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Common Washing Machine Problems and Solutions

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common washing machine problems
Mar 2022

Home appliances can develop faults or issues anytime. This assertion means your washing machine is also liable to unforeseen faults. But you can be one step ahead once you know some common washing machine problems and their fixes. 

You may have questions such as: What is the best way to fix washer problems? And is there an easy fix for your washer? This blog is your answer to all these questions.

In this article, we’ll be addressing the common washing machine repair issues. In addition, we’ll also propose solutions to them. So let’s get into it.

7 Common Washing Machine Problems and Solutions

There are different common washing machine problems. And any of them can affect your machine at any time. Therefore, you must have good knowledge of popular ones alongside their solutions.

Washer Not Draining

This issue is one of the most common washing machine problems. Also, it doesn’t just happen from the blues. One of the following reasons are usually responsible for your washing machine not draining:

  • There is something small that’s significantly blocking the drain pump or hose. It could be something like a piece of socks, a handkerchief, or panties. Also, it could be dirt if it’s not a piece of clothing. 
  • Another cause for a washer not draining is when the washer is faulty and can’t appropriately engage the spin/drain cycle. Usually, it’ll show an error message/code, which you can clarify from the product manual or a call to the manufacturer. 
  • A broken drain pump is another reason your washing machine may not drain. In cases like this, they usually make a displeasing sound then start leaking.   

Possible Solutions

  •  Washing Machine Reset: There are two reset forms you can try. The first one is the general reset, where you turn off the machine at its power switch, wait a couple of minutes, then get it back on.

The second reset type to resort to if the first doesn’t work is the Master Reset. The master reset gets all the washing machine’s workings back to factory settings. It’s a technique that even technicians use.

Furthermore, open and shut the washing machine door 6-7 times within 13 seconds. Afterwards, run the spin/rinse cycle without clothes in the washer to ascertain if the machine drainage now works.

Did the washer drain? Great!  It didn’t drain? Let’s try unclogging it.

  • Unclogging Drain Hose: First, put off the machine at its power switch. This measure should be a regular practice anytime you want to move the appliance or make significant adjustments.

Meanwhile, ensure the drain hose is straight and not otherwise. A bent hose can cause the machine not to drain or cause it to display an error message.

To unclog, detach the drainage hose from behind the washing machine. You may need a screwdriver because the hose usually has screws attaching it to the back of the washing machine. In addition, you’ll need to use your hand to pull the washer from its place so you can locate the hose entrance.

Furthermore, let some water run through the hose to de-clog it. In most cases, a hose with an outdoor connection is best. This suggestion is because you can easily stick in regular long sticks or plumbing snakes to pull/push-out clogs or items.

Sometimes, removing the drain hose isn’t feasible. In such cases, simply activate the hottest cycle on your washing machine without clothes. This action usually helps soften any solid clog and eventually push it out.

Ensure to fix the washer’s drainage hose back to the machine once water is freely running through it. Also, you need to ascertain your machine drains well. Therefore, ensure the hose tail isn’t up to 13CM into the drainage hole.

Lastly, you may need washer repair services when none of the above resolves work for you. 

Washer Door Jammed

A washer’s door not unlocking is one of the most common washing machine problems. Notably, this issue is peculiar to front loader washing machines.

A front loader washing machine won’t operate if you don’t close it tightly. And the washing cycle needs to end before you can open it again. It automatically unlocks once the cycle ends.

However, a front loader washing machine may sometimes develop a fault that will keep it on lock.

Some things may be responsible for this sudden jam, and they include:

  • The washing machine door lock may be on the hook. For example, clothes may hang in the way of the locking mechanism. 
  • The washing machine’s computer may be experiencing a glitch. 
  • Sometimes, the washer may not drain appropriately. As a result, the door will remain on lock with water. 

Possible Solutions

  • Restart/Reset The Machine: Sometimes, it may be digital malfunctions. So try to reset it by turning off the washing machine at the power switch. Then put it back on after 1 minute.

Try the master reset if the restart/general reset doesn’t work.

  • Try Running a Short Cycle: Sometimes, your clothes may be hooking the lock and causing a jam. In this case, you should run a short cycle. Hopefully, the clothes should unhook from the lock mechanism during the cycle rotation. Of course, this recycling will mean your clothes are washing for the second time. But it’ll at least save you the cost of hiring a technician.  
  • Inspect Drainage Hose: Your machine may be on lock if the washing machine isn’t draining. So check the drainage hose for possible blockages.  
  • Contact Your Washer Manufacturer: Your machine may still not unlock despite trying the above. In this case, you may need to reach out to your manufacturer to help you. If your machine is still under warranty, the manufacturer can also send you a repairer.

Make sure you haven’t had to dismantle your machine before. Your manufacturer will consider your warranty void if you’ve done a dismantle before.

Related Article: 10 Common Oven Problems and How to Fix Them

washer door jammed

Can’t Pause To Add or Remove an Item in Washing Machine

There are situations whereby you forget a fold of dollars in your pockets. Or you mistakenly left out one of the clothes you intend to wash. Such instances sum up as one of the common washing machine problems you may encounter.

This issue has an easy fix, especially if your washing machine is a top loader. Simply open the cover and remove/add the item. That’s it for a top loader.

