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Washing Machine Shakes or Vibrates

In most cases, a washing machine shakes or vibrates when it isn’t sitting level on the floor or because it has an out-of-balance wash load. Here’s how to get it to settle down!

First eliminate the possibility of that the washing machine is shaking because of an out-of-balance load. Adjust the load if it has scrunched up on one side of the tub. Then check the machine for solid, level support.

level washing machine

Place a level on the washing machine to make sure it’s level from side to side and front to back.

Also be sure the floor is solid. For the machine to work properly, the floor must be flat, level, and strong enough to support the heavy, water-filled washer without deflecting under the load.

How to Fix Washing Machine Shakes

1Unplug the washer before doing any work on it.

 

2Check the leveling feet. Look under the washer and make sure all feet are resting firmly on the floor. If one or both of the front feet are not tight against the floor, unscrew them (turn counterclockwise) until they’re tight. Note: The front feet should be as short as possible—do not fully extend them. Place a level on top of the washing machine and adjust the front feet slightly if needed to level the washer.

3Make sure the front legs have rubber caps and locking nuts to keep them tight. If they don’t, buy these parts and install them.[GARD align=”left”]

4If necessary, tilt the washing machine forward. This will allow the back feet to self-adjust. Recheck for level, and adjust the front feet again. Plug in the machine and run it empty.

Run it through the spin cycle to see if it still vibrates. If it does, call an appliance repair person.

For more washing machine repairs, see Washing Machine Troubleshooting & Repairs.

Washer Doesn’t Agitate or Spin

Expert step-by-step DIY directions for troubleshooting and fixing a washing machine that doesn’t spin or agitate properly.

Anatomy of a Washing Machine

Anatomy of a Washing Machine

Washer Fills but Doesn’t Agitate

If your washer fills with water but doesn’t agitate, the problem is likely to be a faulty lid switch, a broken belt, or a problem with the motor. (Note: Direct-drive washing machines do not have belts.)

To diagnose the problem, do the following:

1Check the washing machine’s spin cycle. If this works, the motor is operating and the belt is not broken. If the spin cycle doesn’t work, the belt may be loose or broken. Tighten or replace the belt.

2Check the lid switch and the tab on the lid that strikes it. If the plastic tab is broken, the washer may halt during certain cycles. Press and release the switch. If it doesn’t click each time you do this, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

3If these measures don’t work, there may be a problem with the controls, or the agitator solenoid may be broken. Call an appliance repair person.

Washing Machine Doesn’t Spin

If the washer seems to complete all of its cycles but doesn’t spin:[GARD align=”right”]

1Check to see if the clothes have jammed or are unbalanced in the drum. Unbalanced clothes will also cause a washer to shudder or “walk.” Open the lid and reposition the clothes. This automatically resets an off-balance shut-off switch; just close the lid. If straightening out the load doesn’t stop the washer from shaking, look at the feet and be sure they are properly adjusted to keep the washer sitting level on the floor (you just turn a knob to move them up or down.)

2Check the lid switch and the tab on the lid that strikes it. If the plastic tab is broken, the washer may halt during the spin cycle. If the switch doesn’t click when you press and release it, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

3Check the machines’ drive belt. It may be loose, worn, or broken. Tighten the belt or replace it entirely.

 

4There may be a problem with the controls; in this case, call an appliance repair person.

Clothes Don’t Spin Dry

If your clothes remain dripping wet after your washer’s spin cycle, perform the following:

1Lift the lid during the spin cycle. If the tub is not spinning, you may have a damaged motor coupler. Call an appliance repair person to replace this part.[GARD align=”right”]

2If the tub is spinning, recheck the load to make sure it is balanced. If you are certain the load is balanced but your clothes still come out dripping, you may need to have a damaged motor pulley, tub bearing, belt, or clutch replaced.

3Be sure the drain hose isn’t kinked. Then check the tab on the lid that strikes the lid switch; if it’s broken, the washer may stop during the drain cycle. Press and release the lid switch. If it doesn’t click each time you do this, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

4The water pump may be broken or clogged with a small article of clothing, or the controls may be broken; call an appliance repair person.

 

Washer Doesn't Agitate or Spin

Expert step-by-step DIY directions for troubleshooting and fixing a washing machine that doesn’t spin or agitate properly.

Anatomy of a Washing Machine

Anatomy of a Washing Machine

Washer Fills but Doesn’t Agitate

If your washer fills with water but doesn’t agitate, the problem is likely to be a faulty lid switch, a broken belt, or a problem with the motor. (Note: Direct-drive washing machines do not have belts.)

To diagnose the problem, do the following:

1Check the washing machine’s spin cycle. If this works, the motor is operating and the belt is not broken. If the spin cycle doesn’t work, the belt may be loose or broken. Tighten or replace the belt.

2Check the lid switch and the tab on the lid that strikes it. If the plastic tab is broken, the washer may halt during certain cycles. Press and release the switch. If it doesn’t click each time you do this, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

3If these measures don’t work, there may be a problem with the controls, or the agitator solenoid may be broken. Call an appliance repair person.

Washing Machine Doesn’t Spin

If the washer seems to complete all of its cycles but doesn’t spin:[GARD align=”right”]

1Check to see if the clothes have jammed or are unbalanced in the drum. Unbalanced clothes will also cause a washer to shudder or “walk.” Open the lid and reposition the clothes. This automatically resets an off-balance shut-off switch; just close the lid. If straightening out the load doesn’t stop the washer from shaking, look at the feet and be sure they are properly adjusted to keep the washer sitting level on the floor (you just turn a knob to move them up or down.)

