6 Top problems with Washing Machines and Fixes

Below are the 6 top breakdown problems with washing machines and their fixes

1) Mould around my front-loading washing machine door

Washing machine mould is often found on the rubber gasket of front-loading machines. This kind of mould is brought about by failing to clean the machine and/or using it improperly.

To prevent mould building up in such areas on your washing machines, use only the right cleaning products recommend in your manufacturers’ notes or manual. If you have an energy-efficient washer, use cleaning products that are designed for high-efficiency/energy-efficient washers. Non-HE detergent leaves behind too many suds that promotes the mould growth. Use only the recommended amount of washing liquid or tablets for the same reason.

Secondly, leave the door open after each wash gives the moisture within the washing machine an opportunity to leave. This prevents a warm, damp environment in which mould can thrive.

Where possible, remove wet clothes immediately after a wash. Not only does this prevent moisture leading to mould growth, but it also stops clothes from smelling musty.

Next, try wiping the door gasket with your mildew cleaner after every use. This will remove moisture and detergent residue that gives mould the right conditions to grow.

Finally, use a dehumidifier where you keep your washing machine if the area is humid. Humid environments, like kitchens, outside the machine, may contribute to the mould inside it.

To remove mould from your washing machine, you will want to create a mould removal solution. However, a commercially available mildew cleaner will also do. Here is a mould cleaner you can create at home:

One large cup of water approximately 200ml, 50g hydrogen peroxide, and 25ml concentrated lemon or citrus juice — hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice are high effective inhibitors of the growth of mould.

washing machine

Alternatively, try: One large cup of water approximately 200ml, 25ml concentrated lemon or citrus juice, and 100ml distilled white vinegar — white vinegar is an all-around cleaner that you can use as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide.

Remember the ratio 1-part vinegar and 4 parts water — just vinegar and water can do the trick if there is not too much mould growth.

1-part bleach and 4 parts water — use bleach sparingly if the above-mentioned natural cleaners do not do the trick for you. Avoid bleach on skin, clothes, and directly in contact with eyes, nose, and mouth.

In all these cases, it is advisable to wear gloves and eye protection to avoid inhaling mould spores and the harmful nature of the mixtures too. Which cleaner you choose, spray the easiest results are had by putting the mixture into a spray bottle, then mist the solution over the mould on the gasket. After you are done, use a cloth or towel to clean the gasket thoroughly. For persistent spots, let the solution sit for a few minutes and use an old brush.

After the rubber seal has been cleaned, drum and hoses can be purified too. Shut your washing machine door and run a ‘wash’ cycle on the hottest temperature setting, inserting your preferred mould remover; this will eliminate any traces of mould traces and smell from the washer drum and hoses. Be sure to wipe down the drum thoroughly after if you use bleach: you do not want to stain your clothes after! If necessary, run another short cycle with just warm water to rinse excess bleach.

If a musty smell persists, there may be mould growing behind the washer drum. Call the manufacturer (if your machine is under warranty) or a qualified technician or your washing machine insurance provider. They can diagnose your washer and fix the mould problem.

2) Washing machine drum has stopped spinning properly

It happens – sometimes washing machines also stop spinning or spin irregularly, meaning too fast or too slowly. This can occur when the appliance unable to drain properly due to a blocked drain pump. This can happen when there is a blockage in the outlet pipe, delaying the steady in-take and out-take of water. While it could be fluff it is also possible that it may something small from your pockets like a key or a lighter. Any delay to a washing machine’s capacity to drain, or just partially draining, could be a sound indication that your drain pump is blocked.

If you do not see this there is the also problem of the imbalanced drum which prevents proper drum spin. A heavy washing load, or even sometimes if you are trying to wash one large item on its own, will destabilise and knock the balance off the drum. This will add pressure on the washer and can cause damage to components. An easy to avoid doing this is by avoiding large washing load machine or washing one or two items too.

It may be necessary (re)check that your machine is on a level surface. Place spirit level on the lid of the appliance. Take a reading of the bubble to make sure the drum is not veering off to one side.

Finally, if these two are not the source of your troubles, your washing machine drum has stopped spinning properly because motor brushes wear out. Motor brushes engages the drum to the motor. These see a lot of action and often among the first components to go. This means that the appliance will fill up with water and drain as it was designed, but the drum will not spin optimally; washes will not be up to the same standards as they used to. Carbon brushes are not expensive. They attach in a straightforward way to the motor using a connecting wire. Consult a local trained technician about installation if you do not want to attempt this yourself.

There are other factors for an odd spin. The appliance may have issues to do with the electrical controls, pumps, motors, or belts. It is worth speaking to a local trained specialist that you trust.

