Three Washing-Machine Problems and What You Can Do About Them

Posted on: 2 November 2016

Washing-machine malfunctions never come at a convenient time. Fortunately, some situations that make it seem like major repairs may be in order may have easy fixes. The following are three of them.

Clothes Are Wet and Heavy at the End of the Cycle 

When clothing seems too heavy and wet after the spin cycle, the problem can have a variety of causes. Some are simple—clothing feels wetter and heavier if it's cold, so using the cold-water wash cycle may be the culprit. Overloading the washing machine may also cause the spin cycle to slow down to the extent that the clothing doesn't get properly spun, and the same thing may occur when the load is lopsided. Before you decide that it's time to call in a repair technician, do a test load in warm or hot water and make certain that it's evenly balanced and not overloaded. You should also try a higher spin setting setting if your washing machine offers multiple options. If the clothing still come out overly wet and heavy, it's time to find an experienced washing machine professional to come to your assistance.  Possible problems include clogged or broken drain hoses, malfunctioning water pumps, loose belts, and worn out bearings and clutches. 

Washing Machine Will Not Start

Washing machines that fail to start are cause for panic in many households. Fortunately, even though trouble-shooting this issue can be frustrating, there's usually an easy fix. One of the most common reasons for washing machines failing to start is a problem with the power source—sometimes, the problem is as simple as the appliance somehow becoming unplugged. If this isn't the case, the next thing you should check is your household circuit breaker or fuse box. Try resetting the breaker, or, if necessary, replacing the fuse. Another problem may be that your washing machine is overheated. If you've been having a marathon laundry day, try giving the machine a rest for an hour or so and seeing whether that helps. Washing machines manufactured in recent years have a switch on the inside of the lid that need to be activated before the machine will start. You should hear a specific click when you close the lid that indicates that the switch is activated. Certain models feature door switches that have fuses, so check your owner's manual for instructions on how to replace these. Another cause may be a malfunction of the door interlocking system. An indication that this may be the problem is when the lights on your washing machine come on yet the machine fails to start. If you suspect an issue with the door interlocking system, you should contact a washing-machine repair professional because the issue is likely to be a problem with the machine's interior wiring. 

Washing Machine Fails to Agitate 

Consumers often assume that a washing machine that fails to properly agitate is ripe for replacement, but that isn't the case with every machine, and sometimes, there's a ridiculously easy fix available. Some machines have a lid switch that will allow the machine to fill up with water but not to go into the agitation stage, so make sure that your machine is properly closed. This is most likely to be the problem in top-loading machines. If you have a Whirlpool washer or other type that has a ratcheting-style agitator, you may need to replace ratcheting pawls that have become broken and worn out by time and heavy usage. This is an easy repair, and you can purchase the necessary parts for around $5 at any well-stocked appliance or home-improvement store. Simply use a small flathead screwdriver to remove the old ratcheting pawls and install the new ones in their place. 

Please feel free to contact your local washing-machine repair service for more information on keeping your machine operating in top condition.