2 simple washing machine fixes

Your washing machine has been good to you and your clothes until now, so what's gone wrong?

2 simple washing machine fixes

Before you call the repair guy

You turn on your washing machine, and instead of the sound of rushing water, you hear a low hum or maybe you hear nothing at all. Or perhaps your machine stops midwash. Don't pick up the phone yet! There are a few simple things you can check first.

1. If there is no water flowing into the washer:

1. Are the hot- and cold-water-supply spigots on? Sounds like a dumb question, but it happens. Also, if it's below freezing outdoors, make sure you don't have a frozen water-supply pipe.

2. Check for a clogged inlet screen. There is one inside each of the machine's two water-inlet ports. Turn off the hot and cold water; then use pliers to unscrew the water-supply hoses from the inlet ports. Use a small screwdriver to carefully pry the screens from the ports. Rinse the screens under a faucet. Replace them, reattach hoses, and try your machine.

2. If the washer goes silent mid cycle:

1. Your washer may have a built-in safety mechanism that shuts down power during a spin cycle if an off-balance load is detected. Try lifting the lid all the way open — you should hear a loud click as the mechanism resets. Rearrange the load, and close the lid. The washer should continue.

2. No click when you open the lid? Make sure the washer's plug is secure in the receptacle. Then check for a tripped circuit breaker.

3. Check the switch lever. It is part of the device that turns the machine off when you lift the lid. When you close the lid, a finger, called a strike, goes through a hole and pushes down a little metal or plastic lever that turns the switch on and lets the washer run. If the lever is metal, it might just be bent down a little so that the strike can't depress it fully. If so, all you have to do is bend it back up.

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