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Old Singer foot pedal problem?

Hi, We have an old Singer sewing machine which has spontaneously developed a fault. It's an early electric model which is difficult to date, but which has 'The Singer Manufacturing Co' inscription. The foot pedal [inscribed with part no. 194585] no longer controls speed and the machine works at full pelt all the time whenever there is mains power to it. I've opened up the foot pedal. The switch itself works, it springs back freely and the rod to a porcelain-insulated component [rheostat? labelled Simanco, but part no. obliterated] works freely. There are 2 capacitors [TCC metalmite 0.04uF], one either side,I assume I can't get a replacement because of its age, so I'm looking to repair it. All expert help gratefully received.

Paul C
June 2008
Mums 808 singer was running all the time. Diagnosed a shorted capacitor... Removed and seems pretty good again now. Cheers all!

Jack in perth
May 2020
My Singer 365 foot pedal started smoking and running on its own. My son took it apart and then it ran ok. Should I remove the capacitor?

Anne Moran
July 2019
I am 60yrs 0ld my singer model 401G was running at full spend . After following your simple instructions my daughter and I repaired it easily. Just a screwdriver and six screws. Took out the capacitor and hey presto. Thankyou so much.

Suzette and katie
December 2018
I had the same problem with the foot pedal not functioning properly causing the machine to start on its own with no control on the speed. I disassembled the foot pedal and removed the capacitor, this is the cylindrical component about the size of a triple AAA battery, by unscrewing the screws clamping the wire connections, remove the capacitor and retighten the screws. Its as simple as that and it works. Many thanks for the previous contributions informing me how to fix it.

Jack Handyman
October 2016
Have Singer Touch & Sew Special ZigZag Model 626. It only runs at top speed - cannot get the foot pedal open - no screws visible but can see the hinges - there MUST be a way to open this. Am thinking of just using aerosol spraycan to blow out the dust and then WD40-ing it - am frustrated!!!

July 2016
What does the capacitor look like my pedal runs the machine on its own it's an old singer

March 2016
I have an old 201k the problem with mine is a square box like thing on the bottom of the motor , all the wire insulation has rotted away leaving bare wires that shorted out!! Ive since been told that this box is in fact a now disused suppressor and is now in fact illegal for anyone to sell me one. However the same person also told me that she could supply me with a new suppressor that is soldered into the foot peddle and to disconnect the wires from this box from the back of the thee pin plug socket and discard the wires and the box I have ordered this part but I wonder if any one else on here has had the problem with the box under the motor problem the number on the motor is BRK 12-S

October 2015
Great forum - thanks to everyone for their advice. However - my wife's machine (Singer 221K) was going as soon as plugged in so I followed the suggestions. There were 2 capacitors, one on either side (CP37U) so I removed them both and was disappointed to find that the problem remained. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Many thanks

August 2015
thanks...i bought the capacitor from maplin for 89 pence and replaced it with a solder was very easy. the same capacitor is being sold for an expensive amount on other websites. here is the link to the one i bought

March 2015
Thank you everyone for your help. My singer foot controller started smoking and machine was running constantly. Removing resistor and capacitor in my foot switch model no.99128-003 solved the problem.

September 2014
I did it, and its fine, but still trying to replace suppressors. Just unscrew and remove capacitor cables and replace mains to screw terminal

DOB Scotland.
August 2014
Hi Jazz
Peel off the rubber covering on the underneath of the pedal to reveal a second large screw. Remove both large screws and the pedal hinges apart. No need to remove the small hexagonal nut.

Andy Sutcliffe
March 2014
same problem, but I cant get the pedal open! one screw is easy, but the other seems to be a nut and bolt and is slotted in to hexagonal hole, so there is no way of twisting it! can anyone help?!
Thanks Jazz

February 2014
i had a similar problem with my singer 201k .the machine worked at full throtle when turned on at the socket. i phoned a repair specialist and he told me to take out the suppressors in the pedle as they are only there to stop possible interferance with the tv ect the machine should work fine without then. mine works at own risk.

February 2014
Hi I have a 196469 footpedal which smokes, gets hot, goes fast and I have unscrewed it to have a look inside but have never tried to fix anything before and have no idea what a capacitor looks like. I can only see a porcelain unit with 'simanco' written on it and a little thing that looks like a battery and a lever. Can anyone help with pictures or more specifics thanks v much.

November 2013
BTW, The capacitor likely to have blown is probably something:
PME271M610 0.1UF 250VAC
This is for noise supression. The pedal will likely work without it, but you probably get more noise on your TV / telephone etc as a result!
Try these links if you want to see additional fault examples / explanations:

February 2013
To get out one of the screws on the old singer foot pedal, the screw has to be pulled as it is turned.

