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General Description

The Maytag Centennial MVWC300VW Washer is a top loading washing machine. The model was released in 2007 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Maytag's first washing machine and places at the low-end of Maytag's product line. The MVWC300VW washer features a commercial grade drive system with components tested to twice their life. It has a load capacity of 3.2 cubic feet and comes with 10 wash cycles and 4 temperature settings. The DependableClean wash system and LoadFlex agitator enhance cleaning results, and the QuiteSeries 100 sound package reduces operation noise. The washer includes bleach and fabric softener dispensers. It is designed to be paired with the MEDC400VW electric dryer or MGDC400VW gas dryer.

Specifications & Features

Maytag Washer

Manufacturer: Maytag (Whirlpool)

Model #: MVWC300VW

Washer Type: Top Load

Color: White porcelain-on-steel wash basket

Washer Capacity: 3.2 Cubic Feet

● Commercial grade drive system

● SuperSize Capacity

● Dependable Clean wash system

● 10 cycles / 4 temperatures

● White porcelain-on-steel wash basket

● QuietSeries 100 sound package

● Automatic Temperature Control

● 1/2 HP Drain Pump

● LoadFlex Agitator

● Bleach and Fabric Softener Dispensers

How it works

To explain how the Maytag washing machine works, we will start with the controls. There is a control for water level, temperature, the type of cycle, and an extra rinse cycle. These controls have wires running to the motor and the water inlet valve. These controls activate switches in the connects and disconnects to determine each setting chosen by the user.


The water inlet valve takes in hot and cold water with the use of an anti-siphoning device to ensure that water only enters the system. The water is then mixed with soap in the inner basket.


The inner and outer baskets are attached to a lower frame, a movable frame, and the agitator. This agitator is attached to the motor and gearbox.


The motor is directly attached to the pump and gearbox. The gearbox powers the agitator and switches current to alternate the direction of spin. When the agitator spins, it causes the two baskets to rock on the movable frame. This frame has a system of springs and latches that attach it to the stationary lower frame. These springs stabilize the movable frame and prevent the whole system from vibrating due to the rocking and spinning.


Once the water is not needed anymore, holes in the inner basket allow this water to drain into the outer basket, which is air tight. The pump then pumps water out of this basket and out of the system. Water is then again added for the rinse cycle, and the cycle starts over again.


