Help! My washing machine detergent dispenser isn’t working

Why aren’t my washing machine detergent and fabric softener dispenser working?

It’s relatively common to have problems with your washing machine detergent dispenser and these often rollover into problems with your fabric softener dispenser too. Fortunately the causes are generally simple and easy to fix. Let’s take a look:

Most washing machines have automatic laundry detergent dispensers, but few of us think to clean them regularly to prevent soap and scum build-up. And that is the most common problem: Soap and scum build-up. Similarly, a clogged fabric softener compartment is the most likely reason your washer isn’t dispensing softener properly.

So, how do you fix the problem?

You clean the dispenser, of course.

How do you clean the dispenser?

There are two ways to clean the laundry detergent dispenser.

The first could not be easier.

Simply put some white vinegar in the dispenser drawer and let your washing machine run through a complete cycle. You can use the quickest setting but you shouldn’t put any clothes in the machine while you’re running through the clean. The dislodged residue could stick to the laundry.

The second is also pretty easy.

All you have to do is remove the detergent drawer and give it a good clean.

Removing the drawer is simple.

All you have to do is open it fully, reach into the back and push the clip that releases the dispenser.

Wash the softener and laundry powder dispenser in warm soapy water, and make sure you get in the corners where stubborn residue tends to cling for dear life. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush for this.

Don’t forget about the compartment itself. Residue can just as easily cling to the top and sides of the compartment so get your toothbrush ready and go in for a gentle scrub.

When you’re done, slide the drawer back in the compartment until you hear the click and your washer should be ready to go.

Ensure that you do hear the click because if the drawer isn’t in properly it won’t dispense washing powder or fabric softener.

Now all you have to do is remember to clean it regularly and make sure you use the correct products. Most instruction manuals include information on what kind of detergent to use; for example, HE (high-efficiency) liquid detergent.

Other problems include:

There are several other reasons your detergent dispenser is on the fritz, for example;

  1. You might be using too much detergent and the washing cycle can’t process the excess.
  2. Your washing machine might not be level, and this could affect the way in which the detergent and softener are pumped through the machine. You can adjust the legs until the machine is level and then the problem should be solved.
  3. The water pressure in your home might be too low, which affects the volume and speed at which water is pumped through the machine. Alternatively, water pressure could be low in just the tap that fills your washer. It might also be blocked to a greater or lesser degree. Use your toothbrush or even a clean mascara wand to clean inside the tap.

There is also quite a serious technical fault involving the water valve or valves. Some washers only have one water valve that feeds the detergent and softener compartments. Other washers have two valves which feed the detergent and softener compartments separately. However many valves your machine has, an open circuit or fault with the power supply could cause problems with your washing machine fabric softener dispenser.

It’s best to call a professional repair person to fix technical problems of this nature.

One final, very important, note: Unplug or switch off the power supply. Cleaning out the washing machine soap dispenser may not involve contact with any electrical components, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Help! My washing machine makes weird noises!

Why is my washing machine making strange noises?

It’s not the end of the world if your washing machine is making weird noises, but you do need to check it out so that the problem doesn’t get worse; then it is the end of your washer’s world. Washing machines can make a variety of noises, from banging and rattling to squeaking and clicking. The noises can occur at any point during the wash cycle. In fact, the point at which your washer makes the noise can indicate the nature of the problem. We’re going to look at different washing machine noises, their causes, and possible DIY fixes.

5 Locations where noises are most likely to occur

The most common problem areas include:

  1. Shock absorbers
  2. Drum bearings
  3. Drive belt
  4. Pulley
  5. Innards

Shock absorbers (Front-loaders)

If your washing machine is making a banging noise you should probably check the shock absorbers. Like the shocks in your car, wear and tear takes a toll, and when this happens they can’t balance the tub/drum in the centre. You’re most likely to hear the washing machine banging on the spin cycle.

It’s possible to replace the shocks yourself, but sometimes the unbalanced drum causes further damage to the machine that only a professional technician can see and fix.

Suspension rods in top-loaders serve the same purpose as shocks in front-loaders. They also become worn and the tub/drum becomes unbalanced during the spin cycle. Sometimes the problem is as simple as replacing a weak spring on the rod, but you might have to replace the whole rod to fix the problem properly.

Drum bearings

According to Peter Tyson (of Peter Tyson Appliances), worn drum bearings are a very common problem which you may first be aware of when your washing machine makes a whirring noise – something like a low rumble. You can verify the problem by spinning the drum by hand to see if it generates noise. However, there are other problems that have the same identifier (for example, a dodgy drive belt), so the best way to pinpoint the cause is to remove the drive belt and then spin the drum.

