Common Washing Machine Problems

By Ian | Jun. 17, 2014 3:29 pm PST

Common Washing Machine Problems

Don’t wash your hands of your washing machine until you read this.

You never fully appreciate your washing machine until it breaks down. The challenge is knowing how to fix it — fast. Some washer problems, like washing machine odor, you can solve on your own. Other issues, like a washer that won’t spin sometimes, require a repairman. And some problems suggest that it may be time to buy a new washer. Here’s how to tell whether you can fix the washing machine yourself, or if it’s time for a repairman or upgrade:

common washing machine problems

Whether you need a washer repair or a full replacement, Sears can help. We have the washing machine parts you need to help you tackle projects at home, as well as an appliance repair team that will fix your problem — no matter where you bought your washer. And if your washer is beyond repair, ask your technician about discounts on your replacement washer purchase.

(Text Version of Infographic)

Washing Machine: Repair or Replace? Common washer problems, and whether the solution is a DIY project, a job for a repairman, or time for an upgrade.

Won’t Start If a washer won’t begin its cycle or isn’t spinning properly, you might have simply overloaded it or failed to shut the door completely. Try taking a few items out to balance the load and reclosing the door firmly, then starting it again.

Bad Smell Washing machines collect mold and mildew that can transfer odors to your clothes. To get rid of the stink, wipe out the door seals, and soap and fabric softener seals. Then run a cycle on hot with bleach or a commercial washing machine cleaner.

Clogged Drain Hose When the machine won’t drain, turn off the water. Feeling ambitions? Detach the drain hose and clean out any blockages. If you find water in the drainpipe, run a snake or straitened hanger carefully down the pipe to unclog it and then reattach. Consult owner’s manual for further instructions.


Leaky Hoses A puddle on the floor could mean a leaky hose. First make sure all the connections are snug. If the leak continues from the coupling or drain pump, call a repairman to evaluate the problem.

Low Flow This could be caused by a clogged filter or a kink in the supply hose, which can be fixed by adjusting the machine so the hose is straight. If problems continue, it could mean a malfunctioning water control unit or inlet value, both of which are better fixed by a technician.


Won’t Spin This could be a problem with the lid switch, motor coupling, drive belt, or other mechanics – all of which require dismantling part of the machine and can be costly to repair. Consult with an expert but be ready to start shopping.

Leaks If the washer itself leaks, it could mean the tub seal or bearing kit is in trouble. It might be time to take the plunge with a new machine.

Overflowing This likely indicates that the pressure switch or water inlet valve needs to be replaced. And that could get expensive, so start dreaming of a new appliance.

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