Bill of Materials

Bill of Materials : Maytag Washer
Part # Part Name Qty Material Manufacturing Process Assembly Scheme Primary Function Image
1 Cabinet 1 Porcelain on Steel Stamped Clipped Enclosure (Safety)
2 Cabinet Top Lid 1 Porcelain on Steel Stamped Screwed Enclosure
Cabinet Top Lid.jpg
3 Cabinet Top 1 Porcelain on Steel Stamped Screwed Enclosure (Safety)
Cabinet Top.jpg
4 Bleach Dispenser 1 Plastic Injection Molded Snap Fit Dispenses Bleach
Bleach Dispenser.jpg
5 Clip 2 Brass Stamped Clipped Mounts back onto cabinet
6 Hinge 2 Steel Stamped Screwed Hinge for lid
7 Lid Switch 1 Various Various Snap Fit Cycle On/Off
Lid Switch.jpg
8 Rear Panel 1 Steel Stamped Screwed, Clipped Enclosure (safety)
Rear Panel.jpg
9 Control Timer 1 Various Various Screwed Controls time of cycle
Control Timer.jpg
10 Drain Hose 2 Plastic Injection Molded Hose clamps Drains water from tub
Drain Hose1.jpg
11 Water Level switch 1 Plastic Injection Molded Snap fit Prevents flooding
Water Level switch.jpg
12 Water Temperature Switch 1 Various Various Snap fit Monitors temperature of water
Water Temperature Switch.jpg
13 Water Inlet Valve 1 Various Various Clipped Lets hot/cold water in; prevents water from going to supply
Water Inlet Valve.jpg
14 End Cap 2 Porcelain on Steel Stamped Clipped, Screwed Enclosure (safety)
End Cap.jpg
15 Knob 4 Plastic Injection Molded Press fit User control of cycle
16 Fabric Softener Dispenser 1 Plastic Injection Molded Snap fit Dispenses fabric softener
Fabric Softener Dispenser.jpg
17 Agitator 1 Plastic Injection Molded Screwed Agitates clothes
18 Clothes Mover 1 Plastic Injection Molded Screwed Moves clothes
Clothes Mover.jpg
19 Balance Ring 1 Plastic Injection Molded Screwed Prevents tub from tipping
Balance Ring.jpg
20 Tub Ring with Gasket 1 Plastic, Rubber Injection Molded, Molded Screwed, Interference Creates seal around the tub
Tub Ring with Gasket.jpg
21 Tub 1 Plastic Injection Molded Screwed, Clipped Outer water reservoir
22 Basket 1 Plastic Injection Molded Interference fit Holds clothes, has holes to drain water
23 Brake Release Cam 1 Plastic Injection Molded Screwed Releases brake
Brake Release Cam.jpg
24 Brake Shoe 1 Steel Stamped Screwed Brake for system
Brake Shoe.jpg
25 Brake Spring 1 Steel Coiled Clipped Return brake into default position
Brake Spring.jpg
26 Brake Cam Driver 1 Plastic Injection Molded Clipped Drives brake cam
Brake Cam Driver.jpg
27 Gear Case Cover 1 Steel Stamped Screwed Enclosure (safety)
Gear Case Cover.jpg
28 Spin Gear 1 Plastic Injection Molded Interference Connect motor and gearbox
Spin Gear.jpg
29 Spin Pinion 1 Steel Cast, Turned Interference/Clipped Connect motor and rack
Spin Pinion.jpg
30 Connecting Rack 1 Plastic Injection Molded Interference Connects rack and pinion
Connecting Rack.jpg
31 Bottom and Pinion Gearcase 1 Steel Stamped, Various Bolts Enclosure, Gear reduction
Bottom and Pinion Gearcase.jpg
32 Shift Actuator 1 Steel Stamped Interference/Clipped Allows for shifting
Shift Actuator.jpg
34 Cam Agitator 1 Plastic Injection molded Interference fit Rotation of agitator
Cam Agitator.jpg
35 Cam Follower 1 Plastic Injection molded Interference fit Interfaces with agitator
Cam Follower.jpg
36 Suspension Spring 3 Steel Coiled Hooked Stabilizes tub
Suspension Spring.jpg
37 Suspension Spring Retainer 3 Steel Stamped Interference/Snap fit Secures springs
Suspension Spring Retainer.jpg
38 Base 1 Steel Stamped N/A (See to right) Many parts mount to it; Stable base for components
39 Suspension Plate 1 Steel Stamped Bolted Holds suspension springs
Suspension Plate.jpg
40 Tub and Brake Support 1 Steel Stamped Bolted Holds up tub, fastens brakes, suspension springs attach to it
Tub and Brake Support.jpg
41 Main Drive Motor 1 White metal, Copper Cast, Wound Bolted Converts electrical energy into mechanical rotational energy
Main Drive Motor.jpg
42 Plate, Motor Mount to Gearcase 1 Steel Stamped Bolted Enclosure (safety)
Plate, Motor Mount to Gearcase.jpg

Components and their 3D CAD models

Maytag Washer: Washer CAD Models

List of Major Subsystems

A washing machine can be broken down into the following major subsystems:

Exterior Paneling

These parts enclose the entire washing machine assembly. They are a safety necessity; the panels protect the user from the many moving parts in the machine. The attractive white porcelain on steel also provides a clean, smooth finish for aesthetic appeal.

Part # Part Name
1 Cabinet
2 Cabinet Top Lid
3 Cabinet Top
5 Clip
6 Hinge
8 Rear Panel
14 End Cap
38 Base

User Interfacing Features

These parts are generally standard parts found on washing machines. The majority of the parts give the user control of the washing cycle. Some features that this washer includes are: Water temperature control, cycle time, fabric softener dispenser and bleach dispenser. Many washing machines were made without the use of microcontrollers, but instead used many mechanically actuated contacts for control.

Part # Part Name
4 Bleach Dispenser
7 Lid Switch
9 Control timer
12 Water Temperature Switch
15 Knob
16 Fabric Softener Dispenser

Water Supply System

Washing machines rely on an automated water management system, which comprises of only a few parts. Inlet valves control the temperature of the water mixture, a water level switch makes sure that the water does not overflow, and the drain hose is used to remove the water from the tub to change between the wash and rinse cycles.

Part # Part Name
10 Drain hose
11 Water Level Switch
13 Water Inlet Valve
14 Pressure Hose

Drive System

The drive system is responsible for moving the clothes in the tub around. It does this by spinning the agitator (wash) and the entire wash tub (rinse). One motor is able to do both jobs by using a gearbox that is sensitive to the direction of rotation. Several suspension parts are necessary to provide smooth tub and agitator rotation.

Part # Part Name
23 Brake Release Cam
24 Brake Shoe
25 Brake Spring
26 Brake Cam Driver
27 Gear Case Cover
28 Spin Gear
29 Spin Pinion
30 Connecting Rack
31 Bottom and Pinion Gearbox
32 Shift Actuator
34 Cam Agitator
35 Cam Follower
36 Suspension Spring
37 Suspension Spring Retainer
39 Suspension Plate
40 Tub and Brake Support
41 Main Drive Motor
42 Plate, Motor Mount to Gearbox

Wash Tub Assembly

This is where soiled clothes are placed to be cleaned. The agitator sharply moves the clothes around during the wash cycle, and the tub spins freely and fast during the rinse cycle to remove water from the tub and clothes.

