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Thread: Help! My sewing machine stopped working!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member Nanax4's Avatar
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    Help! My sewing machine stopped working!!

    Long-time lurker here. But now I need some help.

    Anyone heard of this?

    My sewing machine the past few weeks has been a little weird. It's a 1980-ish Kenmore, electric, zigzags and a few other stitches.

    When I first turn it on, the light would quickly turn on/off a few times, but then it would settle down and stay on. Or it wouldn't turn on, but I'd jiggle the plug a few times and it would turn on and stay on. Jiggling on the sewing machine side of things seemed to make no difference, only on the plug end.

    Well, you can see this one coming. I got my first accuquilt go die yesterday. I am IN LOVE!!! I quickly cut out a boatload of hexagons. I'm all excited to start sewing.

    Yep. The sewing machine is dead. Not a peep out of it.

    So....what do y'all think? Did the sewing machine itself die? Or is it just the plug that died?
    Is changing the plug something I can learn to do? Better to take it to a repair man?

    Help! I'm feeling a little panicked because I'm trying frantically trying to complete a twin sized I Spy quilt for the granddaughter's April birthday.
    Be kinder than necessary
    For everyone is fighting some kind of battle

  2. #2
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Sounds like it's time to go to the 'Dr.' Hopefully the diagnosis is not terminal.
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  3. #3
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    If you could find a replacement plug, that would be an easy way to check it out and see if that's the problem. Does your local repair shop have one you could try?
    Heather

  4. #4
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    It ceratinaly sounds like a plug problem. If your plug is not hard wired into the machine, you might be able to get a replacement plug/cord. If it is hard wired ( the plug can not be detached from the machine) best to get it to the doctor.

  5. #5
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    When you had the light blinking on/off with jiggling the plug, I would not use the machine for fear of fire. There is a loose connection somewhere & it could short out. You can probably find a replacement plug on line cheaper than a repair shop would charge you. But, it does not hurt to ask at your local shop.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I like the idea of taking the machine to a repair shop to see if a replacement plug will make the machine work. If it does, I would buy the plug there as you are sure of getting the right one. It it doesn't work, then I would leave the machine there to get an estimate of repair cost. (Be sure they understand you want to be called before repairs are actually made, as it could be pricey depending on what the problem is.) At that point I would also buy a new machine. Even if the old one gets fixed, it's a good idea to have two machines so you always have a backup.

  7. #7
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    Sounds like an electrical problem. First push the plug back into the wall AND into the sewing machine. 2d Check the plug/cord for electrical continuity. If you get continuity part of the time when you move the plug around, replace the plug. If the problem is at the end which plugs into the machine, you'll need a new cord. If the cord is good, but it still doesn't work, you'll need to take it in for service.
    Sue

  8. #8
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    It sounds like the plug to me; I had to tape mine into the machine after the plug started getting loose. After a few years it seems to have fixed itself so I'm good again now...

  9. #9
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Does your machine plug attach to a set of posts - either 2 or 3 - coming from the machine?
    Did you try another outlet?
    Is the wall part of the plug fitting tightly into the wall receptacle?

  10. #10
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    It sounds like a plug problem to me.

  11. #11
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If your machine is set up like mine, the wall plug and the foot pedal are connected where they both plug into the machine. I just today had to take my foot pedal in for minor repair, turned out a screw inside had come loose and contact was not being made so everything would work. Hope yours is a similarly easy fix!

  12. #12
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    you can replace the part that goes into the wall yourself. this is the thing with the prongs. it is easy. just go to a hardware store (where you get more help) to get a replacement part. all you need to do is cut the plug part off fairly close to the old plug, place the cord into the new plug, snap it shut and you are good to go. snapping it shut uses two tiny spikes that pierce the cord on each side making contact with the actual wires inside the plastic covering. just follow the attached instructions. you can do it! used to be that you needed to strip the wire a little and put the wires around the posts making direct contact with the wires. now, it is much easier to use the replacement plug that i suggested above. i would try this first before paying the big bucks to the sewing machine repair service.
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
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  13. #13
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    rush88888, I haven't seen that one yet. It sounds too easy. I've done many that needed the wires stripped and attached to screws.

