When you suspect you've got a broken washing machine, maintenance is essential. We often don't realize how much we rely on them until they quit working and suddenly, the everyday convenience of finely tuned cycles for your delicates, work clothes, and beyond become a luxury once more. Compared to the alternative (and hand-scrubbing aside, how did we ever get anything done?), it is essential to take swift action as soon as you notice something is amiss.
Yet it can be hard to narrow down the cause yourself, even if you have some specific idea what the malfunction is. We'll guide you through the three most common washing machine malfunctions and explain which components are the most likely culprit, along with the most likely washing machine fixes for you to try.
Washing Machine not Draining
This is one of the most common malfunctions, and it can be caused by several different factors. Often, the drain hose or pump is simply clogged with lint or residual clothing – however, if the washer is also leaking, then your drain pump is likely broken.
In any case, turn off the washer at the power point (not the front display), and try the following:
- Reset the washing machine for a minute.
- Do a master reset (check your manual to learn how on your model)
- Unplug the hose from the back of the washer and clear it of any clogs
After any of these attempts, put the machine back together and turn it on, then try to run the drain cycle. If none of the above works, it's best to call a service technician.
Washing Machine Vibrating Excessively
Washing machines exert a huge amount of centrifugal force when they spin, so it's important to keep the basket balanced. Especially with time, the harsh bounces it makes could damage the machine. Check to see if the clothes, particularly towels, have gotten distributed in a lopsided way, and place them anew so that the basket is less likely to put itself off balance again.
If the basket seems fine but the harsh vibrations are still happening, it could also be that the machine itself is off balance. This requires adjusting the washing machine's feet (possibly with a wrench, depending on the design). Check your work with a level and see if the vibrating and jumping subsides once the entire washer is level.
This usually only happens when soap made for top loaders is put in a front loader washer. Top loader washing machine parts are much different and create a larger interior that front loaders, and top loader soap is designed to expand (except for high-efficiency top loaders, which require high-efficiency soap that doesn't expand as much – check your manual). If suds are coming out of your front loader, mistakenly using top loader detergent is the likely cause.
Stop the cycle if at all possible, and then set the washing machine to its drain cycle. If that's not possible, try setting it to a lower cycle instead.
Need a Professional?
Before you throw in the towel and buy a new washing machine, make sure you've checked each of the following:
- Your manual
- Your manufacturer's and/or store warranty, if applicable
If, on the other hand, you've gotten your washing machine in working order once more, congratulations! Now may be a good time to go through a general washing machine upkeep and cleaning, because it's likely it has been put through some hard use and could use a little preventative maintenance. Even just doing a basic top loader or front loader washing machine cleaning could go a long way in keeping the pump from being damaged in the future.
For any washing machine-related questions or luxury appliance information in general, don't hesitate to contact Appliances Connection – we're here to keep your home running at full capacity.
How do I find a good service technician?
First, see if your manufacturer has an official repair program. If not, look for one who specializes in your brand and make sure they have excellent reviews. Also, make sure they are bonded and insured.
Should I try to fix my washing machine or replace it?
You'll have to do some digging and do equal parts research and seeking out of an expert opinion. To get you started, we've created another handy guide for you.