Washing machines are essentially large tubs that fill with water and then drain on a set cycle. They spin to wring clothes dry and usually have either a rolling drum (in a front-loading machine) or an agitator (in a top-load machine) to agitate the clothing.

Essentially, every washing machine performs four basic cycles: fill, wash, drain, rinse – in that order. However, a number of things can go wrong.

Here are seven of the common washing machine problems and simple methods for diagnosing them:

  • Washer Filling Too Slowly or Not at All

This problem is most often caused by clogged strainers. To correct, shut off the water valve, remove the hoses and look at both ends of each hose. Also try to locate any washer-mounted water valves. The strainer should be located in one of these three places. You can often clean the strainer yourself, but if you have problems, call a professional to replace it.

  • The Tub Overfills

This is usually caused by a leak in the tube or in the diaphragm. In a functioning washer, as the tub fills, the water pressure at the bottom of the tub increases. The pressure is then transmitted to a water level switch so that when the water reaches the desired level, the diaphragm trips the switch to close the filling valve. If there is a leak, there may not be enough pressure to trip the switch. The solution would be to seal the leaking diaphragm/tube.

  • Washer Temperature is Too High or Too Low

Start by testing the voltage across each of the water valve solenoid coils to see if power is reaching the valve. If it is, but the valve is not opening, then it might have malfunctioned and may need to be replaced. However, if you’re not getting power to the valve, then it might be a broken wire or a defective switch. Simply replace them to restore function.

  • Tub is Not Draining

There are several factors that may cause this. Start by checking the drainage system, including both the drain hose and the filter to ensure that neither is clogged. If they are not, then the pump might be defective. The pump bearings may have seized and stopped turning, or the pump could be jammed by a sock or other small item. If one of the impeller blades is broken, you may need to replace the pump altogether.

  • Leaks

Washing machines can leak for a variety of different reasons. If you suspect a leak, run the machine with a full load and check under it with a flashlight to see where the water is dripping from. You may need to run the machine on two or three cycles to locate the leak. Once you’ve located the leak, call in a repair services provider to seal it.

  • The Drum Doesn’t Spin

This might point to a problem with the timer control, the centrifugal switch, the lid switch, the motor coupler or the drive belt. This kind of problem requires you to call in a professional to repair.

  • Timer Problems

The timer is the brain of the washer; it tells the motors which way to run, the fill valves when to open and the clutches when to engage, among other functions. If the timer isn’t advancing, you may need to replace it or replace the drive motor.

Need Help?

A-Tech Appliance Parts and Service is the preferred repair service for washing machines in Fort Smith, Little Rock and NW Arkansas. If you experience any of the problems discussed above, or any other washing machine issue, contact us immediately and we’ll be there to help.