If this doesn’t generate the noise but your washer is still whirring, you can test the bearings by seeing if you can lift up the drum manually. If you can lift it and the washing machine drum feels loose, then it’s likely the bearings are worn.

If you think that the drum bearings are the problem then the best thing to do is contact a professional repairer. Special tools may be required to access, remove and replace worn bearings. In some cases, access is virtually impossible unless the entire drum is lifted out of the top of the machine. It’s not something you want to tackle yourself.

Drive belt

If your washer has a noisy spin cycle then it’s possible that the rubber on the drive belt is worn. The noise it makes is similar to the rumbling of faulty drum bearings. You can test it by spinning the drum by hand. If you can’t tell which problem is the reason for your washing machine making noise, call a professional repair-person.

Pulley

If your washing machine is knocking on the spin cycle then it could be the drive or drum pulley. The pulley is usually made of plastic can easily break due to severe wear and tear. You’ll have to open up your washer to see the drive belt and pulley. Peter Tyson says that it’s necessary to remove the drive belt to test the drum pulley. If it’s loose you may have found the reason your washing machine is making a knocking noise.

Innards

Sometimes the noise doesn’t come from a particular component. Sometimes it comes from items trapped in between components or in a pipe. Said items include coins, buttons, and the underwire from bras. That is right; Peter Tyson says that while having a bra wire stuck in your washer is rare, it can happen. If your washing machine is making a scraping noise, then the underwire is likely to be stuck between the tub and the drum.

You might be able to get it out via the sump hose or the dispenser hose. If you can’t see it or you can see it but you can’t quite reach, then turning the drum slowly can bring it closer to you. If you still can’t get it then you might need to remove panels to expose the innards and improve access.

While the wire isn’t really strong enough to cause serious damage to your washer, it can tear clothes, linen, and towels. It could also travel along the innards to one of the pumps and then block the pump, which can lead to far more serious problems.

Other …

These five examples are obviously not the only noises and problems that could potentially ail your washer. For example, your washing machine could be squeaking, or perhaps your washing machine is rattling.

You might find that your washing machine is making a loud noise during the wash cycle or perhaps during the rinse cycle only. The problem could be in the motor coupler, drum spider, or chassis.

Given the spectrum of problems and the crossover between the noises, a call to a professional technician is highly recommended. Also given the amount of fiddling required to locate a problem, you are more likely to unintentionally cause even more damage. Put your appliance in qualified hands and save yourself the risk of negating your insurance policy.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Help! my washing machine is leaking!

Why is my washing machine leaking water?

Washing machines leak for several reasons. Often the problem is relatively easy to fix so you can buy replacement parts and repair it yourself. Sometimes, however, the problem is of such a technical nature that you need to call a professional to fix the leak. Leaks can come from several different areas in the machine, and they can occur during a number of different stages in the wash cycle, including when it is off. We’re going to give you an overview of problems that might result in your washer leaking water, as well as some tips to exercise your DIY skills and get your machine up and running again.

5 of the most common washing machine leaks

  1. Hoses
  2. Door seal
  3. Wash cycle
  4. Tub/drum
  5. Drain pump

A deeper look at why your washer is leaking water

Hoses

Washing machines have a lot of hoses that serve various purposes, including pumping in water, pumping out water, and drainage. Each hose can leak at various points along its length.

For example: You can get a leaking washing machine hose connection or the washer hose might be leaking at the tap. There may be holes in the hose from sharp objects left in pockets, and then there is regular wear and tear that can cause hoses to split.

It’s easy enough to check the hoses. All you have to do is remove the back panel to gain access and then a visual inspection is usually enough to find any damage. If the washer hose is leaking at the connection then you can cut off the damaged end and reattach it at the connection point. Insulation tape finishes off the repair. Insulation tape is also usually sufficient to repair any cracks, splits, and holes in the hose.

It’s also worth checking the drain hose for any blockages which could cause water to seep (or run) out elsewhere.

Check the connection to the tap. This hose also wears over time, and can gradually work itself loose, going from a slow leak to something more substantial.

Door seal

The door seal on your washing machine works hard, so it’s not unusual for it to tear or split. It also has virtually direct contact with the washing, and the resulting build-up of debris and soap scum can damage the seal or build-up to the extent that the door no longer seals properly.

A damaged door seal can cause water to leak down the front of the washer, as well as down the inside. You can help prevent your washing machine door seal leaking by keeping the door and seal clean. If it’s already leaking then you should check the seal for tears, breaks, and tackiness (from residue build-up). If a good clean doesn’t fix the problem then you’ll have to replace the seal.

