DIY Tips To Observe When Fixing A Broken Washing Machine

DIY Tips To Observe When Fixing A Broken Washing Machine

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

I’ll start this post with a disclaimer; firstly if you have a broken washing machine it may or may not be fixable and if it is fixable it may not be worth the cost or hassle of getting it fixed. Often, if you have an old machine or a low quality one it might be better just to bite the bullet and get a new one.

With that said, if you are a keen DIYer and you don’t want the expense, there are a handful of simple faults and with a bit of luck it might be relatively easy to fix your washing machine. There are certainly a few things to be aware of though, so before you just dive in with screwdriver in hand, follow these few tips:

Avoid Damaging Your Floor

Putting big scratches on your kitchen floor could be more costly than a new machine would have been, so before you do anything else, check your machine isn’t stuck to the floor (or unstick it) by tilting the machine slightly in each direction.

Before you try to actually move the machine, tilt it and put some towels under each corner, this will greatly reduce the chances of a damaged floor (and very unhappy wife!).

Avoid Electrocuting Yourself

This really ought to go without saying, but sadly DIYers regularly cause themselves serious injuries (or death) by electrocution. Unplug your washing machine before you do anything with it – it’s that simple and it could save your life.

A Dead Washing Machine

A common fault is that the machine just dies, won’t respond and appears to have no power, even when plugged in. In this instance you should of course start with the obvious – check the fuse. Failing that check the socket by plugging in something you know works (a lamp will do fine).

Unfortunately if neither of these solve the issue then it is more likely to be a failure somewhere in the circuitry and this is the sort of fault that you have to know what you’re doing to fix. If you do attempt it yourself you will need a continuity checker to find where the circuitry is broken.

Machine Won’t Empty

Also a very common fault, this can lead to other problems (such as a lack of power) which can be very frustrating. Don’t force the door open, since this will just break it and probably flood your kitchen too.

The most common cause is a simple blockage, which does take some work to find, but is relatively easy to fix once you find it (clear blockage, put machine back together). If there is no blockage then the next most likely cause is a water pump failure, in which case you will need to buy a new one.

Fortunately, once you have found the water pump and got a new one, replacing it should only take a moderate level of DIY ability.

Door Is Jammed

If the door is jammed shut and the machine is NOT full of water and is responsive then the most likely cause is a mechanical one. Once again, do not force the door, this will just break it further. Most of the time this will not be a costly repair but it can be fiddly – first you will need to get behind the door to open it and check the mechanism.

Things to look for include:

  • Door lock mechanism blocked
  • Door catch is broken (or pecker is broken in older models)
  • Pressure gauge on door lock is jammed

More General Advice

Whatever fault you are attempting to fix there are a few other things to look out for as you work. Firstly of course, you should never turn a machine upside down – this can cause water to leak and damage other parts, causing further damage. Tipping a washing machine onto its front or back is ok, but make sure it is fully drained first.

As long as you are careful, fixing a washing machine should not cause any further damage, however it can dislodged items that are jammed in various corners. These parts would eventually have caused problems anyway, but you might cause this to happen sooner (ie, shortly after you repair it).

Once you have fixed the problem, check the machine regularly for any new issues, any leaks or any signs of blockage, bad smells or water not fully draining. Hopefully you won’t have such issues, but if you do you may need to repeat the process.

Of course sometimes the fault will not be worth fixing, and often it is best to buy a new machine; quality branded appliances (such as Blomberg or Hoover washing machines) tend to be the longest lasting and most reliable, so it is often worth the investment of buying quality in the long run.