Opening up your washing machine to find a pile of soaked clothes and sudsy water on the floor can quickly put a damper on your day. But before calling the repair company in a panic, determining the root cause can save you time and money and protect your floors.
The washer makes strange sounds like loud rumbling or scraping during the wash cycle, often indicating problems that will only worsen without intervention.
This guide overviews the top reasons behind the bizarre sounds coming from your washer and the steps you can take to find and repair it to be a bad washing machine:
- Foreign objects – Coins, pennies, bobby pins, or socks get lodged in components
- Drum/pump failure – Internal bearings wear out over time
- Broken drive parts – Components like the pulley crack under pressure
- Faulty valves – Issues with water flow cause unusual noises
Getting to the bottom of the matter early allows you to fix the problems or determine if purchasing a newer washing machine makes the most financial sense.
Main Reasons for Strange Washer Sounds
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and explain exactly why your washer makes strange sounds like an outdated fax machine. I promise a little cleaning and maintenance will have it humming away beautifully again soon!
Believe it or not, some of the loudest, strangest squeaks and rumbles come from innocent-looking intruders who have snuck their way into inappropriate crevices.
Coins are public enemy number one regarding washing machine noises. Here are some common stowaways to watch out for:
- Pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters – check pockets that an unbalanced load has thrown it out of whack before throwing in your clothes!
- Bobby pins – tiny but mighty noisemakers if they slip under the drum
- Buttons – loose ones rattle aggressively in the wash
- Toys – bath toys are prime suspects for kids’ clothing
These distracting accessories usually lodge themselves in hidden fortresses around your machine:
- Under the central drum – the nucleus of all cleaning action
- The door seal/gasket – flexes open to let clothes in
- Behind the lint filter – catches fuzzy lint balls
Once settled into these secure sanctuaries, these foreign objects launch surprise attacks in unpredictable banging, scratching, and tapping.
Though irritating, banishing these invaders is fairly straightforward if caught early! Just complete a thorough search and rescue mission of the drum, seals, and filters. Crisis averted!
Drum and Bearing Breakdowns
The epicentre of noise issues typically stems from a drum bearing failure or broken drive pulleys in your dryers.
As the motor rotates at alarming speeds, sturdy bearings allow the drum to spin smoothly during the frenzied washing cycles. But after months and years of rigorous, repetitive rotations, the components gradually wear down.
Warning signs flaring up include:
- A loud rumbling commotion vibrating from the machine during spin cycles
- The drum itself wobbles intensely when spun manually
- Visible cracks or fraying on the protective bearing seals
Replacing eroded bearings can be quite labour-intensive. The mechanic must carefully detach the entire drum assembly and disassemble all components to access the damaged parts.
While possible as a DIY, I’d recommend leaving this one to the seasoned pros!
Broken Belts, Couplings, and Pulleys!
I’ll spare you the technical jargon here. Just know there is an intricate, almost Rube Goldberg-esque network of belts, couplings, pulleys, and horseshoes responsible for correctly spinning and agitating your laundry.
After thousands of cycles, the physical stress causes critical joints to crack under pressure. The most common offenders:
- The drive belt links the motor to the pulley. Dries out and snaps.
- The drive pulley guides the loading of mechanical energy. Shears and chips over time.
- The motor coupling acts like a circuit breaker to protect the motor. As per protection plans, it only fails after overload.
Unbalanced or heavy loads can cause:
- Screeching noises when the washer agitates
- Off-balance spins and shakes
- Clothing getting tangled as mechanics slow
Inspect key connections and joints to identify the culprit. Replace ASAP if something seems cracked or disconnected. Let those squeaky clean clothes spark joy again!
Water Inlet Valve Leaks
Last but not least, the inlet valve acts as the gateway that controls water flowing into the heart of the operation.
Over years of wear and tear, though, filter screens get clogged with mineral buildup. Valves and hoses eventually corrode and split. And suddenly, your washer starts mimicking Niagara Falls with odd hissing, dripping, and swirling sounds!
Warning signs of inlet valve failure:
- The washer is not filling properly or taking forever to fill
- Leaking from the detergent or softener dispenser
- Visible cracks/damage on valve hoses
Catching the issue early allows a quick DIY swap of the inlet valve. But prolonged damage can lead to costly leaks, water damage, electrical issues, and mould risks if neglected too long!