Wash cycle

Leaks can happen during the wash cycle. This can lead to water leaking from the detergent drawer. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The detergent dispenser might not be working properly due to a build-up of excess powder and jellified liquid detergent and fabric softener. The water has nowhere to go except up and out. Giving the dispenser a good clean can solve the problem.
  2. The dispenser hose could be blocked. Again excess detergent or softener that has not dissolved can cause blockages that push the water back the way it came, which is up and out of the detergent drawer.

Tub/Drum

The washing machine tub (top-loader) or drum (front-loader) is a somewhat essential component, so you need to take steps to repair a leak in this area as soon as you notice a puddle underneath your washer.

The problem could be a hole due to uneven wear (the machine is not level or springs and belts are not what they should be). Or, the problem could be related to the tub seal.

Either way, the average layman is out of his depth, so call a professional repair person. If the problem is particularly serious it might make better financial sense to replace the tub or drum rather than repair it.

Drain pump

Problems related to the drain pump will usually manifest during the draining part of the wash cycle. The age and model of your washer will dictate the type of pump used. It could be a belt-driven pump, an electric pump, or a direct-drive pump. The problems could have to do with a fault in the pump itself or with the pump seal, but could also have to do with the inlet and outlet hoses to which it is attached.

You can check the hoses yourself, but if everything appears hunky-dory then the problem is probably more technical and you’re better off calling a professional repair person for help.

Super-important: Always switch off or unplug your washer before you attempt any investigatory or repair work. You are working with an electrical appliance and even though you may only be checking out the door seal, there is still a risk you could electrocute yourself.

Last tips

Before we go, we’ll give you a few quick tips from Peter Tyson Appliances on how to find the source of the water leaks in your washing machine.

  1. Put a newspaper under your washer when you start a wash cycle and remove it regularly to see where water appears. It’s important to check, otherwise the water spreads all over the show and you can’t tell one direction from another.
  2. Look for marks. Look for a white snail’s trail of dried soap marks; this will help pinpoint sudsy-related leaks. Rust indicates long-term leaking so tackle the problem ASAP.
  3. Use your normal load as a leak test. Some leaks only present when the washing cycle is on and there is laundry in the machine. The load changes water levels and the way in which the drum or tub moves, as well as water pressure and so highlights problems that an empty run might miss.

Finally, use your common sense. If you know you’re not great with a screwdriver and wrench, don’t attempt to fix your leaking washing machine on your own. Call the pros and don’t negate your appliance insurance policy.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Help! my washing machine won’t drain!

Why won’t my washing machine drain properly?

A blocked washing machine drain is a fairly common problem, especially if you have a habit of leaving tissues and coins in your pockets. Given enough forgetfulness, even a new washer’s drain can get clogged. So what are you to do? We’re going to look at some of the reasons your washing machine won’t drain and provide some DIY solutions for you to try remedy the problem.

You will need some common household tools and the confidence to remove pipes and use plumbing snakes. You also need to be prepared for a wet mess because all that standing water has to go somewhere, and if you’re not careful it could go all over your shoes and floor. A bucket or plastic container and old towels will do nicely while you drain water from the washing machine.

If you’re not that confident or you don’t want to come into contact with smelly water, contact a professional technician to fix the problem.

Let’s get started so you can unclog your washing machine.

Start by switching off the power or unplugging your washer.

  • You need to find your washer’s drain. The instruction manual has diagrams showing you where all the components are, so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

If you can’t find your manual because you put it somewhere safe, the drain pipe is at the back of the washer, along with the hot and cold water pipes. You’ll know the hot and cold water pipes by the colour markings; red for hot and blue for cold.

The washing machine drain pipe also has the water hose attached.

Simple first

  • Before you start messing around with the hose, try this simple solution: Boil the kettle and pour hot (not boiling) water in the drain. The hot water will remove layers of soap scum and allow water to drain properly.

Granted, this won’t help if you use a hot wash as a matter of course. But if you stick to cold washes then this could do the trick.

You can also use commercial cleaner to unclog the washing machine drain pipe. Choose a cleaner that is recommended for washer drains and won’t damage the pipe. Be very careful when you use the cleaner, follow the safety instructions, and store out of reach of pets and children.

  • Check the filter. It could be blocked by fluff, pet hair, tissues, or any other kind of laundry waste. It’s easier enough to clean.

If, after you try the simple steps, you’ve still got a blocked washing machine pipe you need to get the big boy tools.

You need to remove the back of the washer to get to the drain pipe. Then you have to remove the pipe. Bear in mind that any standing water may flow out immediately, so have your bucket or plastic container and towels handy.
(If you’re going to use a commercial cleaner you will have to remove the drain pipe first and then pour the cleaner in.)

