Top 3 Most Common Washer Repairs
Whether you've got a traditional top-loading washing machine or a more contemporary front-loading design, even the most dependable appliances will suffer from problems after years of use. Instead of contacting a repair center as soon as a problem occurs, many issues can be resolved with just a little know-how and some common household tools. We've compiled a shortlist of some of the most frequent washing machine repairs that many homeowners will face.
Before attempting any repairs on a home appliance, it's important to unplug the device and wear the appropriate safety attire for the job at hand.
Repair 1. Repairing or Replacing the Lid Switch
Symptoms: A broken or faulty lid switch can be the cause of many common issues with a washing machine. If your appliance won't start or move on to the next cycle, even though there's power supplied to the machine, this should be one of the first pieces of equipment you inspect while troubleshooting.
Causes: Issues with the lid switch are most often caused by slamming the door or lid into the closed position with too much force. Cracked lid switch casing won't allow the mechanism to properly engage, which can prevent the machine from starting or moving on to the next cleaning cycle.
How to Fix It: The lid switch on most machines is easily accessible and can be identified by finding the point where the door trigger connects with the locking mechanism. To check on its condition, start by unscrewing the nearby fasteners and reaching behind the appliance's casing. On a front-loading machine, you may have to remove the door boot and boot ring before you're able to reach inside. The switch and casing can then be detached from any removable wiring.
This will make it easier to see if the casing has been cracked, which can be remedied by using a zip tie or duct tape to reconnect the cracked components. If the housing appears to be in good condition, a completely new switch may be required. This process is as simple as connecting the new switch to the wiring harnesses and replacing mechanism, fasteners and boot, depending on the model.
Repair 2. Leveling the Washer
Symptoms: Wobbling or excessively loud operation are both common symptoms of an unbalanced washing machine. Over time, the frequent shifting can become worse, leading to damaged flooring, nearby walls or electrical and water connections.
Causes: If your washer is resting on uneven ground or the adjustable feet are not calibrated properly, this can cause the machine to move back and forth as it operates. An unevenly distributed load of laundry could also be the culprit.
How to Fix It: If this is the first time you've experienced these issues with your washing machine, check inside the wash basin to determine if the current load of laundry is evenly distributed around the agitator. Too much laundry pushed to one side of the basin can cause the appliance to wobble as the agitator spins. If the problem is reoccurring, start by checking the balance of the appliance itself with a level. If there's any noticeable angle, either from side to side or from front to back, then it's time to recalibrate the adjustable legs or to move the appliance to a more suitable location.
Start by completely screwing the legs into the unit. Try rocking the washer to determine where the floor or legs are uneven and begin adjusting each leg, one by one, until the machine is stable and the level reads accordingly. Test it out by running a load of laundry on a spin cycle and continue to make adjustments as necessary to ensure that the legs won't move out of place as you work.
Repair 3. Checking and Cleaning Water Supply Valves and Hoses
Symptoms: Inaccurate water levels and inconsistent water temperatures can both be indications of problems with the water connections behind your washing machine.
Causes: The most obvious cause of issues with water levels or temperature can be traced back to the wall fixtures. If someone has accidentally nudged or adjusted the handles, the appliance itself may not be receiving the appropriate volume of hot or cold water. Built-up residue can also develop within the tubing and connections that can impede the flow of water.How to Fix It: Start by checking the wall valves to see if they haven't been tampered with. Make sure that both the hot and cold water valves are completely open, keeping in mind that the appliance itself should regulate the water level and temperature according to the settings you've selected. If both valves are open and the issues are still occurring, try closing the valves and moving to the connection points on the washing machine. These can become clogged with sediment over time and prevent adequate flow to the appliance.
Be sure to turn off the water valve at the wall to prevent spillage before disconnecting the fasteners behind the washer. When the tubes are disconnected, simply wipe away any built up residue from inside the tubes and the machine before reconnecting the equipment and again opening the valves.