Washing machines are considered essential appliances for most any household that owns one, but they can experience a range of problems that require repairs. As washer technology and energy efficiency standards constantly change, today’s washers are susceptible to many more problems that weren’t even possible on older models. That’s not to say they’re more fragile, though they are in some cases, but it does mean they require different considerations when using and addressing problems. Here are some of the most common issues and the estimated cost of repairing them.
Many of the issues that we see daily, and that are described below, aren’t due to a design flaw or devious gremlin – they’re caused by the person using the machine. The best way to prevent issues with your washer is to read the Owner’s Manual completely before ever doing your first load. Mistakes like overloading, loading unevenly, adding too much detergent or the wrong kind of detergent, not cleaning it regularly, or even not leveling the legs can all cause serious issues with major repair costs. So even if you’ve been successfully washing clothes for decades, it pays to pull out the Manual and refresh yourself. By the way, AP Service Plan customers get access to their manuals in PDF form from us any time!
One of the most common problems with washing machines is water leaks. Leaks can occur due to various reasons, such as worn-out hoses, faulty water inlet valves, splashing over the top of the tub, or a damaged tub seal. Depending on the severity of the leak, repairing it can cost anywhere from $150 to $500, though in some cases, costs can exceed $800. The cost of repairing a leaky hose is relatively low, usually around $150 to $250. However, if the leak is due to a faulty water inlet valve, the cost can range from $200 to $350. A damaged tub seal can be a more expensive repair, with a cost range of $350 to $500. If leaks are caused by a crack in the tub or by multiple issues (such as suspension and gearcase), then repair costs often exceed the cost of a new unit.
A washing machine that makes loud and strange noises during its operation is another common issue. Noisy washers can be caused by several factors, such as a worn-out belt, a damaged pump, a malfunctioning bearing, or the tub banging the machine sides when it’s out of balance. The cost of repairing a noisy washing machine depends on the cause of the noise. Replacing a worn-out belt typically costs around $150 to $250, while repairing or replacing a damaged pump can cost $200 to $350. If the noise is due to a malfunctioning bearing, the cost can be anywhere from $500 to $800.
Won’t Complete a Cycle
Some of our customers’ washers will run a partial cycle and then stop or get stuck mid-cycle and run forever. Often, the customer has found a way to switch cycle types to get their load passably clean, but the machine clearly isn’t operating like it should. These issues are often caused by failed sensors, lid locks, wiring, or control boards. The cost to repair these issues can range from $200 to about $350 if you don’t need to replace the control board. If it’s the board, repair costs typically begin at $350 and go up to $600.
Another problem that homeowners often encounter with their washing machines is when the machine won't spin. A washing machine that doesn't spin properly can be caused by a variety of issues, such as a broken or worn-out drive belt, a faulty lid switch, or a malfunctioning motor. Depending on the cause of the problem, repairing a washing machine that won't spin can cost between $200 and $500. The cost of replacing a broken or worn-out drive belt is relatively low, usually around $150 to $250. A faulty lid switch or malfunctioning motor, however, can cost more, with a range of $200 to $500.
These are just a few of the most common problems that washing machines can experience, along with their typical repair costs. Keep in mind that the costs listed here are only estimates, and the actual cost of repairs can vary depending on the severity of the issue and the location of the repair service. Stacked units – where the dryer is on top of the washer – are almost always more expensive because they require a second technician to help disassemble the unit for a repair.
If you’ve tried adjusting your loads or other troubleshooting and can’t get rid of the problem, your next step should be calling a professional appliance repair service like Appliance Professional to diagnose the issue and provide an accurate quote for repair.