cabinete off, Unhooked the motor, took it out.

Drive coupling is A-OK
The Pump fucking sucks, in addition to blowing, so that's good

Took apart the start motor switch and there is no solenoid :X. It ain't a start motor switch, it's the centrifugal switch for the motor. So I began tracing wires; on the schematic sheet there's a "motor start centrigual switch" and a "motor start switch", in seperate boxes, labeled similarily, both outside of the motor circle. The centrifugal switch is outside of the box and is apparently it's a little piece of plastic that switches over in 3 stages and clicks in the start capacitor AFTER it gets going...

*10,000 fists of anger*

So I begal tracing wires, and found small black box mounted on the back labeled "digital control electronics". Got out the wiring diagram, went "well well, what do we have here, you're the last device scum, and if you've failed, it is THE HAMMER for you", screwed that sucker out, gutted it, and began reverse engineering.

Basically, it's a relay (model T9AS1D12-24)
but instead of being a normal relay, it's an itty bitty relay that detects voltage drops, that has 24 volt trigger input. My guess is that it's an ultra-fine winding of copper that they sealed so it wouldn't get dirty ot hot.

On the control end, both inputs have large resisters with heatsinks on them. It also appears that there's a set of diodes there to redirect the curret to AC; they permit current, depending on the time in the AC circut, to go in one direction only, and a non-electrolytic cap across the 2 inputs ends to act as a voltage drop filter. Kinda similar to how a computer powersupply is hooked up.

Took the ohm meter, began reading resistance values across various nevarious objects (I know that it uses voltage and the voltage can go in multiple directions, but it's an extremly simple circut and should work with the power off), then I thought "what the hell am I doing?". read the resistance value across the 2 control leads; 5.4 megaohms, and across the switch end of it, infinite ohms (what it's supposed to be on that end). Hrm....*Begins scheming, evil look in eyes*

Both ends of the AC circut are going to have 120 volts in them at any given point, and there's 3 large resisters; the solenoid and the 2 heatsink resisters. Since the circut is serial, I don't have to worry about the implications of AC insanity; do one calculation for the circut and apply a sine wave graph to it and you're laughin'.

The capacitor isn't really an issue because it's draw is going to be, at most, minimal. The solenoid is 576 ohms, and I need to drop 120 volts down to 24 volts. 120/24= ~5/1, so each of those resisters needs to be 2.5 times greater than the solenoid's ohm rating to get a total of 5 times greater; 2.88kohms total, 1.44 Kohms per resister.

120 * 1.44/3.185= 54.3v*2=108.6v

So by may way off quickie calculations, it should be no greater than about 3185 ohms. But it's at 5.4 megaohms...

*Breaks out the l33t ninja moves and talks like a chinamen on mephamphetamines and philicyben having a bad trip, then resumes his blood letting, nasally*

Checked the resistance on the wires, each wire was at .001ohms, so those are good. Rechecked the motor windings, those are dancing around like midgets at a frat party. The centrigual switch is drunkenly moving from fight to fight like a pingpong ball on free for all night at the local heavy metal bar, the pump sucks and blows better than a crackwhore earning her 5 dolla'. The drive coupling accepts motors with 2 inch boners like a chinawoman, and finally, the gearcase moves and grooves like a daredevil on fire.

So, if it ain't the "digital control applicance"...I'ma gonna kill that fuckin' washer. Fuck grenades, I'm using plasique; they'll find the motor 3 miles away just like the clowns in that one middle eastern country (kosovo I think) that decided to proove how stable their mines were by stacking them up in stacks of 10 and driving them 3 miles on a dirt road at 60kph in a jeep.

You wouldn't by chance know what part that is? The last store you gave me was in michigan and if they've got it I'll order from them since I'v got SFA for appliance part stores in my area and they're about 50 miles from my house which makes 3-5 day, 1-2 day. I know you've been plugging your store and considering it's close and relitivally inexpensive I might as well save myself the trouble of looking around since I just sunk about 20 hours into a damn washer.

