Washing Machine

The most common washing machine problems that are easy to avoid

Last Updated on 5 June, 2021 by Sourav Roy

Repairing and replacing a washing machine can be an immoderate affair. So why not take precautions? Know the most common washing machine problems and solutions with me today.

most common washing machine problems

Although some problems need expert help, the good news is that you can resolve a few issues easily yourself. In fact, you can easily avoid some too.

 

A detailed washing machine troubleshooting guide

Being forced to clean up dirty laundry by hand can be irritating when your washing machine doesn’t work properly. So why not stay away from troublesome washing machine problems? Let me be honest with you. Some of these problems are self-created. Unintentionally, of course. Wondering how? Stay tuned to dig deeper.

 

1. Water is not entering the washing machine

If the water does not enter the washing machine, how are your clothes going to get clean? What can cause this problem? In most cases, this is a self-solvable problem. You only need a few basic tools.

Reasons:

  • You have not noticed. The tap is off.
  • It could be because your water supply is low.
  • Have you checked the door? It might not be shut properly.
  • There is a high possibility of the inlet hose being clogged.
  • The inlet hose may be bent.

You could solve the issue yourself in most cases. All you need are some basic tools.

Simple Solutions:

  • Unplug your washing machine and move it a bit. Check the hoses and faucets. There should be no blockage. Clean it up thoroughly. Place the hoses in warm soapy water for a few minutes. You could also add some mild detergent to it.
  • Is the hose bent? Simply straighten it.
  • Get your water supply checked.
  • Close the door tight.

 

2. Water not draining from washing machine

If your machine is not draining out the water, a buzzer will notify you about it. Your washer will also display an error code. You will usually find an ‘E’ on the panel.

Reasons:

  • Drain hose is above 1 metre from the level.
  • The filter is blocked.
  • Twisted drain hose.
  • Clogged or broken pump.

Simple Solutions:

  • Placement of the drain hose is important. It must be at the ground level or within 1 meter.
  • Cleaning the filter is going to lower the amount of lint tremendously. I would recommend that you do it once a month.
  • Straighten the drain hose.
  • Detach the hose with the help of screws and unclog it. Running some water through the hose is a great way to exert the clog out. Here is a tip. If you cannot detach the hose, run an empty hot water wash. It will push the hose outward and ease out all the blockage.
  • If the pump is broken, get it replaced. Also, inspect the pump filter. Ensure it is debris-free.

 

3. Wash program is not starting

If the wash program is not starting, how do you even proceed? Now, before I get to that, let us discuss the culprit for it.

Reasons:

  • You have not pressed the start button after selecting the wash program.
  • The water supply is low.
  • The washing door is not shut properly.
  • The program is in pause mode.
  • The power cord is damaged.
  • A tripped circuit breaker.

Simple Solutions:

  • Forgotten to press the start button? Don’t shy away.
  • Make sure your water supply has normal pressure and is not low.
  • Please open the door and shut it back. If it’s not shut properly, the wash cycle will not begin.
  • Check if the program is in pause mode. Referring to the manual will be a good idea.
  • If the power cord is damaged, the only way to fix it is to replace it.
  • Reset the breaker and start the machine again.

 

4. The washing machine door is not opening

Is your washing machine door not opening? It is a common problem in most front-loaders. Towards the end of the wash cycle, the door gets unlocked automatically. However, if it is not happening, I know it can be very frustrating.

Reasons:

  • The door mechanism is jammed.
  • Clothes are stuck at the door.
  • The wash cycle is still on.
  • Child lock is activated.
  • The machine is not draining properly.

Simple Solutions:

  • If the lock mechanism is jammed, you do not have to get worked up. You can fix it in under five minutes. You only have to turn off the appliance and restart it.
  • If you find clothes stuck at the door, I would recommend you to start a short cycle. It will loosen up the clothes. Then you can comfortably take them off.
  • Washing machine doors are designed to not open mid-way due to safety reasons. It is when the speed or temperature is pretty high. You can always pause the wash cycle and give it a shot. If it does not happen, then I would only ask you to be patient.
  • Deactivate the child lock feature.
  • Inspect the drainage hose. Is it bent or clogged? If none, then feel free to contact the manufacturer.