How to Investigate and Fix Strange Noises
Alright, my laundry-loving friend, the investigation is afoot! It’s time to channel your inner detective to sleuth out what’s causing the racket from your rogue washing machine.
Here’s a handy checklist of steps to methodically diagnose and fix the problem:
Conduct Basic Troubleshooting Patrol
- Step 1: Turn off and unplug the power cord to the machine. Better safe than shocked!
- Step 2: Pull back the rubber door seal and visually inspect every nook and cranny around the drum chamber for any signs of foreign objects. Check behind the lint filter as well.
- Step 3: Remove all clothing/materials from the drum. Then, manually spin it slowly, listening and feeling closely for odd vibrations or noises, which would indicate drum/bearing issues.
- Step 4: Monitor exterior features like the motor coupling, drive pulley system and water inlet valve for noticeable damage.
These initial patrols should uncover obvious red flags. If something stands out, investigate further using the guides below.
Liberate Lodged Objects
Discover something funky trapped inside the bowels of the machine in your home. Time for a surgical extraction!
- Step 1: Drain any backed-up water in the drum, then slide the unit forward to access the rear.
- Step 2: Tilt the whole machine back, resting it at a 45-degree angle on something sturdy. Gravity may naturally draw out the object.
- Step 3: Remove the lint screen filter and/or hoses connected to the drain pump at the front bottom if the sneaky perpetrator doesn’t surface.
- Step 4: Use pliers or tweezers to pluck out the debris clogging things up carefully.
- Step 5: Look inside the drum for particles using a flashlight or your phone’s camera.
- Step 6: Once cleared, restore all filters, seals, and hoses and test your fix!
Your washer should hum along peacefully after evicting the problem tenants.
Repair Rattling Drum Bearings
If spinning the empty drum by hand elicited a ghastly grinding or rumbling noise, the annoying culprit is likely degraded drum bearings.
These rugged components stabilize the drum as it rotates, eventually wearing thin over constant abuse. Replacing them requires disassembling a portion of the unit:
- Step 1: Unhook the front panel and peer down at the drum parts now accessible from below and/or behind.
- Step 2: Locate screws to loosen front bearing retainers, then slide them upward and off.
- Step 3: Carefully detach the drum with the rear bearings still attached.
- Step 4: Thoroughly clean the housing cavity and remove old drum bearings.
- Step 5: Press or slide new bearings securely into place on both front and rear.
- Step 6: Re-mount the drum, test for noises, and reattach all panels!
This fix isn’t for the faint of heart but pays dividends in improving performance. Still intimidated by all that disassembly? Calling a professional often makes sense for extensive appliance repair.
Get Driven Components Back In Line
Hearing belt squeals, seeing off-balance shaking, or noticing clothes getting snagged inside? The interconnected drive system needs your help!
- A tensioned drive belt connects the motor to the pulley wheel, fraying over time. Feel along the 1-inch wide rubber belt for cracks or slack, then unhook and replace if deteriorated.
- The chunky plastic drive pulley guides spinning energy from the belt to the drum. Inspect closely for cracks, then order an exact replacement part if damaged.
- If overloaded, the thick rubber motor coupler acts like a fuse or circuit breaker. A new one may be needed if you hear scratching noises only when agitating or spinning.
Be extremely organized, disconnecting and reattaching drive components. A basic toolkit and YouTube guidance make this intermediate DIY project very feasible. Just take it slow!
Swap Out Defective Water Inlet Valves
If your washer makes noisy sounds while filling, hisses like a snake, or takes forever, the inlet valve certainly shows its age.
Here’s a simple game plan to swap in a fresh part:
- Step 1: Turn off the power to the unit and slide it away from the wall for back access. Shut off water lines, too.
- Step 2: Look closely at the inlet valve (typically the top back area) and note what connections you’ll need to detach.
- Step 3: Disconnect mounting brackets, electrical fittings, and water line nuts. Be prepared for spillage!
- Step 4: Wiggle the inlet valve upwards and out, noting what goes where.
- Step 5: Securely press and snap the replacement valve into position and reattach all fittings.
- Step 6: Restore power and water supply, and check for leaks or vacuum during the fill test cycle!
Some extra insurance, like a drip pan, can help catch any spillage from this intermediate project. However, restoring a smooth water flow prevents continued damage.
Call In Specialist Reinforcements
Let’s circle back to the very first step of washing machine making noises troubleshooting: UNPLUG the washer!