At this point you can “snake the drain”.

  • Push the snake into the pipe, corkscrew end first. When you hit something solid, turn the snake so that it snags whatever is blocking the washing machine’s drain pipe. The material gets caught in the snake, clearing the way so you can push the snake further.

 

Pull out the snake, clean it and push it back into the drain pipe. It’s a good idea to do this until you can go all the way through the pipe to make sure that you’ve removed everything that’s got your washing machine drain clogged.

Then run some hot water through the pipe to rinse it thoroughly and clear any debris that’s barely hanging on.

Reattach the pipe, making sure it’s secure so that your washer doesn’t suddenly develop a leak.

Did you know that the lid or door of your washing machine has to be properly closed for it to drain? 

  • There is a small switch (the lid switch) that senses when the door is shut so the machine can complete the chosen cycle. If the switch isn’t in the correct position or it’s broken the machine won’t drain.

Find the switch (it’ll be near the door or lid) and press it until you hear a click. If it doesn’t click, it’s broken and probably needs to be replaced.

If it’s still not draining, check the washing machine pump. 

  • Once again, your owner’s manual will show you where the pump is and what kind of pump will serve as a replacement.

You can remove and replace the pump as a matter of course, which is a good idea if you don’t want to mess around too much with the inner workings but you don’t want to call out a technician either.

If you don’t want the expense of a new pump but you also don’t want to make things worse with amateur tinkering, call a professional technician. It might be that all he has to do is unblock the washing machine pipe; or he might have to replace the belt or repair the impeller. Whatever the problem, your insurance will pay for a professional to do the work.

Once the problem has been fixed, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of keeping your washer clean; this means wiping the drum, wiping the rubber seal, cleaning the filter, and using a descaler on a semi-regular basis (3 – 4 times a year). You should also always check pockets before you put clothes in the machine.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Why won’t my washing machine spin

Help! My Washing Machine Won’t Spin

If your washer is not spinning, take heart, you are far from alone. This is actually quite a common problem and the cause can be very simple and easy to fix, or complicated and require good DIY skills. We’re going to look at various reasons your washer won’t spin, and give you some solutions to resolve the problem.

Simple cause, simple fix

If the problem is intermittent it could be as simple as an unbalanced load. Sometimes clothes or towels or blankets can bunch to one side and the weight can result in your washing machine not spinning properly. Often, an overloaded washing won’t spin either.

So what’s the trick? How do you ensure that you pack the perfect load?

According to eSpares, you should wash heavy items together, and put them in the washer individually so that they don’t get tangled. Wash light items together and resist the temptation to stuff in a bath sheet or blanket as this will, once again, unbalance the load.

Simple cause, not so simple fix

Bear in mind that it doesn’t take several items to constitute a heavy load. Cramming your thick winter duvet in the machine may not unbalance the drum or tub, but the substantial weight can damage important components, including bearings and springs. If this is the reason the spin cycle is not working properly you may have to replace the damaged parts. Your owner’s manual will show you where to find them.

Not so simple reasons your washer will not spin

  1. A problem specific to top-loaders is wear and tear on the direct drive motor coupling. This could affect the transmission and clutch (if there is one) and will result in your washing machine draining but not spinning.

It’s not an easy fix. It involves accessing your machine’s innards and potentially removing the motor and pump before you can reach and remove the direct drive motor coupling. You need to be able to remove it without damaging nearby components and install the replacement drive without damaging other parts.

Unless you really know what you’re doing, you should call a professional technician to replace the part.

  1. A damaged drive belt could be the reason your top-load or front-load washing machine won’t spin. The most common problems are overheating and, of course, normal wear and tear. Sometimes there are additional problems, including a conked out idler pulley, motor glide, or transmission pulley. These parts ensure the drum or tub moves freely.

Your owner’s manual will show you where to find the drive belt, which is easy enough, but removing it is another matter. You need to disconnect the clamps that connect the belt to the drive motor (check your owner’s manual). If you’re confident with this level of DIY then you might also be confident enough to replace the belt with a new one.

If DIY is not your thing, call a professional technician.

  1. Our final example of a problem that could lead to your washer not spinning clothes dry is a malfunctioning motor, most commonly caused by worn carbon brushes. One of the signs of this problem is your washer draining but not spinning. Another sign is a spluttering noise.

You’ll have to remove the motor to fully inspect it and find the source of the problem. Motors can be complex parts, so you should only tackle replacing the motor if you are completely confident in your DIY skills. Otherwise, you guessed it, call a professional technician.

