A washing machine’s main role is to spin. It will only start making a sound when the drive motor begins to move the drum that will spin your clothes.
We can suspect a problem when our washing machine makes a repetitive knocking noise, sometimes a rumbling sound. Why?
Your washing may look like a built machine because it does a simple job: to wash and spin dry your clothes. However, a washing machine is an appliance with a complex design and interconnected parts, so when one component fails, it affects the performance of the others.
Before we can understand specific washing machine problems, especially when it becomes noisy, let us guide you on the function of each part.
Not all washing machines are built the same. It depends on the brand of your appliance. However, all of them have one main goal: to spin.
What you need in a washing machine is the drum for the clothes, water inlet and pump, agitator directional cogs, drain pipe, drain pan, timer, and water pump. If it is a fully automatic machine, it should have a control panel. And the circuit board, usually built at the back, where all the wiring connections are found.
This is where you load your clothes. A washing machine consists of an inner tube and an outer tub.
The rear drum keeps the water inside the drum to protect the different parts of the machine. The inner drum is where the activity is happening, spinning clothes with water that goes in and out.
Water Inlet Valve
For fully automatic washing machines, the water inlet valve controls water entry into the drum. The amount of water that goes through the valve is dictated based on the electrical signals it receives. Samsung washing machine is known for top-loading machines.
This circuit board is connected to all the wirings that operate the washing machine. It is the hub for all the electronic parts of your washing machine.
Modern washing machines have electronic displays. This display serves as your dashboard or control panel where you can program or operate the machine.
Also called paddles, the agitator is essential in paddling the water that is in the drum. It enhances the movement of water to force the clothes to rub each other and remove dirt in the course of action, of course, with the help of soap or detergent.
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The pump is vital to the cycling of water. It pumps water to enhance the spinning but also helps in drawing out water during the spin.
This is where the water passes when the water leaves the machine.
All automatic washing machines have timers to set the length of your washing time. It sounds off when washing is done.
Essential in setting the desired water temperature.
Without the drive motor, nothing will cause the wash cycle in the machine. The engine, just like any machine, is the heart of the washing machine. When this breaks or fails, you won’t be able to use your washing machine.
Never fix the drive motor DIY. Call a professional before you do any further damage to your noisy washing machine.
PRO TIP: Never allow a big gap between the edge of the washer drum and the tub seal so that clothes won’t get caught.
- New washing machine spin cycle loud
- Washer bearing noise
- Washing machine making noise when off
- Washing machine noise when draining
We rely on our home appliances, like the washing machine, in our everyday lives. That’s why when there’s a problem, we suspect it quickly based on the sound it produces.
PRO TIP: Cracked paddle in the drum can catch clothes and damage them. Replace the paddle for a smooth tub spin.
1. Loose Drum Bearings
A significant factor that causes a washing machine’s loud noise is worn bearings. What are bearings, and how do they affect the spinning cycle of a washing machine?
Loose or worn bearings will make a noticeable grinding noise. But a brand new machine is virtually silent when you manually push the drum to spin.
The second way to check if worn bearings are to see how loosely the drum moves when you push its top against the door seal. But if there’s no movement, it means there’s no problem with the main tub bearing.
Another indication of a defective tub bearing is rust at the machine’s back panel, noticing water leaks and drips. If you remove the bearing part assembly in the middle of the motor, you will see the condition of the bearings and loads of rust.
2. Pump or Filter Issue
The filter is responsible for trapping lint or loose hairs while washing. It connects to a pipe that drains water. Modern washing machines, however, have self-cleaning filters. But it is necessary to check on them periodically to keep your machine functioning well and not produce a loud noise. Clogged filters will hamper your laundry time.
Front-loading machines such as a Whirlpool washer have filters that collect tiny dirt. Top loading machines with filters on the valves are Ge washer and LG washer. Newer washing machine models don’t have separate filters.
3. Light Tapping Sound
When you hear a tapping sound while your washing machine is running, something, like a coin, pins, or any small object, could be stuck in the drain, pump, or filter. Any obstruction will create a knocking or tapping noise.
4. Motor Coupling
What is a motor coupling on your washing machine? Also called a washer motor coupler, a motor coupling is a small device that connects the transmission and the motor.
How will you know if your machine has a bad motor coupler? When you think the appliance is working fine because the motor is running, but the noisy washer fails to agitate, the coupler is broken. Replace the damaged motor coupler.
5. Clutch Assembly
The clutch of the washing machine works in the same way as the clutch assembly of a manual transmission car.
It is responsible for the movement of the agitator and the spinning process of the washing machine. A faulty clutch will likely give you no motor sound and no flapping sound from the agitator.
