So you have a Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Admiral or one of a number of washing machine brands.
But now your warranty has run out and something has gone wrong.
Now it’s repair time. Or is it? Do you pay to get your Whirlpool or Maytag fixed? Do you give it a try yourself? How do you decide what to do?
The first thing you should do before you begin to calculate repair costs or the purchase of a new machine is go through a simple electrical troubleshooting list.
Before doing anything else, make sure your machine is plugged in. If it is, take a look at the breaker and reset it if necessary.
Perhaps the machine you are using has an overload shut-off feature. Remove some of the clothes from your load and try again.
Even if that doesn’t do the trick, there is plenty more to look at before entering full washing machine repair mode. If it is a water heat or water volume issue, make sure your hoses don’t have any kinks and give all your filters a good cleaning.
Maybe the issue is related to water not properly draining from the washer tub. This could be caused the drain hose fitting too tightly into the standpipe.
A slightly looser fit will allow proper air flow which will eliminate and air pressure related stoppage.
If none of these simple repairs alleviate the problem, you probably will need to call a washing machine repair professional or give it a go yourself.
With the availability of parts and repair manuals online you can get a lot of helpful information if you are so inclined.
The key thing to remember is that the diagnosis is a fairly slow and methodical process.
But before going down this road you should do some rough calculations and ask yourself some basic questions. How long have I had the machine? What is the potential repair cost when compared to the purchase of a new machine altogether? Is it a repair I can do myself with some instructional help? How much will it take?
As a rule of thumb a $100 is an average DIY price tag for a new pump with tax and shipping charges factored in. If your washing machine is in otherwise impeccable condition, you might consider spending the money.
However, if your machine has some minor leaks or uses a great deal of water and/or energy, maybe it’s time for that new purchase.
Some very high quality washing machines have quite accessible prices. Most are now considerably more efficient than their predecessors. Take a look at GE, Whirlpool, LG and Admiral to start.
Finally, if a simple fix will buy you another 10 years of clothes washing happiness then that is your answer.
If however, you have been looking for an excuse to buy your designer washer, then by all means have at it.
After all, a washing machine is something that should work for you, not against you.
If your washing machine is giving you problems, don’t panic. Before you unload a fistful of hard earned cash on a repair or a new purchase, be comforted by the fact that trouble shooting washing machines is something that just about anybody can do.
From time to time your washing machine may refuse to turn on or may stop functioning in mid cycle. These are usually simple fixes. If it seems like it is a power issue, start with the cord itself.
Be sure that it is inserted into the nearest outlet. The next electrical check is the circuit breaker. Power surges can trip circuit breakers, especially if your home has older wiring. Put the breakers back on and try again.
Another power issue can simply be the result of an unbalanced load. Some machines have an automatic shut off feature to prevent excess movement and wobbling. If this should occur, try removing some of the laundry and see if this solves the problem.
Your washing machine troubleshooting ventures may also help you unravel slow water entry into your machine. In this event, first take a look at your water faucets and make certain that they have been completely opened by giving them a counterclockwise turn until you meet firm resistance.
Then give all the filters a thorough cleaning. This should be done on a regular basis as a thin film of grime can build up and restrict water flow.
After that, check you water hoses. Older, worn out hoses can easily kink, causing interrupted water flow.
You may come across an agitator that has stopped moving. Because of the rotational movement of most top loading washing machines, it is possible for clothing articles to get trapped by or wound around the agitator.
Many water drainage issues can be solved as well. Check you drain hose first to make sure it is clear. A simple clog in the line can back up your machine. Take a look at where the drain hose enters the standpipe.
If the fit is too tight, the lack of proper air flow may inhibit proper drainage. As before, tangled clothing around the agitator can be a culprit. This can inhibit movement and prevent you machine from completely draining.
If your washing machine problems persist, you may have to call a professional. Check first to see if your machine is still under manufacturer warranty. For pump or belt issues, you may be required to purchase washing machine parts.
Whirlpool, General Electric and Maytag machine parts are generally reasonably priced, so basic repair may not be that expensive. Remember, by washing machine troubleshooting first keep your washer going and money in your pocket.
Most washing machine hoses are made of reinforced rubber. As they get older, they lose some of their resiliency and may be subject to bursting.
A burst hose can spray hundreds of gallons of water per hour across your basement or laundry room causing enormous damage.
It’s a good preventive maintenance practice to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness.
Often there’s a small blister in the rubber of the hose, which could rupture. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every five years.
If your hoses are old, consider replacing them with the tougher metal hoses available at hardware stores.
Most washing machines collect lint during the wash cycle and send it down the drain during the drain cycle. Some washing machines collect lint in the center tube of the agitator.
You need to lift out that tube and clean it periodically. Other machines have a lint filter near the top of the tub, which you need to slide out, clean off, and reinsert.
If the machine rattles when it runs, it may need leveling. Tilt the machine slightly and adjust the screw-in feet until the machine is level with all four feet touching the ground.