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Troubleshooting Washing Machine Problems


Before you call the repairman or decide to invest in a new washing machine, here are a few troubleshooting tips to ensure that the problem isn’t something that you can fix.

Basic Steps

With washers, human errors, or faulty electrical and plumbing parts can cause problems. Some basic steps you should take before tearing apart the washing machine are:

  1. Ensure cord is plugged in tightly; that outlet is functioning, and that circuit breaker or fuse is functioning, press reset button if power is on but machine doesn’t work (if machine has a reset button on the control panel)
  2. Make sure all the controls are set properly, and pulled out or pushed in as needed, especially if the machine has a water-saver button and it’s a small load
  3. Check to see if the door or lid is closing tightly. Clean the latch if needed.
  4. Make certain that both faucets are turned on and that the hoses aren’t kinked. Also, clean the water valve screens in the ends of the hoses or faucets and replace the hoses if they are worn.

Specific Problems and Causes

Problems may also be caused by faulty switches, valves, gaskets, pumps, and motors. Sometimes the tub or agitator may be the problem. Here’s a list of some common problems and their probable causes:

  1. Washer doesn’t run: a) no power; b) motor overload or safety shutoff; c) faulty timer, lid switch, or off-balance switch; d) water pump clogged; e) motor binding
  2. Tub won’t drain: a) kinked drain hose; b) jammed or clogged pump; c) motor belt is slipping or broken; d)worn or loose pump pulley; e) faulty pump impellor
  3. Washer leaks: a) oversudsing; b) fill or overflow nozzle worn or out of alignment; c) faulty fill tub or lid seal; d) loose or faulty hose connection; e) loose or worn belt on pump impellor; f) hole in tub; g) faulty pump gasket
  4. Washer causes blown fuses: a) oversudsing; b) faulty motor overload protector or motor; c) machine overload
  5. Excessive vibration: a) machine unlevel; b) tub unbalanced or faulty; c) oversudsing; d) dirty snubber plate on water pump; e) loose tub bolts or supports; f) damaged cross brace



“Washer and Dryer Troubleshooting Help – Speed Queen Home Laundry.” Speed Queen commercial and home laundry equipment – coin operated laundromat washers, tumble dryers and extractors. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2010.

“Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog: Protect Your Investment: Repairs for your washing machine.” Consumer Reports Electronics Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2010.

“How to Fix Washing Machine and Dryer Problems.” Popular Mechanics. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2010.

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