Clothes Washer Troubleshooting


When your washing machine stops working, your first inclination may be to call a repair shop. But before you dial, looking for some things yourself may save you money on having your washer repaired. Always be careful when working on a home appliance, and use safety measures such as goggles and thick gloves to protect yourself.

Preparing the Washer

  • Before you start troubleshooting your washer, turn off the water supplies for the hot and cold water, and disconnect the hoses. If there is water in the washer, run it through a spin cycle before disconnecting it to get the water out. If the washer does not run then you will have to use a bucket and remove the water by hand. Move the washer away from the wall so you can have access to all sides. Make sure your work area is well lit and that you have plenty of room to move.

Does Not Spin

  • If your washer tub does not spin, the first thing you should do is check to see if any clothing is jammed under the tub. Sometimes clothing will wrap around the center post of the washer tub and then slide down under the tub. You will have to slowly remove the clothing and see if that solves your problem. If you turn on the washer to test the spin and you smell smoke, turn the washer off immediately and unplug it. More than likely your motor has burned out and you will need to call a repair professional to have it replaced. There is a switch normally located near one of the hinges on the washer door that is used to stop the washer when you open the lid. Check to make sure that this switch is not stuck.

Leaks Water

  • One of the more common problems with a washer is that it leaks water either when it operates, or slowly leaks water all the time. There are a few things you can look at to determine the source of this problem. Check your water source for leaks. If the water source is not leaking then check the connection between the water source and the washer hose. Check it when the washer is off and when the washer is on. There is pressure that builds up in the hoses when the washer is running, so that pressure may show you the leak. Also check the hoses themselves with and without water pressure in them. If a hose has a small leak, replace the hose. Do not attempt to patch the hole with tape or glue as the hole will only get bigger over time. Check the washer tub for any cracks or holes.

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