washer starting capacitor failure?

I've got an older model Kenmore washer. Recently, it's started throwing it's internal circuit breaker when starting a new load cycle.
If you catch it before the circuit breaker trips, you can hear the motor trying to run. Often if you toggle the on/off switch (or the trip-switch in the lid) you can get the motor to start moving again. Once it's started, it will run just fine.
I suspect a the starting capacitor... Course, I don't even know if this thing has a starting capacitor...
Is there any way to test the capacitor, short of having an ocilliscope? This is an older model washer, definitely not worth calling the repair man.. But I'm probably qualified to replace the capacitor.
Comments/Suggestions? d snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
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Hi,
Microfereds is how you test capacitors. Normal meters won't do it. If you have an amprobe/clampon you can grab a hot going into the motor and see what it hits starting up and then running. Next or before that see what the specs on the motor plate say for running and starting amps. If you exceed the rstart amps it is probably the motor if not it is the capacitor. Capacitors are cheap but special definition motors can be expensive. Check grainger for both parts in your area. www.grainger.com
candice
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darin Ginther wrote:

i dont think there is a capacitor in a kenmore washer???? i had one for 30 yrs. and replaced just about every part in it and it was never a capacitor.... sitll have the motor, there is no capacitor how does the motor run with the belt removed??? if it runs OK then it might be that you have something thats putting too much work out for the motor???? like a bad bearing someplace where the agitator does not turn very easily or a sock or somthing stuck under the agitator and its fighting it???? dont think there is a capacitor for the motor.....' with the belt removed try to turn the motor...if it does not move then it is probably the bearing in the motor that are bad(thats with the power off)..... take your model number on the kenmore and go to www.sears.com and look for parts on the upper left hand side of the screen and check for your model.. then look at the parts list and the diagram.... this will tell you for sure if they dont list a cap. for the machine then they dont have one for sure..... a new motor might cost you about $70 or more at sears.. if its that bad of a machine then you might try a used appliance place that sells old machine, they will have alot of parts( they usually get two or three old machine that people put out for trash and make one good machine)... dont know what they will charge but no problem asking for a price on a sears motor????/ or if you have a truck you can scout the neighborhood for some old machine put out for the trash.....if you get one with a bad motor then you just keep looking...
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Hi Darin,
To test the capacitor, first discharge it. Take off the leads and with a voltmeter set to RX100 probe the terminals. Look for zero reading slowly moving to infinity.
If it stays at zero it would indicate a short. If steady high ohms, an open circuit.
I had a similar problem with my GE washer a few months ago. Turned out to be a bad motor.
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Thanks for the suggestions! Turns out it's a GE model - although I can't find the model number.. Closest thing is "B1-600" which doesn't show up on GE's website.
I've looked under it, I don't see a starting capacitor near the motor... Anyone know GE washers very well?
-D. Ginther
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To test a capacitor, you need an analog (swing needle) VOM. A digital one will not do the job. Set to Rx1K. Put the leads on the cap. Needle jumps. Reverse the leads. Needle jumps a little more than it did the first time. Cap OK.
needle swings over and stays: Short. Needle does not move at all: Open.
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Amazing...my DMM will check caps just fine...you, as a self proclaimed tech, should know what models will do the job....and stop giving all that bad advice..
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Model # is WWA5600GAL
I can't find a starting capacitor under the washer (near the motor) or in any parts diagram.. I assume the motor is going. IE - not worth fixing ($130 retail).
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d snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (darin Ginther) wrote in message

That's exactly what happened to mine. No start, just hummed. Could not find a capacitor. Washer came with house and I really didn't want it anyway, so I replaced it a few months sooner than I ordinarily would have.
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darin Ginther wrote in message

That washer design doesn't usually use a capacitor, there should be a starting relay however, possibly mounted towards the top of the outer cabinet.
If it does need a motor, it is under $100 and there's even a cheaper alternative which is more powerful, comes with the relay and is cheaper!
You can see the one for your model at the following link. There is a link from it to the more powerful motor and relay kit.
GE WWA5600GAL washer motor http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rc !73
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=+GE+washers
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