Troubleshooting Your Washing Machine

Think of your washing machine as a big tub that repeatedly fills with water and then drains, spins to wring clothes dry, via either an agitator that stirs things up in the middle of a top-load machine or a rolling drum in a front-loading machine. Trouble may brew even among the most basic of its functions, which are the same for every washer, no matter how high-end the brand. These are: fill, wash, drain, and spin.

There are some problems that can be fixed easily even if you are by nature all thumbs and few toes, and there are other mal-functions beyond the realm of body parts that will require professional appliance repair. Many problems can be avoided with good maintenance procedures and by using the proper amount of detergent for both your washer and your water hardness. One thing to always remember is that before you attempt to work on a washing machine (or any other appliance for that matter) make sure to unplug it.

If your washing machine doesn’t fill, the problem may well be the water inlet screens, which could be blocked. They are usually located at one end of the supply hoses or behind a panel. If this is the case, either clean or replace them. Professional appliance repair might be necessary if the washer doesn’t fill and it may be the result of either a broken timer or temperature selector.

Jammed clothes or clothes that are not balanced properly within the drum may cause the washing machine to shake and stop spinning. Should this occur, straighten out the load. If this doesn’t work, make sure the feet are properly adjusted. If your clothes drip after the spin cycle, lift the lid during the spin cycle; if the tub is not spinning, you may need to have an appliance repair specialist replace the motor coupler. Using the right amount of soap in the load can avoid improper rinsing that might leave residue on your clothes or in the machine. Check your owner’s manual for this information before calling in an appliance repair specialist.

If water is leaking from your washing machine, the source of the problem is usually the hoses or connections. Be sure that water appearing to be a leak isn’t drain water from a backed-up standpipe. To prevent potential flood damage, be sure to install “no-burst” stainless-steel mesh hoses and lever-type shutoff valves.

The above mentioned are just a few potential problems that can occur with your washing machine. When in doubt, call in the cavalry and if you live in Manhattan, Bronx and Westchester County area, the division you need is the Appliance Doctor. Their highly skilled staff is always there to help you and you can reach them anytime at 1-800-339-0353. You can also check them out at: or on their monthly television show

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