In any situation, I would say do not force it. Be gentle while opening the door. Applying too much strength could damage it. Professional help could work for you.

 

5. The washing machine is not powering on

Does this issue sound unfamiliar to you? But I have across people with this worry. It might sound like a simple problem. Yes, it is. But it needs thinking for sure. Is your washing machine not powering on?

Reasons:

  • The power supply might be turned off.
  • The power cord wasn’t plugged in properly.
  • Connection might be weak or loose?
  • You might have forgotten to set the wash program.
  • The circuit breaker must have tripped.

Simple Solutions:

  • Turn on the power supply.
  • Plug it in properly.
  • Get your connection checked. You may need expert help in this. Depends on the exact problem.
  • You certainly need to select the wash program. What clothes are you putting in? Are they only whites? Are the fabrics delicate? Is it synthetics? Is it woollen material? There are many more options for you to choose from based on what the answer is.
  • If your circuit breaker has tripped, reset it and start the appliance again.

 

6. Clothes getting ripped in the washing machine

If you find your clothes coming out damaged from the wash cycle, it is a serious concern. This problem needs prompt action. Otherwise, expect a diminished lifespan of your garments.

Reasons:

  • A failed thermostat can cause this.
  • A wrong spin cycle.
  • A damaged drum or agitator.
  • Overloading the machine.

Simple Solutions:

  • A failed thermostat can overheat the water. It is a major reason for potential damage. It would be best if you got it checked periodically.
  • Choosing a wrong spin cycle can harm your clothes immensely. There is a reason why this appliance is designed with so many different programs for every type of fabric. Do not be ignorant about it.
  • A damaged drum or agitation can stretch and tear your fabrics. It creates violent wash actions and, over a period, can ruin your clothes.
  • You cannot afford to overload the washing machine. It will result in great pressure on the motor, drum and bearings. Thereby cause gradual degradation and damaged clothes.

 

7. Clothes come out looking old from the washing machine

No one would be okay with their clothes coming out looking old and faded from the washing machine. This skilled appliance is bought only to breathe life into our wardrobe.

Reasons:

  • It could be because of the high temperature.
  • Excess washes.
  • Use of fabric softener.
  • Excessive use of detergent.
  • Wet clothes left for too long in the machine.
  • The water used is “Hard Water.”

Simple Solutions:

  • Some delicate garments like pure cotton or wool can lose their charm if exposed to high temperatures. While we are aware of how hot water wash is a must, make sure it does not exceed a certain level.
  • If you have worn the clothes only for a few hours, avoid washing them. You cannot wash a t-shirt every time you wear it for 2-3 hours. It will cause fading and discolouration. Thereby losing all the freshness and looking old.
  • Do not use a fabric softener for your sportswear. Using it will retain all the germs, bacteria and sweat.
  • Who said adding excessive detergent will make your clothes cleaner? The soap build-up is going to make your laundry look dingy and old. In this case, I would recommend you to run a cycle again without adding any detergent to it.
  • Now, this is one of the most common washing machine problems. You are done with the laundry but have forgotten to remove the clothes. Or just been lazy to do so and have delayed the process. Leaving wet clothes inside can cause serious mould growth on your clothes. It will then reduce the lifespan of your clothes.
  • Hard water is one of the major reasons for your clothes to come out looking old. The water is high in minerals and cannot dissolve the detergent properly.

 

8. Washing machine not cleaning clothes

If your washing machine is giving you unclean clothes, what is even the point of using one? I know, finding your clothes to be stained and filthy after a wash can be so annoying. However, there is no need to panic.

Reasons:

  • The detergent tray is blocked.
  • Clogged filter.
  • You are overloading it with clothes.
  • The wrong detergent is being used.
  • You are using the wrong wash cycle.
  • The interior is not clean.
  • The drain hose is blocked.

