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This paper proposes an automatic load size detection system for washing machines. It aims to regulate automatically their water levels and washing cycles. The machine where this system was developed is a top load washing machine that uses a brushless permanent magnet motor (BPM motor). The algorithm that is going to be described here is based on some fundamental variables of the machine such as, motor current, basket speed, and power supply voltage. This kind of detection system is justified in order to avoid the waste of soap, bleach and softner and, more importantly, water during the washing task. Two different approaches are used to evaluate the algorithm proposed, the first is based on a linear method and the second is based on neural network.