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relay switch between wash machine and wall outlet?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by jeffmt1234, Nov 26, 2011.

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  1. jeffmt1234


    Nov 26, 2011
    Hello all,

    I'm trying to create a project for myself which involves a relay switch to that sits between the wall outlet and a wash machine. I want to have another device that when triggered will send a signal to the relay to cut power from the outlet to the washmachine..

    I really do not know much about circuitry. I'm a Computer Science/ Mechanincal engineering guy. So excuse my ignorance if you lose me while explaining something :eek: .

    Can someone give me an idea of what I can use for this or where I can find it? and also the type and ratings I would need for it?

    Thank you.


    someone before had referred me to this item here:

    but I'm not sure if the wash machine can plug into it, and how I would get power to the pack.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  2. davelectronic


    Dec 13, 2010
    Hi there welcome to the forum. If you dont mind me asking, why do you want to cut the power to the washing machine. A relay would need a heavy current rating, as you dont know with any accuracy where the machine is in the wash cycle, IE heating water part of the cycle will be a high current demand time with in the cycle, meaning the relay contacts have a heavy current to connect / disconnect. And a curiousity whats the other device, or is this what or part of the disconnect device ? .
  3. jeffmt1234


    Nov 26, 2011
    Thanks for the reply.

    I was going to use a ball bearing tilt switch and connect it to the side of the machine. I've had some issues with it becoming off balance and it is a newer machine. At one point it started rocking back and forth to the point where it bent the internal supports in the frame. So I had taken it apart and fixed everything and I wanted to find a solution to the problem.

    I had done a little research and figured if I could put the tilt switch on it, then when the machine starts going haywire, hopefully the switch will trigger and send the signal to the relay to cut the power.
  4. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    The device to use here is a motor contactor, the type with a green button to go and a red button to stop. They have facilities for external buttons and your tilt switch would go in series with the red stop button so that when vibration gets excessive the machine stops and stays stopped. The green button would need to be pressed to activate the system.
  5. davelectronic


    Dec 13, 2010
    Ok i see what you mean, but i would concentrate on getting a level bed for the washing machine, this will fix your unbalanced problem, creating an auto unbalanced shut of circuit still leaves you with a problem, possibly continuous shut downs every time the circuit is triggered, Dukes control box could be used, but is normally reserved for industrial / work shop application, but yes it would work, fix the underlying primary problem, not add to it, half washed soapy washing, not the best idea, or even move re plumb the machine in a new location. :)
  6. lapistola


    Nov 22, 2011
    +1 for leveling the machine

    As you say its not old then maybe a warranty claim was in order before you opened the machine.

    Also using an NVR switch would be a better idea as with just the tilt switch connected to a relay, every time the machine stopped rocking it would then become energised again and could start rocking again if internal capacitors kept the machine alive long enough for the split second a tilt switch would knock it out for.

    Weighting the machine down or using chains to limit its movement would be another idea, although if the machine is as violent as you say chains may do damage to your wall.
  7. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    Domestic washing lesson 101 ;)

    The main cause of a washing machine becoming unbalanced ( and its usually during spin cycle ) is because of an initialuneven distribution of the clothing load inside the machine when filled.
    Most newer machines ( less than ~5 yrs old) have their own cutouts already in them for when load imbalance occurs. The will stop and give a sound warning for you to redistribute the load.

    as lapistola said, this could have possibly been a warranty claim before home repairs happened. Under the current circumstances, Duke's ideas are probably your best resort

  8. jeffmt1234


    Nov 26, 2011
    Thanks guys for the responses. It;s actually outside of the warrenty.. It's about 3 yrs old now. I still consider it newer technology but not brand new.

    As for the rocking, it doesn't do it everytime just once in a while during a heavy load. It's happened twice and it's a good thing I was home otherwise it would've ripped itself off the rubber water hoses.

    Itself does not have a auto sensor or anything for shutoff. And I try to even the load as much as possible but sometimes as noted it likes to get a little cranky.

    I will try the suggestions offered and see where I get. Thanks a lot for the help guys.

    EDIT: The machine is pretty level.. I made sure of that after the first repair.
  9. davelectronic


    Dec 13, 2010
    Another problem, at least one that would cause such ferocious violent movement enough to rip the machine from its plumbing is gross overloading. Our machine is old technology, but if i abuse it with an over load once it starts spinning up it realises and throttles back off the power, at least until some water has spun out of the washing, another thing this could lead to is the main drum bearings early demise. Load with in the manufacturers weight limits.
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