Message from the RepairGuru®
Welcome to the August 2006 edition of the RepairClinic.com
newsletter. This is the time of year when many families return home from
vacation with some unique and sometimes challenging laundry to tackle.
A wide range of possibilities awaits our trusty washing machines: everything
from sleeping bags to swimsuits whose pockets could contain sand or even
the occasional sea urchin.
In this month's issue we meet one of our resident RepairGurus,
Jennifer Kassuba, who has tips and useful advice for washing machine upkeep
Jennifer Kassuba Comes Clean on Washing Machines
As a mother of
two children, Jennifer knows something about laundry and how frustrating
it can be if your washing machine breaks down. For five years Jennifer has
been helping RepairClinic.com customers with their appliance questions.
Jennifer has attended manufacturing seminars and participated in extensive
on-the-job training to ensure she has the most up-to-date repair help for
her customers. Here are some of her responses to questions about washing
machine upkeep and repair.
What are three common washing machine problems you are asked about?
have common problems; one of the most prevalent questions is about the spin
cycle on the washer. The customer usually indicates that everything but
the spin cycle works. If your washer pumps out the water but doesn't spin,
one quick check is to look for a defective lid switch. The switch is inside
the washing machine main housing near the door frame. Often you have to
raise or open the top or front of the washing machine to get to the switch.
If it's defective, the machine may pump out the water but won't spin.
question is that the washer seems to be out of balance. The customer has
repositioned the clothes but it won't spin properly or the machine dances
across the floor with a heavy load. If your washing machine is not perfectly
level--with all four legs touching the floor--it can bang and rock back
and forth, and even begin to "walk" across the room, adjusting
the leveling feet will often fix this problem.
top question is what to do when the machine appears to be working but
won't agitate. There are several items to check if your washer won't agitate,
one of the easiest things to check is see if your agitator has a clutch
mechanism that may need repair.
these and many other questions are available on our website.
In addition to the website, customers can receive responses to their specific
requests from Jennifer and the RepairGuru staff.
What is the strangest request you've had as a member of the RepairGuru
The ones that come to mind have actually happened more than once. A woman
emailed me asking how to remove the agitator on her machine. It seems
she had forgotten a rather expensive necklace in a dress pocket and now
it was wrapped around the agitator. I also get questions about how to
remove smells from washers, after people have left unusual items in their
machines for long periods of time. The solution: empty your washing machine,
add 1 cup of vinegar as it fills with hot water and then let the machine
go through an entire wash and rinse cycle. The smells are usually eliminated.
In your opinion, having helped thousands of do-it-yourselfers, what
is the hardest part of making an appliance repair?
The hardest part is figuring out what is really wrong, we can't see what
they are talking about and sometimes people have difficulty describing
their problem. They often don't know the right names for parts or they
have a language barrier which can make it difficult for them to explain
what is broken. The first step is to provide them with the most common
repair fixes for the area of the washer that they think has the problem.
If those fixes don't work, we continue asking questions to help troubleshoot
their problem, eventually helping them to find the right part to get their
machine up and running again.
Below are some tips or maintenance suggestions that will help prevent
problems with your washing machine in the future.
Three Tips to Try This Month
Avoid Potential Leaks
Water hoses that came with your new washing
machine will deteriorate over time may leak or burst. It's a good preventive
maintenance practice to check these hoses annually for signs of wear or
weakness. Often there's a small blister in the rubber of the hose, which
could rupture. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every
five years. We carry the black rubber hoses supplied by the manufacturer.
Use our PartDetective to locate the ones for your unit or select a high
quality stainless steel fill hoses.
Drain pump - All washers have a pumps that circulate
the water and drain the water from the washer tub. One of the most typical
causes of leaks involving the pump is due to a blockage, often from small
items left in pockets or a sock. Another potential pump problem is that
the impeller blades become broken or worn down and cannot move water efficiently.
Finally, in belt drive models, if the belt is loose or broken it does
not turn the pump. The PartDetective
can help find your model specific replacement part.
Keep your Washer on the Level
Level the machine to avoid vibrating
- Washing machines
need a solid floor or foundation to support the weight of the machine
and constant movement required for operation. Because washing machines
are being manufactured with lighter components today, the washer can vibrate
strongly during the spin cycle. Some washers have cement blocks added
to increase weight and counteract the vibration. Your washing machine
has adjustable, front leveling legs with a lock nut. Adjust the leg to
the proper height and, tighten the lock nut up against the body of the
machine to keep the leg from rotating. The leveling legs should be secured,
but screwed up inside the machine as far as possible to lower the center
of gravity of the entire unit. The lower the center of gravity the less
chance your washing machine has for "walking". Most machines
have "self-adjusting" rear legs. You set these legs by tilting
the entire machine forward onto its front legs (with the rear legs 3 to
4 inches off the floor) and then setting the machine back down. The legs
should adjust automatically. If they don't, you may need to tilt the machine
forward and rap on the rear legs with the handle of a hammer to loosen
them--a procedure that's easier to accomplish with a helper.
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