Common Washing Machine Problems And Cures

Inside a washing machine

Common Washing Machine Faults

This article is meant as a general guideline to the most common problems that people are faced with on front loading washing machines. In it we will explain the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to washing machines and washer dryers but it is a generic article that can apply to almost any front loading washing machine and not to any specific model.

Checking the simple things can often save you a lot of time and money as well as give us much more to go on if you still cannot solve the problem and ask for help in our forums so, please take the time to check the simple things first.

If you're not sure or start to feel that you are out your depth, get an engineer!

Always remember, safety first and wherever possible remove power from any washing machine BEFORE undertaking any repairs on it
My washing machine is not spinning, what is the problem?

Most not spinning issues can be relatively easily cured as many are down to either the use of the washing machine or relatively simple faults.

The first and most obvious things to check are: Are you trying to spin small loads? All modern machines have what are called out of balance sensors. These sensors (usually built into the electronics) will interpret small loads as a potential risk as the washing machine or washer dryer could spin out of balance leading to excessive vibration, potential damage to the cabinet and stress on the bearing and drum.

Washing small loads or single items will often cause this problem.

Adjust the load and retry.

The same problem can occur if you put too much laundry in the washing machine as well. Is the washing machine draining correctly? If the washing machine or washer dryer cannot drain then it will not spin for safety reasons. Check that the pump is clear by checking the fluff filter if there is one or disassemble and check the pump which is always at the bottom of the machine, usually at the front. Are the ca rbon brushes worn? Often, where a carbon brush motor is used, as the brushes wear down the motor will start to lose performance turning more slowly than would normally be expected. Often it is a case of simply removing the carbon brushes and replacing them with new ones.

My washing machine won't drain, what do I do?

Don't panic if the washing machine is full of water and will not drain, it's pretty easy to get most of them drained down and open.

The hard part is getting the machine out of situ and into a position where you can get it drained if there isn't an emergency drain down facility.

The easiest way to drain the washing machine if it's full of water is to pull it out and then drop the drain hose into a basin, gravity will do the rest. This is commonly known as gravity draining.

My washing machine is reporting a fault code, what do I do?

A fault code, usually displayed by way of either a seemingly meaningless letter and number combination or a series of flashing lights (LEDs) is intended to offer service personnel an insight to the nature of the problem. They do not pinpoint the fault and are not a replacement for diagnostic skills.

What they will do is point to the general area of the fault but it is very worthwhile taking the time to check that you have a good water supply and the filter is clear etc. before you decide to go further or call an engineer.

Fault codes are very varied from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from model to model so there is little else that can be offered as general advice other than it is worth searching the forums for reports of similar fault code reports.

Most modern washing machine and washer dryer models use such fault reporting.

My washing machine drum won't turn at all, is there a simple cure?

There are a number of things that can cause this.

Worn brushes, belt problem, faulty motor, faulty motor controller and so on and it will take a bit of investigation to narrow down the cause of the issue.

My washing machine is very noisy, what is the problem?

There are three main causes for this:

Something stuck in the drum, like a bra wire, coin or suchlike "rattling" when the machine is on and the drum is moving. Some machines have removable drum paddles to allow you access to remove such things but, where there isn't that facility, you can access the offending item very often through the heater hole or the sump hose hole, both you have to remove of course to gain access.

Bearings failed or failing can also cause a noise. If you turn the drum by hand and there is a "rumbling noise" or any play in the drum up and down then it's very probably that the bearings are either faulty or about to be.

Something stuck in the drain pump, check the filter.

My washing machine bounces about, what do I do?

Check the installation, make sure the machine is level and any transit straps are removed.

Other than that, if the machine is a few years old check the concrete weights and also the shock absorbers that connect the drum to the chassis of the machine.

My washing machine sticks on a part of the program, what do I do?

Ordinarily this would indicate the failure of a component.

If the machine cannot energise or proceed due to a problem, for example, the heater doesn't heat the water so the thermostats don't tell the controller to advance). The trick is to work out what isn't happening that should be and diagnosing the fault.

My washing machine door won't open, what do I do?

If the machine has water in it or, detects that there is water in it, the chances are that the door lock will not release to prevent any possible safety risk or flooding. This is completely normal and the reason that door lock safety devices are fitted.

The door lock should release as soon as the machine detects it is safe to do so.

If this doesn't happen then it would generally indicate a faulty door lock mechanism.

To get the door open makes sure that the power is off and pull the machine out. Get the lid off and, if you can, reach down to the door lock. You can usually just gently push the latch back to pop the door open.

Forcing the door to open from the front will result in damage to the door, the latch and quite possibly the lock and cabinet
My washing smells really bad, what can I do to solve this?

This has become more and more common a problem as people use low temperature washes and liquid detergents often without ever running a hot wash. This allows bacteria to build up inside the washing machine and eventually thi scoats the inside of the outer tank and causes a horrid smell from your washing machine.

For much more advice on this problem and how to cure it please see this article.

My washing machine stops on a program and will not finish the cycle, what's wrong?

In short, almost anything can cause this from motor carbon brushes being faulty, heater, thermostats or almost anything else.

Without investigation to find out where the machine stops and why it is impossible to say.

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