Originally Posted by causal
I suspect it might be short circuit / earth to ground type switch, so now I'm concerned about a possible electrocution hazard.
Originally Posted by Grayarea
If the ELCB is tripping only when the washing machine is running then somthing in the machine is faulty.
Bottom line, if it is tripping the ELCB then it is dangerous and should be fixed before any further use.
Spot on Grayarea
Paddys Day provided an opportunity to get the beast out for inspection:
On removing the topcover of the washing machine I noticed a small patch of carbon-looking soot on the underside. It corresponded with the location of the main wiring loom going from the washing machine frame (fixed) to the drum (moveable).
See attached picture (Before.jpg), with offending areas circled in white - main culprit is the topmost one against the frame.
Basically what happened was that with the movement of the drum the wiring loom was chaffing against the metal upper side of the washing machine frame. One particular wire was worn though the plastic insulation at a very small point - and when the machine rocked enough (typically at high spin) it moved enough to tip off the frame and hence trip the ELCB
Also, whatever chimp assembled the machine put the cable ties around the wiring loom so tight that they too had chaffed significantly. This accounts for the other 4 circled chaffe points on the attached pitcure.
Tight ties around the cables would be fine if the machine had no moving parts, but being a washing machine the movement of the drum (and hence the wiring loom attached to the drum) was inevitably going to wear through. Fortunately I've been able to prevent this one from happening at a later date.
See attached picture (After.jpg)
So I removed the original cable ties, used plenty of electrical insulating tape, and used new cable ties (more as guiding hoops than ties). Where the loom later joins the frame (top right) doesn't move at all, this movement is lower where the cables are free to move. It ain't pretty, but it's been incident free for 5 full cycles so far
I suppose my only concern now is how the insualting tape will deal with the temperatures inside the machine. As you can see from the picture the loom travels above the motor - though not as close at it looks in the picture; it's about 4 inches above.