The five most common washing machine problems and how to resolve them

Washing machines are possibly the most mission critical appliance in the home. Unlike the cooker, that if it goes on the fritz, you could use a microwave, or the fridge could have some things transferred to the freezer. The washing machine doesn’t have an alternative except for your own two hands and some elbow grease. This means that when failure occurs it will be important to establish whether you can fix it yourself or you will have to bring in an experienced washing machine technician.

The door won’t unlock

There is nothing more infuriating than a washing machine door that will not open or unlock. All the more infuriating when the machine is full of clothes that need to be dried. There are a number of quick fixes that may work. Try turning the machine off both on the machine and at the wall. Leave it for a few minutes as you would when working normally to wait for the lock to disengage. If the lock hasn’t disengaged move on to the next solution.

Remember that the door won’t open even if the machine is only partially filled with water, so draining the machine should be the next step. If attempts to get it to empty on its own fail, consider opening the pump filter to check if there is a blockage. Beware, if it is blocked, you could have a stream of water escape when you open the filter cap.

Try restarting the machine and running a short cycle. Once you can tell that it has completed the cycle and drained properly try to open the door again. If you are still struggling to get the door open it is possible that the door mechanism has jammed. While in some makes of machines it is possible to get the door open manually most cases will require a fully qualified and appropriately qualified engineer. The risk of electrocution or self injury is too high to do it yourself.

Power keeps tripping

There are a lot of reasons why this problem could be happening. It could be the washing machine motor is overheating and causing a domino effect. The problem could be that the electrics cannot cope with multiple appliances on at the same time. If you cannot resolve this by turning other appliances off while the machine it is best to call a qualified engineer. Be specific about the problem so that the repair company can send an engineer that is also suitably electrically qualified.

Washing machine won’t drain

There are two possible reasons for this problem. Firstly, it is possible that there is a blockage somewhere. The second reason is that there is a pump failure. On the whole either of the problems are usually resolvable. Check that the outlet pipe is in the position that the manufacture recommends. Sometimes the machine won’t drain properly if the outlet pipe is not upright. It may seem a contradiction in terms however this is very important. While you are checking this also ensure that the drain that the outlet pipe leads to is also clear. The next step is to check the pump. Most front loading machines provide access to the pump filter through an inspection cavity at he front of the washing machine. By unscrewing the cap, there is a very real possibility that the water will drain out, so be prepared.

Once the water has completely drained look for any small items that may be obstructing the pump impeller. This could be anything from hair grips or small change to a piece of plastic that accidentally got into the wash. If you find something that may have been the culprit. Close up the pump filter cavity and try running a rinse and drain cycle again. In most cases this will resolve the problem.

Machine won’t fill with water

When the inlet valve is faulty it is possible that the machine will not fill with water and therefore wont progress with the wash cycle. You can check the condition of inlet valves and pipes quite easily. Sometimes the setup under the sink is responsible. If you have recently installed the machine, it is possible that the levels on the inlet valve under the basin has been moved to the closed position thus preventing water from feeding into the machine. Check this by turning the little handle n the valve. If this does not work, please call our washing machine repair experts at Just Fixed.

The machine and the laundry is smelly

Washing machines need to be cleaned too. It is easy to assume that the machine will be clean, because it is used to clean textiles. The grime and dirt that comes off the textiles lands up in all nooks and crannies of the washing machine. This can become a bit sludgy and makes for a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. There has been a lot written about cleaning washing machines, from the use of white vinegar to running an empty machine on a cycle using a proprietary descaling cleaner.

The quickest and easiest and often the most effective fix is to mix a cup of Bicarbonate of Soda with a cup of lemon juice and run the machine on a quick cycle, doing this regularly prevents build-up. Remember that too much bleach with lemon juice or vinegar can create fumes that will make your family very ill.

Modern washing machines are extremely well manufactured. Well looked after machines often don’t seen their first engineer until they are quite old. Troubleshoot at source and this may well be your machine.