Fault Diagnosis on a Washing Machine

by / Tuesday, 11 November 2014 / Published in Washing machines

Paul Says

How to find your fault on your washing machine.

This short guide is designed to outline the most common problems on a washing machine, although many people that read this tutorial are looking for a quick way to find out how to repair a washing machine there are not really any shortcuts. What this guide is intended to do is compliment all the other information that you will find in the site detailing individual washing machine tutorials on how to repair the faults as well as the other articles in this section to allow you to correctly diagnose the problem or, at least have a clue about what the fault is and how to go about repairing your washing machine. You will always be able to ask questions in the blog for people to answer or us.

Safety First,

When accessing the washing machine, make sure you disconnect the washing machine from the electric supply

Specific Washing Machine fault to see causes and solutions

  • Appliance is leaking
  • Appliance will not start
  • Clothes are damaged after washing
  • Clothes are still dirty
  • Door will not open at end of programme
  • Drum will not rotate
  • Machine overfills and floods
  • No water entering machine
  • Stuck on wash cycle
  • Washer doesn’t fill with water
  • Washer/Dryer doesn’t dry

Common Washing Machine Problems.

Please bear in mind that this washing machine and washer dryer guide is very generic and offers only rough guidance and not our expert opinion on any one appliance or brand they are all slightly different, so some common sense will be required.

Washing machine will not start, no power.

There are lots of things that can cause this to happen but as with any fault diagnosis, start at the beginning and work through the problem methodically. So begin at the plug and make sure that there is power to the socket and that the fuse is okay before looking any further.

  • Mains filter
  • Door lock
  • Mains cable & terminal block
  • Main power switch
  • Control module or PCB

Washing machine noisy.

Objects trapped in between the outer tub and drum can also be the cause of noise, things like bra wires are extremely common to be retrieved from around the heater between the drum and they can cause damage to the machine and any clothing in it. If you can, remove the wires before washing or wash them in a special wash bag.
When machines are a few years old then it is very possible that the bearings are either faulty, or starting to collapse. With bearings the sooner that they are replaced the better as there is liable to do less damage, not using or minimising the use will help to avoid further damage.
Replace them as soon as you can see videos on how to change bearings.
Suspension stability can also cause excessive noise; obviously a fault with the suspension system can also produce a lot of noise from the machine shaking badly.

  • Noisy pump
  • Object in the drain pump
  • Object trapped in the tub
  • Bearings faulty
  • Washing machine not levelled correctly
  • Faulty dampers or suspension
  • Poor flooring or installation

Washing machine will not drain or is noisy on drain.

Generally this will be some sort of drain pump failure or blockage, see video for more help on this.

  • Drain pump blocked
  • Drain pump faulty
  • Waste outlet hose blocked
  • Sump hose blocked
  • Object in pump (coin, screw, baby sock ETC)
  • Poor flooring or installation

Washing machines drum not washing, turning or spinning.

Normally when this happens people often assume that the belt is faulty and, whilst this can be one of the causes it likely,
The most common fault still is if they have fitted the carbon brushes to the motor. See videos on this topic.
It can also be a problem with the speed control PCB or module or even what is referred to as the “tacho generator” on the washing machine’s motor.
Assuming everything else works these should be checked:

  • Belt
  • Faulty carbon brushes
  • Speed control PCB or module
  • Motor capacitor (where fitted)
  • Main control module
  • Motor faulty

Washing machine not heating or over heating.

Pretty easy one usually, in most cases there will be a faulty heater, thermostat, thermistor or pressure switch but there can be other causes. See videos on this topic.

  • Heater
  • Thermostat
  • Thermistor
  • Pressure switch/level sensor
  • Timer or control PCB/module

Washing machine not spinning.

(Also see previous ‘Washing machines drum not washing, turning or spinning.’)
Remember if the machine cannot drain within its time frame correctly then the spin will often abort so bear this in mind when looking for a problem.

  • Faulty or worn carbon brushes
  • Blocked pump or drain
  • Speed control PCB/module
  • Faulty contacts on fast cam within the timer
  • Faulty capacitor (where fitted)
  • Faulty motor
  • Faulty motor tacho
  • Overloaded or out of balance, can be made worse by poor installation or flooring
  • Faulty pressure switch

Washing machine not filling.

First, check the water supply is okay! Taps can stop working or you end up with very low water pressure.
Check the water valves or solenoids
Pressure switch is connected to the pressure chamber by a small bore air hose these can become faulty or the air passage can block.

  • Water supply
  • Water fill valve
  • Pressure switch
  • Control PCB/module
  • Bad smell from washing machine
  • door seal mouldy
  • Mould problems on seals and hoses.
  • dirty soap drawers.
  • Waste hose or trap problem

Washing machine lights flash and won’t work

This is most likely a new electronically controlled machine and the flashing lights will almost certainly be giving you a fault code

  • See manual to find code fault

Washing machine leaks from the front (see video tutorial on this)

  • Soap Drawer
  • Soap Drawer box to tub hose
  • Door Seal
  • Door glass
  • Washing machine leaking from underneath (see video tutorial on this)
  • Drain pump leaking
  • Filter is leaking
  • Tub gasket leaking on drum
  • Hose leaking (any of them)
  • Water pressure too high
  • Heater gasket perished
  • Door seal gasket
  • Pressure switch or sensor fault (overfilling)
  • Physical tub damage
  • Soap drawer damage

448 Responses to “Fault Diagnosis on a Washing Machine”

  1. Rob Pollard says : Reply

    hi I have a Hoover Dynamic Next 9kg washing machine and until yesterday was great.
    I now have a washing machine that is full of water when cycle is finished. I have tried the drain and spin setting, the water initially drains away and fills. ok

    I tried to day a full load of washing and again the cycle works ok but when it fills again upon finishing the cycle.

    can you help?

  2. t.c.briggs says : Reply

    I have a bosh washing machine and even though the switch on the washing machine is off when I turn on the mains switch at the socket the main trip switch kicks out.Why is this?

  3. adrian suthern says : Reply

    hi my Hotpoint washer hv8d393uk made a popping noise and the door display says its open but the lock symbol is flashing.
    I think an element has gone? is it easy to repair. everything else is displaying.
    would try open the door but with the symbol on felt it was more a circuit board fault than a jam.

  4. Gary Porter says : Reply

    Hi I’ve got a Bosch excel 1400 WF02864GB/01 which seems to get stuck on a wash cycle it drained down but will only rinse or spin when put into these operations manually, motor brushes were changed two months ago after 15 years so we’ve had a good run with her any ideas please? Regds Gary

  5. Victor French says : Reply

    My Zanuzzi washer/drive is vibrating with the door open and the power swictched OFF. Is it a ghost?

  6. Lesley says : Reply

    Hi, Hotpoint Washer Aquarius + WML760…continues to fill with water…not heating. Rinse and spin ok. Works only on short no heat programme. Will the full control need to be replaced as I was told previously with a different model? Would it be relatively cheaper to discard and replace with a new machine? ( not enough money at present to do this though!) thanks for anticipated reply, Lesley B.

  7. arthur says : Reply

    i have an electrolux cold fill washing machine . has just one inlet but two outlet pipes to detergent drawer it has 2 electro magnets ? 1 has a white plug to it the other a green plug when i switch on a small amount of water goes into machine then both magnets get hot and vibrate on changing the plugs around i find that by taking the white plug off and putting the green plug where the white one was and leaving the white off it then continues the wash program. have taken this apart and cleaned , have swapped it around but still the same fault

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