Washing Machine | Diagnostic & Repair Guides
How To Replace A Washing Machine Drum Paddle
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Replacing A Washing Machine Drum Paddle
In recent times, as manufacturers move to cheaper and cheaper ways to produce a washing machine one of the things that seems to have suffered through cost cutting is washing machine drum paddles or drum lifters that now seem to break more than ever before.
It is tempting to think that a washing machine without drum paddles would be a better idea but there are other considerations, such as the ISE washing machines mentioned below, where a removable drum paddle in the drum is a very good idea. Were there aren't any drum paddles, if the lifter or paddle moulded into the steel of the drum gets damaged (it does happen quite often) then you have to replace the complete drum which, we can assure you, will not be cheap but more than that, you then have no route at all to retrieve items that get trapped and that happens even more than a damaged drum.
Why Washing Machine Drum Paddles Break
Two simple reason that the drum paddle or lifter break are these:
- People put things in the washing machine they shouldn't
- Plastic degrades or cannot take the stress of the loads
The only other reason, after you replace the part, is that they were not fitted correctly and have come loose and broken again.
That is it, there are no other reasons.
As you can see in almost all cases it's down to either age or use and, in most cases, it is use.
Lots of people wash all manners of things in a washing machine that they shouldn't then, especially if the washing machine is in warranty, won't or don't admit it. But the short of it is, if you get broken drum paddles in warranty expect to be charged for replacements.
The number one cause is people washing trainers and suchlike in their washing machine. Loads of sites and people will tell you that this is possible but most manufacturers will tell you that they make clothes washers, not shoe washers.
Other things that can cause it are very heavy items not designed to be washed in a washing machine, like plastic bathmats and so on.
If you don't want broken drum paddles, the hassle and cost of replacing them, then don't wash items that should not be in a washing machine.
Easy To Replace Washing Machine Drum Paddles
On some washing machines, very easy to replace with a simple clip or retaining screw through the top of the drum paddle meaning that the paddle is easily replaced from inside the washing machine drum with little hassle, there are an increasing number of drum paddles that are a bit more challenging.
On the likes of the ISE machines all that you need is a flat bladed screwdriver to flick a clip and release the paddle, it's desperately easy to replace them. But then, they don't break much on those as they use a very high grade of plastic which is, unsurprisingly, more expensive. The reason that they are easier to remove is to allow access to get stuff stuck in the drum out without having to call out an engineer to do it for you and, you'll understand the benefit of that in a bit once you understand how hard it is on other washing machines. This is the easiest type of drum paddle to change and there are not a lot this easy, or that have directions on how to do it in the instruction manual.
There are not too many washing machine drum paddles that offer this convience either.
Reasonably Easy To Replace Washing Machine Drum Paddles
In the middle we have the paddles that are fairly easy to replace and anyone reasonably handy should be able to replace this type without too much difficulty.
This type is normally fixed by a screw and/or locking tabs that you can get to from inside the drum of your washing machine without too much hassle.
One of the most common type, and most common drum paddle it seems to break, are the ones fitted to Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines. They are also notably the drum paddle most commonly fitted incorrectly by owners and, if they are not fitted correctly, they will break or shear off again meaning that you will have to buy more. That's not a huge issue as these drum paddles are not hugely expensive but, it is annoying.
The trick with these drum paddles and, as washing machine repair guys we really shouldn't tell you, is the locking tab.
There is a small tab that has to be lifted back up, pushed down to remove the paddle, with a special tool (here in the shop) that you will also need or, you will need to fashion a tool that will perform the same task. If you don't get the tab back up properly and, we mean properly, the paddle will come loose and break again.
All washing machine spares suppliers know this and they also know that drum paddles break for the fundamental reasons above so do not think that they will be replaced free of charge if you don't fit them correctly as they probably won't be.
Then there are the drum paddles that screw in from the bottom.
There's are obviously a bit more challenging but still relatively easy to replace yourself as they have a screw from below that secures the lifter in place. The way to access that screw is throug the sump hose on the bottom of the outer tank of the washing machine.
Getting To The Retaining Screw Of The Paddle
The sump hose is the thick hose that will run from the very bottom of the tank to the the pump.
You need to take this hose off to gain access. At this point we will tell you again, remove all power from the machine as you could go near power carrying components.
This is how we do that, pull the washing machine out and tip it back so that it rests at about a 45˚ or so angle. Makes sure the washing machine is secure and cannot move so that it is safe to work on from underneath or, get someone to hold it for you so it doesn't tip over onto your head or hands. Trust us, that's not nice if it happens and generally turns out to be pretty painful, so play it safe.
Now you can access from below in most washing machines, especially the cheaper ones as it costs too much to put a base on the machine.
The sump hose may be sealed into place so you might need some sealant such as silicone sealant or Debor (you can get that in the store) to reseal the hose once you are finished replacing the paddle.
Once that hose is off you should be able to see inside and see the retaining screw, bear in mind that these will often be Torx type screws and we do sell a small cheap Torx kit that Will do this and other jobs as well in the store. Undo that and the paddle show be able to be pushed forward or back depending on the fitting in that particular washing machine model, and the drum paddle should just pop off. Unless it's one of the really hard ones.
To refit the new drum paddle which you have of course bought from our store, simply do the process in reverse.
The Really Hard To Replace Drum Paddles
There are some drum paddles that, in all honesty, unless you are very handy and pretty confident we would advise that most people just let one of the washing machine repair guys replace.
But if you really like a challenge and, quite probably cut hands, then feel free to have a go.
We'll show you one example of a Hoover washing machine where there are two retaining screws that hold the drum paddle in place, one to the front and one to the rear of the drum. The problem here is access to the rear retaining screw as it is not obvious how it's done, unless we tell you of course. But like many washing machine repairs, a lot of it is common sense and taking your time to figure stuff out.
The two screws, one to the front of the drum paddle and one to the rear, are shown here and they are of course Torx head screws that hold it in place
The front screw is easy enough to get to in the manner described above from the sump hose
The rear screw, you have to take off the top breather hose to release as seen above mounted right at the top of the washing machine's outer tank
Ordering a New Washing Machine Drum Paddle
For a lot of washing machine and washer dryer drum paddle you do need the model number to make sure you get the correct part.
For most you will find the model number printed on the control panel of the machine, as Zanussi, Beko and others do or, more often, on the rating plate that you will normally find inside the door, on the filter flap or on the back.
Without the model number and, sometimes even the serial number or PNC, it may not be possible to identify the correct paddle or lifter that you need.
Finding A Washing Machine Drum Paddle In The Shop
Finding a drum paddle in our online shop is dead easy, simply go to the shop using this link that will open a new window or tab (or the ones below) then type in the model number of your washing machine or washer dryer into the "Search" box. Press search and it will bring up all the parts we've used on that particular model.
You can of course narrow the returns by adding "drum paddle" to the search, just as you would in the likes of Google, to look for a specific spare part.
Washing Machine Spares Delivery Times
Many drum paddles that are in the online store we physically hold in stock and are often shipped the same day that we receive your order. Even if it is a drum paddle that isn't so common we would usually have most within a day or two and it would ship the same day it was received.