Now all that's left to do is clean the contacts and degunk the wires, institute a dust bunny genocide program, undent the dents I made in the washer (block of wood, mallet), figure out how to get the casing back on so it stays on, and pray to god I still have all the screws, shims, and ghettorigging equipment, and that the leak on the floor from bending the machine is a loosened wire, not a cut.

:)

Not too bad for a "virgin to appliances", heh. *beats chest, roars*

Last edited on Sat Apr 30th, 2005 02:30 am by TyrranzzX

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 Posted: Sun May 1st, 2005 12:08 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Dude, gimme some of whatever it is you're tokin' and maybe I'll understand what it is you're askin'. :tokin:



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 Posted: Tue May 17th, 2005 11:35 pm
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TyrranzzX
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:x

GAH!

Ordered a new TDR, Replaced the !!@#$!@# TDR, reassembled the machine, it's still doing the same thing. After reassembly I tried the same tests as before but this time water came out of the drainage hose, but very very slowly instead of quickly like it should. It's had maye a half a gallon to a gallon of water in it for a few weeks which is the water I couldn't get out of it. Looks like the motor is turning fine, but something is blocking it. There are 2 things hooked upto the washer; pump, and gearcase and my money is on the gearcase. For it to be the pump that means something got into the pump, and most dead things don't get into pumps so it was probably living. The water coming out is clear, so my guess is that the pump is fine, gearcase is broke.

I'm calling a service technician, make him take the goddamn washer completly apart and reassemble it. It'll probably be cheaper than buying a new washer, doh.



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 Posted: Tue May 17th, 2005 11:47 pm
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Mad Mac
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Electronic Catalyst model. I'll guaran-damn-tee you that it's the main control board in the console (Whirlpool part 8312708), seen this many times. Check to see if voltage comes out of the board at the appropriate places when you select the various speeds, per the tech sheet.

Last edited on Tue May 17th, 2005 11:58 pm by Mad Mac



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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2005 12:06 am
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nickfixit
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The Mighty Catalyst Washer...

It doth truely sucketh...

They are good for having the drain valve solenoid overheat. This warps the inside of the coil, and seizes the pin in whatever place it was when it got to hot.

Control is a likely problem. These also have wire harness problems. You get a break in a wire or a poor connection somewhere, your meter keeps telling you everything is ok, but the bastard won't run.

I hate these machines because...

they leak

they vibrate

they tear up clutches

they tear up drive blocks

they rust real fast

the controls fail

the diagnostic modes are too complex to memorize.. dance key sequence? come on boys

the dispensers suck

the hose going to the tub cover breaks

ect....

they are a pain to work on  too

Nick



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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2005 12:53 am
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TyrranzzX
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Mad Mac wrote:
Electronic Catalyst model. I'll guaran-damn-tee you that it's the main control board in the console (Whirlpool part 8312708), seen this many times. Check to see if voltage comes out of the board at the appropriate places when you select the various speeds, per the tech sheet.

Hrmph, ok, here's the million dollar question. How exactly would a control board failure cause a blockage? I'm not quite understanding that first part.

If I were to crank out the multimeter and begin taking readings, how'd I go about doing that? I know how to test for continuity/voltage/amperage and so on, no problem, but what exactly would I want to not do in a powered circut?

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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2005 02:36 am
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Mad Mac
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OK, lets back up a minute....you now have water slowly pumping out of the drain hose with the hose hooked into its usual place? What do you hear? Do you still have the thump?



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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2005 04:44 am
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TyrranzzX
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The machine has several test modes; I set it to drain for which it has 3 speeds; slow, medium high. On all 3, the machine will make a loud click, begin humming then begin pumping water very slowly.

