If you're like most people, you don't give your washing machine machine much thought until it malfunctions — and when that happens, it has the potential to throw your entire life into disarray. Loading up the car with dirty laundry and heading for the nearest laundromat is time consuming as well as highly inconvenient, especially if you don't live in an urban location with a commercial laundromat located every few blocks or so. Fortunately, many washing machine malfunctions have fairly easy fixes that will at least get you by until the appliance can be seen by a skilled repair technician. Following are five easy washing machine fixes that you need to know about.
Few things strike fear into the hearts of homeowners more thoroughly than a puddle of water under or near their washing machine. A leak doesn't necessarily mean that the appliance is on its last legs, but it does mean that you shouldn't move forward with doing laundry. One of the most likely culprits is worn water hose gaskets. After shutting off the water main, unscrew the gaskets and take one to your local hardware store so you'll be sure to get an exact match when you purchase replacements. Replace the gaskets, turn the water back on, and try a load of laundry and see if the gasket replacement does the trick.
Leaking may also be caused by holes in the water hoses themselves. Be sure to visually inspect them for signs of wear and tear before checking the gaskets. Hoses can easily be replaced, although the expense will be a bit higher than if you were simply replacing the gaskets.
Not Filling Up Properly
Another issue that can interfere with laundry day is failure on the part of your washing machine to fill up properly. As with many appliance malfunctions, the cause is often very simple. The first thing you should check is the water hoses — if one of has developed a kink, for instance, it won't fill up with water the way it should. If a kink in the hose isn't the problem, the next step should be to check your hot and cold water faucets to ensure they're both working as usual. Plumbing issues such as decreased water pressure due to exterior leaks or frozen pipes caused by subfreezing temperatures can have an adverse effect on the flow of water into your washing machine. If neither one of these seems to be causing the problem, it could be that you need a new water intake valve. This kind of repair generally should be performed by a qualified washing machine repair technician.
If your washing machine suddenly begins to make banging noises, you'll probably think it's about to give up the ghost in a very loud manner—after you've calmed down and realize that the noise is coming from the washer and not from a home intruder. However, this situation is almost never as serious as it seems. Almost all of the time, it just means that the load is unbalanced. You should stop the washer immediately and rearrange the clothes so that they are evenly balanced. If this problem becomes reoccurring, check to ensure that your washing machine is sitting on a level surface. If the flooring under it is uneven, you'll need to move it to a level area so that it can function as well as possible. If none of the preceding conditions apply, your washer may be banging because its motor drum is loose. In this case, it's best to let a professional repair person handle the job for you.