Learning how to repair a washing machine can save you a ton of time and money, provided you don’t take on a task that ends up costing more than replacing the machine. If your washing machine is still fairly new and generally in good condition, you can have a look at fixing the problem yourself. If your washing machine is quite old and tends to cause problems regularly, you might want to consider replacing it. 

It’s hardly surprising that a machine that works so hard can occasionally break down. It’s even less surprising that it can deteriorate to the point that your clothes aren’t clean enough. You can repair your washing machine yourself rather than hiring an expensive repair specialist. In most cases, you’ll need a few simple tools and very little appliance repair experience.

How to Repair a Washing Machine That Won’t Start

The most basic of all washing machine malfunctions is when the machine refuses to start. You’ve placed the clothing in the washing machine basin, twisted the dial, and hit the “ON” button, but for some reason, nothing happens.

1. Check That the Machine is Plugged In

Check to see if the power cord behind the washer is plugged in. Machines may shift around due to the strong movements of washers, especially when the load is uneven. When a machine moves, the power cord can get unplugged accidentally.

2. Take a Look at the Circuit Breaker

Have you made sure that your washer’s circuit breaker isn’t turned off? Locate the electrical service panel to reset a circuit breaker. Find the appropriate circuit breaker, turn it off, then back on again.

3. Double Check the Lid

If you have a front loader, you’ll need to check that the lid switch is working properly. This is the part of the door frame that tells the machine that the door is shut properly and that it’s OK to start filling it with water. Watch as the part on the door joins with the part on the machine when you close the lid. The top and bottom parts should be seated perfectly in each other.

If your machine is a top loader, test the lid by turning the machine on and placing the blunt end of a pen into the hole. Even if the lid is open, the water should start filling if everything is working properly.

How to Repair a Washing Machine That Won’t Spin

The basin has been drained of water, but the washing machine refuses to spin because of this all-too-common problem. Spinning at a fast speed is the process of squeezing water out of your clothing so that it can be dried in the dryer.

1. Redistribute the Clothing Within the Tub

Attempt to re-arrange the clothes in the washing machine tub. When the washer is out of balance, it will automatically stop until the clothes are balanced again. Close the lid after dispersing the clothing. If the load distribution is correct, the machine should start spinning automatically. Loads with high-absorption materials like towels and sheets, as well as bulky apparel like trousers and sweaters, are prone to becoming unbalanced.

2. Make Sure the Machine is Level

Check the level of the machine on the floor. A machine that is out of level will stop spinning; this is a safety feature built into your clothes washer. With a bubble level, check the machine’s level and adjust the legs to bring it back to level. If this doesn’t work, you may need to re-level the floor or install a level platform beneath the washer.

3. Make Sure There’s Proper Drainage

You’ll have to check both the drainage and drain hose at this stage. Small objects can clog the drainage system of the machine. You might be able to inspect the drain pump on the washer without removing it. Finally, the drainage line connecting the machine’s back to a drainage point could be obstructed.

How to Repair a Washing Machine That Doesn’t Clean Clothes Properly

This is one of the more aggravating washing machine issues since you don’t see it until the cloths have completed a full cycle. You remove your garments after washing them and discover that they are covered in lint, hair, and other light particles.

1. Make Sure You’re Not Overloading

Make sure your washer isn’t overloaded. The clean rinse water will not be able to take away the detergent and dirt if the washer is too full. Read up on specific load maximums in your owner’s manual.

2. Adjust the Amount of Detergent

Reduce the amount of detergent you use. Too much detergent might cause lint and other particles to be redeposited on the clothing rather than being removed.

3. Wash Pet Bedding and Blankets Separately

Separately wash pet-related items like blankets, cat and dog beds, and chew toys from the rest of your clothes. Clean the washing machine tub by hand after the wash if the pet load is particularly filthy.

How to Repair a Washing Machine That Vibrates, Shakes, or Shuffles

When your washing machine is running, especially during the spin cycle, it may shake or vibrate violently, to the point where it walks. If you have a high-efficiency machine, which has a faster spin cycle than top-loading machines, this may be more noticeable. Walking machines are extremely hazardous because they can separate from water or drainage pipes, or they can strain the power wire, resulting in an electrical fire.

1. Make Sure to Balance Your Machine

It’s possible that you’ll need to spend some time re-balancing your machine. Use a bubble level to check the machine’s level from side to side and front to back. By turning the machine’s legs up or down, you may modify the machine’s level. Unlike the dryer, which only has two adjustable front legs, most washing machines have four.

2. Tighten Up Your Connection Straps

The connection straps on stacking washer-dryer sets may have loosened, causing the unit to shake violently. Because the dryer may slip off the washer, this can be a dangerous situation. If necessary, tighten the connection straps or replace them.

3. Make Sure to Balance the Load

An uneven load is the most common and most readily fixed cause of a shaking clothes washer. Drape long, heavy items around the central agitator so they don’t clump together. Do your best to place larger objects on the opposite side of equally large ones.

4. Get an Anti-Vibration Pad

Consider investing in a vibration-reducing pad. Independent testing has demonstrated that 3 inch thick cushions perform an outstanding job of deadening vibration and rattling. Anti-vibration pads, while not cheap, can be a useful tool for decreasing the transmission of washer vibration to your home’s floor.

Diagnose Your Washing Machine Problems Via Video Chat

If you’re not 100% sure what’s wrong with your washing machine, schedule a diagnostic session with one of our expert technicians. We’ll help you figure out what the issue is and walk you through the repair process.

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