You can do this by gently prising the pedal apart as you turn the screw. Or, as I had to do the first time around, hold the screw in a pair of pliers and turn it.

The screw is design so that when fully screwed in it goes past the thread of the retaining 'nut'.

Hope that helps with access.

February 2013
Well as an old retired motor mechanic with a grumpy wife who's old Singer Capri 141 has the same problem..I'm totally amazed that nobody else seems to have had any problems getting into the box to remove said evil little capicitors.

The Singer Controller we have is a Cat.CR303 Part No. 619414-082. It has only two screws underneath. The one nearest the power connection doesn't allow access. The other seems to just perhaps adjust the action of the pedal, but doesn't come out ..(short of brutality perhaps?) ..any suggestions gratefully received, as am in serious trouble here guys!

Harassed Husband
February 2013
My singer featherweight of 1962 had the same problem of running by its own. I also smelled an electric odor...
Opened the footpedal and yes the capacitor was blown up.
It had a large crack. I removed the capacitor and the resistance (colorcode orange orange green) which was in parallel with the capacitor.
Now the machine runs great.

November 2012
Mine wasn't working and it turned out to be the OTHER end that was the problem! We unplugged it and cleaned the plug prongs with a sponge/scrubby pad and it was fine :)

1950s singer sewing machine
October 2012
Same thing happened to my singer motor controller. The Part No. is 199269 and uses a Hunt 0.1 micro Farad capacitor & also runs at full speed.
It would appear that the axial capacitor is creating an almost near short & has a low resistance causing the motor to run.
I used an ohms meter to check across the two leads of the capacitor.
All I need to do now is get a replacement capacitor. I'm sure nothing else has gone wrong with it & I'm certainly not going to pay lots of money for another foot controller.

Geoff wiv a 'g'
September 2012
The foot pedal for my Singer 522 started sewing without me touching it and then started to smoke (obviously I switched it off at the mains immediately). I replaced the capacitor with a new Rifa brand PME 271M 0.1uf 250v. It cost just a few pounds from J.H. Components Ltd. ebay shop and was easy to install. It now works like new. Thanks for good advice everyone!

August 2012
Hi, Just found this site, ordered the capacitors. Maplin sell some 275 VAC 0.047uF X2 capacitors (catalogue number N68CN) at 44p each and these work fine.
so when they arrive I will give it a go. so a big Thanks to Andrew...

Fred Mason
May 2012
The rheostat in these pedals work by compressing small carbon discs to increase the amount of contact and therefore the resistance.

Don't (as I did) dismantle the big block as the discs are very fragile and break easily - it will still work with missing discs but there will be a smaller range of speed control.

May 2011
Thankyou - I had the same problem - only had one capacitor in the foot pedal but removed it and it works like a dream.

May 2011
Same problem, removing the broken capacitor gets it working again.

Chris Sherwood
March 2011
Thanks for all your imfo, I removed the capacitor and Bingo/ working fine now.

February 2011
I just replaced the capacitors in my old Singer footpedal. Seems to work fine. This company was brilliant. I emailed them pics of the 1950s capacitors and they sold me replacements.

September 2010
We had a similar problem with an old Singer machine. The foot pedal started smoking and the machine ran all the time without pressing the pedal.

I took apart the pedal and inside there is just the porcelain rheostat, a resistor and a 0.1uF capacitor as described above. The capacitor was burned and leaking, so we decided to try removing it after reading the other posts above.

The machine now seems to be working perfectly well without the capacitor in the pedal. Thanks for everyones help sorting it out.

Chris W
April 2010
Just sorted out our old Singer foot pedal using some new capacitors thanks to the info above. One of the original Metalmite 0.04uF paper/oil capacitors had exploded and thrown all its oil around inside the casing. It then did the old favourite of running at speed each time the mains was applied no matter the position of the pedal.

Maplin sell some 275 VAC 0.047uF X2 capacitors (catalogue number N68CN) at 44p each and these work fine.

October 2009
I also have the same symptom on a SUPREME electronic foot pedal that I use on my moms singer sewing machine. It has a C3 rated 104K and also a C1. The fuse was blowing as well (1.5a). Should I try removing the capacitors and installing new fuse?

Thanks in advance. :)

August 2009
I had the same problem on a Singer 327P, also caused by a shorted capacitor connected across the porcelain device. The porcelain device probably is a rheostat, but I can't figure out how it works internally so I'm not sure it's as simple as that.

My capacitor was 0.1 uF (marked HUNTS / Cap 0.1 uF / 250v A.C WKG. / M.P / WA 71 IN1) and it was connected straight across the porcelain device. You should replace it, otherwise the porcelain device could fail very quickly due to sparking, as mentioned by others, and it will generate lots of interference.