Is the reason your washing machine will not spin really what you think it is?

There are some in the industry who disagree with much of the information supplied above. They call them ‘washing machine myths’ and they are keen to dispel them. Let’s take a quick look.

  1. Damaged belts. Modern belts in modern washing machines aren’t prone to stretching or even a significant amount of wear and tear.
  2. Carbon brushes. Worn brushes are a problem but only in machines that have seen a lot of action over several years.
  3. Faulty timer. Only in the rarest of circumstances does a broken timer ensure your washer stops at the rinse cycle.

Some genuine problems, according to the article, include:

A blocked washing machine filter: Clean the filter and check the drain pump for blockages. Carry out this task at least once a month.

Spin out of balance detection: Modern washers have an electronic system that can tell when the load has caused the drum or tub to spin out of whack. The system either stops the spin cycle in its tracks or slows it down to prevent damage. The load can be either too heavy or too light, as is the case if you are just washing one item (that is not your winter duvet).

A genuinely faulty washer: These faults are difficult to detect and should best be checked and repaired by a professional technician.

Remember: It is vitally important that you unplug your washer if you are going to undertake any repairs by yourself. Safety first.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Why does my washing machine smell?

Sometimes our washing machines smell musty or damp, and sometimes they make our clothes smell bad too. Mold and Bacteria can cause unpleasant smells, even if the washing machine is brand new. In this article, we’re going to look at the possible reasons behind a smelly washing machine and give you tips to create your own laundry smell removers to eliminate odours and reclaim crisp, clean freshness.

Does your washing machine stink?

Freshly laundered clothes should smell fantastic, but what if your freshly cleaned laundry doesn’t smell fresh at all? What if your clothes come out of the washing machine smelling damp, mouldy, and musty? If your washing machine smells bad, you need to take quick action so you aren’t stuck with smelly clothes.

Unfortunately for front-load washer owners their machines are more prone to odour problems than top-loaders.

Fortunately, it’s quite easy to get rid of the smell in your washing machine (wherever you load your laundry).

The best way to remove the smell from your washing machine is to take these simple steps:

  1. The first step is to take out your washing as soon as the machine is done. This can be easier said than done if the wash finishes while you’re in the middle of cooking, bathing kids, writing an important email, or chatting to your mom on the phone. Many of us also get our laundry going when we have to be out for a while and the machine finishes before we get back. This is not a crisis if it happens occasionally but you should try to get into the habit of responding to the end chimes as soon as you hear them.
  2. The second step is to simply leave the washer door and detergent drawers open after a wash. The opportunity to dry (and dry properly) in fresh air eliminates the growth of bacteria and mould.
  3. The third step is to use the correct amount of detergent. Too much detergent can cause excessive sudsing and lead to a build-up of soap scum. If the scum is left too long it starts to grow mould and you’ll still have a mildew smell in your washing machine.

So far you haven’t had to go to any special trouble to stop your washing machine from smelling awful. Sometimes, however, the stink has set in and you need to take more serious action to freshen your washer.

Action plans for clean, stink-free laundry

Do a service wash, which is just a wash cycle with a cleaning agent and no clothes. Service washes should be done monthly to keep your machine mould, bacteria, and odour free.

Cleaning agents you can use include bleach, white vinegar, and baking soda.

There is a generic ‘recipe’ you can follow.

  • Roughly one cup of your chosen cleaning agent, which you put in the drum. (Add a cup of water to ¼ cup of baking soda to create a safe homemade remedy for your smelly washing machine.)
  • Roughly ½ a cup of bleach or vinegar, which you put in the detergent drawer.
  • Run a normal cycle with an empty drum and hot water.

You may need to repeat for particularly stubborn smells.

Sometimes your washer smells even after you’ve taken these steps.

If your clothes still smell after washing you need to look at the innards.

The rubber seal around the door could be host to a growing crop of mould. You can clean it with a white vinegar or diluted bleach solution. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe the seal and double-check to make sure you haven’t missed any spots.

Get into the habit of wiping the drum, inner door, and rubber seal with the cleaning solution after each wash. If that is a schlep, aim for a wipe-down at least once every two weeks.

The detergent drawers may hold onto their soap scum or slime even after you’ve run bleach or white vinegar through the system. In this case, get your cleaning solution and an old (clean) toothbrush. The toothbrush has a long reach and its soft bristles can remove soap scum or slime more effectively than you poking a sponge around.

