How Is a Washing Machine a Compound Machine

A device that performs work using energy is called a machine. The machines are broadly categorized into two classifications: simple and compound. These machines find their applications in different sectors: commercial, industrial and residential.

Simple Machine

A single device that acts on a single force with single load is generally called a simple machine. They just perform the task they are assigned and do not have the ability to store energy. They are used as building blocks to construct complex systems. The simple machines are classified further known as lever, pulley, wedge, axle and wheel, inclined plane and screw.

Compound Machine

A compound machine is formed by combining two or more simple machines together. They can perform several different tasks at once and are powerful. They make work easier for us.

Now, how is a washing machine a compound machine? Understanding the different parts and working of the machine will help us understand the compound nature of the machine.

Water Inlet Valve:

The valve controls the amount of water as per the requirement of the particular wash cycle.

Water Pump:

The water pump does the act of circulating water- re-circulating while washing and draining while spinning.


There is an outer and inner tub; the inner one (with holes) does the main washing, while the outer one covers it.


The main part (inside the tub) of the machine is this rotating disc, which does the job of cleaning the clothes. It rotates the clothes, rubbing them against each other using water. This action removes the dirt from the clothes.


The rotating motion of the agitator is made possible by the motor connected to it. This can be set to operate at different speed levels.


The wash cycle time can be set using this timer, automatically or manually, depending on the type of machine.

Printed Circuit Board:

The board houses all the electronic circuits and components, which act like artificial intelligence systems to control the various programs of the machine. Some of the actions include calculating the weight of clothes and determining the amount of time, detergent and water required for a cycle.

Drain Pipe:

The drain pipe does the job of removing the used water from the machine.