16 Common Washing Machine Problems and Solutions

washer most common problems and solutions repair guide
Table of Contents

Strengthen your expertise in washing machine repair through articles such as “Common Washing Machine Error Codes and How To Repair Them” and “Should I Repair or Replace a Broken Washing Machine?”

When it comes to comprehensive dryer repair information, our detailed article offers valuable insights:
How To Troubleshoot a Washing Machine: Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding How a Washing Machine Works

how a washing machine works explanation

At its core, a washing machine is designed to clean clothes by agitating them in soapy water and then rinsing away the dirt and detergent. The process begins when water enters the machine through an inlet valve, controlled by the washer’s timer or electronic control panel.

This valve allows water to fill the drum, ensuring that your clothes are thoroughly soaked before the wash cycle begins. Once the drum is filled with water, the agitator comes into play.

The agitator is responsible for moving your clothes around in various directions to ensure thorough cleaning. There are different types of agitators, such as impeller or pulsator designs, depending on the model of your washer.

Of course, no discussion about how a washing machine functions would be complete without mentioning spin cycles. After completing its agitation phase, the washer drains out dirty water and begins spinning rapidly to remove excess moisture from your garments during what is known as centrifugal force.

This spinning action helps reduce drying time and ensures that your clothes don’t come out soaking wet from the machine. Now that we have delved into how a washing machine works at a fundamental level let’s proceed with our exploration of specific common washer problems and their corresponding solutions.

Armed with this knowledge about how your trusty appliance functions, you will be better equipped to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle these washing machine problems head-on!

Safety Precautions When Troubleshooting a Washer

Before attempting any repairs or maintenance, there are several safety precautions that should be followed. Firstly, always ensure that the washing machine is unplugged from the power source before starting any troubleshooting procedures.

This simple step helps to minimize the risk of electric shock or injury while working on the machine. Additionally, wearing protective gloves and eyewear can provide an extra layer of safety and protection.

Another important precaution is to avoid working on a wet surface or when your hands are wet. Water and electricity do not mix well, and damp conditions can increase the risk of electrical accidents.

Pro Tip: It is also advisable to avoid wearing loose clothing that could get caught in moving parts of the machine. By adhering to these safety measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents or injuries while troubleshooting your washer.

Furthermore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific model’s user manual before attempting any repairs. This will provide valuable information about error code troubleshooting and proper usage instructions for your particular washing machine model.

1. Washer Not Filling with Water

Firstly, check if there is an issue with the water supply. Ensure that the water valves behind the machine are fully open and supplying adequate water pressure.

Sometimes, blockages or kinks in the hoses can restrict water flow, so examine them carefully and remove any obstructions if necessary. Additionally, make sure that the inlet screens on the hoses are clean and free from debris.

If the water supply seems fine, another possible culprit could be a malfunctioning control panel or timer. These components regulate various functions of your washing machine, including filling it with water.

If they become faulty or experience a malfunction, it can disrupt this process. Try resetting your control panel or timer by unplugging your washer from its power source for several minutes before plugging it back in.

This simple step may rectify any minor glitches that may have occurred. It’s also important to consider whether there might be an error code displayed on your washer’s control panel that could shed light on what’s causing the problem.

2. Washer Agitator Not Agitating

top load washer agitator not agitating or spinning

One common cause for an agitator not moving is a broken or worn-out drive belt. The drive belt connects the motor to the transmission and helps in rotating the agitator. Over time, continuous usage can lead to wear and tear, causing the belt to slip or break entirely.

Check if there are any visible signs of damage such as cracks on the belt surface. If so, it is necessary to replace it with a new one that matches your specific washer model. 

Another potential culprit for an agitator not agitating is a malfunctioning motor coupling. The motor coupling connects the motor to the transmission and enables power transmission for agitation. In case of a broken or worn-out motor coupling, there will be no movement from the agitator even though other parts of the washing machine may function properly.

Inspect for any signs of damage such as cracks or breakage on either side of the coupling. If you find any issues with it, you would need to replace it promptly using manufacturer-recommended replacement parts. If attempting these troubleshooting steps does not resolve your washer’s agitator problem, it may be best to consult a professional washer technician who has expertise in dealing with complex washing machine repairs.

They have specialized knowledge that allows them to accurately diagnose issues like control panel malfunctions or other underlying problems that might be hindering proper agitation. Remember that regular maintenance is crucial for preventing common washer problems from occurring in

3. Excessive Vibrations During Spin Cycle

There are several common causes for excessive vibrations, and understanding them is key to finding a solution. One of the main causes of excessive vibrations during the spin cycle is an unbalanced load.

