Some washing machine problems are actual malfunctions, while others point to user error. Save money on repair services by learning how to tell the difference – and, if possible, how to solve the problem.
Like any appliance, your washing machine can malfunction and will occasionally need professional servicing. However, some issues aren’t mechanical problems at all; instead, there might be some step in the operating process you’re missing, or something else in your home that’s affecting the machine’s performance. Learning how your machine is intended to operate will help you troubleshoot problems and tell the difference between an error on your part, an outside issue, and a broken machine.
Washing Machine Won’t Start
If you try to start a wash cycle and nothing happens, don’t panic right away. Check that the machine is plugged into a working electrical outlet; if you aren’t sure whether the outlet is on, try plugging in another appliance, such as a radio, to check the electricity flow. If there’s no power at all, check your home’s electrical panel to ensure that you haven’t tripped a breaker. Reset the circuit breakers as needed. If the outlet works but the machine still does not start its cycle, check the Owner’s Manual or the manufacturer’s Web site for specific operating instructions. You might be missing a key step in the process. For example, some washing machines won’t start until the water reaches a certain fill level. Many washers won’t agitate until the lid is closed. If you’ve followed all steps exactly as directed and the washing machine still won’t start, it’s time to call a certified washing machine repair professional.
Washing Machine Won’t Drain
If your washing machine fills and spins but doesn’t drain, there might be a simple explanation. Check the drain hose for kinks and ensure that the lint filter isn’t full, if your model has one. The hose itself might also be clogged. Or, the basin into which the washing machine is draining might have a blocked-up drain. In general, the drain hose should always stay above the level of the water in the drain tub; if the hose falls below water level, you might see back-siphoning of water into the machine. Again, check your Owner’s Manual or the manufacturer’s Web site for more DIY troubleshooting options, but don’t hesitate to call an appliance repair specialist if the problem persists or is severe.
Washing Machine Is Producing Too Many Suds
If you’re ending up with out-of-control soap bubbles, the problem might actually relate to your home’s water rather than the washing machine itself. Over-sudsing is a common problem in homes with soft water. In fact, hot water and soft water require less detergent to clean well than cold water and hard water. Search online or check your local hardware store for an at-home water hardness test kit, which will allow you to discover the approximate hardness of your water easily and quickly. If your water is soft and you’re experiencing over-sudsing, reduce the amount of detergent you use in each load of wash.