How To Rehabilitate Your Ailing Washing Machine


All seems lost for that mainstay of your home, your formerly-trusty washing machine. Instead of the reliable, effective, smooth-running helper you've known and loved for many years, you now have a noisy, inconsistent, cantankerous device that leaves you with a wet floor or clothes that feel unclean. You could buy a whole new washing machine, of course, or suffer the inconvenience and expense of regular trips to the laundromat. Or you could rehabilitate that errant washing machine by finding and fixing the cause of the malfunction -- which could be easier than you think. Here are some smart ways to keep your current machine in service.

Stabilizing and Balancing the Unit

A noisy washing machine may cause understandable alarm, but it doesn't necessarily indicate a mechanical problem. Your machine may simply have become unstable in the way it sits on the floor due to shifts in the floor level or a problem with one of the feet. If the feet all look okay, then try propping up each foot in turn with a small wedge made from a sturdy piece of wood.

If you're still dealing with banging or thumping noises, check to see whether the drum inside the washer turns freely. If it seems to resist, then its bearings may have worn out. Your appliance service technician can take care of this quickly and easily.

Softening Your Water

You just can't understand why your clothes keep coming out of the washer feeling stiff and looking dull or dirty. Has your washing machine lost its ability to wash? Actually, the trouble is probably with your water, not with your machine -- but that could change if you don't deal with it promptly. Limescale (calcium and magnesium deposits) in hard water can reduce detergent's ability to clean. These minerals can also collect on the washing machine's heating element (leading to overheats and breakdowns) or impair the functionality of the dispenser jets and pressure switch hose.

The good news is that these minerals can be dissolved by a mildly acidic solution. Try applying either vinegar or lemon juice to the limescale-caked components, leaving the solution in place for at least an hour to obtain best results. If this homemade solution fails, you can buy commercial limescale removers. To avoid recurrences of this nasty problem, consider running your washing machine's water through a water softener. These devices trade sodium ions for calcium and magnesium, scrubbing minerals out of the water so your machine can work effectively without suffering harm. 

Looking for Leaks

A leaky washing machine doesn't just lose its ability to wash clothes effectively -- it can also wreak havoc on your home. But that doesn't mean the entire appliance is doomed to the scrap heap. Leaks typically stem from a loose or deteriorated hose. Sometimes the pump that drains water out of the machine goes bad as well. If water leaks from the moment you load the machine, you may have some worn-out gaskets that need replacing.

Whatever the source of your leak, the last thing you want to experience is flooding that can damage your floor, furniture and other treasured items. To safeguard your home against future disaster, make sure there's a drain pan or tray installed underneath the washing machine. This device is designed to catch water and divert it safely away into your sewer line, to a tub or outside the house.

Scheduling Regular Checkups

No matter how "sudden" your 20-year-old washing machine's failure may seem, it's more likely the culmination of years of slow, undetected deterioration. A strategy of preventative appliance maintenance can help you keep those catastrophic failures from happening, allowing you to get many more years of life out of your washing machine while also avoiding house-wrecking flooding and other expensive complications.

Different parts of a washing machine may have individual lifespans of their own. Start by having your local appliance maintenance service tech give the entire system a detailed inspection, repairing or replacing any obvious problems. Once that's done, adopt a sensible appliance maintenance schedule for items such as the following:

  • Rubber hoses - Check them every 6 months; replace them every 5 years
  • Lint traps - Clean them out every time you see lint in them, instead of allowing lint to gather into a solid mass
  • Air ducts - Check them for lint accumulation every 6 months

Keep a written record of all inspections, adjustments and repairs so you can know when the next one is due.

There are plenty of gadgets in this affluent modern world that are considered "disposable" when they fail, but your washing machine shouldn't be one of them. Fix little problems before they become big ones and check your washing machine's various components periodically. With any luck, you'll enjoy many more years of service from your faithful mechanical friend.


12 April 2016

Saving Money On Appliance Repairs

After I purchased my first home, I realized that there were a few issues with my kitchen appliances. It just seemed like nothing worked like it should, and it was really frustrating. To ward off problems in the future, I started looking around for an appliances repair services business that could help. I was able to find a great company that came out, evaluated our equipment, and made the necessary changes. This blog is all about the different things to look for if your appliances start to fail. You never know, you might be able to ward off some serious expenses in the future.