When clothes are unevenly distributed in the drum, it can cause the machine to become off-balance, resulting in vigorous shaking. To resolve this issue, start by stopping the machine and redistributing the clothes more evenly.

Make sure to separate heavier items from lighter ones to achieve a balanced load. Additionally, consider reducing the number of garments being washed at once if overloading is a recurring problem.

Another potential cause of excessive vibration is worn or damaged shock absorbers. These components are responsible for stabilizing the drum during operation, but over time they may become weakened or broken.

If you suspect this might be the issue, inspect your washer’s shock absorbers for any signs of wear or damage such as cracks or leaks. If you notice any issues, replacing them should help eliminate excessive vibrations during the spin cycle.

It’s important to note that while these solutions may alleviate some vibration issues, there could be other underlying problems causing persistent vibrations in your washing machine. If simple fixes like redistributing loads or replacing shock absorbers do not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to consult a professional washer repairman for further diagnosis and repair.

Pro Tip: When faced with excessive vibrations during your washing machine’s spin cycle, there are steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially solve this problem on your own. Start by ensuring that your laundry loads are balanced properly and that you’re not overloading the machine.

4. Washer Not Draining

Washing machine drain pump inspection
Washing machine drain pump inspection

One potential cause for a washer not draining properly is a clogged or obstructed drain hose. Over time, debris such as lint, small fabric fibers, and even foreign objects can accumulate in the hose and impede water flow.

Inspect the hose for any obstructions by running water through it or using a long tool like a flexible pipe cleaner to clear away any blockages. Additionally, check if there are any kinks or bends in the hose that may hinder water flow.

Another possible culprit behind drainage issues is a faulty or malfunctioning drain pump. The pump plays a vital role in expelling water from the washing machine during each cycle.

If it becomes clogged with debris or experiences mechanical failure, it can impede proper drainage. To determine if this is indeed causing your problem, consult your washing machine’s manual for instructions on how to locate and inspect the pump.

In some cases, you may need to remove certain parts of the machine’s exterior casing to access it fully. Once exposed, visually inspect the pump for any visible signs of blockage or damage such as broken blades or lodged objects.

Pro Tip: Remember to always prioritize safety by disconnecting the appliance from its power source before attempting any repairs or inspections. If the problem persists or appears beyond your expertise, it may be time to seek professional assistance in resolving the issue.

5. Washer Not Spinning

There are several possible causes for a washer not spinning, ranging from simple quick fixes to more complex issues that may require professional assistance. One of the most common reasons for a washer not spinning is a malfunctioning door lock.

If the door lock mechanism fails to engage properly, it will prevent the washer from entering the spin cycle. This can be caused by various factors such as a faulty latch or sensor.

To resolve this issue, first check if there are any obstructions preventing the door from closing properly. If that’s not the case, you may need to replace or repair the door lock mechanism.

Another potential cause of a non-spinning washer is an overloaded drum. Overloading your machine can strain its motor and cause it to shut down as a protective measure.

Furthermore, another cause behind a washer not spinning might be an unbalanced load or excessive vibrations during the spin cycle. This can occur when heavy items like blankets or towels clump together on one side of the drum, causing an imbalance and shaking during operation. 

To resolve this problem, try rearranging your laundry inside the drum for better weight distribution before restarting your machine.

Pro Tip: If none of these quick fixes solve your problem and your washing machine continues to refuse spinning action despite trying various troubleshooting techniques, it may be time to call in a washing machine repair service for further diagnosis and repair. Remember that proper maintenance plays an essential role in preventing common washing machine problems like these.

6. Unpleasant Odor from the Washing Machine

One possible cause of a smelly washing machine is a buildup of mold and mildew. Moist environments, such as those inside a washing machine, provide the perfect breeding ground for these fungi.

When left unaddressed, they can produce a musty odor that lingers on freshly washed clothes. To combat this problem, it is imperative to regularly clean your washing machine using appropriate methods and cleaning agents specifically designed to tackle mold and mildew.

Another common reason behind washing machine odors is residue accumulation. Over time, small particles from detergents and fabric softeners can build up inside various components of your appliance such as the detergent dispenser drawer or drum.

This residue can create an environment ripe for bacterial growth which leads to unpleasant smells. To address this issue effectively, it’s essential to thoroughly clean these areas using warm water mixed with vinegar or suitable cleaning agents recommended by the manufacturer.

Pro Tip: In addition to regular cleaning routines, there are preventive measures you can take to reduce the chances of developing an unpleasant odor in your washing machine. After each wash cycle, leave the washer door slightly open for proper ventilation, allowing air to circulate within the drum and preventing moisture buildup that fosters mold growth.