2Check the lid switch and the tab on the lid that strikes it. If the plastic tab is broken, the washer may halt during the spin cycle. If the switch doesn’t click when you press and release it, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

3Check the machines’ drive belt. It may be loose, worn, or broken. Tighten the belt or replace it entirely.

 

4There may be a problem with the controls; in this case, call an appliance repair person.

Clothes Don’t Spin Dry

If your clothes remain dripping wet after your washer’s spin cycle, perform the following:

1Lift the lid during the spin cycle. If the tub is not spinning, you may have a damaged motor coupler. Call an appliance repair person to replace this part.[GARD align=”right”]

2If the tub is spinning, recheck the load to make sure it is balanced. If you are certain the load is balanced but your clothes still come out dripping, you may need to have a damaged motor pulley, tub bearing, belt, or clutch replaced.

3Be sure the drain hose isn’t kinked. Then check the tab on the lid that strikes the lid switch; if it’s broken, the washer may stop during the drain cycle. Press and release the lid switch. If it doesn’t click each time you do this, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

4The water pump may be broken or clogged with a small article of clothing, or the controls may be broken; call an appliance repair person.

 

Clothes Washer Doesn’t Fill Correctly

Is your washing machine failing to fill properly?

washing machine fill

Be sure the water supply valve is open; this lever valve is closed when the lever is down.

If your washer doesn’t fill properly, something is keeping water from entering the machine, or the washer is draining before the tub fills to the desired amount.

Set the controls to the first wash cycle, and then try each water temperature setting. If the hot water setting works but cold doesn’t or vice versa:

1Be sure both the hot and cold water supply valves or faucets are turned on. See the illustration at right if your washer is served by lever-style water supply valves.

2Be sure the supply hoses are not kinked. A kinked hose will block the free flow of water.[GARD align=”left”]

3Turn off the valves or faucets, then unscrew the hoses from the faucets, and drain them into a bucket. Hold the bucket under the faucets, and test them to make sure they both work and have plenty of pressure.

4 Clean the filter screens just inside the supply hoses (if your supply hoses have screens)—they may be clogged. To do this, pry out the screens with a small flat screwdriver (this can be difficult because the screens may be inside the valves). Flush the screens under running water, and then put them back into the hoses. If the screens look defective, replace them. Then screw the hoses back onto the valves. Be careful not to cross-thread the hose threads when screwing them back onto the valves. Note: In some cases, the screens are located behind an access panel on the washing machine.

5If the above steps do not solve the problem, call an appliance repair person.

Other Washing Machine Fill Problems

If both hot and cold water seem to be entering the washer with good pressure, water may be draining out prematurely during the fill cycle through siphoning action. Be sure the drain hose’s connection to the standpipe is at least 34 inches above the floor (otherwise, discuss the problem with a plumber). An air gap between the drain hose and standpipe that prevents backflow is also good to have.[GARD align=”right”]

Another reason for the washer not filling may be that the water-level switch, timer, or temperature selector is broken.

If your washer is overfilling, you may have a defective water-inlet valve or water-level switch.

A broken water-inlet valve will often cause water to leak into the clothes tub. A faulty water-level switch cannot detect the correct water level in the tub and signal the water to turn off, resulting in overflow.

These repairs are best handled by an appliance repair person.

For other washing machine repairs, see Washing Machine Troubleshooting & Repairs.

Clothes Washer Doesn't Fill Correctly

Is your washing machine failing to fill properly?

washing machine fill

Be sure the water supply valve is open; this lever valve is closed when the lever is down.

If your washer doesn’t fill properly, something is keeping water from entering the machine, or the washer is draining before the tub fills to the desired amount.

Set the controls to the first wash cycle, and then try each water temperature setting. If the hot water setting works but cold doesn’t or vice versa:

1Be sure both the hot and cold water supply valves or faucets are turned on. See the illustration at right if your washer is served by lever-style water supply valves.

2Be sure the supply hoses are not kinked. A kinked hose will block the free flow of water.[GARD align=”left”]

3Turn off the valves or faucets, then unscrew the hoses from the faucets, and drain them into a bucket. Hold the bucket under the faucets, and test them to make sure they both work and have plenty of pressure.

4 Clean the filter screens just inside the supply hoses (if your supply hoses have screens)—they may be clogged. To do this, pry out the screens with a small flat screwdriver (this can be difficult because the screens may be inside the valves). Flush the screens under running water, and then put them back into the hoses. If the screens look defective, replace them. Then screw the hoses back onto the valves. Be careful not to cross-thread the hose threads when screwing them back onto the valves. Note: In some cases, the screens are located behind an access panel on the washing machine.

5If the above steps do not solve the problem, call an appliance repair person.

Other Washing Machine Fill Problems

If both hot and cold water seem to be entering the washer with good pressure, water may be draining out prematurely during the fill cycle through siphoning action. Be sure the drain hose’s connection to the standpipe is at least 34 inches above the floor (otherwise, discuss the problem with a plumber). An air gap between the drain hose and standpipe that prevents backflow is also good to have.[GARD align=”right”]

Another reason for the washer not filling may be that the water-level switch, timer, or temperature selector is broken.

If your washer is overfilling, you may have a defective water-inlet valve or water-level switch.

A broken water-inlet valve will often cause water to leak into the clothes tub. A faulty water-level switch cannot detect the correct water level in the tub and signal the water to turn off, resulting in overflow.

These repairs are best handled by an appliance repair person.

For other washing machine repairs, see Washing Machine Troubleshooting & Repairs.

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