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Tips to Fix a Washing Machine

We’ve been there. Middle of the week rush to get everyone in the family out the door on time in the mornings. The worst is when laundry day happens to fall right in the middle of the week (due to some unforeseen mud wrestling at school and a couple spilled coffees in rush hour traffic). So you may or may not be wearing two different colored socks, while trying to cram an emergency load into the washing machine, only to realize that it’s not working! Have no fear! Here are a few tips to fix a washing machine in your home. If you have water line and drain line problems, give a Deer Valley Plumbing team member a call!

Tips to Fix a Washing Machine

  1. Keep It Simple: Unplug, Disconnect, and Clean

Before you touch anything on your washing machine for some DIY repair work, triple check that you have unplugged the machine (and anything attached to it), disconnected the grounding wire, and disconnected the water hoses. Now, try to plug it all back in and see if that reboot works. (Seems obvious enough, right? You’d be surprised how often this works!) Perhaps your problem is a blown circuit breaker or a loose plug. Next, confirm that the machine is receiving water (check all its knobs on both the front and back ends). Finally, it could simply be a matter of an unclean washing machine (ironic, huh?). You should regularly clean your machine by filling it with water, adding ½ cup of baking soda (or 3 cups of white vinegar), and running it without any clothes. If this still doesn’t work, you might need to clean the inside with some household ammonia or liquid bleach. Beware: absolutely do not mix ammonia and bleach as it creates a dangerous gas. Rinse thoroughly between cleans. If all of these checks prove nothing, it could be something more complicated.

2. Raise the Hood: Get Out the Toolbox

Check the electrical parts of your washing machine by first removing the control panel (usually on the top), making sure the hoses and machine are drained of water, and removing the top of the cabinet by loosening the spring clips (a little knife slid in between the pieces should do the trick). Now you should have the inside wirings and other controls exposed on the top and back of the washing machine so that you can attempt to tackle more complicated repairs. As always, we recommend calling a professional so as to avoid damaging or worsening your unit!

3. Locate the Problem in the Washing Machine

Now comes the ultimate battle of the switches. Here’s where things get complicated. The lid switch, which acts as a safety switch, can get clogged or jolted so that the machine will not run. Try cleaning out this switch and checking to make sure the terminals of the switch are tight. Next, if your machine runs but is not cleaning properly, you might have a problem with the temperature selector switch, which regulates temperature and controls the fill cycle. This one is not a DIY fix. You should remove the switch (usually by unscrewing it) and bring it in to a professional for cleaning and testing. Finally, there is the water level control switch, which is located next to the temperature switch and has a small hose connected to it. If you are having problems with flooding or water levels, this might be the source of your woes. While there are ways to fix this switch yourself, we recommend calling in the professionals to get it done right (without cutting/moving things that aren’t causing the problem).

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