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Clothes Washer Maintenance


Clothes washer models vary, so the specific instructions that are available in the owner’s manual are very important. Any devices made of rubber were never intended to last the lifetime of the appliance (remember the term “built-in obsolescence”?). Leaking or cracked valves and hoses need to be replaced immediately. Preventive maintenance not only saves valuable water but also could prevent a costly flood inside your home.

Always turn off the power before working on an appliance!


Even the most reliable clothes washer
may need an occasional repair.

Troubleshooting

Won't Fill

  • Be sure the door is tightly closed.
  • Plug cord into a live electrical outlet.
  • Check fuse or reset circuit breaker.
  • Turn the control dial to the proper cycle and push the START/STOP button. If equipped with buttons, be sure they are fully depressed.
  • Turn both faucets on fully.
  • Straighten inlet hoses.
  • Disconnect hoses and clean screens. Hose filter screens may be plugged.
  • Open and close the door, then push the START/STOP button.

Won't Tumble

  • Check fuse or reset circuit breaker. Be sure the drain hose is elevated in the drain or disposer.
  • Turn the control dial to proper cycle and push the START/STOP button. If equipped with buttons, be sure they are fully depressed. Close the door and push the START/STOP button. For your safety, the clothes washer will not tumble or spin unless the door is closed.

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Won't Spin or Drain

  • Check fuse or reset circuit breaker. Straighten drain hoses. Eliminate kinked hoses. If there is a drain restriction, call for service.
  • Close the door and push the START/STOP button. For your safety, washer will not tumble or spin unless the door is closed. After pressing the START/STOP button, it may take a few moments before the clothes washer begins to spin. The door must lock before spin can be achieved.

Door Locked Shut. Will Not Open

  • Press the START/STOP button to stop the machine. It may take 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for the door lock mechanism to disengage.
  • Pull on the door indentation opposite the hinges.

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Stops

  • Plug cord into live electrical outlet.
  • Check fuse or reset circuit breaker.
  • Turn the control dial to proper cycle and push the START/STOP button to start the clothes washer. If equipped with buttons, be sure they are fully depressed.
  • Close door and push the START/STOP button to start the clothes washer. For your safety, washer will not tumble or spin unless door is closed.
  • This may be a pause or soak period in the cycle. Wait briefly and it may start.

Leaks Water

  • Make sure hose connections are tight.
  • Make sure end of drain hose is correctly inserted and secured to drain facility.
  • Avoid overloading.
  • Check for loose or cracked hoses. Replace if necessary.

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Is Noisy

  • Clothes washer should be leveled properly as outlined in installation instructions.
  • Weak floors can cause vibration and walking.
  • Be sure rubber feet are installed on leveling legs.
  • Check the leveling leg lock nuts are tightened.

Fills With the Wrong Temperature Water

  • Turn both faucets on fully.
  • Check that the temperature selector button is fully depressed.
  • Make sure temperature selection is correct.
  • Make sure hoses are connected to correct faucets and inlet connections. Flush water line before filling washer.
  • Check the water heater. It should be set to deliver a minimum 120°F (49°C) hot water at the tap. Also check water heater capacity and recovery rate.
  • Disconnect hoses and clean screens. Hose filter screens may be plugged.

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Tub is Completely Full of Suds

  • Run the clothes washer through another complete cycle using cold water.
  • Reduce detergent amount for that specific load size and soil level. Use high efficiency or low seducing detergent specially formulated for front load washers.

Water Drips Down Outside of Machine

  • May be caused by cracked inlet nozzle or loose hose.
  • Be certain that hose is tightly clamped. Replace if necessary.

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Water Leaks from Pump

  • Pump is malfunctioning
  • May need to tighten or replace clamps or replace pump

If no water enters your washing machine during the fill cycle, or if only cold water is entering the appliance, there is a strong possibility that the water mixing valve needs to be replaced. If you want to learn about doing this repair yourself, check out this detailed article in Popular Mechanics.

Sources:
CUWCC Practical Plumbing Handbook (accessed 6/7/01)

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