How to Diagnose Washing Machine Problems

Are washing machine problems leaving you--well, agitated? Don't fret. Many times the cause is something simple. And fixing it is just a matter of a little tightening here, replacing the odd part there. See also How to Fix a Washing Machine That Fills Slowly and How to Fix a Washing Machine That "Walks" Across the Floor.

Step 1

If the washer won't start, check the power cord or reset the circuit breaker depending on the issue. It may be overheated and shut off temporarily. Let it cool for 30 minutes, and if it still won't start, call a professional.

Step 2

If the motor transmission failed or the drive belt has broken, these need the assistance of a professional.

Step 3

If the washer won't drain, clean out the drain hose and straighten any kinks. If the drain hose fits too tightly in the standpipe, adjust it to allow for a minimum of 1.25 inches for airflow so water can drain.

Step 4

If the washer won't fill or fills slowly, turn the faucet handles counterclockwise as far as possible. This is usually the result of partially open faucets.

Step 5

Call a profession if the washer overfills. This means the water-inlet valve or switch is defective.