What should I choose from today.

I am looking at washing machines, and I see that LG has this Inverter Direct Drive (6 motion cleaning) technology in their machines, I see that its not like a year old one, but I am also wondering how long do these last?

So can someone tell me how does direct drive perform nowadays, especially in LG products;

  • If its more reliable then how cheaper is belt drive fixing?

  • Are there more stuff to go wrong with that technology?

  • I see some manufacturers use only inverter technology, what does that mean to the average consumer, should I choose that over non-inverter?

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    $\begingroup$ Variable frequency drive and belt drive are not an either-or proposition. You can still have belt drive on VFD. So the decision to use direct (gearmotor) or belt drive is really a stand alone decision mostly unrelated to motor choice. Form factors for top loaders and front loaders may play a role. Belt drive allows a single motor to run the extraction pump as well as the wash drum mechanicals. VFDs tend to require considerable customization for each application. Next year's model will likely have a different motor PN. Maytag's motors have been interchangeable for about 40 years now. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Nov 4, 2018 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for writing the question as it is, but those were the choices. About the VFD - which is the inverter, how hard is that to be fixed, is it more prone to failure. From a longevity and/or repair stand point, would you opt-in for Inverter in a washing machine? $\endgroup$
    – appwizcpl
    Nov 4, 2018 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Do not have to be trained to replace bearings. Look at you tube. But it can be a chore. I have done $\endgroup$
    – moljinar
    Jan 3, 2020 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I have an LG direct drive machine and I can't wait for it to break so I can replace it, it is very quiet but the vibration is immense, it is sitting level but I've come to the conclusion that direct drive machines are no good on wooden floorboards, I've tried anti vibration pads under the feet which did help slightly but not nearly enough. $\endgroup$ Apr 19, 2020 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


There are tons of advantages and disadvantages, but I will mention only the relevant cons and pros.

Indirect (belt) drive usually produces less noise in comparison to direct drive (continue power transmission vs discrete power transmission like gears and chains), but you know engineers had done a lot to reduce the noise in household equipment, unfortunately not yet in industrial sector.

Belts are far more prone to relaxation and then they can transmit less torque. As you might have noticed after some years after you replace the belt. Again this is less observable for home and kitchen equipment.

Belt drives dampen vibrations, direct drives produce more vibration specially when the rpm goes up. But in washing machines, the direction of rotation changes time to time and direct drive offers more stability.

The maintenance cost of belt drives is lower than that for direct drive, they are easier to disengage for repairing.

Belt drives apply greater load on the main shaft of the machine, it has a direct effect on the life time of bearings, shaft misalignment and as a result, oil leakage and more vibrations.

Direct drives requires less space in comparison to belt drives, so smaller machines.

Belts are sensitive to the surrounding temperature, humidity, oil ..., so the probability of failure is higher plus the micro slip.

Inverters are a sort of speed and power control over electric motors, long story short, they make the rotation of induction motors smoother in comparison to classic motors without inverters, of course they cost the clients more, but it also regulates power consumption.

  • $\begingroup$ so theoretically I am better off with a direct drive for longevity? If a belt breaks, I can fix it, but how would I fix a direct drive motor, is it even possible for example in a LG machine? Also, is inverter prone to problems harder to fix or it just a nice upgrade (I see some machines only have inverter, but not direct drive, if I was in the belt market, should I choose that?). Also are bearings easy to change, and how much does a belt/bearing last without fixing if you care enough (for example running it at 800 RPM instead of 1200 RPM), if that has any impact. $\endgroup$
    – appwizcpl
    Nov 4, 2018 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ @appwizcpl I can't say anything about the life time, i didn't inspect the machine, you can't fix the direct drive by yourself unless you are a trained technician or have enough experience the inverter is an electronic device so i doubt it makes troubles as much as mechanical parts can cause, as i said the inverter makes the rotation of induction motor smooth, so the internal bearings of the motor experience less damage. Bearings are not easy to change, you need training i'm 100% sure. 800 rpm sounds good, i have an old machine but it seems fine to me. $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2018 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ I see, so if we talk about the bearings does the following make sense: If I am taking a look at a machine from the same brand, model line up and everything, the one is 1200 RPM the other is 1000 RPM, does this mean that the 1200 RPM should last longer if I run it on lower RPM then the one that is capable of 1000 RPM? $\endgroup$
    – appwizcpl
    Nov 4, 2018 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ @appwizcpl I was't clear before my mistake, the load determines the dimension of the main shaft and the dimension of the shaft determines the dimension of the bearing, the applied load together with rpm determines the life time of bearing. If machine designed for 1200 rpm, but you wish to run it on 1000 rpm, then you can spare the lifetime. For more info about static /dynamic equivalent load look here $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2018 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ @appwizcpl almost! $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2018 at 19:49

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