Treat ‘Em Right: Common Washing Machine Issues And Malfunctions

When my washer was one year old and still under warranty, I called a technician because the drum’s rubber gasket had come loose and caused a slight leak whenever I used the machine. Some may say that I should not have called a tech for such a minor issue and maybe they’re right. After all, this machine has never had a major issue, and I am very satisfied with it. But at the time, it didn’t matter to me. If something happens; if the machine needs fixing, even a tiny fix, I call a technician. That’s what a warranty is for.

Some things you just don’t want to mess with. Anything that has to do with electricity, I already know to call someone else. What can I do? I haven’t the know-how or the hands for that kind of job. And this was certainly the thing to do, since my machine was still guaranteed by the manufacturer. The tech showed up, placed the gasket back, showed me how to handle it myself (should it happen again), and left my apartment. Within two minutes of arriving he had the washing machine in tip top shape.

Okay, so that particular case was an easy fix. The gasket slid out, and I didn’t want to risk causing any damage to the machine by attempting to fix it myself. Some situations are a  lot more complicated, and they don’t even prompt the question of whether or not to contact a washer technician. A washing machine is a very expensive and valuable appliance, and it’s in our best interest to maintain it as best we can, along with the other “white products” in our home – dryer, fridge, oven.

Washer Parts

Digital control panel

Here are some of the most common issues with washing machines and washer accessories. Some of them can be fixed by the owner, and others require special attention.

Digital control panel – a smart washer’s electronic card is acting up. The panel displays speeds, temperatures, and the desired programs or modes of operation. When the card is malfunctioning, you need to call a technician. The machine will not function properly – and sometimes not at all – with a digital card issue. Sometimes it will be necessary to replace the card which may solve many long-term issues, but can also be quite expensive.

Thermostat – issues with the heat regulator. Washing machines have many different programs, which necessitate changes to the heating and cooling of water coming in to the appliance. We are all aware, for instance, of the washing labels on our clothing. The ones which warn against using water which is too hot. An issue with the thermostat can be identified with greater ease, since the water will be unnecessarily cold or hot. A thermostat is a very delicate and sensitive component, so calling a technician is in order.

Rubber gasket – known also as a sealer. In the case of my washer, it was a relatively easy fix since the gasket only slipped out of it’s rail. I could have fixed it on my own and I plan on doing so should it happen again. On the other hand, the gasket can potentially be torn or completely removed, causing the washer to become damaged. Some gasket issues can be dealt with in a DIY fashion, while others demand the attention of a certified washer technician.

Water hoses – here too, there are certain issues which can be identified and solved by the user. If there is a blockage in the water hose, you could attempt to fix it manually. On the other hand, if it is the washer’s drain hose, it usually requires a professional. A drain hose which is malfunctioning could cause water to leak, and that can serve as an opening for all kinds of problems. At least water hoses are something which average users can relate to and understand.

Drum – the washer’s main component, which washes, rinses, and spins according to specific programs and modes of operation. In the event that the drum is not spinning properly, or  if it stops operating completely, there could be a problem with the belts, the motor, or it’s cables. In order to identify the precise issue, a technician needs to look at the problem.

Classic Examples Of Common Malfunctions

Classic malfunctions

Sometimes, the washer’s door is not closed properly. Who hasn’t been through this? You close the washer’s door, but it doesn’t start. A little annoying, but usually a quick fix. Simply try again, and make sure it shuts. Remember to make sure the machine actually starts, before you leave it and go about your business. One of the most frustrating moments is when you arrive an hour later to hang the clothes or move them to the dryer, only to discover that the washer didn’t even start.

Too many clothes in the machine can also cause issues. I am happy that my washer has a light that shows me when there are too many clothes in there, but not every machine has that ability. If all is well inside and outside, remove some of your clothes from the drum, and try again. Even powerful washers have their limits, and it is best not to overload the circuits.

Buttons and dials can become too loose or too firm. This is another annoying issue which you can try to fix yourself most of the time. Some washers don’t even require the physical button or dial, as long as the actual electronic component can be pressed and activated.

A very common issue, specifically in Israel’s hard water environment, is buildup. Again, it is a quick fix, usually. Add baking soda or citrus acid to the detergent compartment, and let it cycle through regularly. If there is a significant amount of buildup on the drum, which the acid or soda cannot remove, consider calling a technician.

Washers come and go, it is true. No appliance is with us indefinitely. However, if you practice regular maintenance, a washer can serve you for many years.

Treat ‘Em Right

Treat it right

You don’t need to call a technician for every single issue, but whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. Some take pleasure in the whole DIY home repair thing, and that’s great, but sometimes there is no other choice. Obviously, it is better to contact a credible and experienced technician, who is certified, licensed, and comes with recommendations. When it comes to a machine which mixes between water and electricity, like in the case of a washer or dishwasher, not everyone knows what to do and how to act. You need prior knowledge and expertise, in order to avoid physical injuries or causing damage to your washer.

Every manufacturer, and every model, has it’s own hangups and issues. What usually goes wrong with a Samsung washer, for instance, is not necessarily what will go wrong with a Beko washer. Every situation and every model has its own unique problems, which is why a technician’s previous experience is worth time and money. For that reason, there are companies and professionals who deal with providing technical solutions for a limited number of models and manufacturers.

Some families have a washer which never rests. Babies, kids, adults – we all require clean clothes. The easiest and most comfortable way of washing your clothing is by using a washing machine, but remember that a washer is also an electronic appliance. This means it’s components have some kind of unspoken expiration date. In order to prevent problems from occurring, it is best to perform regular maintenance on the machine. Clean the filters, clean the drum, and generally treat it right.

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