Air Conditioner repair in DC, Air Conditioner repair in MD, Air Conditioner repair in VA, Appliances Repair in Alexandria, Appliances Repair in Arlington, Appliances Repair in DC, Appliances Repair in Fairfax County, Appliances Repair in MD, Appliances Repair in Prince Georges County, Appliances Repair in Springfield, Appliances Repair in VA, Heat Repair In DC, Heat Repair In MD, Heat Repair In VA, Refrigrator Repair in DC, Refrigrator Repair in Fairfax County, Refrigrator Repair in MD, Refrigrator Repair in VA
Having a washing machine to call your own makes life so much simpler. That is, until your washer develops a mind of its own and throws a mechanical tantrum. At times like these, it’s easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed, unsure how to fix the problem and dreading the repair bill likely to follow.
Don’t start with the Yellow Pages in your quest for solutions. The most common washing machine repairs are often simple to perform. Armed with a few basic tools and a little knowledge, you can probably even do it yourself.
Anatomy of a Washing Machine
A washing machine is little more than a large tub that fills with water, swishes around, drains and spins to complete the wash. These four cycles – fill, wash, drain and spin – depend on hidden parts to make everything happen. When your washer fails, you must take a closer look at the part responsible for the action involved. Although every washing machine is slightly different, each operates on the same general principles.
Water supply hoses, both hot and cold, deliver water to a solenoid-operated water inlet valve inside the washer housing. The water mixes, according to the temperature indicated with the temperature and cycle settings on the washer’s control panel, and flows into the tub interior. Inside the control panel, the water-level control unit houses a pressure switch that determines when the tub is full, according to the size setting selected, closes the water inlet and signals the start of the wash cycle.
In a top-loading machine, the agitator starts, while in a side-loading machine the entire inner tub move instead. A motor, attached to a clutch and transmission in many machines but a solenoid in a direct-drive machine, powers the movement and shifts cycles. A large belt drives the movement, much like the drive belt on a car.
Finally, a timer inside the washer control signals the washer to drain. A pump, at the bottom of the housing near the motor, sucks water from the inner tub, through the outer tub and into a drain line while the tub itself spins at a high speed. Fresh water floods the washer, the agitator or tub moves to rinse the clothes, and the water drains again.
DIY Washing Machine Repair Preparation
Knowing that your washing machine isn’t working properly – if at all – isn’t enough. Blindly guessing at the cause and wildly changing parts is costly and wastes time. Instead, follow a plan of action:
Observe the washing machine’s symptoms. Look closely to gather all the necessary information.
Troubleshoot your washer. Use the basics of how the machine works to pinpoint the possible cause. For instance, if you’re not getting water, look at the inlet hoses or the inlet valve.
If the tub fails to spin, on the other hand, the problem is likely underneath the washer, involving the clutch, transmission, motor, or most likely, the belt. If it simply won’t drain, look at the drain pump as well as the drainpipe. Make a list of possibilities.
Appliances Repair in DC
Tear the washing machine apart to access the components likely involved, if necessary. Some repairs may be outside the machine.
Inspect or test the parts you suspect are failing. Start with the simplest first. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to obtain a professional’s assistance. (If you must call a technician, it bears mentioning to watch him or her at work. Knowledge is power, and you will have a better idea of what to do in the future by watching and asking lots of questions.)
Appliances Repair in DC
Adjust or repair as appropriate. Some repairs may not require new parts, and some parts may need to be ordered. Use the model and serial number, along with any production codes, from the rating plate on the washer’s rear. Meanwhile, prepare an alternate method of washing clothes while your machine is down.
Test the new part or repair. You may need to completely reassemble the washing machine before you find out whether it works. If you can test it before putting the machine back together, that’s best.
Appliances Repair in DC
Put the machine back together, using all the screws previously removed. (Of course, some people never do. You know who you are.)
Before you even think of tearing your washing machine apart, disconnect the power and unhook the water supply hoses. Don’t settle for flipping the breaker; unplug the appliance instead. Lay blankets, towels or other floor protection around the base to avoid scrapes and floor damage or to catch any water you spill. A bucket or pail, some clean rags, and a few basic tools such as screwdrivers, a pipe wrench or a pair of channel-lock pliers will likely come in handy as well. If you need to test electrical parts, a volt-ohm meter is indispensable.