Find and clean the drain pump. Let’s be honest, we’re more likely to remember to clean the lint catcher in top loaders than to check the drain pump in front loaders. This is unfortunate because sometimes it gets clogged and the water can’t drain properly. The bad odour from your washing machine comes from the stagnant water that remains. The manual will tell you where to find the drain pump and how to drain it and clean it properly. Make cleaning the drain pump part of your monthly cleaning routine.

If, after all of this, your washing machine is still making your clothes smell after washing, call a plumber. The problem could serious and you could make it far worse by meddling with different parts and components. You will also invalidate the warranty and your appliance insurance policy.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles
Why is my Washing Machine shaking and moving?

Why is my Washing Machine shaking and moving?

Why is my Washing Machine Shaking and Moving?

One doesn’t often see one’s washing machine moving around, but it’s unsettling when one does. It’s especially unsettling because it’s usually accompanied by a cacophony of rattling. There are several possible reasons you washing machine vibrates across the floor. We’re going to look at them one-by-one and provide some solutions to stop your washing machine moving.

Note: While it’s more common for front-loading washing machines to have vibration problems, top-loaders may also present some common issues.

Note: For safety’s sake, always unplug your washing machine or switch off the power before you investigate and tackle any problems.

5 Reasons behind washing machine vibration and shaking.

1) The washing machine’s legs aren’t level.

Probably the most common cause for washing machines shifting position is legs that aren’t level. This is easy to fix as you can screw and unscrew the legs to adjust their height. If you’re a stickler for perfection then you can use a level to make sure you get it exactly even.

While you’re working on the legs, take a look at the rubber or plastic cushioning the bottom of the legs. If these are broken the washer may still take a walk. These rubber and plastic caps are readily available from hardware stores and are easy to replace.

2) The floor is not level.

It’s also possible that the floor is not even. You can test this with a level. If it’s uneven you can try adjusting the legs. If possible, you could also move the washer, although this is often not practical.

3) The washing machine is loverloaded or the load is unbalanced.

It’s tempting to stuff as much washing as possible in your machine to save time and water. Unfortunately, overloading can ensure the washing machine shakes on the spin cycle. Keep the loads reasonable – stick to the recommended weight – and the shaking should stop.

Sometimes large and heavy items of laundry can unbalance the machine. Blankets and sheets, for example, can cling to one side to the barrel or tub and unbalance the spin cycle. Try not to wash a lot of bed linen together. In fact, you can stick your trainers or running shoes in with some sheets, towels, or blankets to aid balance (and kill two birds with one stone).

4) The shock absorbers are damaged.

Front-load washers have shock absorbers to keep everything in check, especially during the spin cycle. If you’re confident in your DIY skills, you can check the shock absorbers and replace them yourself.

You’ll have to remove either the front or back panel to reach them. While you’ve got the washer open you can also look for other signs of wear and tear and possible leaks. It’s advisable to replace both shock absorbers at the same time to stop the washing machine shaking.

5) The suspension springs are damaged.

Top-loaders have suspension springs that suspend and stabilise the tub. If these are damaged it could lead to your washing machine moving forward. Again, if you are confident of your DIY skills you can remove the top or front panel to reach the springs. You have to be very careful due to the inherent tension in the springs. It’s advisable to replace all the suspension springs at the same time.

Check Other Components

Other components that could be damaged to the extent that they cause washers to vibrate during the spin cycle include:

  • Snubber ring, damper pad, and tub wear pads
  • Tub dampening straps

You can inspect and replace all of these yourself, if you so choose. However, it can be quite tricky to find and remove all of these components unless you are familiar with washing machines’ inner workings.

It may be safer on all fronts to call a specialist to fix the problem for you and ensure that your old or new washing machine stops shaking.

Also, opening your washer yourself can affect your insurance claim. If you want to recoup your costs, call a professional service provider.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Super Quick Fixes if Your Sky Digital Box Has No Signal

It’s very annoying when you’re waiting for your favourite programme only to discover your Sky Box has no signal. You have to wait for bad weather to pass, but there are some DIY fixes you can try.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

8 Essential Non-Electric Appliances for Your Kitchen

8 Essential Non-Electric Appliances for the Kitchen

Do you want to try off-grid living, but are afraid of the lifestyle extreme change? Why not experiment with some non-electric appliances? Simply switching to non-electric appliances in your kitchen can put some extra money in your pocket as they shave vital pounds and pence of your utility bills.

The number of non-electric appliances available will suprise you

Our top pick

A pasta maker is essential if you love pasta. And, since homemade pasta is one of the easiest things to cook, it’s a good place to start if you’re contemplating off-grid living. Remember: The quality of the pasta depends on the quality of the ingredients, and your kneading technique. If you don’t knead correctly, your pasta will be sticky.