3) Washing machine no longer drains properly

As was written above, when a washer cannot drain, it is usually because there is a clog, or the pump is broken. If you ascertain the source of the issue through elimination, you may be able to fix it yourself but proceed cautiously. You will need to access the parts of your machine to check for damage or clogs. From here, it is possible clear out any clogs or replace the broken parts but do not attempt if you are not trained. Needless to say, power supply should be disconnected from washer to prevent electrocution.

If you have water in your washer that has failed to drain, there are two options.

One is to bail it out, but this can be time-consuming and physically demanding.  An easier method would rely on the drain hose and gravity to do the work. The items you will need for the task are a bucket, one pair of needle-nose pliers, one sponge and some towels, a screwdriver, and clam

Assuming power is off the power, and power is off at the circuit breaker or fuse box, locate the drain hose at the back of the washer. Inspect the drain hose to see if it is bent or display kinks, which may be blocking the water flow. If this is the case, just straightening the hose may fix the problem.  If the hose’s shape looks not to the problem, then disconnect it from the drain, unscrewing a clamp if necessary.  Maintain the hose’s height above the washer tub until you are ready to empty the water.

Next, grab your bucket and drain hose. Put bucket in place and drop the hose lower than the height of the washer tub into the bucket. If the bucket fills, raise the hose above the washer tub until you can empty the bucket and refill.  If the water does not flow, this may indicate a blocked filter, which will need to be clear before going on.

Next, look for and remove all drain hose clogs. Once the water has drained, check the hose for a clogged piece of clothing or a soap blockage.

Loosen the clamp that connects the hose to the bottom of the tub, and inspect the inside.  If you see something clogging the hose or a clog where the hose connects, remove it with your pliers and reconnect the hose.

Next, check for deeper clogs in the drain or beyond. If the hose is clear, there may be a clog in the drain or beyond, which means a plumber’s snake will probably be required to clear it.

If checking in the drain has still not rectified your problem, inspect the washer pump. Inspect if it has a clog or a broken impeller, belt, or a leak. Refer to your manufacturer’s manual for the washer’s pump location and parts. If the pump is the problem, there will be unusual noise when the washer is operating that indicates a bad pump, or leaking may also be a sign.  If you have a bad pump, replacement from a trained technician will be necessary; although if you replace it yourself, absolutely ensure to purchase the same pump model.

If none of the solutions above have helped, inspect the washing machine lid switch. See if the lid switch is working by pressing it by hand. If you fail to hear a click, it may need replacing.

Another hope for your drainage problem, lies in inspecting washing machine for damaged belts. To see if this is the case, unscrew the access panel and check the main belt and the pump belt. If it is not moving or covered in limescale, it will need replacing.  Refer to your manufacturer’s manual to locate the belts.

If your washing machine includes a drain vent this could be the source of your problem. If there is a gap around the drain hose where it enters the drain, your washing machine may not necessarily require a vent.  You should have a vent if building codes require one or if your washer is more than an arm’s length from the vent stack for good draining.

4) Faulty control panel on my washing machine

Nearly all washing machines contain micro-electrical circuitry and a timer which ensures all the programmes (e.g. 60-minute cycle) on the machine work. This circuitry also regulates the drain circuit and the heating circuit. If you suspect a fault, it is usually easier to test all the components in the circuit then trying to prove that the problem lies exclusively in the control board.

This is because the alternative would involve more diagnostical testing: for the drain circuit, the drain pump and the wiring would need to be tested and for the heating circuit you would check the element, the thermostat and the wiring would need to be tested.

Unless, a specific washing setting/programme is failing to work (or they all are), it is usually quite difficult to test the board. The whole circuit-board usually requires replacement.

If your washing machine is displaying a fault code, look this up online followed by the manufacturer and model to see if it is about a circuit-board issue. Online forums are good places to start but be sceptical about the information presented.

To go about more formal diagnosis, you will need a multimeter, either digital or analogue. Make sure to completely switch off and unplug your appliance.

If no lights are displaying on the front, then the continuity of the machine will need to be established. Unplug the appliance and examine fuse inside the plug to establish it has not shorted. If the fuse is fine, then continuity between the plug and the control board will need to be established.

Unplug again, taking the plug and tracing the wire’s journey into the appliance. Do not attempt opening of the appliance if you are unsure about what you are doing. Once inside, it passes through the filter board, then passes along these cables to the plug on the control board. Grab a multimeter on a resistance or continuity setting, and just check for continuity between the two. A trained electrician will probably be required.

Continuity on the two connections means that electrical supply is reaching circuit board therefore it means there is a probable malfunction within. A remaining option involves using a replacement board. As ever, this advice is only indicative and there many several other faults responsible for the failure of the washing machine circuit board if this is in fact the issue with your washing machine issue.

