Replacing start capacitor on a Maytag MBW6200KW0

Appliance Repair QuestionsCategory: Washing MachinesReplacing start capacitor on a Maytag MBW6200KW0
William asked 10 months ago

I'm trying to determine if a standard 50 microfarad (mF) start capacitor is suitable for Whirlpool Maytag washing machines, or if it requires a specific type. The current capacitor in my machine is labeled as a 50 microfarad capacitor, but it also includes an 80 micro Henry inductor in series. My curiosity stems from the high cost of the factory replacement capacitor, which ranges from $70 to $107 USD – a price I find excessive compared to a standard 50 mF capacitor available for around $10 USD. I'd like to know if a generic 50 mF capacitor would work in my machine, or if it needs the exact OEM part. The capacitor I currently have measures 56.86 mF, which is slightly above the acceptable range of 50mF ± 5% (47.5 - 52.5 mF). I haven't conducted advanced tests on the capacitor, such as checking its breakdown voltage or ESR, and have only measured its capacitance. The main issue with my washing machine is the shift actuator, and I'm considering replacing the splutch as well. However, I'm hesitant to invest significantly in repairs, especially given the high replacement cost of a start-run capacitor, which could make the machine uneconomical to repair.

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Appliance Repair Staff answered 1 month ago

You're trying to determine if a standard 50 microfarad (mF) start capacitor is suitable for a Whirlpool Maytag washing machine, or if it requires a specific type. The current capacitor in your machine is labeled as 50 mF but also includes an 80 micro Henry inductor in series. Your concern arises from the high cost of the factory replacement capacitor, which is significantly more expensive than a standard 50 mF capacitor available at a much lower price. You're curious if a generic 50 mF capacitor would work in your machine, or if it needs the exact OEM part. The capacitor you currently have measures 56.86 mF, slightly above the acceptable range of 50mF ± 5% (47.5 - 52.5 mF). You've measured its capacitance but haven't conducted advanced tests like checking its breakdown voltage or ESR. The main issue with your washing machine is the shift actuator, and you're also considering replacing the splutch. However, the high replacement cost of a start-run capacitor makes you hesitant to invest significantly in repairs, as it could render the machine uneconomical to repair.

In such cases, it's important to consider the compatibility of the washing machine with the components. Washing machines, especially modern ones, can be quite specific in their requirements for components like capacitors. Using a generic capacitor might work, but there's also a risk it won't meet the machine's operational needs, especially if the original capacitor is designed with an inductor. The right capacitor ensures not just the start-up of the motor but also its efficient running. An incorrect capacitor might lead to inefficiency or even damage to the motor. While a generic capacitor is cheaper, if it leads to further issues or inefficiency, it might end up costing more in the long run. Using non-OEM parts can sometimes void warranties or insurance policies on appliances.

Given these considerations, consulting with a professional appliance repair technician or contacting Whirlpool Maytag directly for advice might be worth it. They can provide more specific guidance on whether a generic capacitor would be suitable for your model or if the OEM part is necessary for optimal performance and safety.

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