Troubled by the jarring sound of your washing machine? What looks like a small fix may be early signs indicating your laundry mate is ageing. While your washing machine may have helped you clean loads of laundry all through a decade, constant use, wear, and tear causes it to become less efficient with time.
So what are the telltale signs that your washing machine is in the last leg of its journey and could break down anytime soon? Here we seek some expert advice on how to detect the early signs of an ageing washing machine. Should they go unnoticed they can hamper the efficiency and performance of your washer.
Detecting the Dying Signs of Your Washing Machine
Spotting the signs of wear and tear in your washer early on is good for both you and your washer. It saves you from a loaded electricity bill that can burn a hole in your pocket. For your aged machine, it means it is time for it to rest and give way to a new one. Ignoring signs of a dying washing machine means loads of dirty washed clothes, waste of detergent, energy, and lots of precious time doing the laundry. So, it is time you come out of denial mode and look out for the following signs that your machine may be signalling at you.
#1. Machine Makes Excessive Loud Noise
If your machine makes an abnormal sound that disturbs you even in the next room, then something is seriously wrong with it. The sound of metal rubbing against metal or a loose part whirring and making a nasty sound in the drum indicates that the washer is not levelled and needs some balancing. However, if the wash drum is levelled and you still hear loud grinding and squeaky sounds that are not from buttons or zips then it is surely alarming.
Electrician and repair expert Peter Keohane from JKS Electrical Solutions says, “There are several faults that cause noises like a bad clutch, worn-out drive belt or the drain pump being clogged. If there are still noises happening when one of these faults has been rectified, you are better off getting a new machine.”
#2. Fails to Give you a Clean Laundry
Most machines stop giving you clean and fresh laundry towards the end. This mainly occurs due to a blocked detergent line/tray. If the detergent cannot travel freely into the drum of the machine, it will not wash your clothes properly. This can be partly corrected or repaired by de-clogging the detergent tray. However, prolonged blocking can lead to dirty laundry and excess load on the wash drum and motor. Chris Spencer, CEO of Picked from Home, a home improvement and appliance company points out, “Towards the end of its lifespan, a washing machine has a harder time to spin. Therefore, it produces lower cleaning quality. It does not stop cleaning, but it has a hard time doing so.”
#3. Consumes Too Much or Too Little Water
Does your water drum not fill enough for a big load? Do you notice water left behind even after a spin cycle? Abnormal water issues with a washing machine are signs that everything may not be in place. Leaking water from the wash drum means that your drum never fills up to its optimum capacity.
As the washing machine ages, the chances of leakage and water problems are high. Clogged hoses and loose pipes and valves are all signs of an ageing and worn-out machine. As Imani Francies, a home appliance expert says, “At the back of the washer a loose or broken supply hoses are frequently the source of leaks. While a hole in the water pump or leaking internal hoses is common causes of leaks under the washer.”
#4. Your Washed Clothes Smell Dirty
Expecting clean and fresh laundry from your washing machine after every wash is normal. But if you notice a foul and moldy smell from your washed pyjamas then perhaps either you forgot your laundry in the machine overnight or it could be the more serious issue of mold building up in your wash drum. The water collecting beneath the wash drum breeds bacteria, germs, and fungi. These living organisms are responsible for the stink in your washed clothes.
#5 Overburdens Your Electricity Bill
An ageing washing machine generates a spike in your electricity bill. This happens because it consumes more energy to deliver the bare minimum performance expected from it. Jen Stark-a home improvement expert and founder of Happy DIY Home says, “If you have a very old machine, it’s most likely not energy-efficient. This means that it pulls more electricity each time you run a load and this can increase your costs.”
#6. Too Much Shaking and Wobbling
While some movement is normal with the strong spinning motion of a machine, constant rumbling and shaking can be dangerous. A machine that wobbles with every spin making a loud, rough noise is yelling to tell you that everything is not fine. The longer the washer kicks the drum, the more potential damage it is making to the machine.
#7. Consider the Age Factor
An average washing machine lasts for about 8-10 years with a moderately heavy load throughout its life. Beyond this period, most machines start wearing out and require frequent repairs and professional services.
With increasing age, the cost of repairs and maintenance becomes more hefty and time-consuming. Maintenance and professional services can revive the life of a machine for few more years. But it cannot grant it a new lease of life. Bringing home a smarter version that is more efficient and cost-effective is perhaps a more prudent decision.
As a matter of fact, if any appliance is older than 5-7 years and costs more than 20% of its purchase price on repairs, then it is best to discard and opt for a new one.
Detect the early signs of a dying washing machine with the above factors and start saving for a replacement. Temporary repairs can certainly address some of the problems discussed above. However, constant repairs and services can cause you as much as saving up for a new version of the same.
So, the next time you hear the rumbling loud noise of a vibrating wash drum or see your kitchen floor flooded with leaking hose pipe from your washer you know what to do. Accept that it is time to pull the plug and bring home a young replacement to meet your laundry needs. You can check out our list of best washing machines to choose the right option for your needs.