You need to use a capacitor that's rated for continuous AC mains voltage - either 250V AC or 125V AC depending on your country. These should be available from DIY electrical parts shops.

The original question had two 0.04 uF capacitors. Depending on how they're connected, they could just be noise suppression capacitors and removing them completely might not affect reliability, but I recommend replacing them as well. Same rule (continuous AC mains rated) applies.

In reply to the question about how the pedal is wired, mine has just two wires from the machine to the pedal, and they connect to the terminals of the porcelain device, with the capacitor also connected directly across the terminals. If your pedal has a third wire it might be a safety earth, to be connected to the pedal's exposed metal parts (case etc). Check for electrical continuity between the sewing machine plug earth pin and the wires at the pedal to find which one is earth. If there are two suppression capacitors they may connect from the two sides of the porcelain device to earth (one capacitor on each side). Also the third wire could be Neutral not Earth, in which case it would connect to the suppression capacitors but it shouldn't be connected to any exposed metalwork.

In response to the question about blowing the mains fuse when the pedal is left up for a few minutes, this could be a faulty suppression capacitor (but not if the only suppression capacitor is connected straight across the porcelain device), but is more likely to be the porcelain device itself. When you leave the foot pedal fully up, depending on the mechanical adjustments inside the pedal, there may still be some current flow through the porcelain device, but not enough to turn the motor. In this state the porcelain device will heat up, and parts may expand and/or go soft, so things that shouldn't touch together may touch together, blowing the fuse. You need to open the pedal up and leave it plugged in with the lights off, and try to see where the spark comes from when it fails. You could also try a low-current resettable cutout in line with the sewing machine so you don't have to replace your fuse for each test run, or to avoid tripping any breakers or fuses, connect a light bulb (100W or more) in series with the sewing machine, but you have to be careful with mains voltages, and preferably have an experienced friend do this.

Anyone reading this thread, please feel free to email me (the address is with my name). I'm an electrical/electronic engineer but I don't have much experience with sewing machines, but I'm keen to learn and help if I can.

Kris Heidenstrom - kris at
August 2009
Same problem with my 50 year old machine. I simply removed the capacitors and it is now working satisfactorily.

July 2009
I too am having a problem with the motor running continuously on my 1951 Singer (201) because the knee controller has apparently failed. It is also a SIMANCO 194589 Motor Controller.

Interestingly enough it was only when I entered the part number (194589) that I have actually had any luck in the past few days getting good information.
Looks like I can't attach a photo of the wiring - if anyone still needs it - I will check back on this forum tomorrow - Friday, July 10, 2009

Irene Maguire
July 2009
I had a very similar problem - the capacitor is totally blown out (apparently 10 years ago) and the machine keeps running.
THE ONLY PROBLEM is that when I don't use the pedal for 1 minute or so, the entire electricity in my house gets shortened.
Is this related to the capacitor???

May 2009
By the way, you can still buy the PME271M capacitors from Europe:

May 2009
if anyone is still viewing this link my elderly Father decided to dismantle thewhole pedal and lead assembly leaving no evidence of how the thing was wired in the first place.
Can anyone give me a clue ?

Paul V Swindon
March 2009
Us Also
Thank you
One machine up and running again,
without the £39 cost of a new switch and leads.
Again many thanks

David and Alma in Rutland

David Ketley
February 2009
hi to all , ( burning foot pedal )
i had the same problem , you just have to remove the capacitor . don't strap anything !!!!!!!!!
my capacitor didn't burn totally
this is what is indicate on the capacitor
Rifa 0.1 uF
250v ~ 50 Hz
fo = 3.6 MHz
40 to 70 ° c
made in sweden PME 271 M
it seems to work without it ! the capacitor is more than 30 years old .....
Do i need to remplace it
Bye ( Paris France )

burtin charles
November 2008
These Capacitors were used to stop noise interferance with other electrical products, so it should be no problem to cut them out and still use this equipment safely.

Angelo B
October 2008
Am having similar problem on Singer 411. I believe that the capacitor(s) are to protect the rheostat internal contacts from damage due to sparking. If the capacitor leaks or is short circuited, in parallel to the rheostat, the motor will run. Replace bad caps with same value. Does anyone know what value caps are used ?

September 2008
Thanks Ken - I had EXACTLY the same prob - and yes it works perfectly with the capacitors removed -thinks-why were they put there in the first place?

July 2008
No answers, I'm afraid Paul - we have exactly the same problem as you. I just wanted to ask Ken about discarding the suppressors. Does that mean take out both capacitors and the cross wiring that goes with them? Is it safe?



Andrew R
June 2008
Hello Paul,
All you have to do is discard the suppressors in the control, you don't need them.
June 2008


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