    This problem does sound like a plug problem. Take the plug apart if it has a screw and see if there are loose wires. If it's a molded plug, replace it following the directions on the package.

  14. #14
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Sounds like a loose wire somewhere if you keep going could start a fire. Find an electrician and ask them to check electric. This may be cheaper than the Dr.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  15. #15
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    sounds like the plug

  16. #16
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Try calling your Dr and see if he can suggest what to do. Alot of the nicer repair guys will try to help you over the phone, to save you the trip and costs if it is something minor. Since it seemed to be in the plug before and by wiggling it, it would start to work then it is more than likely in that plug. In the meantime, I would take a trip to Wal Mart if you have one close and buy a little cheap machine over there, to at least get this quilt finished if the plug is not the problem. Then you will have a back up as well, and won't have to worry if something goes wrong again, with either machine. Good luck and keep us posted on the fixes...
    Amythyst

  17. #17
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    I think it sounds like an electrical problem ie your plug. My husband is an electrician and said if it is plug in and the light still works it is probably the machine if the light doesn't work either it very possible the plug.

  18. #18
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    One other possibility is the wall receptacle. Just in case it isn't the plug. Have you tried a different one?
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  19. #19
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    Chances are it's your cord and nothing wrong with your machine. Take it to a sewing machine repair shop or an electrical repair shop and get them to test it. Always start with simplest first. froggyintexas

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rush88888 View Post
    you can replace the part that goes into the wall yourself. this is the thing with the prongs. it is easy. just go to a hardware store (where you get more help) to get a replacement part. all you need to do is cut the plug part off fairly close to the old plug, place the cord into the new plug, snap it shut and you are good to go. snapping it shut uses two tiny spikes that pierce the cord on each side making contact with the actual wires inside the plastic covering. just follow the attached instructions. you can do it! used to be that you needed to strip the wire a little and put the wires around the posts making direct contact with the wires. now, it is much easier to use the replacement plug that i suggested above. i would try this first before paying the big bucks to the sewing machine repair service.
    This is good advice. But first, you can test the wall outlet. Plug an extension cord into another outlet, and then your sewing machine plug into that. If that works, it's the wall outlet that is bad. Sometimes the plug can be bent a little to make it a little snugger in the outlet. Plugs are easy to replace.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  21. #21
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    Where do you live? Electricians here in Cen Fl cost the earth. Have a handy man you know check the wiring. I have a Kenmore from early 80's and it unplugs from machine. It is not hard to replace/ wire in a new plug if that is the problem as long as there is a screw. Home Depot or hardware store should be able to tell you how to replace a plug. Had to replace the wire on my 201-3 years ago and man at singer shop I bought the part at was amazed I didn't need him to rewire it. It was some screws. And make sure the wires are tight and in place. And if you are using a screw driver to replace/ tighten wires MAKE SURE other end is not plugged in into the wall. Let us know how it turns out.
    Last edited by Carol34446; 02-16-2013 at 08:06 AM.

  22. #22
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    I agree with Prism99 - take it in to the "clinic" for an evaluation, ask if they can start with the plug, or if you haven't had the machine serviced in some time - bite the bullet and leave it for a check up, it might be overdue.

  23. #23
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    Sounds like electrical but did you check to see if the bulb was loose ??? maybe it is time for a good check up anyway.
    My machines love to go to the doctor and come home willing to do what is necessary.

    Good luck.

    Flo in NNY

  24. #24
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    OP what have you done? What was the problem and what was the fix?

    From your post it appears that either the wiring in the plug was loose and needing a new plug (often happens if you pull on the wire instead of the plug itself to unplug), or that your wall outlet had a loose connection.

    We had a old wall outlet that had to be replaced as it was not holding the plug securely. It was not a difficult job as long as you make sure the breaker is turned off. You will just need a screwdriver.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  25. #25
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    I had almost the same thing happen with my Singer. The light worked fine but it would slow down to no stitches unles I took my foot off the pedal and started again. Turned out I needed a new foot pedal. At the time I had a cat that loved plastic and I think he chewed a hole in the pedal cord. Hope you find the problem soon.
    Kathy Osterby

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