Before doing anything I attempted to run a delux test cycle, meaning, with all the gizmo's turned on, and sit there to study it's habits. It filled with the right kind of water, did a 20 minute long soak, then when it came time to the agitate part of the cycle, displayed 29 minutes on the LED and sat there doing nothing for 29 minutes. When I closed the lid, i'd hear a loud clunk and then nothing. The side is off of the machine so I can screw with it more readily, and it seems to me it's behaiving in the same fashon. I checked the wiring 8 times before I tried turning it on again, so I'm 99.999% sure the wiring is in the right places.

Currently, I have the ghetto setup where you put a bucket under the drain hose to catch any water coming out of it, so I can physically see and hear the water coming out.

And thanks :)

Last edited on Wed May 18th, 2005 04:50 am by TyrranzzX

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 Posted: Wed May 18th, 2005 05:23 am
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Mad Mac
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OK...I stand by the original opinion. What I think is happening is that the water isn't actually pumping out, but draining because your hose is so low. The 'thump" is the diverter valve that Nick mentioned activating - this recirculates the water back into the tub in "Catalyst" mode.

Any way you can scan and post your wiring diagram?



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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2005 12:25 am
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TyrranzzX
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No problemo. There's a line down the paper which is the crease; the ATC sensor goes back upto the P1 BR/WH. Everything hooked upto the P7/P9 connectors, wires and all, have been checked via multimeter and physical inspection.

Jeeze, probably should've scanned this in first, lol. *bangs head on table*. Aah well, live and learn.

Actually, the hose isn't hooked upto the machine at all. There's about 4 inches of pipe coming out of the machine that the hose normally attaches to that I can see water in since 2 inches of it isn't full. when I start er' up, it will flow out of it very slowly at about the rate of mabye a gallon a minute.

Attachment: scan2.jpg (Downloaded 12 times)

Last edited on Thu May 19th, 2005 12:59 am by TyrranzzX

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 Posted: Thu May 19th, 2005 04:32 am
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Mad Mac
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OK...let's start with the simple test.

Go to the test mode you used to try the three different speeds. Bear in mind that YOU WILL BE MEASURING LIVE CIRCUITS AT MAINS VOLTAGE!!! Set your meter to volts, with one probe on the white wire where it comes into the machine. You wil be trying the other probe on terminals P7-2 (plug 7, terminal 2) and P7-4, looking for MAINS VOLTAGE OF ABOUT 110 VOLTS. Try this for each speed and report back. If you are uncomfortable with this, seek professional assistance. ELECTRICITY CAN KILL
:poison:



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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2005 08:20 pm
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TyrranzzX
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I'v worked with 120 before. :) Hell, I'v worked with 240 before, with electrical fires. And I'v been shocked by both several times, thankfully only for an instant and not in a life threatening fashon. I am a little chickenshit when I'v got to work with it tho.

Got no voltage for either. Doublechecked the connection, reseated the probes, and turned off the autosensing and set it for 100's of volts as a precaution (it starts in millivolts), still no voltage. It did the same exact thing as before; click, humm, water comes out the back.

I'm almost tempted to check the starting circut but my multimeter only goes upto 1200 watts, 10 amps and 240 volts (I believe, I'll have to check the documentation) so I'm a little cautious at blowing a fuse in it or frying something.

Hrm, the pipe the water is coming out of is below the tub which is where it goes out to the sewer. Mabye things are just opening up and it's coming out?

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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2005 08:33 pm
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Mad Mac
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TyrranzzX wrote: Hrm, the pipe the water is coming out of is below the tub which is where it goes out to the sewer. Mabye things are just opening up and it's coming out?
 

Probably that's what's happening, the recirculation valve opens and gravity pushes some water out.

Certainly sounds like the board to me. I've changed many of these for this, the relays on the board just aren't up to the job, IMHO.



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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2005 09:33 pm
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TyrranzzX
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Hrm, $131 for a new control board, doh.

Yea, I'm inclined to agree with you there as far as the relays go. I'm going to order a new control board and send back the TDR and get a refund. See if that one fixes it.

