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Common washing machine faults you can probably fix yourself

Washing machine faults that are an easy DIY fix

washing machine
The following faults are covered here.

I am not an expert beyond DIY but I have fixed several machines over the years.

These basic checks could save you lots of money. All advice is offered in good faith and without liability, if you mess it it up do not blame me!

The following are covered, just hit the links at the foot of each page to move forward or click the links below. 

Water runs continuously

Syphoning - Water running continuously

This is the easiest fix of all, but when it happens on your machine you think it has got an "impossible" fault.


The machine, at any point in the cycle, starts to fill with water and the water just keeps on coming...forever. No pump running so no pumping it out!! Where is it going? The answer is that it is going out of the machine through the waste pipe which has formed a syphon all on it's own.

What is going on?

Over time the scum and crud coming out of the machine has built up in a mass around the outlet pipe in the drain and formed an air tight seal.

The cure?

Pull out the machine until you can get to the outlet hose where it goes in to the drain pipe. Pull the pipe out and push it back in. To be really sure do that a few times. Once the seal has broken the problem will go away....it might return one day but you never know.

A naive or unscrupulous repair agent may tell you the "timer" has gone and change a lot of parts trying to repair this, and may even put your old parts back in!

Door will not open or noise when pumping out

Not pumping out, the door will not open or noise when pumping out.


Machine remains full at the end of the wash cycle and the door will not open or there is noise when the machine empties that is over and above the "normal" pump noise (see also main bearing noise).

Machines empty via a small pump with an impeller on them and a filter in the way to stop coins, hair grips etc. getting to the pump and damaging it. If the filters get blocked they water will not reach the pump.

The Cure

Clean out the filter. Check where yours is in the instruction book or via a "Google" type search. 99% of the time it is on the front of the machine right at the bottom but often tucked away behind a plastic door or the cover that runs all the way across the front. These are usually just clipped on, you might need a knife or thin flat bladed screw driver to ease it off.

Behind there you will find a small "tap" and a larger "seal". The larger seal gets you to the filter and the smaller "tap" gets you to the drain.

First you should drain any remaining water from the machine. Twist and pull out the smaller "Tap", (it is not a tap, it is just a stopper) and attached at the back of it will be a small hose. Tease this out where usually about 5 cm (2 inches) of pipe is all that comes out and pull the hose off the back of the stopper. Get a bowl and a towel to collect any water. If your machine is quite full there will be a lot, if it has more or less emptied there will not be much.

Next unscrew the larger cover and pull out the filter that will be behind it. Clean the filter and look at the pump and make sure the impeller is there and turns by hand, if not the pump may be broken and a new one will need to be fitted, but this is rare. Sometimes something has got past the filter and jammed it.

Once all the water is out the door should open. If it does not wait 5 minutes and try it all again. 

Leaking washing machine

The machine is leaking


There is water under the machine. 

The Cure....or at least the test.

Pull the machine out to so you can access the rear. Pull the emptying hose out of the drain pipe it sits in push it back in a few times. Clean the filter as outlined above for the door not opening.

Run a wash cycle with the machine still pulled out (be sure the drain hose is well secured in the pipe!) and see if you can work out where any water is coming from....if it is leaking still then they can be hard to find and an expert should be called unless you fancy turning the machine over and looking for any tell tale stains on pipes etc. Of course you may have just cured it!