Whether you have a stackable washer and dryer, a side by side, a high-efficiency (HE), or a traditional set, something is bound to go wrong eventually, even if you have the brand known for bored repairmen. Here is a look at the most common issues with washing machines.
- It won't turn on. It may just simply be the breaker tripped. Be sure to wear shoes if your washer and dryer are in the basement so you don't risk a shock. Check the circuit breaker box, and if the lever is switched, switch it back. If this happens routinely, be sure to consult an electrician; you may need to have a change made.
If you have a large load, especially if it something bulky, like a quilt, the load can become unbalanced. Some washers shut off automatically to prevent the motor from overheating. Unplug the washer to err on the side of caution, and rearrange the load to distribute it evenly around the drum. Plug it back in, close the door, and try it again.
A washer that has been heavily used repeatedly may start to overheat. If it stops, allow it to sit for 30 minutes and let the motor cool down. Try it again. If this doesn't work, contact a repairman; it may have a faulty thermostat or power switch.
- The machine won't spin. If your drum won't rotate and agitate, chances are you need to have a broken belt replaced. It could also be a problem with your washer's transmission, a job for the appliance repairman.
- The washer won't drain out. Check your washing machine hose. Sometimes it becomes twisted and there is a kink in it. Or, the hose may have slipped beneath the water level in the washing machine. The hose needs to be higher than the machine in order for the gravity draw to work. If there isn't any apparent problem with the washing machine hose, it is likely a broken water pump. This is not a job for the handy do-it-yourselfer; call a professional appliance repair technician.
- The washer leaks. Leaks are common on a front-loading washing machine. This is usually due to a bad gasket, the rubber piece that lines the door and provides the seal to prevent leaking when the washer is in use. After time, the rubber can break down. It can also become full of mildew in the accordion-like ridges. Use an old toothbrush to clean it with a bleach solution, and try it again. If it is still leaking, the gasket will need to be replaced.