Questions About Clothes Washers

As a repairman I get a lot of questions about clothes washers. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about washers.


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Sometimes when I wash clothes in my GE washer it will bang really loud for the first few seconds of the spin cycle then sound normal for the remainder of the cycle, is this normal?

GE washers have a self-balance system that will balance the load during the spin cycle and it takes a few seconds to do so. So if your clothes are off balance, it will beat and bang for a few seconds until it self balances.

My new GE HydroWave clothes washer seems to spin all the water out of the clothes but when I turn the tub by hand, I can still hear water in the tub. Is this because the water isn’t completely draining?

No, in the top of the tub is liquid that helps balance the load if it becomes off balance. This has been in GE washers for years but on older models you are not able to turn the tub by hand to hear it.

Why does my washer bang really loud then cut off?

Some washers such as Maytag have an off-balance switch that cuts the washer off if the clothes are off balance. Then when you open the lid and adjust the load, it resets the off-balance switch. Note that the off-balance on Maytag is the lid switch.

What’s the difference between high efficiency laundry detergent and regular detergent?

High efficiency laundry detergent does not create soapsuds and regular detergent does. As far as cleaning clothes, goes soapsuds are worthless because they float and do nothing to help clean the clothes. In other words, the portion of the soap used to create the suds is wasted. This is why it is called high efficiency detergent; there is no waste because 100% of the detergent is used for washing clothes. One other important thing you should know about high efficiency laundry detergent is that you must use it if you have a front-loading clothes washer because soapsuds get in the way of the washing action.

I have a front-loader and it stinks and makes my clothes stink. Why is this happening and is there anything I can do to prevent this?

Mold and mildew will grow in crevices of washing machines causing an unpleasant smell. This problem is more common on front-loader clothes washers because water will get trapped in the door gasket and other places. Tide, along with other companies, came out with washing machine cleaner that will eliminate this problem if used regularly. Click here to buy Affresh™ Washer Cleaner

Do you recommend a front-loading clothes washer or a top-loading clothes washer?

Considering the current price of the front-loading washers I would have to say that I recommend top loading washers. With that being said I think that front-loading washer are build better with higher quality parts and are overall much better machines but currently they are over double the price of top-loading washers. There are other things to consider depending on your priorities. The front-loaders are not as rough on your clothes and it uses a lot less water. If those things are important to you then I suggest the front-loader.

What brand washer do you suggest?

With all of the buy outs and companies going out of business, there are only a few companies to chose from. For example, at one time I would recommend Maytag clothes washers hands down. Then they bought out other companies and changed their washers to what I considered the some of the worst on the market then Whirlpool bought out Maytag. Personally I prefer GE but the only other brand I would suggest is Whirlpool it is just as good a GE.

Do I need to level my washer for it to work properly?

No, unless it’s extremely off level. All that matters are that all four feet are touching the floor. Most washers have self-adjusting feet in the rear so you wont have to adjust the feet at all in most cases. But if it is level it will look better.

Do you recommend that I use one of those pans that goes under the washer to catch water if it leaks?

Yes, because sometime during the life of most washers it will leak and this can damage your floor. If you have a pan you may see the leak before it reaches the floor. Buy a washer floor tray here.



When my washer pumps out, some of the water backs out of the drain. Can I just tape it up so that it doesn’t leak?

No, if you do so the drain will not get air, therefore when the next fill cycle starts the water will siphon out the drain and will continue to do so until someone cuts off the washer. The best way to fix this problem is to clean out the drain. But sometimes especially on old houses, the drain pipe just isn’t big enough to properly drain your washer, therefore no matter how well you clean your drain it still will back out. In this case, you would need to use what they call a siphon break-part number 76660. This will allow the drain to get air while at the same time allowing you to tape the drain up so that it doesn’t leak.

My clothes washer is filling with water and draining at the same time. What causes this and what can I do to stop it?



The water is siphoning out and can be caused by a few things.

1. The drainpipe to your house may be too low and you either need to extend the pipe up above the top of the tub or run the drain hose from your washer up high.

2. Someone may have taped the drain hose from the washer to the drainpipe to your house to stop the water from backing up. To fix this either clean out the drainpipe to your house and remove the tape or install a siphon break, part number 76660.

3. If the drain hose from your washer is pushed down the drainpipe too far, this will also cause the same problem. To fix it just pull it out to within about 6 inches of the end of the drainpipe.



My washer is not that so old why is it broken down already?

I get this question about washers more than any other and my answer is always the same. Every appliance breaks down some on the same day you buy it and others in 20 years. Also appliances have always broken down. Yes I will agree that appliances are not made as good as they used to be. The average life of most appliances now days is about 8 to 12 years, whereas it used to be about 10-20 years. But you have to think that the cost of appliances now is about the same as it was 20 years ago, yet labor and materials are higher. So the only way they can still sell appliances at low prices is to cut quality. Also appliances do more than they used to therefore, more to go wrong.

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