Part # Part Name
17 Agitator
18 Clothes Mover
19 Balance Ring
20 Tub Ring with Gasket
21 Tub
22 Basket

Disassembly Procedure

Step 1: Remove two (2) 1/4" cap screws from back of panel.

Step 2: Bend rear portion of switch panel upwards to reveal four (4) 1/4" cap screws. Remove these.

Step 3: CAREFULLY remove switch panel, watching that the wires are not stretched or caught anywhere.

Step 4: Remove two (2) 5/16" cap screws from bottom of unit's rear panel, then unclip two (2) brass clips.

Step 5: CAREFULLY remove rear panel, watching that the various wires are not stretched or caught anywhere.

Step 6: Slide outer cabinet off of base and move out of the way.

Step 7: Using a flat head screwdriver for leverage, remove fabric softener dispenser from center of agitator.

Step 8: Lift seal plug out of center of agitator, then remove 11 mm ratchet bolt securing the agitator clutch.

Step 9: Remove agitator clutch and upper and lower sections of agitator unit.

Step 10: Remove balance ring to seperate tub from basket.

Step 11: Using appropriate tool, remove threaded cap from agitator shaft.

Step 12: Lift basket up and out of tub.

Step 13: CAREFULLY remove one (1) screw from each of three (3) suspension-spring plates, as springs are under slight load in their default positions.

Step 14: Remove black drain hose from bottom of tub by flexing open sping clips.

Step 15: Remove plastic tub by rotating tub around while simultaneously lifting up until the gasket clears the central shaft.

Assembly drawings and part list of a similar model: Assembly Drawings_WasherFileicon-pdf.png



1. Top loading washers cost significantly less than front loading washers for the initial purchase.

2. However, top loading washers also have much higher energy costs which become more expensive in the long run.


1. Top loading washers are worse for the environment because they use about three times as much water as a front loading. This is because a top loading washer cannot utilize gravity to its advantage.

2. Due to the fact that top loading contain agitators, they cannot fit in as many clothes. This results in having to run more loads, and wasting even more water.


1. Front loading machines require the user to bend over to load and unload clothes, which can cause strain the the back over long periods of time.

2. Another advantage of top loading machines is that they can complete washing cycles much faster and can also be opened in the middle of washes, rather than locking.

3. Top loading machines generally contain an agitator which causes wear and tear on clothing.


1. In most of the Western hemisphere (USA, Canada, and Latin America), top loading machines are currently the washing machine of choice with 65% of the US market share. However, in Europe front loading machines are far more popular, with 90% of the market share.

2. The European Union has standards for effective energy use in all washing machines. All washers must have labels containing information on washing performance, energy efficiency and spin efficiency.

ME240 2011:table 3 (Team Freaking Awesome)

Washing Machine

Economic Analysis:

Top-loading: ~$68 per year/per person to operate

Front-loading: ~$48 per year/per person to operate

Laundromat: ~$124 per year/per person to use

Derivation of costs:

Detergent: Gain -- $14.97/bottle -- 32 loads/bottle -- One load per week Water: $.001 per gallon -- Top-loading – 2240 gal./year -- Front-loading – 1120 gal./year

Environmental Impact:

Both front-loading washers and top-loading washers require fossil fuel to produce, and use approximately the same amount of material to manufacture; however, the front-loader is far more efficient than the top-loader because it uses 40-75% less water per load and 30-80% less energy. Both are also about the same size, so in a landfill they will take up about the same volume as waste at the end of the life cycle.

Who Buys What?

In Europe, 90% of the washers are considered front-loading; whereas in the US, only 35% of the washers are front-loading. Reasons behind the gap may be that the apartments and homes in Europe are much smaller and front-loading washers are more compact. Also, Europe and the US have no standards on the amount of water that can be used for washing. The initial price of top-loading washers are less than $500, whereas front-loading washers are around $1000+ for a good model.


The price of a front-loading washer is about twice as much as a top loader, but top loaders are much more efficient, using about half the energy and water. Top loaders are cheaper, but more damaging to the environment. Most likely the reason front loaders are more popular in places like Europe is because they are much smaller than top loaders and can easily fit into a cupboard or under a sink.


-The most difficult part of the dissection was:

- The c-clips used to retain the various gears and clutches on the shafts

-The most difficult parts of reassembly were:

-The c-clips

-Incomplete reassembly instructions

-Sharp sheet metal edges

-Some of the components were either not included in the drawings or drawn so poorly that they were indistinguishable

-Took approximately 4 class periods to dissect/reassemble

-Drive system:

- The washing machine is driven by a single motor that provides power to all functions -- water pump, agitator, spinning drum

-The water pump is directly attached to the motor shaft and generates friction during all parts of the wash cycle.