Most pasta makers are adjustable, so you can make perfect lasagne, cannelloni, ravioli, ribbon noodles, and fettuccine, etc. In no time at all you’ll be making pasta good enough to impress Marcus Wareing on MasterChef: The Professionals.

Non-electric appliances you might already own

Many of our existing kitchen appliances don’t need electricity. There are also several affordable options available, so you can really embrace retro living.

  1. Coffee percolator. They make delicious coffee and are convenient for camping trips. Percolators are easy to use, simply add water, ground coffee beans and a filter and leave it on a heat source (a fire for non-electric living) for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee.
  2. French press: This is another coffee maker that is as easy to use as a percolator. Simply boil water on a heat source (a gas stove or open fire), and pour over coffee grounds. Let it steep for around five minutes and then push the plunger down to get all the grounds to the bottom. Pour and serve.
  3. Manual mixer. Twist the handle and watch the beaters whirl. It’s great for beating eggs, whipping cream and making batter.
  4. Hand flour mill. Got gluten issues? Then use one of these babies to turn oats, rice or chickpeas into flour.
  5. Dough maker. Of course you can knead dough by hand, but why not try a non-electric bread maker to speed things up a bit. Simply add the ingredients, crank the mixture and enjoy perfectly kneaded dough.
  6. Food strainer. Many people have a food strainer occupying the back of the cupboard. It’s great for making your own sauces, juices and jams. All you need do is cut up fruit, drop them in and start turning. You don’t need to peel or core the fruit, as the strainer will do all the separating for you.
  7. Manual food processor. A twist of the handle turns multiple blades rapidly, producing the same great results as an electric food processor. A number of blades allow you to cut, dice and blend as desired.
  8. Zeer clay pot fridge. You’re unlikely to have one of these lying around, but they’re great way to keeping food cool. You put one terracotta pot inside another and fill the space between with wet sand. As the water evaporates, it pulls heat from the pot inside and makes it cooler than the air outside.

The bottom line

Let’s not muck about, eschewing electricity for manually-operated appliances does feel like a bit of a step backward. Technology advances for a reason – to make life easier. Using elbow grease is not easier than flipping a switch or pressing a button. Depending on how passionate you are about your cooking, however, it can be more satisfying when you know the meal produced is the result of authentic hard work.

If you’re passionate about saving energy and going green, non-electric appliances also hold certain appeal. And, if you’re in the position where every penny saved is a penny earned, you can’t shrug off the money-saving benefits of putting electricity on the back burner.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

18 of the Best Selling Home & Kitchen Appliances

18 of the Best Selling Home & Kitchen Appliances

Every now and then it’s nice to check in to see what other people are buying, either to see if you’re missing out on something wonderful and life-changing or because you’re in the market for new kitchen appliances and need some advice or ideas on what makes and models are likely to meet your needs.

We’re going to look at some of the best selling home and kitchen appliances on Amazon, so not only can you see what other people are buying, but you can also easily click for your own purchases.

In no particular order, 18 of the top selling home and kitchen appliances include:

  1. ProBreeze® Garment Steamer

The steamer heats up so quickly that you can go from a cold start to steaming in less than one minute. Its nozzle ensures steam is directed to the right spot and is distributed evenly so you can get rid of wrinkles without creating more. It’s portable and works on a range of fabrics, including cotton, wool, linen, polyester, nylon, sequins, beads, embroidery, and upholstery. It has an auto safety shut-off.

Expect to pay between £40 and £60.

  1. Breville VBL062 Blend Active Personal Blender

You don’t have to wonder about what to do with leftovers with this personal blender as it makes just enough to fit in the sports bottle provided. Crush ice and mix smoothies, juices and shakes to your heart’s content and don’t worry about the washing up – blades and blending bottles are dishwasher safe.

Expect to pay between £20 and £30.

  1. Q-Connect 760mm, 30” Tower Fan

‘Tis the season for cooling down; of course fans are top sellers. This model rotates or can be fixed in a direction so you can choose your airflow. It’s great for large open spaces and comes with adjustable settings.

Expect to pay between £30 and £60.

  1. Numatic HVR200-12 Henry Vacuum Cleaner

With 9l capacity and reduced sound, this is a great vacuum cleaner that is worth its weight in gold. It has an A energy rating, extra suction, can be used on different flooring surfaces, and is easy to push around.

Expect to pay between £100 and £170.

  1. Morphy Richards 42244 Jet Steam Generator Iron

It’s expensive but boy is it worth it with a diamond soleplate that makes it durable and also makes it easy to glide over clothing without ironing in creases – great for the ironing-challenged. It also comes with removable anti-scale cartridges.

