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Helpful Tips to fix Your Washing Machine Before Replacing Parts

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Image attribution: Washing machine by freestocks.org is licensed with CC0 1.0

It can be a stressful time when your washing machine breaks down, and dirty laundry begins to pile up. You've got an important engagement but nothing to wear? It's time to grab your owner's manual and get that machine working again. How do you know when it's an easy fix you can do yourself, if you need to order replacement parts, or if you need to call a repair technician to come and check it out?

Here are some things that can go wrong with your washing machine and what you can do to fix it before ordering parts from our Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation centers in the Chicago area.

Not Turning On

If your washing machine doesn't start when you turn it on and there are no lights on the display or buttons, this could be a simple fix, such as a loose plug. Check that you've plugged the machine in, there's no damage to the cord, and that the plug outlet works. A blown circuit breaker could also prevent your machine from turning on. Check your breaker box to ensure there's still power getting to the part of the house where you plug your washing machine in. If the switch is off, flip it on to restore power.

Won't Start

If your machine turns on like normal but won't start when you press the button, it could be an issue with the lid switch, which won't let you start the machine when you have the lid open. First, make sure you close the lid properly because this is the easiest problem to fix. Check if any pieces of clothing caught in the door are keeping it from closing fully. If everything looks good, unplug your machine before investigating more. Locate the switch using your manual and clean the door around the switch to make sure no buildup is affecting it.

If it still doesn't start, you'll need to access the switch under the cover by following your manual's instructions, which can vary by model. When you've got the cover off, check to make sure all the screws holding the switch in place are tightened. This will prevent the switch from moving and registering the door as open when it shouldn't. You can then test the switch with a multimeter if you have one or can borrow one. This will tell you if it's the switch that has worn out and needs replacing.

Keeps Stopping

Does your machine stop when you have a load going, and you can't figure out why? One reason could be that the motor is overheating as it works to wash the clothes. Manufacturers build motors to last, but overloading the machine causes the motor to work extra hard, and it can then overheat. Consider washing smaller loads if you think this might be the problem. One clue that it's the motor having issues is that you might hear squealing or grinding noises. If this happens regularly, it's time to get a technician in to troubleshoot the motor and replace parts.

Funky Smells

Maybe your clothes aren't coming out smelling clean, or maybe you notice a funky odor coming from the washer drum itself when you open the door. Either way, it might be time to clean your machine. Using too much soap can create excess suds that can mix with the dirt from your clothes and leave a residue where odor-causing bacteria can grow. Use your machine's clean cycle if it has one, or run an empty load on a rinse cycle with either a washing machine cleaning tablet or bleach poured into the bleach-only tray.

Clothes Not Clean

Are your clothes coming out of the washing machine and still looking dirty? If you washed a big load of soiled garments, you might have overloaded the drum and just need to wash them again in a couple of smaller loads. However, if this is starting to be a regular thing, no matter what you wash, it could be something else. If your machine has a lint trap to catch lint as it washes, this can become clogged, and you'll notice grey or white streaks on your clothing. Use your manual to locate and clean the lint trap.

Water Not Draining

Soggy clothes, or worse, standing water, are a sign that the water isn't draining properly from the machine. If the clothes are soggy, it could also be that the spin cycle isn't working, so check that too. Check the drain filter and the drain hoses because small items like coins from pockets or buttons can clog these. Unplug the machine and turn the water off, then pull it away from the wall to get access to the back. Locate the drain hose and check that there are no twists or pinched sections.

If everything looks good from the outside, you'll need to remove the drain hose from the back of the machine to clean the filter and check that there are no clogs in it. The next thing to check is the drain pump filter. You can find this either at the bottom of the machine or behind the back panel. Once you've removed it clean out any pet hairs, coins, or other items caught in it. If the problem is with the pump itself, it might be time to call in a repair technician to replace it for you.

Replacing parts yourself can save you money, so it's a good idea to know what you can do and when to get outside help. You can even order parts for a technician, so you'll know exactly how much they cost before they're installed. At Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation, we supply replacement parts in our stores in the Chicago area and ship them all around the States. With parts for most models and brands, you'll be able to find what you're looking for. Check out our parts database online to see what's in stock today or contact us with any questions.