How to Operate Your Washing Machine

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Operating The Washing Machine

Operating a washing machine is pretty simple. There are a few things to decide before you start your load of laundry, such as the size of the load (i.e., small, medium, large, or extra-large), what temperature the water will be for the wash and rinse cycles (i.e., cold/cold, warm/cold, warm/warm, hot/cold), how the machine should agitate (i.e., delicate, knit, permanent press, heavy), and how long the cycles should last in terms of the number of minutes, based on how soiled your clothes are.


After you fill the tub with clothes and make your selections, the plumbing on the washing machine fills it with the correct temperature of water. The machine then recirculates the wash water from the bottom of the wash tub back to the top (during the wash cycle) and then pumps the water out the drain (during the spin cycle).

The washing machine has hookups for two water lines on the back: one for hot water and one for cold. These lines are hooked up to the body of a solenoid valve, an electrically controlled water valve. Depending on the temperature selected, either the hot valve, the cold valve, or both valves will open.

Before the hose releases water into the wash tub, it sends it through an anti-siphon device. This device prevents wash water from being sucked back into your drinking water supply pipes possibly contaminating the water for your entire house or even your neighborhood. The water from the hose shoots into the device and turns downward, exiting through the tube on the other end. But while it is inside the device, it is open to the atmosphere. This means that if there were suction on the water supply line, it could not possibly suck any contaminated water in from the washing machine; it would get only air.

The Drive Mechanism

The drive mechanism on a washing machine has two essential jobs. One is to agitate the clothes, moving them back and forth inside the wash tub. The second is to spin the entire wash tub, forcing the water out.

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