Washer Repair Tips
Washer Won’t Fill
- Check that water is turned on. Check each temperature fill separately, cold, then hot. If either works, the solenoid is probably bad on the one that doesn’t work. On most washers, this is a dual valve and you will have to replace the complete valve assembly.
- If neither valve is supplying water, then the cause is either a bad timer, or a stuck water level control switch. If water enters the washer, but it doesn’t fill up, the drain hose is probably pushed too far down into the drain pipe causing a siphon effect. The drain hose should only be 6 to 8 inches into the drain pipe, and there must be an air space between the hose and the pipe.
- Washers are equipped with a pressure switch to control the water level in the tub. As water enters the tub, air is forced through a plastic tube connected to the pressure switch. When a sufficient amount of pressure is applied to the switch for it to actuate, power is removed from the water valve(s), filling stops, and the cycle resumes.
- If for some reason the switch is not actuated (clogged, leaking, or disconnected air tube), or is inoperative, the water flow will continue. If you turn off the washer and the flow continues, the problem is a faulty fill valve and needs to be replaced. If the flow stops when the washer is turned off, the problem is electrical and is either a bad pressure switch, or an actuation failure.
Washer Won’t Spin
- If the motor runs, but the tub doesn’t spin; check for a worn or broken belt. On a direct drive washer check for a bad motor coupling, a three piece device which connects the motor to the transmission. If the motor hums, but won’t run, either the motor is bad, or the pump is jammed. Remove the pump from the motor or take the belt off.
- If the motor runs now, the pump is jammed. If the motor still hums without turning, you’ve got a bad motor. If the washer is dead, either the lid switch is bad, or the timer is bad. Washer motors have an internal overload switch which will temporarily disconnect the power supply from the motor if the motor overheats.
- If the motor feels hot to the touch, let it cool down and try again. If the motor now runs or hums and you have done the preceding checks, the motor is bad. If the motor is still not doing anything, proceed with checking the lid switch with an ohm meter. If the switch is good, the timer is bad, assuming you have made sure that there is power at the wall outlet.
- The first step would be to find exactly where the leak is. Just seeing water on the floor does not tell you anything except there is a problem. Possible causes are overfilling, a clogged drain pipe, a leaking seal, bad drain or other hose, or leaking pump.
- It is helpful to know at what point in the cycle the leak occurs. In most cases you will need to remove the front panel of the washer and start a cycle while watching questionable areas. With the panel removed so you may see traces of where the leak is emanating from.
- RUNNING THE WASHER WITH THE PANEL REMOVED IS DANGEROUS – KEEP CLEAR OF MOVING PARTS, LOSS OF LIMB OR LIFE CAN RESULT!
Washer Has Burning Odor
- Possible causes are a slipping belt, brake, or clutch, or an overheating motor.
Washer Won’t Drain
- If the motor runs, but the washer doesn’t drain; check for a worn or broken belt. If the belt is okay or it is a direct drive pump, lower the drain hose into a bucket that is lower than the water level in the washer.
- If no water comes out, there is a clog in the drain hose, either the tub-to-pump hose, the pump-to-drain hose, or the pump itself. A good pair of hose clamping pliers will be a big help in finding out where the clog is. If the motor hums, but doesn’t run, something may be jammed in the pump.
- Remove the pump from the motor or take the belt off. If the motor runs now, the pump is jammed. If the motor still hums without turning, you’ve got a bad motor. If the washer is dead, either the lid switch is bad, or the timer is bad.
- Washer motors have an internal overload switch which will temporarily disconnect the power supply from the motor if the motor overheats. If the motor feels hot to the touch, let it cool down and try again. If the motor now runs or hums and you have done the preceding checks, the motor is bad. If the motor is still not doing anything, proceed with checking the lid switch with an ohm meter.
- If the switch is good, the timer is bad, assuming you have made sure that there is power at the wall outlet.
Washer Won’t Agitate
- Some washers will not proceed past fill unless the lid switch senses that the lid is closed. If the washer is dead after it has finished filling, check the lid switch. If the motor is running, but the agitator is not moving, or barely moving, remove the agitator and confirm that the shaft from the transmission is moving back and forth. If not, there is a clutch or transmission issue. If the shaft is moving normally, the coupling device from the shaft to the agitator body is worn. If the agitator is a two piece design, and the bottom moves, but the top doesn’t, then the agitator dogs are worn out.
Washer Won’t Turn On
- If you hear a humming sound, check to see that the water is turned on. If the water is on, there is, either a clogged hose, clogged valve or a bad valve. If no sound, check that there is the proper voltage at the wall outlet, using a multi-meter.
- If the washer has a mechanical timer (one that you pull out the knob to start it), using the wiring diagram and a multi-meter, determine that the necessary voltage is reaching the timer. If not, check the diagram or trace the wiring from where the power cord comes into the washer to the timer. Look for a bad place in the cord or wiring harness, and check for the presence of a fuse. If the necessary voltage is present, unplug the washer and disconnect the timer connector(s). Make sure and mark where the wires go.
- Using the timer chart on the wiring diagram, check the points on the time for the proper continuity, and replace if faulty. If the timer is electronic, power to the control and no power out means a bad control board. Always do a power reset on electronically controlled appliances before replacing any parts.
Washer Won’t Complete Cycle
- This is usually an error or fault situation. The washer has sensed a problem and has stopped until the problem is resolved. Look for a flashing “E”rror or “F”ault code. Then check this code in your manual to determine what the code indicates.
- If your washer has a mechanical timer and does not complete the cycle, you have a timer issue, or a lid switch problem. See the above sections on Agitate, Drain, and Spin.