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Calling on a plumber to fix your washing machine problems will cost you an average of £150. That’s not even taking into consideration the time and money you lose waiting around for them to turn up.
Fortunately, you can fix many of the most common problems by yourself.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Ten Common Washing Machine Problems
1. Washing Machine Not Spinning
Many of the problems associated with a washer not spinning are due to fairly simple faults or due to the use of the machine.
In either case, the fix is relatively easy. You should first check to see if you are trying to spin a small load.
Small loads are seen as a prospective risk by balance sensors found on most modern machines because the appliance might have unbalanced spinning which could lead to potential damage to the cabinet, stress on the tub and bearing, and excessive vibration.
Washing single items or small loads will typically cause this issues. So, adjust the load and try again.
Another issue arises when you try to stuff too much laundry into the washer. And, for safety reasons, the washing machine will not spin if it cannot drain.
If there is a fluff filter, check that. Then, at the bottom of the machine, check that the pump is clear. It is often located near the front of the unit.
Here is a great video for how to fix a blocked pump.
Another source of spinning problems is that the brushes in the carbon brush motor might be worn down.
When this happens, the motor begins to turn slower than expected. This is an easy fix: you just replace the carbon brushes.
2. Washing Machine Leaks
Washer leaks are generally caused by split or broken pipes but not always. In order to determine what part to replace, you must identify where the leak is coming from.
Here are some likely answers to why your washing machine is leaking.
Water will typically only be able to leak from the doors on front-loading washers. And, the source of the leak is almost always a faulty door boot seal or door catch.
The door boot seal creates a water-tight seal between the outer tub and the door. If you see signs of damage, you will need to replace the seal, which requires removing the door assembly and front panel.
The door catch is a little bit easier to replace. If it looks like the catch is allowing the door to lock but is not providing a tight seal, then it is time to replace it.
Here is a good video on removing a door seal.
Leaks From Underneath
One source of leaking from underneath is the fill hose.
This happens when you leave the hose under pressure by not turning the tap off when finished. If there is water anywhere on the hose at the back, then you should replace the hose itself or potentially just the small rubber seal inside.
The sump hose and water pump almost always have a fair amount of water in them after washing. Water can slowly seep out of these.
Look for water on the outside of the pump. If this is the source of the leak, then you may need to replace the pump.
If the water is clear, the leak is occurring before it hits the detergent tray. Therefore, there could potentially be a leak in the pipes.
This will become apparent during the fill cycle. On the other hand, if the water is dirty and the leak occurs during the spin cycle, the source of the leak is probably a defective drain hose.
Remove the cabinet, and inspect the pipes and hoses for abrasions or cracks. Once you find the source of the leak, you should be able to easily repair it.
Leaking From Drawer
In some cases, the water can leak quite badly from a washing machine’s soap dispenser drawer. In order to pinpoint the cause, you should recognize what the washing machine is doing when the water leaks.
If it leaks while filling, it could be that the water pressure is too strong. In which case, turn the machine’s tap down.
If the leak is during the rinse or wash cycle, the tub could be overfilling. If this is the problem, you may need to replace the pressure switch.
And, if water only leaks from the drawer during the spin cycle, you may have a partial blockage in the draining system. This could mean you need a new pump or new filter.
3. Banging Pipes
Banging pipes can occur due to the sudden sudden changes in pressure. The quick-acting valves on today’s washers slam open and shut in a fraction of a second. They might even slam against the framing of your houses if they are not tightly fastened.
Not only is this annoying, it can cause wear on old joints and pipes. There are a couple easy ways to fix “water hammer.”
You can add pipe straps to hold pipes in place and eliminate the banging if you can find the spot where the pipes are banging against the frame.
Anywhere you might go for plumbing supplies will have pipe straps. Just be sure you get straps that are the right size for your pipes.
Or, you can install water hammer arrestors if you are unable to locate the banging pipes or just can’t access them. These are basically shock absorbers that cushion the water pressure change so your pipes don’t experience the wear and tear from pressure change extremes.
Make sure you buy two arrestors: one for the cold pipe and one for the hot.
4. How To Unclog A Washing Machine
If your washer is clogged up, either the pump is broken or there’s something stuck in the pump or drain hose.
First, unplug your machine and bail the water out of the tub or place the drain hose near a drain or bucket. Then, prop up the front of your washer with blocks of wood or paint cans. Next, remove the screws securing the front panel, and remove the panel.
You will then see the translucent housing of the pump. And, at this point, you might even see what is causing the clog in the pump. This is often a scrap of clothing.
