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George-Allsorts, Senior Appliance Technicial Manager
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1448
Experience:  A whitegoods technician with 30+ years service in Domestic Appliance Service & Repair, and General Mechanical & Electrical Repair
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Hotpoint Aquarius TCM580 dryer. won't heat up. says empty water,

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Hotpoint Aquarius TCM580 dryer. won't heat up. says empty water, but there is no water.
Hello, my name is George..

At the back of thedrawer compartment on the leaft there is a switch with a lever.. make sure this remains in tact.. The drawer has to push the lever up to make a contact in the switch..
To test the switch itself you will need to remove the top cover.

Kindly be patient whilst awaiting any responses from me as I'm not constantly available.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi George

I have looked at this drawer for a long time, used a torch, stuck my arm in etc but can see no switch or lever. So I am stuck. Pls advise.

Hi Paul..

Yours is a different type to what I am referring then.

Take off the pump cover at the rear of the appliance.. (use a flap head screwdriver) Check the float in the pump housing and also the blades of the pump.

Let me know what you find
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

sorry but where is the pump cover, what does it look like and what do I do once I have removed it. please explain in simple language.

The pump cover is in the bottom right corner of the appliance.. it is grey plastic.. Can you see it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This is becoming a bit of a struggle.

I have looked at the back. Bottom right is a plastic panel, off white in colour I would say. There is no clear way I can see to get it off. Certainly no screws visible. So at the moment I remain unsure what to do. re you sure you have the right machine? Sorry to keep at this but I do need to get this fixed asap.

Ok Paul, I have done you a PDF with full directions of how to get at that pump, impeller, float, and switch.
Did you understand the PDF I sent you?

Let me know what you find... and please rate the assistance given by me
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi George

I tried to follow the PDF, got the unit off as you said. There was water in the bottom so I cleaned it out. The float was dirty but seemed intact, so I cleaned that. I could not see the other items in your diagram so don't know what to do there. Anyway I resemble it and tried it out but still not heating up and still showing I need to empty the water. So I remain lost.

If you take out the pump, there is a thin impeller / paddle on the bottom of the pump shaft.. I am presuming the pump shaft is just spinning inside this impeller or paddle (whatever you want to call it) instead of turning it.

Can you check that? turn the impeller / paddle by hand and see if it just rotates on the shaft rather than turning the shaft.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i got the casing cover off so can now see the back unit - power unit? u don't know what the pump looks like. i can see a rectangular piece of polystyrene type with a thin plastic piece going vertically through it. at the top the plastic bit presses against a metal trip if you push the polystyrene up and down. I don't know what paddle or impeller you refer as nothing seems to rotate.

The polystyrene peice that you can see with the shaft going through it is the float.. That operates the switch..

What you said was a black power unit is pictured in the pdf I did for you... That is the top of the pump... The pump protrudes through the plastic to the other side and it also has a shaft that is encased... at the base of that shaft is the impeller that I mentioned.

Now, one of two things is causing your problem; either the float is stuck on the shaft and is keeping the switch depressed or, the impeller at the bottom of the pump shaft is damaged and is not being turned by the pump shaft.

Please rate the assistance given by me today
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok i found the power unit. then the whitish plastic casing underneath it but can't see the impeller that you say I need to turn by hand. The float seems to move freely.

The impeller is inside the "whitish plastic casing" at the bottom of the shaft
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

but how do i get at it. it seems to stop at the hole on the bottom, has brown colour around it...rust? i pushed in a flat screwdriver and it seemed to turn over a little.however at the end of all this how do i know its broken and if so how do I fix it. the whole point of contacting you was to fix it not to have a lesson in dryer parts...sorry if i sound a bit fed up. but at the end of all this i still need to call out someone to fix it.

Paul, I have said many times in various ways, if the pump shaft is turning but the impeller is not then that is the problem... The bottom of the "whitish plastic casing" clips off to find the impeller inside.

In order to fix it you first need to find out what is broken.. This is the procedure that I am going through with you.

I am spending far more of my time than I have with anyone else and have even created a pdf to assist you.. I don't get paid for all this time spent with you, so please stop yourself from getting 'a bit fed up'.

With understanding of the parts you can replace the part yourself.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

maybe if you said the bottom bit clips off earlier that would have helped. so i have now removed the clip and found the impeller. if i place my finger on one side and push it does not turn but if i place a thumb and forefinger on each side and test then the whole thing turns.

i am not fed up with you but my inability to make progress, seems a bit drip fed, but i imagine that is my level. i am very grateful for your help. does the 20 pounds i was charged up front not go to you?

anyway what do i do next

If the float is ok; and the pumps impeller is ok; then the pump itself needs testing, to ensure that it is actually pumping water to the container at the top, and the switch needs testing as this is what turns the light on and the heater off...

To test the switch you'll need a multimeter or, you can ensure the float chamber is empty and put everything back together.. if the light is still on without the float operating the switch then the switch is faulty.

To test the pump.. you can use a multimeter to test the resistance between the contacts of the pump or, once you have tested the switch, use the holes where the tubes go to put sufficient water into the chamber and after replacing the tubes and after removing the water container at the top, with the appliance running, look into the water container holder to see if the pump is pumping water to the container.

Paul, you are not an engineer so I don't expect you to understand mountains in a short period.. This is the reason I am being so patient.. I don't want you going out and spending lots of money on parts you don't need.

The £20 does not go wholey to me, but a small percentage does.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks George. I will try and have a go at this tomorrow. I don't have a multimeter or even know what it is so I will do the tests you said. You mentioned having water in the float chamber. There was minimal in it when I took the back apart, but it seems I need to have some in to see if the pump drains it out which makes sense. Should there be water in it all the time? I am learning new skills, but am sorry to waste such a lot of your time though.
There should be water in there all the time, but it should not be a lot of water.. Just to the bottom of the pump.

More importantly is that the chamber is empty when testing the switch, as if the led lights whilst the chamber is empty then the switch is no good.

If you are learning, then the time is not a waste (to me)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The problem must be the switch then as I have already tried it when the chamber is empty and the red light came on. How do I replace it and which bits exactly? Iam happy to give free advice on finance and investment banking!!

Look at the image 3 on the PDF I did for you... The switch is to the left with a couple of wires going to it IIRC. It just clips in on top of the plastic.
George-Allsorts and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for all the advice. It hasn't solved the problem so I will need to call out an engineer.