Motor is sparking
This page is about problems encounted after fitting new carbon brushes in a washing machine. If experiencing these issues without having just replaced the brushes though some of this article (and links) may still help.
A small amount of sparking is normal. Small sparks may occur until the carbon brushes bed in properly. Little minute sparks are often present but as long as they are very small should not indicate a problem. However, if there is a lot of sparking, particularly if it is flashing or arcing around the commutator then the repair is no good and you should stop using the washing machine before it blows something.
If brushes are fitted correctly but you still have excessive sparking, especially big flashes, this is caused by poor contact between the brush and the copper segments they run on or a major fault on the armature. It can be simply that the brushes are worn although clearly not if you’ve just fitted them. If the brushes are new, excessive sparking is usually due to wear on the armature’s commutator, or a short circuit somewhere on the armature windings. In most cases now, new armatures can no longer be fitted and a complete new motor would be required. I would be cautious about buying an expensive motor unless you are very confident about the diagnosis and fitting. (Buy washing machine motors and other appliance spares on 4washerhelp)
Motor is making a strange noise
When new brushes are fitted there is a period of bedding in needed, during which time (especially on first running) they can make a loud noise as the motor turns. This noise should diminish within a minute or so and diminish more after several washes. As long as the motor isn’t sparking excessively it should be ok and they should bed in. The noise should be the same when the motor is running as when you turn the drum by hand. It is the noise of new brushes riding over the segments of the commutator on the armature which is always loudest before they bed in.
Motor making clicking noise?
If the noise is alarmingly loud make sure you have fitted them properly. In most cases though this should be pretty hard to do as there is usually only one way to fit them. If they were somehow fitted the wrong way around, only the very tip of the brush would run on the armature making a very loud ratchety noise and probably accompanied by sparking on spin.
If there is a discernible click on each revolution, then one of the copper bars on the commutator which they run on could be loose and slightly raised. This can’t be repaired and a new armature or motor would be required. To test for this remove the motor from the machine and place a fingertip on the commutator (the copper part with small individual sections) and slowly rotate the armature from the end where the belt fits. See if you can feel if one of more of the copper bars is slightly raised or not. If so the motor needs replacing (if it’s economically viable).
Choose from my list of white goods appliance repairers.