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DIY: How To Repair A Washing Machine

No prior experience is required for these simple washing machine repair solutions.

Repairing your washing machine: Resolve 90 percent of clothes washer issues with these four straightforward fixes, addressing filling and draining issues, grinding noises, and spinning failures. Avoid the cost of an $80 – $150 service call.

Repairing your washer: Time, tools, and cost savings

Instead of scouring the internet for “washer repair near me,” we’ll guide you through DIY fixes. Washing machine repair might seem daunting, but these appliances are relatively simple inside. Armed with basic tools and our step-by-step instructions, you can resolve most issues yourself—saving the expense of a service call ($80 to $150). While we won’t cover every possible fix, the repairs we outline here will address roughly 90 percent of washer problems, whether it’s a Maytag or Kenmore model.

These common washer repairs are manageable for the average DIY enthusiast. You’ll need a socket set or nut drivers, screwdrivers, and a flashlight. Repairs can be completed in as little as an hour, but allocate a full morning to diagnose the issue, procure parts, and finish the repair. To source parts, consult the yellow pages under “Appliance Parts” or search online for “appliance parts” tailored to your specific brand, such as Maytag washer troubleshooting or Kenmore washer repair.

Figures A and B on the subsequent pages illustrate two typical washer styles. The outer cabinet depicted in Figure A (found in Whirlpool and some other brands) lifts off entirely, granting access to all components. Meanwhile, the washer showcased in Figure B (common in Maytag and other brands) features removable front and back panels.

Tip: Ensure your washer has power! Unplugged cords and tripped breakers are frequent culprits of appliance “breakdowns.”

Fix 1: Grinding noise

If you have a Whirlpool direct-drive washer (where the water hoses attach to the left side when viewed from the back), chances are you’re dealing with a broken coupler—a frequent issue often resulting from overloading the machine. Fortunately, this is a straightforward and budget-friendly repair, costing around $22.

Fix 2: Draining problems

If clothing or jewelry becomes lodged in the hose leading to the pump or within the pump itself, your washing machine may fail to drain, and you might notice squealing, grinding noises, or a burning rubber smell. Start by disconnecting the hose that connects the tub to the pump (drain the water into a bowl) and inspect for any trapped items, such as socks. Use a coat hanger to clear any obstructions from the tube. Then, examine the pump for broken blades by shaking it and ensure that the pump shaft rotates freely. If you find any damage, consider replacing the pump (Maytag: $55; Whirlpool: $44). Additionally, if you observe any burned or melted sections on the belts, replace them with a set ($35). Note that Maytag belts are specially designed, so avoid substituting them with ordinary “V” belts.

Fix 3: Slow fill or no fill

If your washing machine is slow to fill or fails to fill altogether, consider cleaning the inlet screens on the water valve. You can find instructions on how to do this by typing “inlet screen” in the search box above. If cleaning the screens doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to replace the entire water valve assembly, which typically costs around $35.

Fix 4: Won’t agitate or spin

If your washer is failing to spin, you can troubleshoot the issue by removing the lid switch on a Maytag-type washer. To do this, pry up the locking tab and slide the switch forward. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you can install the new switch by setting it in the slot and pulling it backward.

If your washing machine fills with water but fails to start, it may indicate a faulty lid switch. To check the switch, you’ll need a continuity tester or a multimeter. Remove the wires from the switch and use the tester to touch the probes to the switch’s connectors. As you open and close the lid, the readings should alternate between continuity and no continuity. If they don’t, replace the switch.

For Whirlpool-type washers (Figure A), simply remove the two screws and install the new switch. For Maytag-type washers (Figure B), unscrew the access panel behind the console and replace the switch accordingly. Remember to lift the lid before removing the old switch.

Remember: Handle the washing machine’s lid with care to avoid damaging the lid switch. Slamming the lid can lead to premature wear and tear on the switch.

Tools Required for this DIY Washing Machine Repair Project:

Ensure you have the necessary tools lined up before starting your DIY washing machine repair project. This preparation will save you time and frustration during the repair process.

4-in-1 screwdriver


Nut driver


Socket/ratchet set

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