Simple Solutions:

  • The possible reason can be a blocked detergent tray. In case it is blocked, then the detergent will not be able to reach the laundry stack. As a result, the clothes will not get cleaned. I would recommend you clean the detergent tray before every use.
  • A clogged filter can also result in clothes not getting cleaned.
  • A lot of people believe in overloading the drum with clothes. I fail to get the point, though. If there are too many clothes inside, how will they move? How will detergent reach every corner of your clothing? Then how will the clothes get cleaned?
  • Certain detergents are ideal for the fabric type, temperature level and washer type. Opt for the most recommended one.
  • Selecting the wrong wash cycle can deliver a poor wash result. Choose the right one as per your fabric.
  • An unclean interior is one of the major reasons why washing machines go bad. If you do not clean it periodically, how will your clothes get cleaned? Running a hot water empty wash cycle will work for you. It will eliminate all the dust, bacteria and mould. A clean appliance will deliver clean clothes.
  • A blocked drain hose can stop the water from flowing out. Let me tell you one of the easiest ways in which you can remove all the blockage. Take a bucket full of hot water. Add some baking soda to it. Detach the drain pipe and put the boiling water in it with the help of a funnel. It will clear out all the blockage in no time.

 

9. The washing machine is smelly all the time

Washers should always stay clean and fresh. Would you like to use anything that has a foul odour? A nasty smell can certainly make you feel disgusted.

Reasons:

  • A dirty detergent drawer.
  • The drum is infested with mould.
  • Smelly clothes.
  • Leaving damp clothes in for a long time.
  • Low-temperature wash cycle.
  • Using liquids that contain enzymes.

Simple Solutions:

In any of these situations, you need to clean the appliance with one of the most effective solutions. To avoid this situation completely, do this once a month. Here it goes:

  • Take a bowl of water and add some baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar.
  • Add this solution to the detergent section.
  • Put some vinegar directly in the drum as well.
  • Run an empty wash cycle.
  • Choose the highest possible temperature. Trust me; your washing machine is never going to smell.

It will also help your washing machine last longer. If you need more in-depth information about cleaning a washing machine, you can go check out our blog on washing machine cleaning.

 

10. Washing machine giving clothes with watermarks on it

This one is tricky, isn’t it? I would say this washing machine problem is rare, and finding out the reason could be baffling. But, I’m here to help you along so that you can get everything back in the right order.

Reasons:

  • It could be because of fabric softener build-up.
  • Detergent residue can also cause some blotchy marks on the clothes.
  • Overloading with clothes.
  • Source of water.

Simple Solutions:

  • You should not overfill the appliance with detergent or fabric softener.
  • Clean the drainage holes with cotton swabs.
  • I have stressed enough about how you should not overload the appliance with clothes. It has too many consequences.
  • The right source of water is important.

 

11. The washing machine is vibrating too much

Have you come back to your washing machine vibrating a lot and acting too jumpy? It is an early sign of danger. Please do not ignore it.

Reasons:

  • An unbalanced load can cause your washing machine to vibrate excessively.
  • An unstable appliance will vibrate when it is in operation.

Simple Solutions:

  • If overloading is a problem, putting in less could also be a problem. Don’t just put in your pair of jeans because you need them urgently. Add some towels or t-shirts to it. A few additions can balance the load.
  • An unstable appliance can be risky. Make sure you place the machine on a flat surface. Also, ensure the legs of the appliance are levelled. Uneven legs can cause your machine to vibrate vigorously.
  • If you are planning to buy a new washing machine, invest in the one which features a load balancing technology. It will detect problems and protect your clothes and appliance.

 

12. The washing machine is getting too noisy

An unpleasant noise like gurgling, clicking or humming is unacceptable for sure. I am certain this problem with the washing machine has been encountered by most of you.

Reasons:

  • Blockage in the washer drain.
  • Worn out drum bearings.
  • The washing machine legs are not levelled.
  • Overloading of the appliance.

