The washing machine is among the most exploited household appliances and, therefore, most prone to breakdowns. Some problems require the intervention of a technician, while we consumers can solve others. In any case, the important thing is to understand when it is advisable to fix them and when to buy a new one.
Symptoms of a malfunctioning washing machine
Often you continue to use the washing machine despite something not working as it should. It is essential to pay attention to a series of signals that could indicate a possible failure or, in any case, the need for maintenance.
Among the main symptoms is much wetter-than-usual laundry or with a bad smell. Abnormal noises during the washing cycle or centrifuge must also be suspicious, and the cause should be ascertained. Once a malfunction has been established, understanding the real reason is not always easy. However, even if the washing machine is no longer under warranty, it can still be worth repairing, and it is not said that it is necessary to call a technician.
Water remains in the washing machine.
If you find a lot of water in the basket at the end of the cycle, the problem is the discharge. First, check that you have not selected a program that does not involve the expulsion of water. If the settings are correct, the cause is most likely an obstruction or pump failure.
Most of the time, the problem is due to small forgotten objects in the pockets of the trousers or paper handkerchiefs that go to pocket the exhaust pipe and filter or end up inside the pump. Many washing machines report a failure with special lights or error codes.
The pump is located near the filter, so lower right and more rarely left. An easy-to-access location, however, requires good dexterity and some experience. In the user manual, you will find indications in this regard regarding the cleaning of the filter. In contrast, for the replacement of the pump, you can find online many useful video tutorials.
Man tapped filter
The filter is a component that requires regular cleaning at least every three months. As we have seen in the previous paragraph, its taping compromises the discharge of water and the proper functioning of the washing machine, causing the centrifuge to be blocked.
The operation is nothing complicated, and you will open the door and unscrew the cartridge, taking care to place a basin to collect water. Remove any residue of detergent, limestone and accumulated dirt bypassing the filter under a jet of running water and then reassemble it at its site.
The basket doesn’t turn.
In such circumstances, the components responsible for the failure may be different. The most common cause is the breakage of the transmission belt, but even a malfunctioning pulley could lead to the basket’s blockage.
The burnt electric motor represents a further hypothesis not to be discarded. It is important to stress that washing machines with Direct Drive technology do not have a belt by operating with an engine directly connected to the basket. The engine is the main suspect in this type of problem.
DIY repair for belt replacement is possible; although not so immediate, it is a good idea to rely on a specialized technician if the fault concerns other details.
The washing machine does not centrifuge
If the centrifuge phase does not work properly, the result is very damp cloths. The causes can be, as we have already seen, the drain or the shuttered filter or the broken pump. Clearly, a broken strap causes the centrifuge to stop, but the molten capacitor or electronic board malfunction also leads to the same problem.
The capacitor is that component that favours the starting point of the electric motor, creating a rotating magnetic field opposite that of the motor itself. It is an element subject to natural wear and must sooner or later be replaced. You can do this without any particular difficulty, as long as you know where to get your hands on it.
You will have to disassemble the top cover and look into the right corner, where you should notice a cylindrical-shaped white component fastened with a bolt to the washing machine frame. Remember that the capacitor is connected with two cables to the electric motor, so un connect the wires before removing it.
It is easy to confuse it with the anti-disfigure filter, which is much smaller in size. The capacitor does not necessarily have to be of the same brand; the important thing is to respect the capacity expressed in Microfarad (MF) and shown on the label.
If you experience unusual noises during an operation, you should find out the cause. It could simply object that ended up in the basket or the porthole’s vibration caused by the worn gasket or not perfectly in place.
Other reasons may be breakage of the exhaust pump or transmission belt and wear of bearings and shock absorbers. Discard all these assumptions remains only an engine problem.
Changing bearings is a very complex operation since they are located in the back of the washing machine, between flywheel and motor. Also, the latest generation models integrate the bearings directly into the tank, so you will have to replace the entire basket. In this case, it is better to put aside the idea of DIY interventions and ask for assistance from a technician.
Fix it or buy a new one?
In the event of failures that require inexpensive interventions such as replacing the gasket, filter or exhaust pump, the repair is almost always convenient. It is advisable to evaluate some more complicated interventions, such as changing the engine or bearings. The years of the washing machine and its intense exploitation are elements that must lead you to reflect on the actual convenience.
The consideration will also be influenced by any quote provided by the service centre. You should also not forget that you may no longer find spare parts on the market for dated models. So, in the end, before you start disassembling the washing machine or calling the technician, it is good that you do all your evaluations and then decides whether to say goodbye to your old appliance or proceed with the repair.