-The power from the motor is sent through the gear box where it is channeled through a series of gears and geared cams.

-The plastic gear in the gear box looks to be a possible failure point or part to wear out quickly, but was probably used to make the product cheaper.

-The power channeled through the gear box is applied through a clutch that is only activated when the motor is running.

-If the load in the washer is too great, a separate safety clutch will disengage the system from the motor to prevent damage.

Drive System Diagrams

-Possible modifications:

- Replace the clutch with a magnetic coupler through the plastic of the tub. This would reduce friction by removing the seals and improve efficiency, as well as allow for a less powerful motor to be used. This would also eliminate leaks.

-Front loader drive hypothesis:

-A front loader probably has the same drive system but tilted 90 degrees

-Because the front loader is constantly lifting clothing, the motor and clutch will need to be made more powerful.

-Assuming both top loader and front loader have the same footprint, either the tank or drive mechanism must be made smaller in the front loader

- From research, most front loaders do not have the central agitator because sufficient motion is achieved through the horizontal spinning of clothes. This will simplify the construction of the gearbox by eliminating components.

-More gaskets/membranes will need to be added to prevent spillage. The front door will need a tight fitting gasket and latching system. The tank will need a membrane between it and the shell of the washer to compensate for tank movement and water level. Some form of shielding will be needed to prevent clothing ingress between the tank and spinning drum.

-Suspension system:

-Springs used to apply force to counteract the spinning motor

-Low friction pads to allow for movement of the tub and limit transmission of vibrations to the support structure and surrounding building

-The motor is mounted with rubber isolators to prevent the transition of vibrations into the machine and reduce sound

- To compensate for the movement of the isolators, the power of the motor is transmitted through a composite universal joint

Suspension System Diagrams

-Suspension hypothesis for front loader: -The tank will need support from above or underneath to compensate for the load of water and clothing. This can be done by suspending the tank from above using springs or by using a framework from below with rubber isolators.

-The spinning drum can either be supported entirely by the drive shaft or partially by a low friction bushing at the end (door side) which would also act to prevent clothing entering between the drum and tank.

created by team '''Freaking Awesome''' (table 3)


Authors: Trevin Dear, Tom Tangredi, Vishnu Anantha, Michael Yanek, Robert Payment, John Krall, Wan Sheok Gan, Saeed Al-Zubaidi

Back to: ME240 2010S


Economic Anaylsis

Assumptions: 100% cold water, electric water heater, 7 cents per KWh, $5.50/1000gallons of water, $0.15/load of detergent, 8 loads/week

  • Top loader: $161 per year
    • $7.44 energy cost per year, $0.0179 per load
    • $91.52 gallons cost per year, $0.22 per load
    • $62.40 detergent cost per year, $0.15 per load
    • 16,640 gallons water per year
    • 106.5 KWh per year
  • Front loader: $103 per year
    • $7.57 energy cost per year, $0.0182 per load
    • $33.61 gallons cost per year, $0.147 per load
    • $62.40 detergent cost per year, $0.15 per load
    • 6,115 gallons water per year
    • 108.2 KWh per year

References: [1]

Laundromat Comparison

Assumptions: same amount of detergent, same number of loads, $1.75 per load, no transportation cost, supply own detergent

  • Laundromat: $728.00 per year + cost of detergent ($62.40) = $790.40 per year

References: [2]

Environmental Impact

  • Front Load
    • Uses less water
    • Requires less detergent
    • Requires less energy
    • Clothes require less drying time
  • Top Load
    • Uses more water
    • Requires more detergent
    • Requires more energy
    • Clothes require more drying time
    • Declined cleaning ability
    • More wear and tear on clothes

References: [3] [4]

Purchasing Decisions

  • Government Regulations
    • United States
      • Department of Energy-Appliances and Commercial Equipment Standards
    • Isreal
      • Resolution setting energy efficiency requirements for washing machines and other appliances
    • Australia
      • Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)
  • Other Universal Factors
    • Price
    • Expected life/durability
    • Reliability
    • Ease of Use
    • Reputation
    • Environmental impact

References: [5] [6] [7]

Top Load Drive System and Suspension

alt text
alt text
alt text
alt text

Front Load Drive System and Suspension

alt text

[8] Worm gear transfers torque from motor to shaft.

alt text

[9] The springs and damper system keep the drum centered and in place.

Differences In Price

Top loading washing machines cost significantly less than front loading washing machines. However, large amounts of money can be saved by front loading machines, as they require less electricity, heat energy, and water.

