A broken washing machine means dirty clothes piling up. It means inconvenient trips to the laundromat, or expensive drop-off and pickup service. That’s why you want to get your washer fixed as soon as possible. What you might not realize is that you can troubleshoot a few washing machine issues on your own, before picking up the phone to call a repair professional. Of course, major repairs should be left to the experts to ensure that you don’t damage your unit further by taking apart something you can’t put back together.
Washer Won’t Run at All
It may seem like common sense, but the reason your washing machine isn’t running could be that it’s unplugged, or the plug is loose. Check the power connection first. If everything is properly plugged in, you can check that power is running to that outlet by unplugging the washing machine and plugging in another small appliance, such as a hair dryer. If the hair dryer works, the outlet is fine and the washer is broken; if the hair dryer doesn’t work, check to make sure the GFCI has not been tripped and inspect your electrical panel to see if a circuit breaker has been flipped. If all the breakers are on and the outlet isn’t giving any power, you need an electrician rather than a washing machine repair technician.
Washer Won’t Fill or Drain
You know how when your garden hose gets a kink in it, the water can’t get through? The same goes for your washing machine hoses. If your washing machine is on but not filling with water, check the inlet hoses for kinks or obstructions. If the washer isn’t draining once the cycle is done, check the drainage hose for kinks or clogs. If all hoses are clear and kink-free, you might have a larger problem. Contact an appliance repair expert to examine your lid switch, water level switch, pump, drive belt, and other possible culprits.
Loose hose connections could cause leakage during filling or draining. If you’re finding a puddle on the floor every time you run the washing machine, check that all of the hose connections are tight and secure. For front-loaders, also check the door gasket; small holes or tears could be letting water escape. If you don’t see any problems when the washer is off, try watching it during a cycle to see where the water is coming from. Damaged hoses, bad connections, and torn door gaskets could need to be replaced to stop the leaking.
Washer Is Noisy
An improperly balanced washing machine can rattle around and cause all sorts of noise. If your washer is keeping you up at night, check that the unit is level and insert a small piece of wood under one or more legs, as needed. Excessively large or heavy loads can also cause a washing machine to make too much noise. However, if you’ve cut your load size in half and the washer is level, but it’s still making awful noises, it’s time for a washer/dryer repair pro to step in. You might need a new agitator or other component.
Even if you don’t have the know-how to actually fix washing machine issues, getting to know your unit can save you time and money when the repairman shows up. If you’ve been observing a leaking appliance and can tell the technician where the water is coming from, that will save him time in his assessment and repair process. Similarly, you can describe certain noises, or say exactly when in the cycle the washer stops functioning properly. Troubleshooting means looking for the source of the problem and taking steps to alleviate it, whether that means getting out your tool belt or picking up the phone.