Washing machine parts are a subject of interest to virtually anyone who owns a washing machine. As we tend to rely on our washing machines to such a great extent, not only for cleanliness but also for social reasons, it is important to get them back up and running in no time when there is a fault. This means washing machine repair is one of the foremost priorities for many families, especially at times when the home appliance malfunctions for whatever reason, and may require spare parts to fix the fault.
The fact of the matter is that clean clothes are important to us in terms of hygiene. However, they have other important roles, too. For adults and children, wearing smelly clothes is social suicide of a sort; it is associated, by others, with dirtiness and as such you can soon find yourself being a pariah in social and professional circles. Of course, coming across as a professional individual is difficult with smelly clothes, so once more it is very important to have them clean and smelling lovely; the washing machine needs to function!
When you have a malfunction, your local repairman or –woman will be able to tell you what is wrong with the unit. They will also be able to tell you which parts they need to replace. At this stage, you can ask them for a bit of time, during which you can spend a few hours looking online for the appropriate washing machine replacement parts. These can be quite a lot cheaper online and you may find your quote is drastically reduced if the technician in question does not need to source the part him- or herself. You can save a lot of money not just on the part but also on labor if you look around the internet for instructions as to how to replace it; many standard washing machine repairs are not as difficult as people often assume and there is no immediate need to be intimidated by the process.
Washing Machine Troubleshooting
The first part you need to check is the electrical supply. Is your unit receiving power? If it is not, then you know you may need to fix or replace the plug, check the fuse or reset the circuit breaker; these are very simple repairs that needn’t cost an electrician’s callout charge. Don’t forget that the internet is full of do-it-yourself instructions which can save you a lot of money, but do be sensible about it. If you’re worried that it won’t work out, get an electrician out to figure it out so you don’t risk your health or fire safety. It may still save you some money to be able to say what the problem is as this cuts down on diagnosis time.
If the electricity supply is not the problem, you need to check one more thing before looking at the specific washing machine parts; the water supply. Is there any chance your washing machine’s water supply is failing for some reason? Ensure the water supply is turned on, and check that the hoses leading from the supply to the washing machine do not have any kinks in them which may prevent the water from getting to the machine.
If you’re still having trouble, then you may need to consider cleaning the machine to ensure proper function; the parts may not be in need of replacement but, instead, require a good thorough cleaning. You need to regularly check the machine for lint and other build-ups. The build-up of detergent and softener can provide the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and this can cause a musty smell to invade your machine and be transferred to your laundry, but it can also cause malfunction in extreme cases. Make sure you clean your washing machine carefully with ammonia before rinsing extensively and wiping it down with bleach. Make sure the rinse is comprehensive as ammonia and bleach should never be mixed, and then run the washing machine, empty, through a cycle to clean all the products out of it so you don’t get bleach stains on your laundry.
Still having trouble? Time to look at the individual washing machine parts at last, then. Disconnect the power and the water hoses before you get stuck in to avoid injury or further malfunction, and read the user’s manual carefully to find out how to take your washing machine apart before doing so, so you know precisely what you’re doing before you find yourself having to do it.
Once you’ve disassembled the cabinet of your washing machine, have a good look around. Is there a lot of dust or lint? Remove these first, as they could well be what’s standing in the way. Then look around carefully for anything that’s obviously broken and, if you can see anything, replace it first. However, considering how many of the parts for washing machines are electrically controlled nowadays, you may have to look more carefully and consider the electrical switches as the possible culprits.
Common Parts for Washing Machines
The first part to consider carefully is the lid switch of your washing machine. This switch is in fact a safety switch, which means if it malfunctions, the entire machine assumes the lid is open and fails to function. Clean it out with a chopstick or a pair of tweezers and ensure it can work properly so that it can detect whether or not the lid is open accurately. This switch controls the rest of the machine as, of course, you don’t want a washing machine that works when the lid is up; it is often the culprit when a machine ceases to function altogether.
