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How does the motor in a washing machine work

A washing machine motor is similar to any electric motor. It is an AC (alternating current) electric motor. There are also DC (direct current) electric motors. Most electric motors in the house like in a vacuum cleaner or washing machine are AC because that is what you have in your house. Most electric motors in your car like the starter and windshield whipper motor are DC because they run on the cars DC battery system.

DC and AC electric motors are a little different but work in a similar way. If you take a piece of iron and wrap a coil of wire around it it will become an electro-magnet while the current is going through the wire coil. An electric motor has special switches called brushes that turn the two or more electro magnets on and off. When you turn on the motor one of the coils is on and attracts a magnetic attached to a rotor. The magnet turns till it reaches the coil and strikes a brush that turns off the first electro magnet and turns on the next one so that the magnet keeps turning because it is now attracted to the next magnet. It keeps spinning around and around being attracted to different coils as they keep turning on and off, this of course happens very fast.

What I’ve given you is a very simple description of how an electric motor works. Some motors are more complex with many magnets and coils but still work in this same basic way.

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