Considering machines of equal size, front loading washing machines cost $150-$300 less on www.lowes.com. Manufacturers most likely charge more for front load machines because of the savings associated with them. Also, front load machines require more parts, materials, and are heavier, which would increase shipping and manufacturing prices.

Created by Team Anonymous

Team Eight

Economic Analysis

  • Assumptions
    •  % of washes in Hot/Warm/Cold: 33/33/33%
    • Incoming Water Temperature: 47 F
    • Water Heater Type: Electric
    • Cost of Electricity (per kWh): $0.15
    • Cost of Gas ($/therm): $1.25
    • Cost of Water ($/1000 gallons): $5.50
    • Cost of Detergent: $0.20 per load
    • Loads per week 5

Top-Load Front-Load
Total cost per load: $0.72 $0.48
Cost per month: $16 $10
Cost per year: $187 $125

Source: [[10]]

Laundromat vs. Personal Machine

Top-Loader Laundromat
Cost of Detergent(per load): $0.20 $0.20
Total Cost per Load: $0.60 $1.75
Street Parking (per hour) $0.00 $1.00
Loads per Week 5 5
Cost per Month $16 $39
Cost per Year $187 $486

From reviewing the comparison between top-loader and front loader machines, the top-loader cost the consumer more per year. Using the information for the top-loader machine, at home laundry and using a laundromat in State College, PA were compared. Table 2 shows that overall, the user would spend more using a laundromat than an at home washer over the course of a week or month.

Sources: [[11]], [[12]]

Environmental Impact

Environmental impact of the design and development of washing machines is minimal compared to the impact when the machine is in use and post use. The washing machine is designed in an office building, where electricity consumption is the only environmental impact (usage of fossil fuels). The machine is then fabricated, most likely using an assembly line technique in the companies factory, where electricity is again used to keep the factory running. During the building phase, gasoline, a byproduct of fossil fuels may be used also. During the machines use in either a household or laundry mat the main issue that affects the environment is the water usage. Front load washers use a lot less water than top load washers due to their design, but both types of washers use water during the cleaning process. Also during this time the washing machine is consuming electricity. After the washing machine has been used and is considered trash, its environmental impact is dependent on how the owner disposes of it. The worst way would be to completely throw the machine in a landfill. Perhaps a better way of disposal is contacting your township and asking them to remove it for you. This way, the machine will be stripped of all recyclable parts, and reused as much as possible, causing the least amount of damage to the environment as possible.

Sources:[[13]], [[14]]

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages for a top loading washer are easier to load, more affordable, ability to add items during a cycle, easy for a homeowner to repair, oldest form of washing machine(all bugs worked out), easy to fit into a space, and power consumption is less than front loaders. The disadvantages for a top loading washer are poor quality of wash, uncomfortable to unload, need to be placed side by side with a dryer, noise/vibration from being lighter.

The advantages of front loading washers are gentler on clothes, less water and detergent consumption, space utilization (can be stacked), easier to get into, spins faster(quicker to dry clothes), has larger capacity, quieter, and has better energy conservation. The disadvantages for front loading washers are initial cost, bending over to get clothes, washing single items (unbalance machine), no last minute add-ins during a cycle, needs special detergent, and has longer cycle times.

Sources:[[15]] [[16]]

Consumers' Purchasing Decisions

The consumer’s purchasing decision making process has a multitude of different aspects involved such as need recognition, searching for information, and evaluating products. There are main factors that go along with the evaluating of products such as the price, energy star ratings and government regulations which in turn tell a user whether or not this product is something that fits the need they are searching for. In the United States and in other top nations, the word “green” has been a lot more influential lately which means things like government regulations and how energy efficient the washing machine is play a much bigger role when buying. Other countries were the restrictions are not as high, consumers might be more inclined to buy a cheaper model that does not meet all the regulations necessary for a greener future.

Source: [[17]]


The drive system contains a single primary motor that is connected to and powers both the water pump and the agitator's gear set.

Motor and Gearcase

The motor provides driving force to the gears contained within the gear case shown. This torque is translated between multiple gears, cams, and brake systems on its way to the upright agitator. The agitator provides movement to the washing machine's tub, allowing it to pulse in order to thoroughly wash clothes. The main aspect of the drive system is the multi-directional motor. The gear transmission is able to accept both directions of rotation, so the motor can switch direction during different function stages in order for the process to be carried out more efficiently.

Motor and Pump

When the current load has reached completion, the tub allows water to run out the bottom and drain into an outer basket. From here, the motor provides energy for the pump to expel the used water.

The suspension system allows for efficient operation of the washing machine during use, when the water and clothes contained in the tub can become dense. Washing machines are often criticized for "rocking" or being too loud during use...this is likely due to a faulty or ineffective suspension system.

