“The washing machine is broken.” What dad doesn’t hate to hear that news reported when he gets home from work? But, of course, what the person reporting this news means by “broken” could be subject to interpretation. So the first step you will want to take before you pick up the phone to call the washing machine repairman is to diagnose the problem to see if it is really “broken” or if it something that can be fixed fairly easily.
In some cases, it seems the washing machine is “broken” because there is a bad smell that lingers around the machine or it makes an obnoxious sound when the clothes go into the tumbling cycle. The smell could be lots of things other than the washing machine itself. If the smell is of something rotting, it probably isn’t the machine itself but something that got down into the machine and it just needs to be cleaned up. If the smell is of burning rubber, you may need to inspect the belts inside the machine to see if an object got down into their operation, which is causing irritation as the belts pull the drum around.
The first step in troubleshooting problems with the washing machine is to inspect the area of the problem and to observe the machine when the problem occurs. You really cannot diagnose a smell, a sound or even a leak until you see it happen. In the case of a leak, where the water comes out and how much comes out will tell you a lot of about where the failure is which will help you decide the best course of action to fix the problem.
When the problem is a leak, if you see the water coming out of the drain or drainpipe reflecting that the water coming from the washer is being pushed back out into the laundry room, your problem may not be the washer at all. You may have a backed up plumbing situation, which calls for a plumber to come out and put a septic snake through your pipes and blow out the problem.
If you can get the back of your washing machine off, many times you will discover that the problem is relatively minor. The hoses that carry the water to and from your washing machine are attached with clamps similar to how they are attached inside your car. So if there is leakage at those points, you may just have a hose that needs to be tightened, trimmed or worst case replaced and the washing machine will be good as new.
If you step through all of your troubleshooting steps and the washing machine is still acting up, then you may have a problem in the mechanism itself. But when you finally do call the washing machine repairman, you will know that you did your part by eliminating the easy stuff first. Then it isn’t so terrible if you have a professional come out and fix a problem that really is serious and not some small problem that gets reported as serious when you come home from work and hear, “The washing machine is broken.”
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