The spinning of a washing machine drum requires power from a motor located in the back of the unit. In order for the motor to make the drum spin, the two components also require some form of connection. In many washing machines, this connector comes in the form of a belt, which wraps around both the motor and the drum and makes the drum spin when the motor runs. Like any component, a washing machine belt can wear out and need to be replaced..
A few different issues may indicate a problem with the belt in a washing machine. Two main issues include the drum not turning when the washing machine is in a wash cycle or a smell of burning rubber coming from the unit when the washer is in use. Other possible indicators of a belt issue in a washing machine include squealing sounds when the machine runs or a drum that runs some of the time but has a tendency to get stuck at times during the wash cycle.
Checking a Belt
Just because you experience issues that indicate that the belt on a washing machine needs repair doesn't necessarily mean the belt requires replacement. A washing machine belt may also simply slip from the track on either the drum or the motor. To check the belt on a washing machine, unplug the washing machine from the wall and remove the back cover from the unit, which is generally held in place with screws. If the belt doesn't sit in the tracks on the drum or motor, push the belt back into place.
Replacing a Belt
If the belt in the washing machine is not out of place on the track, you should check the belt for damage. If you find noticeable damage, such as holes, tears or fraying on the belt, you shouldn't attempt repair but instead you should replace the belt as soon as possible. It's not advisable to continue use of the washing machine, because the belt can cause damage to the motor or other working components if it snaps completely inside the machine.
Belt Repair Costs
The cost to replace a belt in need of repair on a washing machine varies. Prices depend on the manufacturer of the washer, the model of the washer and how old of a washer unit you own. On Appliance Part Pros, washing machine belts range in price from around $5 to around $20 and on Amazon, they range in price from around $6 to around $20, so the average cost to repair the belt on a washing machine is around $12 or $13.
Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.