For example, when a fuse blows, it is brought about by a short circuit somewhere in the appliance. This can exist in the control board or within parts around the machine. It is easily checkable. Just unplug the appliance, grab a multimeter on a resistance setting to read for blown fuse short across the plug – including both live and earth wires, and live and neutral. If the fuse has blown there it will tell as a resistance reading of less than a couple of ohms.

One type of short circuiting happens at the heating element. This is one of the first components to short is the heating element. Identify the part according to the manufacturer’s diagram and then disconnecting if this component if you can from the rest of the machine. If the short has gone here then it credibly indicates that the short is within this element.

You can always test the element itself – for a working element, the required reading from a multimeter is between 20 and 50 ohms. Anything outside of that reading means the element needs replacing. To test the element, first remove the lug nuts. Turn your meter onto a high resistance setting and measure from earth to one of the terminals for your multimeter reading.

Set the meter to a decreased resistance setting. Take a reading across the element. If there is reading of about 25 to 30 ohms this indicates a good resistance level.

These kinds of faults can be hard to definitely diagnosed as one thing or another. A fault that has being caused by another component may seem to caused by the control board so make sure you isolate each component in tests you run. If you are replacing the control board, make sure to get a professional’s opinion beforehand since a large number will need professional programming on installation anyhow.

5) Water leaking from my washing machine

Is water leaking from your washing machine? Where is it leaking from? The most recommended thing to do when your appliance is leaking, is to be 100% of the location of the leak before troubleshooting begins in earnest. If there is leaking during a wash or drain cycle, check the area of the drain pump. Is the hose clamp loose? Is a leaking hose connected to the pump? If the leak is originating from the pump, you will need a replacement pump.

During your appliance’s spin cycle, try to determine if a water hose is leaking. This is the most common issue when a washing machine leaks. A water hose at the rear of the washer may only need to be tightened by hand.

Troubleshooting the causes of a leak from your appliance involves a few tests.

First, unplug the washing machine from the power outlet. Slide out the appliance, being careful to not damage the water hose. Locate the water hoses, especially where they connect to the wall and the back of the appliance. By hand, tighten the water hoses connected to the water outlets on the wall, hot and cold. Hand tighten both water hoses connected to the washing machine.

Plug in the washing machine again. Use the rinse function to test for leaks. If you still have a water leak, drain the machine drum inside and disconnect from the power again. Using your hands, feel around on the water hose connections for moisture. If you find moisture or a connection leaking check to be sure it is installed correctly and secure. Turn off household water, remove the water hose, and check the water hose washers in the threading. If water hose washers are cut or damaged, replace all four water hoses then reconnect.

6) A broken washing machine door, and how to fix it

Too much pressure or weight on a washing machine door can very easily break either the hinge, hinge bearings or the plastic trims of the door. Ensure that you have disconnected the appliance from the electrical supply before commencing any repair.

To remove the door and door bowl, use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the hinge. This will allow the removal of the door. You then need to separate the inner and outer trims from each other, which is done by removing the screws. With this done, it will be possible to unclip the trims from each other, which means it will now be possible to lift the bowl out with the inner trim. Do so slowly. Is any plastic or glass broken?

The hinge and the hinge bearings are the most common broken parts. These lift out quickly and are replaceable. For best results you would do well to watch some professional videos on how fit a door back together – but it is straightforward process replacing the two screws holding the door interlock in place. All that remains to do is to replace the inner trim and the bowl and screwing those two door interlocks back. Once everything is replaced that was broken on the hinge or the door, the washing machine should be ready to test once again.

If the washing machine will not open, this could be several reasons including drainage problems, the pressure switch, or a faulty washing machine interlock.

Seeing water in the drum is indicative of washing machine drainage problems, causing the door to stay locked. If you decide to manually open the door, make sure to lay towels over the floor and be ready with a mop and bucket.

Keeping your washing machine clean can prevent a drainage issue, as you will clear blockages out of the filter as they come about. It is possible to manually drain the washing machine by clearing blockages from the drain filters or draining via the pump filter drain tube at the front of your washing machine. You could also use the drain hose to siphon the water into a bucket. If you are unsure about how to start, contact a local technician that you trust.

Alternatively, the issue could lie with the pressure switch. Pressure switches are installed for your safety. When the machine lock is still energised, or programmed to wash or dry, the washing machine cannot reset to empty and open the door. Try turning off the machine at the mains for five to ten minutes, and then opening the door again.

A faulty washing machine interlock can be a final common reason why your washing machine door will not open. If a washing machine is being used a lot in a short space of time, it can overheat. If your machine has overheated, it is possible that the circuits on the interlock have stopped working because of this. The handles on these machines are not designed to take excessive force. Attempting to open the door whilst it is locked has every chance of damaging the lock. Always unplug the washing machine from the electrical supply before trying to open your door.