Be sure to also check the hose near the pump as well as the outlet where the hose connects to the tub’s bottom. Use needle-nose pliers to pull out the piece of clothing.
If you cannot locate a clog, then there might be something wrong with the pump. You will have to replace the pump if the pump makes noise or leaks or if the impeller inside the pump is damaged.
You can tell if it is damaged by reaching your finger in and feeling for broken fins.
This is a great video for checking a washing machine pump.
5. Excessive Movement or Vibration
If your washing machine is vibrating or moving a lot, chances are it's because of a problem with the shock absorbers or suspension springs.
Shock absorbers are found on all front-load washers. These dampen the movement of the tub during the spin cycle. The struts are attached to the outer tub and the base frame. To access them, you must remove the rear or front panel.
Unbalanced loads will also cause the machine to move or shake once the shock absorbers are damaged or weakened. This can lead to damage to other components if not fixed. Replace both struts if they are worn.
Another source of the movement could be damaged suspension springs. These are utilized to either stabilize the tub assembly to the unit’s base or suspend the assembly from the cabinet. While the washer is in the spin cycle, they absorb the vibration of the drum.
Your machine will produce excessive vibration and noise when these springs are detached, stretched, or otherwise damaged. These can be replaced by removing the top of the front panel.
6. Why Does My Washing Machine Stink?
A mildew or musty smell in or around your washing machine indicates that bacteria or mould are growing in the area.
Bacteria and mould thrive in the dark, moist interior tub. Using less fabric softener and detergent is the best defence because this cuts off these organisms’ food supply.
All washers have a residue buildup to a certain degree. This bio-film of decaying, wet matter starts to smell bad over time and can affect the smell of the laundry.
There are a number of steps you can take to get rid of the odour.
If you mainly use cold water for washing, you should still run a hot soak or wash as the last cycle on laundry day to help the bio-film dissolve. You should also clean your drain pump filter at least once per month.
Items caught in the filter can cause slow draining and stinky scents. Lastly, there are some washer cleaner products on the market that might help.
Find more tips for cleaning your washing machine here.
7. Washing Machine Doesn't Turn On
There are a few common reasons for a washing machine not working.
The first is the most obvious: the washer isn’t plugged in or the power breaker is off. For these, either plug in the washing machine or check the fuse box and make sure the fuse is in working condition.
The next reason is the door or lid switch is faulty. The washer generally won’t start if the door is ajar or the switch is malfunctioning.
If you have a multimeter, check the door switch of the unplugged machine for continuity. Replace the door switch if there is no continuity.
On top load washers, part of the timer is the start switch. When you pull out the timer knob, the start switch is activated. You can test the timer knob for continuity with a multimeter if the washing machine doesn’t start when you pull it out.
For momentary contact types of start switches, the switch will be on the control panel. Again, this is a simple replacement job if the switch is broken.
8. My Washing Machine Won't Drain
Many of the causes of a clogged washing machine mentioned in problem #4 can also make it difficult for the washer to drain.
The pump is most likely shot if your washer is not draining and you can’t find anything clogging the pump or hose. You will hear noise from a bad pump in most cases. And, if you do not replace it right away, it will begin to leak.
You will want a new pump that matches the old one. This can typically be found at your local appliance parts centre or online.
For proper part identification, you will need the model number and brand. You can find the model number stamped on a metal plate situated on the side, back, or top of the machine or under the tub lid.
9. Washing Machine Not Filling With Water
If you're washing machine isn't filling with water, first check the hoses by pulling out the washing machine and seeing if the faucets are on and allowing water to enter. Replace any damaged hoses, and straighten any kinked hoses.
If this isn’t the issue, it might be the water level switch. This is located on the control panel. It has a clear tube on it. Use a multimeter to test it.
Heavy clogging in the filters will also cause you appliance not to fill. Disconnect the hose, clean out the filter sitting in the water inlet valve, and reconnect the hoses.
If none of the above is the cause, then you probably have an issue with your pressure switch.
10. Washing Machine Not Take Softener
The water valve that flushes away the fabric softener has likely failed if the washer is going through the wash program properly but not taking the softener.
The fabric softener water valve can go faulty, though this is rare since it’s only used for a couple minutes each wash. In this instance, you can simply replace the valve.
If your dispenser is bunged up with a black jelly-like substance or mould, perform a thorough cleaning to get it working properly again.
If all else fails and you cannot perform the repair on your own, your best bet is to contact a licensed plumber.
However, we are certain that the above tips will help you save hundreds of pounds in the long run.
For any other problems you may have, let us know in the comments section and w'll do our best to help!