Clothes Washer Troubleshooting

Clothes washers come in a variety of price ranges and sizes, and many modern ones have extra features. You can purchase washers with "suds-saving" features or machines that minimize water usage. If your washer ever stops working properly, however, no fancy feature is going to cut down on your frustration level. Attempt to troubleshoot your problems before calling a repairman.

  • pliers
Ensure that your washer is receiving power if the unit is not working at all. Make sure it is plugged in and that no fuses have blown and the circuit breaker has not been tripped. See if the lid switch may be defective. It is generally housed inside the washing machine near the door frame. If it is not working, it will not acknowledge that the lid is closed, thus causing the machine to not begin the washing cycles.

Check to see if the drain line is clogged if your washer spins but does not pump the water out. A small piece of clothing may have gotten between the outer tub, which holds the water, and the clothes tub, thus getting in the drain hose and sometimes, the pump. If the item is in the pump, remove the hoses from the pump and clear any foreign items. If the item is in the outer tub port, you can open the access panel and remove the the rubber hose. Using pliers, attempt to pull the clothing through the port.

Remove the pump from the washer if your washer does not spin or pump water out but the motor continues to run. You may have a frozen pump pulley. Once you remove it, rotate the pulley manually. If it does not turn easily, you have a frozen pump pulley and will need to have it replaced.

Check to see if you have a broken belt if your machine will not agitate. If a belt is broken, you will need to replace it. A lack of agitation can also be caused by a defective lid switch or a worn coupler. Many washers use a small coupler that is usually mounted to the shaft of the motor on one side, and mounted to the transmission on the other side. If the problem is caused by a worn clutch, you will most likely need to hire a technician to replace this piece.

Check the rubber tube that runs between the water-inlet valve and the air-gap (or sometimes, the inlet spout) if your machine is leaking. If it is cracked or broken, replace it. Also check the inlet spout, usually located near the top of the main clothes tub, for any cracks or leaks. It directs water into the tub and may need to be replaced.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always refer to manufacturer recommendations before making any adjustments to your washing machine.

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