3 Washing Machine Problems That Are Easy to DIY Repair

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There’s no doubt about it; having a misbehaving washing machine is simply the worst. You need that washer to perform reliably so you can have clean clothes and towels on-demand. Most likely, your washing machine is an important part of your routine. Many professionals start the wash before work and keep it moving as each person comes home from school or jobs throughout the day. Some people get all their washing done in the evening when they can keep the machines humming until all the laundry is done.

Some washing machine problems need an appliance repair professional to come handle wiring, the spinning drum, or the internal water lines. But there are also a few repairs you can quite easily perform at home depending on the problems you’re experiencing. Today, we’re exploring the top five washing machine problems that you can safely tackle DIY without a service call. 

1) Washing Machine Shakes and Bangs During Spin Cycles

Washers shake for a number of reasons ranging from drum imbalance to wobbly feet. Drum problems will require you, or more likely a technician, to open up the washer housing and fix whatever is causing the imbalance. But sometimes, washer imbalances are caused by something incredibly simple: The feet.

You may not know this, but washer feet are very adjustable. Most appliance feet are. Why? Because floors aren’t always level and sometimes washers sit half-on a rug or over a crack in a garage concrete slab. If you can wobble your washer by pushing on the corners, then your problem is the feet.

Solution: Test the Level and Balance the Washer Feet

If you have a bubble level in your garage tool collection, grab it. If you don’t, order one online or pick one up at your local hardware store/hardware section. Set the bubble level on top of your washer along a surface that should be flat. If the bubble isn’t exactly in the center, twist the feet in or out until the washer doesn’t wobble and the bubble is centered. Do this on each of the four sides of the top of the washer until your entire washer is entirely level. If the shaking and banging doesn’t stop, then the non-level feet were just making a drum problem worse and your next step is to call a technician. 

2) Washing Machine Leaking Near the Front or Back

As a water-moving appliance, it should come as no surprise that washing machines occasionally leak. Leaks happen when seals fail or a container is off-balance. If the leak is coming from the front, this is likely a problem with your door seal. If the water is leaking from the back, this is potentially a problem with the connection to the water lines. If the leaking is from the bottom or seems to be coming from somewhere unexpected, this may be an internal connection problem inside the housing of your washer.

The correct fix for a washing machine leak depends on where the leak is coming from. There are two things you can easily do before calling for a repair person to open the housing and fix the internal aspects of the washer.

Possible Solution – Tighten the Water Line Connections

Leaking from the back is likely to be your water lines that may have come loose as the washer shakes or moves over time. If this is your problem, you may be able to fix it by tightening the connections both at the wall and where the water lines connect at the back of the washing machine. 

3) Washing Machine Has a Bad Sour Smell, Even When Empty

Front-loading HE washers often develop a sour smell that becomes evident the longer you use one. The smell is an odd side-effect of the sealing technology necessary to have a front-loading washer.  Because these washers absolutely must seal completely when closed, to keep the water from leaking all over your floor, that seal also prevents air from circulating and drying out the interior of the washer if you keep it closed between uses.

The thick rubber seal that folds over itself can also become a place for water to puddle and, therefore, for mildew to hide. A front-loading washer that never fully dries can develop a continual mildew problem which causes clothes to sour in the washer and for your washer to smell bad even when there are no clothes inside. There’s nothing directly wrong with your washer except that it is always damp and some regions are particularly rich in mildew spores looking for a home. Fortunately, the solution is pretty simple.

Solution: Kill the Mildew and Increase Airflow

Your first step is to kill the mildew already living inside. There are a couple of tools that do this. Try running your washer on very hot with white vinegar and borax granules instead of detergent. Vinegar is anti-fungal and borax is very sharp on a molecular level, which scrubs away and kills the organic mold/mildew spores creating the sour smell. If it’s really bad, a product called Oh Yuk! can deal with the problem and smells strongly orangey instead.

—There are several washing machine repairs you can do safely at home DIY. But if you suspect something deeper with the electrical components or inside the washer housing, your best bet is to call an appliance repair professional to perform the repair without putting your washer or your safety at risk. Contact us today for more appliance repair guides or to consult with a technician if your washer concerns go beyond simple DIY solutions.

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