Expect to pay between £50 (great special offer) and £200.

  1. Russell Hobbs 21370 Steamglide Professional Iron

Once again the ironing-challenged can rejoice as this iron is designed for dummies. It’s got a soft-touch comfort grip (no hand cramps) and a ceramic soleplate that glides beautifully and which is also durable, non-stick and efficient thanks to even heat distribution. Best of all, it’s self-cleaning.

Expect to pay between £24 and £60.

  1. Russell Hobbs 20070 Cambridge Kettle

Elegant stainless-steel, the Cambridge Kettle allows you to boil water for one cup in 45 seconds. Its total capacity is 1.7l and it has a concealed heating element and removable filter that is easy to wash.

Expect to pay between £16 and £20.

  1. Amir® Digital Kitchen Scale

Elegant in black, with an LCD display and slim design, this scale has precision sensors so you can get exactly the weight you want, which is especially important if you’re a keen baker. It’s easy to clean and has a ‘zero’ function, so you can bring the scale back to zero even when the bowl is full of flour, butter and sugar.

Expect to pay between £10 and £30.

  1. VonHaus 2-in1 Upright Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Offering the ultimate in convenience, the VonHaus comes with HEPA and sponge filtration and a crevice tool, so you can get into virtually any nook and cranny. It has a mid-level, 1.3l, but it’s easy to clean and thanks to the filtration is hygienic.

Expect to pay between £18 and £35.

  1. Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker

Coffee in one minute, how great is that? And it’s not instant coffee either; instead you can savour creamy, rich-flavoured coffee without any trace of a bitter aftertaste. The AeroPress uses a unique brewing system that delivers perfect cup after cup of coffee. It’s also no mess no fuss.

Expect to pay between £23 and £28.

  1. George Foreman 20840 5-Portion Family Grill

George Foreman is at it again, cooking tasty, low-fat food quickly on a 5-portion grill that allows you to cook pizzas, open sandwiches, paninis, and thick cuts of meat (or tofu steaks). The removable plates are dishwasher safe. It’s one of the best kitchen appliances on the market.

Expect to pay between £40 and £65.

  1. Breville VST041 Deep Fill Sandwich Toaster

Breville eoffers the deepest sandwiches yet, to satisfy even the most Homer-like of appetites. It has removable plates that are dishwasher safe and works well with all sized slices of bread. It’s compact enough to store upright in a tight corner of your kitchen cabinets.

Expect to pay between £25 and £37.

  1. Quest Non-Stick Cool Touch Dual Omelette Maker

Who doesn’t love a good omelette? But who likes the time and effort it takes to make one? Now you can make 2 omelettes at a time in next-to-no-time, and the easy-to-remove, easy-to-clean non-stick plates won’t even be a pain in the wash.

Expect to pay between £12 and £26.

  1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot claims to speed up cooking by 2 – 6 times, while using 70% less energy, so already it’s a winner. The fact that it boasts so many functions (pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté/browning, yoghurt maker, steamer, and warmer) should earn it a gold medal at the cooking Olympics. It has 14 built-in programmes, temperature settings and 10 safety mechanisms.

Expect to pay between £95 and £170.

  1. Russell Hobbs RHM2362S Digital Microwave

The 23l microwave comes with a dishwasher safe turntable, pre-programmed auto-cook menus for one-touch cooking, a child safety lock and, of course, elegant good looks.

Expect to pay around £65.

  1. Russell Hobbs 21140 Three-Tier Food Steamer

The steamer has a total capacity of 9l and heats up in less than 40 seconds. In addition to three baskets, you also get a 1l rice bowl and egg holders.

Expect to pay between £25 and £50.

  1. Breville 2-Slive Toaster

It may be designed with Warburtons bread in mind, but it perfectly capable of producing perfect toast using other brands. Features include look-and-lift so you can check on your toast without stopping the programme, and high-lift, so you don’t have to dig out the toast with an inappropriate utensil. It can also toast crumpets and bagels and can be used to defrost bread for a simple sandwich.

Expect to pay between £23 and £35.

  1. Philips HD9220/20 Oil-Free Airfryer

It’s not cheap, but can you really put a price on your health, especially if you are plagued by cravings for all the bad stuff, like chips and deep fried fish. It uses up to 80% less fat than a conventional fryer, thanks to its Rapid Air Technology that circulates hot air to cook and crisp up food. It comes with temperature control and an integrated timer with auto-off.

Expect to pay between £84 (super great deal) and £200.

Take your pick of the above kitchen appliances and enjoy a chic, elegant and efficient cooking, coffee-making and baking.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles
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