Bob Vila Radio: Troubleshooting a Washing Machine

Washer on the blink? Resist the temptation to call in a pro—at least not until you've made sure the problem isn't easily remedied by a common, no-help-needed fix like one of these.

Clothes sopping wet at the end of a wash? That’s not a good sign. The likeliest culprit? The spin cycle. Here are a few things to check right off the bat, before you call the repairman.

Washing Machine Troubleshooting

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Listen to BOB VILA ON WASHING MACHINE TROUBLESHOOTING or read below:

First things first, make sure the laundry load isn’t throwing the machine off balance. If you’re washing heavy garments and they all happen to settle on the same side of the drum, the resulting imbalance may be what’s suppressing the spin cycle.

You also want to make sure that the washer sits level on the laundry room floor. With the machine running, listen for any vibrations or strange, excess noises. If something doesn’t sound quite right, realign the adjustable legs and test again.

One more thing to check: the spin switch. That’s the small switch hidden inside the lid of the washer. When depressed, the switch signals internally that it’s safe for the spin cycle to begin. If the switch isn’t working, the part needs to be replaced.

Yet another common cause of washing machine woes is the water hose. Pull the unit away from the wall and inspect the hose for kinks. No dice? OK. Just be careful when you’re repositioning the washer. Water hoses kink easily, after all!

Finally, search for any small items lodged in the drainage hose (adjacent to the drain pump at the rear of the unit). Remove the clamps holding the hose in place, reach around to clear any clogs, then reattach.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!