Top loading washing machine
There are two types of automatic washing machines according to the type of loading: front-loading or top-loading. Models of each of these two varieties have advantages, disadvantages, an original set of characteristics and design features. Combine their general principles of operation and a standard set of design components.
Consider in this material the basics of work, design features, advantages and disadvantages of vertical washing machines, and the nuances of operation.
Vertical washing machines have the following components required for operation:
Tank washing machine is made of stainless steel or high-strength grades of plastic. There are options for collapsible tanks, consisting of two parts connected by bolts. These tanks are subject to further maintenance and repair. There are also non-separable tanks that cannot be repaired.
Drum is a stainless steel cylinder. Laundry is immersed in it for washing. A cross with a shaft is attached to the back. The inner part of the drum is equipped with ribs that mix the laundry.
Counterweight – This is a plastic or concrete block that compensates for the balance of the tank during operation.
Electrical engine. Different types of motors are used for washing machines that rotate the drum. They are attached to the back of the device or to the bottom of the tank.
Drive belt – transfers torque from the engine to the drum. Belts are available in rubber, nylon or polyurethane.
Drum pulley, made of aluminum alloys, is a wheel fixed with a screw on the drum shaft. Serves to transmit movement from the drive belt. The diameter of the pulley determines the maximum speed during the spin cycle.
Control block necessary to control the actions of the electrical components of the device. The processor contains programs that control washing. A control panel is connected to it, providing a choice of any of the available functions. The panel sends requests to the control unit and integrates with it into one system.
A heating element. Thermoelectric heaters heat water to programmed temperatures by converting electrical energy into heat. They are also involved in the drying process.
In addition to the listed elements, washing machines also contain in their design: shock absorbers and springs to compensate for vibrations, a relay to control the water level.
The system for pumping and pumping water consists of a drain pump, to which a hose and rubber pipes are connected. The inlet valve regulates the amount of water entering the tank. The device blocking the hatch does not allow the device to be started with the door open.
Each machine has a detergent dispenser: a plastic box with a connected nozzle.
How does it work
The operation of the machine after loading the laundry and determining the desired program consists of several stages.
- When the selected program starts, the washing process starts. Water is poured into the apparatus, in a certain volume. Detergents mixed with water come out of the dispenser. This is the soaking stage.
- Starting the electric heater. Washing phase programmed by the user at startup.
- Drainage of water followed by spinning. A set of water in an empty tank. Rinsing.
- Drainage and quick spin. Repeat the step 2-3 times.
- Final squeeze. Pumping water. Sending a signal to the control unit. Hatch unlock.
The main design feature of vertical washing machines, which is clear from the name, is the vertical location of the hatch for loading laundry. These devices do not have a transparent loading hatch in the front.
There are models where a special mechanism is used to regulate the drum to stop it after the end of the wash. These devices are called drum parking systems.
The second difference between vertical models is two symmetrically located on both sides of the drum, the shaft on which it rotates. The frontal samples have one shaft rotating the drum from the back, since linen is loaded into it from the front.
Laboratory studies of companies producing both types of washing devices show some advantage in reliability and durability in vertical washing machines due to two shafts instead of one in frontal models.
The control panel for vertical specimens is standardly located at the back of the top cover.
Standard dimensions of top loading devices: height – 85-90 cm, depth – 60 cm, width – 40-45 cm.
The amount of laundry that can be loaded into a top-loading machine is determined by the standard rules common to all types of devices from any manufacturer. There are minimum and maximum loads, measured in kilograms.
The minimum load of 1 kg is determined based on the need for uniform distribution of the laundry in the drum at high spin speeds to level unwanted excess vibrations. The maximum load of 10 kg and above is limited by the dimensions of the device.
Typical household washing machines have a load of 5–7 kg.
Vertical devices have full functionality identical to the frontal samples. The washing process in them is convenient and automated.
Among the features requested by users:
- Foam control. The device automatically drains water with excess foam and collects a new one. The amount of foam is controlled before spinning to improve the quality of the rinse.
- Extra rinse. Before spinning, the washing machine performs an additional rinse to completely get rid of detergent residues.
- Half loading mode. The function saves water and energy consumption, reduces the cycle time. It is in demand when washing small amounts of laundry.
- Extra soak. Necessary when washing soiled items. The laundry is rinsed additionally before starting the main program. Detergents act by getting into an already wet thing.
- Leak protection. Required to control leaks in the machine and inlet hose. The operation of the system automatically turns on the suction pump.
- Modes of manual, delicate and fast washing. Special modes designed for washing certain categories of linen and garments. They have their own characteristics, both in terms of the duration of work, and in the use of different volumes of water.
- Adjustable spin. The system allows you to change the spin speed, which helps in case of heavily damp laundry or strong shaking of the machine during high-speed spinning.
- Child protection. Blocks the opening of doors and accidental pressing of buttons on the control panel.
- Start timer. Allows you to program the start of a prepared device at the right time. A convenient function in the presence of different tariffs (day, night) for payment for electricity.
- Troubleshooting. Washing machines with a display display information about malfunctions in the form of standard codes.
- Turbo dryer system. Provides drying of linen with heated air.