Make sure you unplug the machine before getting involved, then clean out what you can see. If it does not work after this, unplug it again (as you will have plugged it back in to check) and remove the housing around the lid switch. Check that all the connections are firm, none of the screws have become undone, and the wires are in fine working order. Doing this may allow you to avoid buying new washing machine repair parts, and that can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
There are of course many other areas where your washing machine’s malfunction may come from. The water level control switch is another hotbed of issues as it contains a hose which may slip off the switch over time. This will cause your machine to fail to detect the water level accurately and may cause it to overflow. If this is your problem, cut a small piece off the hose and fit it back over the switch using a push fit (available from your local hardware store) to fit it into place.
Another familiar face in the lineup of frequently-broken washing machine parts is the timer. However, this really does require a washing machine repair man or woman to fix it. Don’t be tempted to try and fix it yourself as you will simply be unable to do so safely and accurately. You can, however, easily check if the troubles you are experiencing are due to the timer’s malfunction; this will then allow you to purchase a new timer cheaply online and pay the repair person only for the time spent on the repair.
Unplug the washing machine before getting busy and then remove the control panel and the knobs which sit on it. Carefully check the wires connected to the timer, and if they seem broken or disconnected try to push them together and reconnect them in some way using pliers. If there is a screw holding these wires in place make sure it is tightened enough to grip them. Testing the timer is simple using a volt or ohm meter on the RX1 scale. You don’t need to go out and buy one of these; simply try to borrow one from a friend or acquaintance. If, however, you think you may use it often it is a worthwhile investment.
Disconnect the timer from the power leads and stick the probes of the volt/ohm meter on the leads (one on each). If the timer is working correctly, it will read zero.
Options for Washer Repair
You can now see if you want to hire a repair person to fix the old timer and your broken washing machine, or you can purchase a new timer online and replace the old one. It is important to purchase a timer only for your particular model of washing machine as it will not do to have the incorrect timer installed; this will not work very well at all and is part of why it is important to always buy washing machine parts for your washer and not for another no matter how expensive it can get.
The next step in washing machine repair deals with the water inlet valves and the actual tub. You can suspect the valves of malfunction if your problem involves overflowing, under-filling, slow filling, or the wrong temperature. The valves are easily repaired or replaced, and can be checked quite simply. Ensure the faucets providing water to your machine are fully turned on and correctly connected to the unit. Check the screens, which sit in the valves. If they are clogged, with lint, residue or even mold, you can either clean or replace them and easily prevent or repair problems. If you are having trouble with the tub not filling, set the temperature control on the hot setting. Next, if it still fails to fill, change it to the warm setting. If at this point, cold water begins to come in, you know the hot water is causing the problem. If the tub is over-filling, unplug the washer. Does it still keep filling? Then the valve is stuck open. In any of these cases, replacing the valves is the simplest and most effective form of washing machine repair to resolve your issues.
One of the parts of a simple top-loading washing machine that can cause problems is the agitator. It can tear laundry if the fins at its bottom are cracked or broken, and if this is the issue you may already have lost quite a few items of clothing to your broken washing machine. It is possible for you to reduce the odds of your laundry being damaged by filing off any sharp bits, but the agitator works by using its fins to pull down the laundry and clean it. As such, it really ought to be replaced if it is experiencing any problems.
Of course, this is another case where you should replace the existing part with your own washing machine’s parts so as to ensure you have the right part for your unit; you don’t want to buy a part to find it won’t fit and gives you further trouble as this is a complete and utter waste of your money.
To remove the agitator in most washing machines, unscrew the top and pull up on the agitator. Replace it and replace the cap at the top, screwing it down tightly.
Some agitators have snubbers, which is a device mounted below the agitator cap. This can often be the cause of excessive vibration in top-loading machines, and if that is your issue you should check the snubber for damage to the suspension spring. If you see any damage to the snubber, simply replace it entirely as this is the best way to ensure you cut off any further trouble before it starts.
At this stage, you are able to repair some of the more common issues with washing machines or, if not, to diagnose them so your repair person won’t have to spend a lot of time hunting for the malfunction. There are, of course, other possibilities in terms of whatever is wrong with your unit, and if you feel that this guide did not cover the issues in question you should feel no qualms about contacting a repair person to help you figure things out.
However, don’t be afraid to check your user’s manual and try to address the problem yourself. At the worst, you can verify if it is something you are not qualified or comfortable to tackle, and then call in a repairperson when you know for sure that you need to. And remember – the right washing machine parts make all the difference!