Is your washing machine making grinding noises? Here’s what to do

There are several things that cause a washing machine to start making grinding noises, ranging from an improper installation to a failing component. Don’t allow a grinding noise to persist without investigating it. The sooner a failing component is detected, the sooner it can be replaced or repaired, which will save you money and prevent further damage to other parts.

If you’re not insured with us and are the DIY type and are able to repair or replace the part, you could save a few pounds on the cost of the repair man. However, unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing, it’s advisable to call the repair man. If you are covered by our appliance insurance policy, you can sit back and relax because we arrange for repairs on your behalf, and the cost is absorbed by your claim.

What causes the grinding noises?

A grinding noise is commonly caused by a malfunction or failing of one of the following parts of the machine.

Agitator dogs:

These allow the agitator to rotate in one direction and lock in the opposite direction. They’re located in the centre column inside a top load washing machine. They consist of four small pieces of plastic which, over time, wear out and begin slipping, which produces the grinding noise when the machine is in the agitate cycle.

Tub bearing:

It is preferable to replace the complete outer tub and bearing, rather than just the bearing in the tub. Chances are that unless the tub is replaced, it will be the next thing to go.

Tub seal and bearing kit:

If this is the cause of the grinding noise then replace both the seal and bearing kit.

Drive pulley:

Check to see if the pulley is worn out, cracked, loose or bent. Remove it and inspect it carefully. If you see signs of wear and tear you’ve probably found the source of the noise. You will have to replace the part.

Failure of the U-joint:

The u-joint is the primary drive mechanism for the agitation motion. It’s an expensive part to replace, and with the cost of a repair man it might be worth considering a new washing machine.

Clutch assembly:

The clutch assembly is the connection between the transmission and the inner tub. It allows the tub to get up to the correct spin speed. The noise could be a worn out clutch, which makes a loud noise during the spin cycle or just as the cycle completes. The clutch has to be replaced.

Drive belt:

Over time the drive belt dries out and starts cracking. Pieces of the cracked belt break off resulting in a loud noise whenever the motor is running.

It is preferable to have these parts checked by a washing machine repair man, unless you have experience of machines or these parts. Inexperienced tinkering can lead to accidental damage, which in the end will just cost more to replace or repair – it could also negate your insurance policy. So take a look at the instruction manual that came with your washer, identify and check the parts, and then call the repair man.

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