Not only will you enjoy fresh-smelling clothes once again but also ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your appliance. However, if the issue persists despite your efforts, it may be indicative of a more complex problem requiring the attention of a professional washer technician.

7. Washing Machine Leaking Water

washing machine leaking water

There are several possible causes for a leaking washing machine, ranging from simple fixes to more complex issues that may require professional assistance. One common cause of a leaking washing machine is a faulty door seal or gasket.

If you notice any damage, it will need to be replaced. Consult your washing machine’s manual for specific instructions on how to properly remove and replace the door seal.

Another potential source of leaks is a clogged or malfunctioning drainage system. If the drainage hose becomes blocked with debris or if there is an issue with the drain pump, water may overflow and leak from the machine during operation.

To troubleshoot this problem, first ensure that the drainage hose is free from obstructions and securely connected to both the machine and an appropriate drain outlet. Additionally, check if there are any visible signs of damage on the hose itself.

8. Timer or Control Panel Malfunction

Common issues include unresponsive buttons, incorrect time display, or even completely non-functional controls. When faced with a timer or control panel malfunction, it is essential to first ensure that the problem does not lie elsewhere in the machine’s system.

Check for any loose connections or faulty wiring that may be affecting the control panel’s functionality. Additionally, inspect the buttons and knobs for any signs of damage or debris that may hinder their proper operation.

If no obvious physical issues are present, it may be necessary to troubleshoot further by consulting the washing machine’s manual or searching online resources specific to your model. Many manufacturers provide error code troubleshooting guides that can help pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.

Pro Tip: Following these steps will allow you to determine whether a simple fix is possible or if professional assistance is required. In some cases, quick fixes like resetting the control panel by unplugging and then plugging in the washer again may resolve minor malfunctions.

Alternatively, performing a factory reset on certain models might restore full functionality if software glitches are at fault. However, if these attempts prove unsuccessful or if you lack confidence in your troubleshooting abilities, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a qualified washer technician who can diagnose and repair more complex control panel issues accurately.

9. Clothes Coming Out Soaking Wet

Overloading can prevent proper water circulation and impede the spin cycle, resulting in clothes retaining excessive moisture. Additionally, unevenly distributed laundry within the drum can cause imbalance during the spin cycle, leading to poor water extraction.

If improper loading doesn’t seem to be the issue, it’s worth checking for drainage problems. A clogged or slow-draining washer can prevent water from effectively draining during the spin cycle, leaving clothes wetter than desired.

Inspect and clean the drain hose for any obstructions and ensure it is properly connected to both the washer and drainage system. In some cases, a malfunctioning or worn-out drive belt could also be responsible for clothes being excessively wet after washing.

If you notice a loose or damaged drive belt beneath your washing machine, it may need to be replaced. Similarly, issues with other mechanical components like a faulty pump or motor could contribute to inadequate water extraction.

Pro Tip: Performing regular maintenance on your washing machine can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. Clean out any accumulated lint or debris from filters and drains regularly as they can affect proper water flow and drainage efficiency.

10. Noisy Operation During Washing

One reason for a noisy washing machine is an unbalanced load. When clothes are unevenly distributed inside the drum, it can cause the appliance to vibrate excessively during the wash cycle.

This vibration may result in loud banging or thumping noises. To address this issue, try redistributing the load manually by rearranging the clothes evenly around the agitator or impeller.

Another factor that may lead to a noisy washing machine is a worn-out or damaged drive belt. Over time, belts can become frayed or loose, causing them to produce squealing or screeching sounds during operation. To check if this is the issue at hand, open up your washer’s cabinet (after unplugging it) and inspect the drive belt for any signs of wear or damage.

If necessary, replace it with a new one following manufacturer instructions to restore smooth and quiet operation. It’s worth noting that these are just two potential causes for a noisy washing machine during washing cycles.

Pro Tip: Other factors such as faulty shock absorbers, malfunctioning bearings, or even foreign objects stuck in between drum paddles could also contribute to unwanted noise levels. By familiarizing yourself with common troubleshooting techniques and seeking professional assistance if needed, you’ll be well-equipped to address any noisy operation issues your washing machine may be experiencing efficiently and effectively

11. Washing Machine Shaking Violently

Uneven surfaces can exacerbate the issue and make it difficult for the machine to maintain stability during operation. Additionally, make sure that each leg of the washing machine is properly adjusted to ensure even weight distribution.

Next, carefully check if there are any items within the drum that may have become tangled or clumped together. These entangled items can throw off the balance of the load and cause shaking during spin cycles.