You will get an error code in some washing machine models, like the Whirlpool Direct Drive top loader. An F7E5 error code means that the clutch should be replaced.
PRO TIP: Direct drive washing machines run on clutch instead of the belt system. It means that the drum axis is directly connected to the rotor.
6. Drive Belt
Washing machines with drive belts rely on the pulley system to power the tank and the motor, allowing the drum to spin and stop.
Drive belt washing machines are the opposite of modern machines powered by a direct connection of the engine to the drum axis. In this way, the clutch replaces the drive belt system.
How can you tell that you have a bad drive belt?
Drive belts begin to loosen their grip and eventually slip when they are overused, thus producing a screeching noise. The squealing sound will get louder as it gets older over time, emitting a burning rubber smell.
Where can you find the belt?
You can find the belt on the back for front-loader washing machines and near the bottom for top-loader machines.
7. Drive Pulley
The drive pulley is the large wheel where the belt is located. The pulley, along with the belt and the motor, causes the machine to spin. The drive pulley is a wheel-like washing machine part that is crucial in the rotation of the drum.
The drum will not spin if the mechanism underlying this simple process cannot be carried out due to a faulty drive pulley. Sometimes, the problem is in the belt, not in the pulley.
A worn-out belt will fly off when the pulley rotates. But for a broken pulley, it is either bent due to an overly stretched belt. Both need replacement nevertheless.
8. Drain Pump
As the word suggests, the drainpipe is where the wastewater from the machine travels. Water should flow smoothly through the drainpipe after each spin duration is complete.
When you hear a gurgling sound, like something is drowning, it means your drain pipe is clogged.
Remove any debris that blocks the drain pipe to remove the loud noise and ensure that your drain system is in good running condition before doing another set of spins.
What if your drain pipe overflows?
It is the same reason when it is producing a loud noise. Check the standpipe. Sometimes, small debris collects in the drain standpipe because it can’t handle the surge or force of water draining down on it.
9. Shock Absorbers
A shock absorber is a washing machine component to which you must give importance because it also serves as a noise absorber.
The role of shock absorbers in washing machines is to dampen the movement, hence the sound, in the spin cycle.
The machine’s primary function is to spin the washer. The shock absorber moderates and corrects the movement of the washer.
Without shock absorbers, or if they become damaged, the machine will make a loud banging noise. This occurrence is due to the uneven loads in the washer, causing the machine to strut.
Worn-out Transmission: A washing machine transmission fault affects the appliance in many ways:
- Water doesn’t drain after a spin cycle
- Machine fails to pump water into the drum before a spin cycle
- Spin cycle causes the drum to spin fast, draining water prematurely
- Running motor but the drum doesn’t move. If any of these is the reason, call your professional handyman to check or replace the transmission.
10. Suspension spring or tub dampening strap
Broken or loose straps will cause the washer tub to unbalance during the washing cycle. They are called dampening straps because they reduce the vibration of the drum.
11. Suspension Rods and Springs
A suspension rod and spring prevent the machine’s tub from shaking and making a loud noise. They keep the tub assembly intact in the cabinet or the machine into the base. Broken rods will make the tub shake and cause vibration and banging noise. Replace damaged springs and straps for a noiseless tub when washing.
PRO TIP: Dented perforations/raised metal in the drum can catch a fabric during the washing cycle. Use a crosshead screwdriver to flatten the dent on the drum’s metal and test if it is even by rubbing a cloth again.
In some instances, your new washing machine makes a noisy spin. Why? A common reason for the noise in new washing machines is the squeaking sound. Don’tDon’t worry because this is a normal occurrence.
There is nothing wrong with a squeaky new machine. The sound is from the brand new tub, but it will gradually disappear on its own after many cycles.
But as mentioned, your machine’s loud rumbling or banging sound could damage drum bearing even for new units.
Loose or bad tub bearing can be bad for your machine. Check with your manufacturer for the repetitive sound. As it is undoubtedly still under warranty, they will likely replace it with a new one.
While spinning and running, your washing machine should be free of any obstruction from a zip, buttons, coins, bra wires, pins, and any metal or plastic object. Always check for these small objects that may trap because they are often causing the noise.
If you want a noiseless washing machine and do your laundry in peace, be sure to conduct a regular cleaning on your appliance. Ensure that your machine will continue to function optimally by cleaning it and repairing it if there are minor issues.
Don’t use your washing machine when one part is broken. You may not be aware, but that one component will affect other parts to break until the damage is beyond washing machine repair.
For major repairs, contact your technician or any certified repairman to fix your it correctly and bring it back in good condition.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.