While conducting a self-examination is admirable, DO NOT stick your untrained hands anywhere with live voltage. Find the exact source of electrical noises by calling an appliance pro instead.
You should also immediately quit all repair efforts if:
- You smell burning from the machine
- Notice any water or oil leaking
- Have diagnosed broken parts near wiring
Certain jobs are best left to the true laundry detectives with years of washer wisdom under their toolbelts. And EZFIX Appliance Repair just fits right to solve all your washer issues.
Just show your machine some love. And it will keep working hard washing your dirty duds for years!
When to Call a Repair Technician
Let’s circle back to the opening act of this washer fiasco, where I urged you to UNPLUG that washing machine or dishwasher! While channelling your inner detective and attempting DIY repairs is admirable, knowing your limits is critical.
Booking or scheduling professional assistance with EZFIX Appliance Repair just makes sense if:
Strange Sounds Persist From Inside Framework
If you’ve thoroughly searched between the drum and outer tub, yet a concerning sound persists, stop experiments ASAP. Items trapped in this fortress typically require full disassembly by a trained pro.
The same goes if you notice any alarming electrical burning or oil leakage smells after removing exterior panels yourself. Avoid wires + water!
Bearing and Drive Repairs Overwhelm
Attempting to detach heavy internal components like the drum, couplings, or pulley systems without proper tools or knowledge escalates the risk of permanent damage.
And don’t forget that drum bearings require finessed installation to reinstate that perfectly flush fit.
DIY Efforts Fail to Fix the Issue
By all means, use this guide to inform your minor troubleshooting!
But if tinkering around leaves you without a functional machine and no plan B, swallow your pride and call the cavalry. Appliance techs have specialized training to identify and remedy whatever weird issue remains rapidly.
Bottom line: Protect your safety, budget pricier fixes, and avoid voiding the manufacturer warranty at all costs. Knowing when to fold them pays off long-term for your appliances’ lifespan!
What are the most common sources of strange washing machine noises?
The most frequent culprits of bizarre washing machine making noises are loose foreign objects like coins or buttons getting lodged under the central drum or stuck in components like the door seal, pump, or lint filter. Issues with the drum bearings wearing down over time can also cause loud rumbling and scraping noises during spin cycles.
How can I tell if the noises mean there is a serious problem?
Persistent or repetitive loud noises like grinding sounds from the drum, screeching from drive belts, leaks, and smells of burning, smoke, or water pooling under the unit indicate serious underlying issues. Visibly cracked pulleys, broken coupler pieces, or hazardous electrical problems should be addressed promptly by technicians.
Is it safe for me to try and fix the issues myself?
Inspecting seals and filters for trapped items or testing components like pulleys and valves is generally safe if the washer is unplugged. However, reaching near electrical parts or attempting deep repairs inside the unit without proper training risks electrocution, permanent damage, or voiding your warranty.
What repairs require professional service?
Certified appliance technicians like those from EZFIX Appliance Repair should handle the replacement of drum bearings, drive motors, complex valve systems, or electrical parts near water to avoid safety hazards or improper installation. If DIY efforts fail to resolve noises, pros have specialized tools and training.
How much does a washing machine repair typically cost?
Depending on part replacements needed and technician time/service fees, average washer repair costs range from $180-$530. Drum bearing jobs average $450, motors are $290, busted pumps are $270, and valves are around $180. Compare rates if hiring a pro.
There are a few common reasons why your washing machine makes noises. The most likely culprits are loose objects like coins or buttons getting stuck in the drum, pump, or hoses. Worn-out drum bearings can also cause loud rumbling sounds when spinning. Problems with the drive belt, pulleys, or motor coupling can lead to loud squeaking or grinding noises.
Luckily, many noises can be fixed with simple DIY troubleshooting. Always unplug the washer first for safety. Then check the drum, seals, and hoses for stuck objects. Spin the drum by hand to feel for rough vibrations. Inspect the drive belt and pulleys for cracks or loosening. Replace parts like hoses, belts, or bearings if they seem worn out.
More complex fixes like drum bearing or motor repairs usually need a trained appliance technician. They have the expertise to diagnose issues and safely disassemble parts for repair.
Catching strange sounds early and fixing them quickly saves money over time. It prevents further damage to the inner workings that could lead to a full breakdown. With some basic maintenance and listening closely, your washer will be humming smoothly for years!