Another potential cause for violent shaking could be excessive wear on suspension rods or springs within your washing machine. These components may weaken or break due to repeated use or heavy loads. If you notice any signs of damage or wear on these parts, they may need to be replaced.

Pro Tip: If after following these troubleshooting steps you continue to experience violent shaking from your washer, it may be necessary to consult with a washing machine repair technician who will have expertise in diagnosing and resolving more complex issues related to washing machines. Remember that addressing this problem promptly will not only prevent further damage but also ensure smooth and efficient laundry cycles while extending your washing machine’s lifespan.

12. Door Won’t Lock or Unlock

washing machine wont lock or unlock the door

One cause of a door not locking or unlocking is a problem with the door latch mechanism. Over time, the latch may become misaligned or worn out, preventing it from properly engaging with the door strike. To check if this is the issue, start by inspecting the latch for any visible damage or debris that may be obstructing its movement.

If you notice any dirt or buildup, clean it thoroughly using a mild detergent and warm water. Additionally, ensure that the strike plate on the washing machine body aligns properly with the latch when closing the door.

Another possible cause of door lock issues is an electrical malfunction within the washing machine’s control system. This can be indicated by error codes displayed on your washer’s control panel or by other symptoms such as unusual noises during spin cycles or erratic behavior from other functions.

In such cases, it is recommended to consult your washing machine’s user manual for specific troubleshooting steps related to electrical issues. Common quick fixes include resetting the control board by unplugging the machine for several minutes and then plugging it back in to allow for a power reset.

13. Washer Not Dispensing Detergent

Faulty Detergent or Softener Dispenser

Firstly, it is important to check if the detergent dispenser drawer is clogged or blocked. Over time, residue from detergents and fabric softeners can accumulate and obstruct the flow of liquid into the machine. Remove the drawer and thoroughly clean it with warm water and a mild detergent.

Use an old toothbrush or a small brush to remove any stubborn residue from the compartments. Once cleaned, reinsert the drawer and test if the dispenser is now functioning properly.

If cleaning the dispenser doesn’t solve the issue, it may be due to a malfunctioning solenoid valve. The water valve controls water flow into different compartments of the washing machine, including the detergent dispenser.

If this valve becomes faulty, it can prevent proper distribution of detergent during each cycle. Contacting a professional washer technician would be advisable in this scenario as they will have experience in diagnosing and repairing control panel malfunctions.

Pro Tip: When you encounter a washer not dispensing detergent correctly, start by checking for clogs or blockages in the dispenser drawer which can be resolved with simple maintenance steps. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, consider reaching out to a professional technician who specializes in troubleshooting washing machines for further assistance with more complex repairs such as solenoid valve replacement or control panel repairs if necessary.

14. Unusual Noises During Spin Cycle

If the clothes inside the washer are not distributed evenly, it can cause the drum to become off-balance and result in loud thumping or banging sounds. To troubleshoot this issue, simply pause the cycle and redistribute the clothes evenly within the drum.

This should help alleviate any noise caused by an imbalanced load. Another potential reason for unusual noises during the spin cycle is a worn or faulty drive belt.

In order to minimize future occurrences of unusual spin cycle noises in your washing machine, regular maintenance is crucial. Cleaning out lint traps regularly, inspecting hoses for leaks or cracks, tightening loose screws or bolts on components like agitators or drums, are all essential steps towards preventing potential problems that could contribute to noisy operation down the line.

Remember that troubleshooting common washer problems like these requires patience and knowledge about the inner workings of your machine. By following these tips and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can ensure a quieter, more efficient washing machine experience for years to come.

15. Washer Overfills with Water

This issue can result in a flooded laundry room, water damage to floors, or even electrical hazards. When faced with an overfilling washer, it’s essential to act quickly and follow specific troubleshooting steps.

Firstly, start by ensuring that the water level switch or pressure switch is functioning correctly. This switch is responsible for detecting the water level in the machine and signaling when it should stop filling.

If this switch malfunctions or becomes faulty, it may not accurately detect the water level, leading to an overfilling situation. To troubleshoot this issue, locate the pressure switch and check if it is clogged or has any visible damage.

If cleaning the pressure switch doesn’t resolve the problem, it’s time to examine other components such as the inlet valve solenoid. The inlet valve controls the flow of water into the washer during different stages of the cycle. A malfunctioning solenoid might keep allowing water to enter even when it should be closed off.

Pro Tip: To troubleshoot this part, turn off both hot and cold water supply lines connected to your washing machine and disconnect them from their respective valves. Inspect for any blockages or debris within these valves and clean them if necessary using a soft brush or cloth soaked in vinegar.

