Washing Machine Repair: DIY or Call a Pro?
Washing machines have made our lives so easy. Can you imagine having to do laundry every week (or even every day), and having to use a big tub, laundry board, and harsh soap or lye, just so you can have clean clothes everyday? Today, you just sort your laundry, put it in the washer, then the dryer, fold and call it day. You can even do other things in between – watch your favorite TV show, play a game with the kids, get dinner or lunch ready, or read your favorite book.
That’s why a broken washing machine can certainly put a kink in your day. When the laundry’s piling up and you can’t make a dent in it because the washer’s broken, then what are you going to do? Well, don’t run out and buy a new one or take out the washing board and tub yet – you can repair a broken washing machine. Aside from calling your friendly neighborhood repair technician, you might even be able to pull off some repairs yourself.
You might be thinking, “But I’m not an appliance repair technician? How can I fix this?” Don’t discount yourself yet. The bad news is, a washing machine has many moving parts and it’s going to need repair at some point. However, the good news is, many of these malfunctions are common and you can easily fix yourself. Let’s take a look at the these problems and see which ones you can fix yourself and when you need to call a professional appliance repair technician.
Washing Machine Leaks
Leaks are a common washing problem that you’ll run into eventually. Of course, this doesn’t make you panic any less when it does happen. After all, soap, waster, electrical outlets and digital panels are a volatile combination. Aside from just damaging your floors, there’s also the possibility of shorting out your electrical system or worse. Fortunately, most washer leaks are easy and inexpensive to fix.
When doing any type of electrical appliance repair, make sure you unplug your machine first, for safety. Next, look at the gaskets and door seals for cracks and other signs of wear and tear, especially in front-loading machines. If you do see water leaking from the front of the machines, then it’s a clear sign that the door gasket needs to be replaced. This is a simple fix that you can do yourself. Just check in the manual or your washing machine manufacturer’s website to find the correct part number before you buy or order it.
If the door seal is in good condition or the leak is coming from the back or underneath your washing machine, then it’s probably coming from the water inlet hoses on the back of the washer. All you have to do is tighten the connections between the machine and hot and cold water hookups.
If your machine is still leaking and it’s neither the gasket or hookups causing the problem, then it might be overfilling due to a malfunctioning water level sensor. This type of repair involves complex electrical components, so you should definitely call a professional.
Washing Machine Makes Excessive Noise
Washing machines aren’t silent by any means, but they shouldn’t be rattling, thumping, or shimmying across the room during each cycle. If your machine does any of these or more, then the most likely culprit is an unbalanced drum. Check your machine and make sure it’s level with the floor. Washers come with adjustable legs, so use them to level your machine, but don’t raise it too high as you want it as close to the floor as possible. Also, when you load your machine, distribute the weight evenly throughout the tub. Try placing the machine on a rubber-backed carpet, to help keep it in place and reduce noise.
The problem could also stem from a loose drum. You can remedy this by simply tightening the bolts for the drum and the motor mount. But, it’s difficult to access those parts of the washer. The motor mount is usually located under the tub and you may have to tip the machine on its side while supporting the mount in order to access it. Unless you have the right tools, parts, and some help, you’re better off calling a professional. They might also be able to tell you if your machine needs a new motor or if you need a new machine.
Washing Machine Doesn’t Spin
Spinning is what helps clean your clothes and wring out excess water from your clothes, so if your machine doesn’t do this, then you definitely have a major problem, so consider calling a professional.
But if you want to go the DIY route first, then you try to figure out the source of the malfunction. First, check the belts at the back of the machine. They might be getting stuck on something or another component. Also, the belts might be worn out (again, just a matter of wear and tear), but replacing them is a simple task you can do on your own with the right parts and tools.
Next, the lid switch can also prevent your machine from spinning. The lid switch is typically located near the door hinge. To check if it’s functioning properly, hold the door open and depress the switch with a pen, then turn on the machine. If the tub starts to spin, then it’s probably because the lid switch and plunger aren’t making good contact. You can fix this by replacing the lid switch, which is an easy repair as long as you get the right parts and consult your appliance repair manual for instructions.
There are many other issues that can prevent a washing machine from spinning, including a worn motor coupling, a motor mounting plate that needs adjustment, or a bad clutch. There are more advance problems and requires a lot of work and an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of a washing machine. Such repairs require an experience appliance repair person, so you should call a professional in these case.
DIY VS Professionals: Which is Better?
So should you DIY or call a pro? Well, the truth is, both are good options. For one thing, do-it-yourself washing machine repairs can save you time and money. In many cases, some professionals may appreciate that you don’t call them for minor things, so they can concentrate on more major repairs. However, it’s important for homeowners to be smart when doing DIY repairs of any kind. Follow safety guides, use common sense, and more important, know when it’s time to call a professional. Your washing machine is made of many intricate parts, and if you’re not sure of what you’re doing, you run the risk of making the problems worse or creating new issues.
There are many resources online that can help you with DIY job, as well as your repair manuals. But, if you’re not confident in your abilities, then a washing machine repair technician can ensure the job gets done right. Look for an appliance repair service that is fully licensed, bonded, and insured for your security.
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