Things can, however, be a bit more complex if you’re using a front loader. Front-loaders won’t open once you start a washing cycle. Instead, it closes up tightly to prevent water spillage on your floor during the washing cycle.  

Possible Solutions

The first batch of front loader washing machines can’t be open during the washing cycle. Therefore, your front loader may not open during the cycle if it’s one of the early models. But it is different if you recently bought it. Most manufacturers now make front loaders that can pause and open during the washing cycle.

Smelling Washing Machine

This issue is one of the most common washing machine problems you may face also. A smelling washing machine happens when the washer becomes dirty and develops moulds over time.

The smell sometimes transcends from the machine interior to your clothes. As such, you may end up taking your clothes for external laundry, for which you likely have to pay.

You’ll need to run an empty cycle on your washer to clean it. This cycle allows the cleaning solution and water to rinse through the hollows of the washing machine. Notably, there’s a drum clean cycle feature in new washing machine models. But you can use the hot cycle as an alternative if yours doesn’t come with the DCC feature.

Possible Solutions

Cleaning your washing machine is not difficult at all. With the following items, you can easily clean How to clean your washing machine a front-loader or top-loader washing machine.

You may need the following:

  • Two cups of vinegar
  • ¼ Cup bicarb (baking) soda
  • ¼ Cup Water

Do the following to clean:

  • Firstly, ensure that any mould or filth removes.
  • Next, mix the baking soda and water in a little container. 
  • Add the above mixture to the detergent container of your washer.
  • Then sprinkle the vinegar evenly into the washing machine drum.
  • Select the hottest setting on your washing machine and begin the cycle. 
  • The baking soda and vinegar blend will dissolve any lump or mould in your washing machine. This cleansing will, in turn, improve the smell of your machine.

TIP: We advise you run this sanitation exercise once every 1-2 months. 

The Washing Machine Keeps Going Off

This washing machine problem is a very frustrating one. Imagine needing to quickly run laundry for your child’s favourite dress for a party. Then you suddenly discover your washer is not working perfectly. Well, if your google search was – how to repair a faulty washer, you’re about to get a possible solution.

Your washer tripping off or not coming on is one of the most common washing machine problems.

The causes include:

  • A faulty motor
  • A water leak into the power channel
  • Motor overheating during spinning
  • An overload of clothes during the last wash is making it unresponsive. 

Possible Solutions

  • If it’s just tripping off, try a master reset. And avoid overloading it if it starts working. Also, get a bigger machine if you have a lot of laundry to do due to your family size.  
  • If the answer you need is to the question: “what to do when your washing machine stops working”, you may need to seek washing machine repair services in Ontario

washing machine keeps going off

Washing Machine Won’t Stay Put

This issue is the most humorous of all the common washing machine problems you can encounter. Imagine running a select cycle, and you return to see your washer dancing around your laundry room. It can make you burst into laughter. But you don’t want your machine disconnecting from the water or power source.

The usual reason for this issue is that your machine isn’t balancing properly. There’s usually a highspeed force in the cause of wringing your clothes of water. It’s known as the spin phase. Therefore, a move about is inevitable if the washing machine is not standing perfectly on its four legs.

This jumping around is noisy, risky and can also damage the machine.

Possible Solution

Ensure the washing machine is standing well on level ground. Use a spirit level to inspect the standings and identify any adjustment needs.

You may have done the above and are asking how to fix such washing machine problems further. Go ahead and rearrange the clothes you put in the washer. Arrange them in such a way that they are evenly set. This setting will ensure that the machine is not swaying to one side than the other.

Lastly, you may just need to get a new washing machine if this issue is persistent. Most new model washers come with load balancing technology. 

Wrong Washing Detergent Use

Usually, front loader detergents differ from top loader detergents. But there should be no significant issues if you use the former in the latter. However, you may not get the best cleaning you would have gotten with their proper usage.

On the other hand, top loader detergent is made to foam excessively. This reaction is because there’s space for excess lather inside the top loader. So, there’ll be a problem if you mistakenly put top loader detergent in a front loader washer.  

Possible Solution

Don’t panic if you’re in the case of using top loader detergent in a front loader. Instead, try to stop the cycle and drain the appliance. The door would remain on lock through the drainage process. 

Some machines may not allow you to stop a cycle. Therefore, just try to switch to a brief cycle shorter cycle to reduce soap lather. 

Please note that High-Efficiency (HE) top-loaders work best with low-foaming detergents. Thus, you need to know which detergents to use with this appliance.

Bonus: You may also have washer issues that make you ask: why is my washing machine not spinning? Most times, the cause is that the clothes in your washing machine are too much for a go. So, decongest the machine and watch your washer spin to life.

However, you may need a repair technician if decongestion does not work for you.

Related Article: 10 Common Refrigerator Repair Problems


It’s almost impossible to guard against your washing machine developing a fault. But you’ve taken a proactive measure by reading through the common washing machine problems. Now you know how to fix basic washing machine problems.

Most of these problems are mild and require simple DIY solutions. But some instances involve motor issues that require dismantling the washer. In these instances, you should reach out to professional technicians to do the job.

Luckily, you don’t have to look too far for washing machine repair services in Ontario. Here at Prime Appliance Repair, we have the best hands-on deck to attend to every repair need your washer may have. 

Contact us to have one of our repair professionals attend to you the same day!

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