Simple Solutions:

  • Unclog the washer drain. Hot water, vinegar and baking soda can do the needful. How bad is the clog? You can rest the drain in the mixture accordingly. However, it should be a minimum of 15 minutes. You will also find some good drain cleaner options in the market- Thrift drain cleaner, Omont drain clog remover, Instant power hair and grease drain opener etc. are some you can try.
  • You can fix the drum bearings by seeking help from an expert. However, sometimes it is beyond repair. In such a situation, it is best to get it replaced.
  • You can easily level the washing machine legs. The front feet are adjustable and have nylon rubber on them. You can use a spirit level to adjust the legs.
  • No overloading, of course!

 

13. The washing machine is tripping power

Unfortunately, in most situations, you cannot resolve this washing machine problem yourself. However, let’s get to know the potential reason behind it.

Reasons:

  • Overheating of the motor.
  • Leakage.
  • Faulty water level switch.
  • Overloading of the appliance.
  • Any loose attachment.

Simple Solutions:

  • Constant overloading can cause tripping of power. If you have too much laundry, the best solution is to upgrade to a machine with a larger capacity.
  • I would recommend you to contact the manufacturer or a technician in any other situation.

 

14. Washing machine leaking

You have put a load full of laundry and come back to your appliance leaking from the bottom. Why is your washing machine leaking? Let’s find out.

Reasons:

  • A damaged water pump.
  • Compromised hose connection.
  • Unbalanced appliance.
  • Faulty water inlet filter.
  • Worn-out door.

Simple Solutions:

  • If you are looking to fix your damaged pump, you need some tools to do so. A pair of slip-joint pillars, a nut driver, a putty knife and a socket with an extension. Now, if you feel it is beyond your repair capacity, you must replace it immediately.
  • If the hose is damaged, then replacing it is the best option.
  • An unbalanced washing machine can cause the water to seep out.
  • A period examination of water inlet valves and filters is a must. Replace it when needed.
  • If the leak is from the front, it could be because of a worn-out door. The seal around the door can and should be replaced.

 

15. Washing machine not spinning properly

Is your washing machine not spinning properly? It is not uncommon. However, it is best to get it fixed and have it running perfectly. It could be due to several reasons.

Reasons:

  • Inadequate drainage.
  • An issue with the motor.
  • Fault in the lid switch.
  • Unbalanced washer.
  • Loose or broken belt.

Simple Solutions:

  • Drainage problems can certainly affect the spin cycle. Detach and unclog the drainage pipe. Referring to the user manual while doing so would be wise.
  • Any issue with the motor requires an expert to fix it. I highly advise you not to try doing so by yourself.
  • A faulty lid switch is an issue only with top load washing machines. The washing machine will not spin if the lid is not shut properly. In case it is bent or damaged, you need to be prompt at replacing it.
  • If your washer is not balanced, there is no way you won’t realize it. We have already discussed how it could lead to the appliance getting noisy and shaky. Level the legs of the appliance carefully.
  • If the belt is loose, tighten it. If it is broken, replace it.

 

Amen! You are now acquainted with the most common washing machine problems and solutions. How about taking some easy precautions to avoid these problems, now?

Tips to Maintain a Washing Machine:

  • Avoid using fabric softener.
  • Do not keep damp clothes in for long.
  • Using high-efficiency detergent.
  • Leave the door open for some time after every use.
  • Ensure there is a minimum of 4 inches gap between the machine and wall.
  • Load the washing machine evenly.
  • Make sure the door gaskets are dry between loads.
  • Periodic cleaning.
  • Inspect hoses regularly.
  • Replace rubber hoses with braided ones.
  • Ensure the machine is levelled.
  • Keep the load balanced in the machine.
  • Use it the right way.

 

One Last Thing

That was a whole list of washing machine problems, solutions and some preventive measures. Now you exactly know why washing machines go bad and how you could deal with it. On average, a washing machine should last you 10-15 years. Have you exceeded that? Maybe you can think of changing this home appliance then. Are you looking for a front loader or a top loader?

Have a look at 7 Best Front Load Washing Machines in India 2021 and 7 Best Top Load Washing Machines in India 2021

You can also glance through 9 Best Washing Machines in India 2021- Reviews & Buyers Guide for more clarity.

 

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