Hopefully, that'll fix the thing :X

THANKS!!!!! :) :D

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 Posted: Sun May 29th, 2005 10:04 pm
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TyrranzzX
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DOH

Ok, installed a new control board, no dice.

Tried running it on agitate and spin, neither worked. Played with the multimeter, found out the start and running winding are getting 120vac no problem, and the other two windings are probably running fine and I don't need to test them.

So the motor is getting voltage, but isn't spinning. When I put it on agitate and spin it really buzzed like it was pissed off, and didn't move. O.o Probably because the other 2 windings were getting juiced.

Also, the water stopped coming out of the back but wasn't pumped out; the valves are open but no water is being pumped. So yea; when the solenoids opened up it was letting water out.

So, to me, that means the motor is trying to move and is failing to do so; something is blocking it. I'v replaced dayyam near everything on the diagram accept for the gearcase and I know the pump isn't stopping it. It's doing the same thing as before and I'v got a circut so I know it isn't a wiring problem.

I think my gut feeling from the getgo was right; gremlins.
Time to get the blowtourch and burn those little suckers outta my washing machine!

Last edited on Sun May 29th, 2005 10:06 pm by TyrranzzX

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 Posted: Mon May 30th, 2005 03:23 pm
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why don't you pull the motor,set it on the floor with the harness connected to it,bypass the lid switch and see if the motor runs-if so-look to the pump or trans,if it still just hums,look to the start capacitor or the motor itself- heres a hint,if the capacitor has a bunch of black junk around the top- its shot



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 Posted: Tue May 31st, 2005 05:30 am
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TyrranzzX
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Allright, I'v decided on buying a new washing machine; this shit is ludicrous. But for your entertainment and enlightenment purposes, I'll figure out what the problem is. Since you guys probably do this for a profession I might as well return the favor for the educational help by figuring out exactly what it is. It's one of 2 devices; motor or gearcase.

FYI, the starter cap did have black sticky stuff on it, but that was because the idiots who put it together decided that using thin electrical tape instead of using wire ties was a grand idea. I know how a starter cap fails; if it's a fast failure you get an explosion out of the release valve which is usually located on the bottom that shorts it out. If it's slow generally it'll either ooze out of some random spot or it'll slowly push the contacts out and disconnect them so you get an open. I Wiped off all the gunk and manually inspected it with a multimeter; got continuity and moreso, it has a megaohm resistance (3.3 I think) and slowly decreased in resistance so my guess is it's allright.

Unless you're talking about an electrolytic cap, those ones, especially the big computer powersupply ones, are fun to blow up :).

I personally believe it's the gearcase. In either instance, it's worth getting a new machine. We blew about $200 or so on this one and it lasted about 3 or so years so I guess we got what we payed for :D. Besides, after seeing the shoddy construction of this one I know never to get one of those washers again. Might as well get a new one and forgo the expensive price and shipping on a motor or gearcase anyway and make a sound investment in a better machine.

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 Posted: Tue May 31st, 2005 05:47 am
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kdog
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first,the "starter cap" has no contacts,in fact its the EXACT opposite; it has insulators and is not supposed to show continuity,second the grand idea of wrapping the body of the cap with FRICTION tape is to prevent vibration and slipping of the clamp that is then used to secure the capacitor to the cabinet of the machine,or motor frame,whichever the case may be.  and last,but not least, you never did reveal to us what the actual problem was- the motor or transmission is kinda vague- just what did cause that poor catlyst to see an early grave??



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 Posted: Sun Jan 1st, 2006 06:05 pm
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rkpatt
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I tried dealing with this problem on my machine too . The troubleshooting guide pointed in item 4 of the diagmnostic list pointed to a bad control board. However due to the high cost of the part and the uncertainy of whether it would really be the fix , I bought a low end mechanical timer machine . However the Catalyst machine is sitting in my garage and I would like to eventually get it operation inexpensively now that I have the time. Any details on replace the relays on the board ? -
Thanks

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