Suspension System

The inner tub is directly attached to the tub and brake support. This support is then linked to the suspension plate by suspension springs at three equidistant points. This assembly provides resistance to the tub as it is agitated during use. This works to prevent loud shaking and unnecessary friction. There are also pads in place to lessen friction at possible contact points between the support and the suspension plate. This whole suspension system is connected at various points to the base, which acts to stabilize the whole washer over a larger contacting surface area.

Our dissection was a hands-on effort. While some quickly dismantled the washing machine, others worked to document the disassembly process by taking pictures. We didn't necessarily take time to "plan" our dissection, rather removed the outermost components first and worked our way in. We stopped at stages to capture the individual systems as they appear in working order. After obtaining all the necessary images for future analysis we reassembled the machine. Overall this was not a complicated process, although reassembly was somewhat difficult without a proper manual.

How does a Front-Loading Machine Work?

Given what I have learned how a top loading washing machine works, I have a hypothesis of how the front loading washing machine drive system and suspension works. The washing machine will be laying in its “side” which lends to having a motor in the same direction for space concerns. Also because the drums are in the same orientation as the washing machine, it does not need any gear boxes, and a simple pulley system from the drums to the motor would work very well. The needed gear ratio would be set by the size of the pulleys. As for the suspension, I think there would be four springs hanging the outer drum from the top and two shock absorbers for when there are large uneven loads in the washing machine.

For comparison, a consumer will obviously need to consider more than just the purchase cost. Although top-loading washers are generally less expensive for the unit itself, the operation costs associated with a top-loading washer are much higher than the more efficient front-loading washer. Taking these factors into consideration along with others, we must perform an economic analysis to evaluate which washer would be better fit for our personal use. Some things to consider are average load sizes/settings, typical uses per week, expected length of ownership, etc.


Team BFH

1. (a) Top Loading Washing Machine

• Uses approximately 40 gallons of water per load of laundry. Assuming four loads per week for 52 weeks, the top loading washing machine uses 8,320 gallons of water a year. Assume water is pumped from a well, and costs nothing.

• Uses approximately 0.7 kWh of electricity per load. Assuming four loads per week for 52 weeks, and a cost of electricity of 0.1065 dollars per kWh, the top loading washing machine uses 145.6 kWh of electricity a year and costs about 15.5 dollars to operate.

• A 75 ounce bottle of detergent costs nine dollars and is good for 36 loads of laundry. Assuming four loads a week for 52 weeks, 208 loads of laundry are washed a year. This would consume 5.78 bottles of detergent (433 ounces) and cost 52.8 dollars.

• It would cost about 68.3 dollars a year to operate a top loading washing machine, not including any maintenance costs. A midrange top loading washing machine roughly costs 300 to 400 dollars to buy.

(b) Front Loading Washing Machine

• Uses roughly 15 gallons of water per load of laundry. Assuming four loads per week for 52 weeks, the front loading washing machine uses 3,120 gallons of water a year. Assume water is pumped from a well, and costs nothing.

• Uses approximately 0.3 kWh of electricity per load. Assuming four loads per week for 52 weeks, and a cost of electricity of 0.1065 dollars per kWh, the front loading washing machine uses 62.4 kWh of electricity a year, and costs about 6.65 dollars to operate.

• A 75 ounce bottle of detergent costs nine dollars and is good for 36 loads of laundry. Assuming four loads a week for 52 weeks, 208 loads of laundry are washed a year. This would consume 5.78 bottles of detergent (433 ounces) and cost 52.8 dollars.

• It would cost about 59.5 dollars a year to operate a front loading washing machine, not including any maintenance costs. The front loading washing machine uses about 60% less water than the top loading washing machine. A midrange front loading washing machine roughly costs 700 to 800 dollars to buy.

2. Laundromat Analysis

• Costs 1.25 dollars a load. Assuming four loads a week for 52 weeks, it would cost 260 dollars to wash the clothes in a laundromat.

• A 75 ounce bottle of detergent costs nine dollars and is good for 36 loads of laundry. Assuming four loads a week for 52 weeks, 208 loads of laundry are washed a year. This would consume 5.78 bottles of detergent (433 ounces) and cost 52.8 dollars.

• From home, would have to drive ten miles to the nearest laundromat. This would be a 20 mile round trip, performed once a week for 52 weeks. Assuming the vehicle gets 15 miles per gallon and the price of gasoline is 3.30 dollars per gallon, it would cost 229 dollars a year to drive to the laundromat.

• This would be a total cost of 542 dollars a year to do the same laundry at a laundromat. This is comparable to a yearly cost of 59.5 dollars for the front loading and 68.3 dollars for the top loading washing machine.

