Common Washing Machine Problems

Washing machines all share common features and components no matter who manufactured the washer. Modern washing machines generally function without any issues for the life of the machine. You may, however, experience some common issues with a washing machine. Troubleshoot and repair these problems to save money on service fees and to avoid waiting for your washing machine to be repaired.


Repair common washer issues to save money.

Your washing machine commonly makes a certain amount of noise during the wash cycle, including whooshing and thumping sounds. If your washer makes a lot of thumping noises, this indicates the your washer is either overloaded or the load is unbalanced. Stop the washer and remove some clothing or redistribute the load around the agitator. If the washing machine is vibrating, check to see whether the machine is level. If the floor is not level, repair it or place a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood beneath the washing machine. Rattling noises indicate foreign objects are in the tub. Stop the tub and remove them.

Won’t Start or Fill

If your washing machine won’t start, check that the power cord is attached to the wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or adapter. Verify that the household fuses are working correctly or replace a defective fuse. Turn the circuit breaker back on if tripped. Check that the hot and cold water faucets are on and that the water inlet hoses are connected. Straighten the hose if kinked and clean out the water inlet valve screen and hoses if clogged. If the water inlet valve is leaking or defective, purchase a new one. Completely close the washer door and select a washing cycle. Press “Start.”

Not Draining

Check the drainage hose and remove any clogs if the water isn’t draining from your washing machine. The drain hose must not be more than 96 inches above the floor. Remove some clothing from the washing machine if it’s overloaded as this can clog the drainage pipe. Measure the length of the drainage hose that enters the tub. If the hose is longer than 4 inches, cut off the excess. Check the pump pulley. Remove the pump and try rotating the pump pulley. If it won’t turn, get a new one.


Old detergent can cause too many suds, causing your washer to leak. Do not overload the washing machine as water can bounce off a large load and onto your floor. Tighten your hose connections if loose and verify that you have correctly installed the hoses. If the water supply valve is leaking, replace it. Always follow the instructions on the garment label to keep from damaging your clothing. Put chlorine bleach only in the bleach dispenser and don’t pour it on clothing. Close up zippers and snaps to keep clothing from snagging. Never wash light and dark clothing together to avoid color transfer.

About the Author

Misty Faucheux became a freelance writer in 1998 and has been an editor since 2004. She has written for a variety of websites and blogs, specializing in topics ranging from digital photography to computer systems to digital media. Faucheux received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Loyola University New Orleans.