16. Washer Displays an Error Code

Washing machine displaying error codes
Washing machine displaying error codes

One common error code is “E1,” which typically indicates a problem with water filling. If you encounter this code, first check if the water supply valves are fully open.

Ensure that there are no kinks in the hoses leading to the washer. If everything appears fine with the water supply, it’s possible that a clog or malfunction in the water inlet valve is causing the issue.

In such cases, contacting a professional washer technician might be necessary to replace or repair the faulty part. Another frequently encountered error code is “F1” or “E2,” which often points to a control panel malfunction.

This could be due to a wiring issue or a faulty control board. Before calling for professional assistance, try resetting your washing machine by unplugging it from power for a few minutes and then plugging it back in.

If the error persists, it’s advisable to consult an expert technician who can accurately diagnose and resolve any underlying control panel problems. Remember that while troubleshooting error codes can help address minor issues, some problems may require professional assistance for proper repair and maintenance of your washing machine.

Pro Tip: Familiarizing yourself with common washer error codes will empower you to identify potential malfunctions within your machine more efficiently. By following quick fixes mentioned above and consulting professionals when needed, you can ensure that your laundry experience remains smooth without any disruptions caused by technical hiccups.

Contact a Professional Washer Repair in Toronto

Knowing When to Call a Professional Washer Technician When facing persistent or complex issues with your washing machine, it may be time to seek the expertise of a professional washer technician.

While some common washer problems can be resolved with simple troubleshooting and quick fixes, others require more specialized knowledge and tools. Understanding when to call in a professional can save you time, money, and further complications.

If you ever encounter washing machine problems that appear to be beyond your expertise, Get A Pro Appliance Repair is here to assist you. Our team of highly skilled technicians is prepared to offer prompt and dependable washing machine repair services. Whether you reside in Burlington, the neighborhoods of Whitby and Newmarket, or Mississauga, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t allow washing machine issues to disrupt your daily routine. Reach out to us at 1-800-498-4490 or complete our convenient contact form to arrange a same-day appointment. Our unwavering dedication to excellence, professionalism, and customer satisfaction ensures that your washing machine concerns will be addressed with precision and care. Trust Get A Pro Appliance Repair to keep your washing machine in optimal condition for years to come


It is essential to remember that common washer problems are not uncommon. However, armed with quick washer fixes and troubleshooting knowledge, you can tackle most issues without the need for professional assistance. Whether it’s a leaking washer, spin cycle vibrations, or a noisy washing machine, there are often relatively simple solutions available.

By addressing specific problems such as a washer not filling water or a shaking washer head-on, you can potentially save time and money by avoiding unnecessary service calls. Keep in mind that some issues may require more advanced troubleshooting techniques or the expertise of a professional technician if the problem persists.

To minimize future washing machine problems, regular maintenance is crucial. Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and maintaining your appliance to ensure optimal performance.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with common FAQs about washing machines to troubleshoot minor issues independently. Remember that even when faced with more complex situations such as control panel malfunctions or error codes on your washer’s display, there are often online resources available to guide you through the troubleshooting process step-by-step.


What are common reasons for a washing machine not draining properly?

Clogged drain hoses, a blocked pump filter, or issues with the pump itself. Check for blockages, clean the filter, and inspect the pump for debris to resolve drainage problems.

Can I troubleshoot issues with washing machine noise on my own?

Yes, you can troubleshoot washing machine noise by checking for unbalanced loads, ensuring the machine is level, and inspecting the drum for foreign objects. If the noise persists, examine the drum bearings, shock absorbers, or other components based on your washing machine model.

Are there DIY solutions for addressing problems with water temperature settings?

Yes, for issues with water temperature settings, ensure the hot and cold water supply valves are fully open. Check for clogs in the water inlet valve screens and clean them if necessary. If problems persist, the water inlet valve may need replacement.

How do I handle issues with the washing machine’s door latch or seal?

For issues with the door latch or seal, check for visible damage or misalignment. Clean the seal regularly to prevent mold growth and ensure a tight seal. If the latch is faulty, it may need adjustment or replacement based on the severity of the issue.

When is it advisable to seek professional help for washing machine problems?

Contact professional help for washing machine problems involving complex electrical issues, motor malfunctions, or if DIY troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issue. Additionally, if the washing machine is under warranty, professional assistance may be necessary to avoid voiding the warranty

Share This Article

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Open chat
Scan the code
Get A Pro Chat *LIVE Agent*
Thank you for contacting Get A Pro! In a few words, let us know how we can help you. Please allow us 90 seconds to connect you to our live team member.