3. Environmental Impact

Washing machines do not play a huge environmental impact when they are being manufactured. Although washing machines are made of various metals and plastics. The process of manufacturing a washing machine tributes most of its pollution to water and air, also the process consumes water and energy. However, the manufacturing effects are not as significant as the ones that are being contributed due to the use of washing machines. Every time you use a washing machine you contribute to pollution and consume a large amount of energy and water. Once you trash a washing machine it is likely to be recycled and many of the parts will be melted down for scraps or taken away for spare parts much like a automobile. So as you can see the major environmental impact is the use of a washing machine not the manufacturing or disposal.

The advantage of front load washing machine would be the energy efficiency of them. These machines use a lot less water than there top loaded counterparts. Imagine a top loaded washing machine needs to be completely filled to effectively wash your clothes while using a front loaded washing machine only one-third of the washing machine would have to be filled with water. Also when it turns your clothes to wash them it uses gravity to drop your clothes back to the bottom thus the washing machine does not need a agitator, like in a top loaded washing machine. Thus making it possible to wash more clothes so you can cut down on your energy and water bills. It also cuts down on the use of detergents by spraying your close with detergent instead of mixing it with the water like in a top loaded washing machine. Although the disadvantages of this washing machine are that it is a lot more expensive than top loaded washing machines, the time for washing clothes is a lot longer due to not having a agitator, also taking clothes out can be difficult to the elderly. While the advantages of a top loaded washing machine are a lot few, this washing machine is a lot cheaper than a front loaded washing machine.

4. Purchase Decisions

Much of the consumer purchasing decisions of washing machines is based on the price, energy efficiency, the age of the buyer, also the space that is taken up by washing machines. When consumers go to buy washing machines many people may look for something at a low price but then come to find out that the efficiency is not what they expected so consumers incorporate a lot of factors into the buying of washing machines. Countries such as Europe and the United State predominantly use front load washing machines due to them taking up less space and also because of the machine being a lot more energy efficient. Many consumers are environmentally friend and are looking for a machine that will save them money on the long run. A front loaded washing machine is the answer to that.

5. (a) The Drive System

• The drive system in the dissected washer operates through a series of gears, clutches, brakes, and its function depends on direction of the system. The rear portion of the motor shaft drives a pump which propels water into the washer. The front portion of the motor shaft is connected to a gear box which serves two functions depending on the direction of the motor. During the wash cycle, the motor spins in one direction. This rotation is transmitted into a worm gear which allows for motion to be translated orthogonally to the vertical direction. The following gear also has an off-centered cam. This cam drives a rack a pinion. The pinion only has teeth on one half, allowing the shaft to intermittently switch direction of rotation. The pinion is fixed to a shaft, which consists of a clutch and brake system. During the wash cycle, the brake and clutch are disengaged. This allows for free rotation of the actuator and the tub is stationary. When the motor spins in the opposite direction, a spin gear, located on top of the cam, centered on the shafts rotation, engages through a ratchet like mechanism. This spin gear directly rotates the actuator shaft, engaging the brake and also spinning the tub. This is also known as the spin cycle of the washing machine.


(b) The Suspension System

• The suspension consists of a spring-damper assembly for the washing machine. There are three springs that attach from the base of the washing machine to the bracket that holds the tub where clothes are washed. These three springs are evenly space and hold the tub bracket in tension. These springs help to keep the tub bracket centered as the machine is running. In between where the tub bracket sets on the base of the washing machine there are three plastic pads that act as dampers to the vibration of the tub as the machine is running. The friction between the plastic pads and the tub bracket act to dampen the oscillation of the tub assembly. A sketch of the assembly is shown below.


(c) Time Distribution

(i) Planning – 5 minutes

(ii) Measuring – 15 minutes

(iii) Documenting – 30 minutes

(iv) Validating – 15 minutes

(v) Analyzing – 80 minutes

6. Top Loading Drive and Suspension Systems

From my dissection and analysis of a top-load washer, a front-load washer probably works very similarly. The only difference would be how the motor transfers energy to the loading drum. A rubber/plastic/synthetic belt probably hooks up the motor to a wheel that is connected to the loading drum inside of the housing drum. The suspension system would probably function using the same spring dampening method used in the top-load washer. In this case, the springs would probably pull the motor and loading drum wheel apart from each other to increase the tautness of the connecting belt.


7. Washer Differences

Among many differences that Top loading washing machines and front loading washing machines possess is the quite obvious price gap between them. By searching standard stores that carry washing machines, for example Lowes, you can see the price gap in high end top and front loaders as well as the lower end models. For a high rated front loader washing machine you will be looking at prices that range from about $1600.00 to about $600.00, depending on the rating and the quality of the machine. For the same high rating and quality of washing your going to be looking at a different price range for top loading washing machines and that will be a price range from about $1100.00 to about $350.00. Both of these price ranges are for washing machines with an average of 4 out of 5 star rating.