Spin and energy efficiency washing classes
Wash class determined by evaluating the contaminants remaining after the experimental washing process. Testing takes place under standard conditions for all test samples, and then a comparison is made with the results of reference samples. Then each model is assigned its own class from A to G in order of deterioration in consumer properties. Most modern machines have a washing class A.
Spin class determined by the speed and efficiency of the spinning process. To designate classes, the same Latin letters from A to G are used in order of decreasing spin quality. The spin efficiency depends on the amount of residual moisture in the laundry. 40% is the best indicator, 90% is the worst.
The choice of a sample with the best spin class is ambiguous. Not all fabrics can be wrung dry without risk of damage. A high spin class increases the cost of the machine. Not every consumer, in principle, needs such high standards.
The standard spin class for most washing machines is C.
Energy efficiency class – an important characteristic, given the rate of growth in electricity tariffs. All models are assigned classes from A to G in order of decreasing economy. There are models with class A+, A++, A+++.
The difference between them is determined by the minimum amount of energy consumed, while the price is significantly different. When choosing a washing device based on the energy efficiency class, it is worth weighing several factors: electricity tariffs, frequency of use.
Pros and Cons of a Top Loading Washing Machine
Vertical washing machines have both advantages over frontal models and lose to the latter in some aspects.
- Compact dimensions. The capacity of linen in both types of devices is equal, and the dimensions of vertical samples are more modest. They do not need additional space during installation to open the hatch door. Narrow washing machines can be used in confined spaces without compromising wash quality.
- You can look into the drum of a vertical machine when the washing process is running. This allows additional items to be loaded at any stage without draining the water.
- Ease of use. It is easy to load laundry into the vertical model. To do this, you do not need to constantly bend down and sit down.
- Safety from children. The location of the control panel at the back of the top cover makes it difficult for children to access it.
- Noise protection. Vertical models vibrate less during spinning, respectively, produce less noise.
- Reliable construction. The two bearings that support the vertical drum reduce the possibility of failure due to overload.
- The cost of vertical models is higher (by 25–30%) than similar frontal models.
- Small assortment.
- The impossibility of embedding vertical machines in a kitchen set or other furniture structures.
- You cannot use the top cover of the device to place accessories on it.
How to use
No matter how high the cost and quality of the purchased washing machine, its durability and wear resistance depend on proper operation. It is important to carefully study the instructions for working with the device and take into account all the comments regarding the installation and further use of the device.
Installation requires a level and firm subsurface. It is important to make sure that the water communications are working properly, that the water pressure in the pipes is normal. A reliable connection of the drain hose is also necessary.
When preparing laundry, sorting by type and color will help. Remove hard objects from pockets that could damage the machine. It is better not to wash too dirty or dilapidated bed linen, overalls.
When washing in modern automatic devices, it is advisable to use specially designed detergents. Do not fill the machine’s dispenser with too much detergent.
It is important to control the conformity of the washing temperature to the specified mode. After the cycle is completed, be sure to close the tap and disconnect from the mains. Between several washings in a row, a break of 1–2 hours is useful.
Faults and repairs
Vertical washing machines, like front-facing ones, have a similar list of standard breakdowns. They also have typical faults inherent only to them.
Limited bearing service life. Sooner or later, bearings on any device will have to be changed. Upright washing machines are considered more labor intensive to repair, plus they have twice as many bearings as front-facing models.
The machine may not spin the drum. You can independently inspect the drum by rotating in different directions. A foreign object caught in it prevents free rotation. The second option is a broken or damaged drive belt.
If water does not drain from the device. Most likely the drain hose is kinked. If the hose is in order, you can check the drain pump filter: foreign objects could get into it. Poor drainage also happens in case of clogging of plastic sewer pipes.
Extended wash time, which differs from the one set by the program. Electric heater failure.
Water leakage from the machine. If the car was bought recently, then we are talking about a manufacturing defect or poor build quality. A warranty exchange will come to the rescue. For long-used equipment, cracks and breaks in the drain hose and water supply hose are possible. Buying a new hose.
If the device does not heat water. The electric heater is damaged.
Free opening of the drum flaps. It happens when the unit is unbalanced from long-term operation. The flaps touch the electric heater and, possibly, the drum may jam with a break in the drive belt and damage to the drum itself. In this case, costly repairs are guaranteed.
Corrosion of the top cover of the machine. The reason is the peculiarity of water supply to the drum through the lid itself. Elimination of the cause – replacement of the cover.
How to choose a top-loading washing machine
The main thing is to determine where the washing machine will be placed. If it is not built into the furniture, if the dimensions of the room are small, if there is no need for an extra working plane, if there is no need for an inspection hatch to view the washing process in detail, then it would be rational to buy a machine with a vertical load of laundry.
From a security point of view, vertical models are more reliable. They are better protected from children, vibrate less during the spin cycle.
They are more convenient to use, easier to load laundry into them. Loading laundry is possible directly in the washing process, which is not available for frontal models.
Their functionality is no different from the capabilities of the front samples. The choice of design for frontal models is higher, while the dimensions and the amount of loaded laundry have similar values.
Both front and upright models are subdivided into the same washing, spinning and energy efficiency classes.
The main disadvantage is a higher price than the frontal counterpart with similar characteristics.
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