A broken washing machine can be extremely frustrating, especially if there’s a pile of laundry waiting to be washed. An average washing machine is supposed to last about 10 years, but it’s not always a smooth ride.
Fear not – most problems only require a quick repair. If you pay close attention, your washing machine will often tell you when it needs help. Catching warning signs early is key to avoiding untimely machine failure.
If your washing machine is exhibiting any of these 5 signs, it is probably time to call a technician.
A washing machine isn’t the quietest of appliances — with the hum of the motor, the splash of all that water sloshing around inside, and the sound of the drum rotating, it can be hard to tell if your own washer is making noises that would be considered out of the ordinary. “Worry sounds” like scraping and thumping tend to get worse the more a washer is used, so it may be a while before you recognize that anything strange is happening with your own washing machine.
If you hear unusual noises coming from your washing machine such as scraping, banging, thumping, or grinding, there’s a very good chance that it is in need of repair or replacement. Pay special attention to noises that increase over time, as they can indicate a part that is getting ready to fail completely. Banging sounds may indicate a loose drum or a bad motor, while scraping or grinding can mean a part has come loose and is rubbing against other moving parts inside the machine.
Clothes Aren’t Coming Out Clean
Clothes that are just as dirty when they come out of a washing machine as when they went in can be a sign of three things: you are either using too much detergent (which results in a clogged detergent tray), you’re not using enough detergent, or there are parts in your washer that are getting ready to fail. Frayed seals, a bad drum, or a broken heating element can all contribute to your clothes not coming out nice and clean.
Before calling a professional, check your washer’s detergent tray for clogs and determine whether your washing machine has a lint trap that may be blocked up; if so, ensure it is cleaned regularly to prevent buildup.
The Washing Machine Is Leaking
A leaking washer is never a good sign. It could indicate a bad seal, a cracked drum, a misaligned door, a failing water sensor, or a clogged supply hose. Some of these issues are easy to spot with the naked eye, but items like a misaligned door or a bad sensor need to be diagnosed by a professional.
Quite often, a leak can be caused by a loose water supply hose. You can check this yourself by locating the hose on the back of the washing machine; if it is disconnected or you notice moisture anywhere on the hose, it will need to be reconnected or replaced.
Before you attempt to repair a leak yourself, consider contacting a professional to handle it instead. One slip-up and you could be standing ankle-deep in water before you know it.
Too Much Or Not Enough Water In The Drum
A drum (the inside of the washing machine that holds the clothes and water) that is filling with too much water will leave some of it behind when a cycle is done. Your clothes may also come out soaked because the spin cycle can’t manage to clear excess water out of the laundry. Whatever the results, an overfilling drum may indicate a bad sensor, something that can often be replaced.
On the other hand, a drum that isn’t getting enough water can be an indication of a bigger problem. This could be caused by a cracked drum, a failing motor, a sensor gone bad, or another issue. Depending on the make and model of your washing machine, the drum may not be replaceable, which means you’re could be forced to buy a new washer. Otherwise, the motor and the sensor are items which a professional should be able to repair or replace.
It Smells Like Mildew
Almost nothing is worse than pulling a freshly-washed load of laundry out of a washing machine, only to notice that the inside of the machine’s drum — along with your clothes — smells like mildew. In a case like that, do you wash your laundry again and hope that the smell dissipates from everything, or do you need to do something drastic to get rid of the odour?
Sometimes offensive smells can be removed from a washing machine by running a couple of cycles using only bleach and hot water. You can also purchase commercial liquids made specifically to clean smelly washing machines – use extreme caution if you choose to do so as some products have been known to damage appliances. In any case, chemical cleaning does not always work to get rid of mildew. If you’re lucky, replacing the seal may help but oftentimes this kind of smell can be quite difficult to remove from a washing machine and you may be stuck replacing it.