ZLAK and Freshmen

1. Interesting Facts


1. On April 1, 2006, Whirlpool bought out the Maytag Corporation and now uses their brand name. The buy out resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and the shut down of the original and largest of the Maytag factories in Newton, Iowa. (http://sec.edgar-online.com/maytag-corp/def-14a-proxy-statement-definitive/2003/04/01/Section11.aspx)

2. The Maytag Centennial MVWC300VW Washer is currently a discontinued product, but when it was for sale it cost between $270 and $500. (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Maytag+Centennial+MVWC300VW+Washer&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=907&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=17727375170619404266&sa=X&ei=j-JoT9_hCMfgtgevyKXkCA&ved=0CE4QgggwAA)

3. This washer was the last model produced by the Maytag corporation before its bought-out was finalized by Whirlpool. It was meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Maytag corporation. (http://www.maytag.com/digitalassets/MVWC450XW/Use%20and%20Care_EN.pdf)


1. It is estimated that the average washing machine produces 90 kilograms of greenhouse gas each year. (http://www.natural-environment.com/blog/2008/01/29/washing-machine-or-greenhouse-machine/)

2. When a washing machine uses warm water instead of cold, approximately 4 more kilograms of greenhouse gas are produced for each wash. (http://www.natural-environment.com/blog/2008/01/29/washing-machine-or-greenhouse-machine/)

3. In the past 30 years the washing machine has decreased the amount of water that is used by 70 percent. However, it is unlikely that in future years the water could be increased more because of the physical necessities of washing. (http://www.appliancemagazine.com/ae/editorial.php?article=1393&zone=215&first=1&fb_source=message)


1. In Europe, they have an energy efficiency chart, rating from lowest efficiency (F) to high efficiency (A). (http://www.nef.org.uk/energysaving/labels.htm)

2. Semi-automatic washers are popular in India. They have two tubs, one for washing the clothes, the other to spin dry them. They are popular because the are less expensive. (http://compareindia.in.com/top-stories/home-appliances-washing-machines/top-semiautomatic-washing-machines/1273/0)

3. LG has been the top seller of washing machines internationally for the past number of years. This is due to its advances in technologies regarding their front-loading washers, which are a lot more popular outside of the U.S. (http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20110629085949/LG_Tops_Sales_Of_Global_Washing_Machine_Brands_For_Third_Straight_Year)


1. As washing machines were developed and improved upon, they made doing the simple but necessary task of laundry much faster and less demanding. This in part gave women more free time to explore career options outside of housewife. (http://odewire.com/48802/%E2%80%9Cthe-washing-machine-has-changed-society-more-than-the-internet.html)

2. Even with the advent of the washing machine, in married couples still women tend to do the laundry and housework, and the men tend to do the yard work. (http://gicl.cs.drexel.edu/wiki/Washer_MAYTAG)

3. In third world countries, teams of engineers are developing man powered washing machines for the citizens to uses to ease the work that they have to do. (http://digitaljournal.com/article/267711)

2. Virtual Dissection of Water Supply System

The Water Supply System, though small, provides a vital function in a washing machines. This system consists of 4 important parts.

Part # Part Name
10 Drain hose
11 Water Level Switch
13 Water Inlet Valve
14 Pressure Hose

The washing machine valve controls the flow of warm and cold water into the drum. There are two inlets, with red and blue parts, that dictate where the cold and warm water flow in respectively. When the user selects a cycle, the machine valve lets in the appropriate amount of each temperature of water. The knob determines how much water fills the tub of the watching machine. As the knob turns, it can be seen there is a piece of plastic that three notches. These notches correspond to the three load sizes, small, medium, and large. When the pressure in the tub reaches the appropriate level for the load size, the tub stops filling. This is where the pressure hose comes into play. This hose is connected to the knob to communicate the pressure in the tub. When the washing machine cycle is finished, the water drains out through the drain hose.

Drain Hose Images
Hose 0136.jpg
Hose 0137.jpg
Hose 0138.jpg
Hose 0139.jpg
Water Level Switch Images
Switch 0120.jpg
Switch 0122.jpg
Switch 0127.jpg
Switch 0128.jpg
Switch 0125.jpg
Water Inlet Valve Images
Valve 0130.jpg
Valve 0133.jpg
Valve 0135.jpg
Pressure Hose Images

Supporting Wiki pages

Product Dissection: Single-Use Cameras: Single-Use Cameras

Product Dissection: Bicycles: Bicycles

Engine Dissection Wiki Project ME240/107S : ME107/240 2010S

Refrigerator: Refrigerator_Whirlpool

Washer: Washer_MAYTAG

Dishwasher: Dishwasher_Electrolux

LCD TV: LCD TV_Westinghouse

ME240 Course Links

Main Course Page



Appliances (Single-Use Cameras)