Measuring the tension on a belt by deflection


#1

My washer makes an awful noise when it spins. I took the motor off,
but it seems fine. The noise seems to come from the bearings of the
agitator. When I put the motor back I had to tension the belt by holding
the motor against it, hard to do and tighten the nuts simultaneously. I
jammed in a piece of wood, but the gap is so narrow I couldn’t put too
much oomph on it. The tech sheet says, ‘There should be light deflection
(approximately 1/8") when pressed.’ I don’t understand how to measure
this; doesn’t it require a fixed pressure? How do I measure deflection?

When I replace the washer, I will dispose of the old one with my pickup
truck and bring the new one back with my pickup truck.


#2

Its got a belt? Normally a straight edge would be placed on top of the pulleys across the length of the belt and then at the center point, is where you would measure the deflection. Most of us would just do it by feel though. 1/8" would be pretty taught. Shouldn’t need to measure it at all.


#3

Don’t I have to squeeze the belt some? It’s not sagging, but it wouldn’t even if I loosened it a bit. It’s a small belt, much shorter than anything on my pickup.


#4

Perhaps an appliance repair forum would better serve your needs. :slight_smile:


#5

I’ve never found a good one. I think that the technology, measuring belt tension, is the same in both cases.


#6

Fair enough.
Bing described the correct procedure. A straightedge from pulley tangent to pulley tangent with a measurement of the deflection.


#7

The common belt tension method assumes most people press w/about the same amount of force when pressing on the belt, so measuring for 1/8 inch deflection should work for them. But not everyone has the same finger strength. There’s belt tension test gadgets you can buy that do this more scientifically I think, if you don’t think your strength is around average.

Oh, one more thing, unexplained washing machine noise can be due to its transmission oil running low.

I was just curious what this has to do with question? … lol …


#8

You’re not whistling Dixie when you say that people have different finger strength, but it’s more than that: I can use my whole hand, I can try harder; I can be feeling my oats (unlikely these days) or worn out: all would affect my strength.

I mentioned using my pickup truck to make it a car question, as I sometimes see others do when treads go off track. One thread I started a few weeks ago wandered into unintentional upgrades to ‘Windoze 10 ™’; a poster threw in an irrelevant reference to his car for the moderators.


#9

You know why there are good fora for cars but not appliances? Because
some people love cars but nobody loves appliances. (They’re all
appliances to me; I’m not a motorhead.)

The fora here (I didn’t care for the show) have hundreds of people who
love cars and are champing at the bit to help out for free. Nobody’s
doing that for appliances. When individuals no longer own or drive
cars, I’ll miss that, except I’ll be dead first.


#10

I think they are on to us now so that’s not going to work anymore.


#11

To check for belt deflection you simply push on the belt with one finger in the middle between two pulleys. You don’t squeeze.

Belt tension builds up exponentially, that is the first increment builds very little tension, the next increment adds much more tension, the next adds a whole lot of tension, etc. If graphed, it forms a curve. There will be an area known as the knee of the curve where the tension suddenly rises.

Its really hard to miss as further deflection needs a lot more pressure. It occurs in the same place regardless how strong your finger is. You measure he deflection at this point. Since most of us just eyeball the measurement, a few thousands off will not matter.