The modern washer is designed to use some of the same engineering principles used in space flight while being made of durable, wear-resistant material. When properly maintained, the average washing machine should be able to last a surprising amount of heavy loads without the need to undergo appliance repair.
Here are some tips to help ensure that any washing machine has a long service life.
Tip #1: Keep the Lid (or Door) Open
After a successful load of laundry is done and the clothes taken out to be dried, the washing appliance needs to be left open to dry. Moisture can otherwise collect and things like bacteria can grow, which only leads to further service issues.
Tip #2: Check Water-Fill Hoses
Water hoses are a notorious source for problems. They’re also one of the most neglected components of most appliances. Something as seemingly insignificant as a blister in the rubber of a hose can lead to a rupture just a few years down the road.
Regularly check hoses for leaks when the machine is filling with water. This will help spot a hose before it bursts and leaves a hefty water cleanup bill.
Tip #3: Clean the Lint Disposal Compartment
Lint collects during the agitation process and it can clog drain pipes. This can cause the washer to back up and flood, which leads to the need for an appliance service technician to be called.
Regular maintenance of the compartment in the washer where lint collects can prevent this. Most machines have a lint collection compartment that is near to their water drain, but it isn’t always there. For example, a washing machine from Maytag may have it in the center where the agitator is located.
Tip #4: Level the Machine
Washers tend to have four legs that they need to stand on. If even one of these legs isn’t in good contact with the floor beneath the machine, this can cause it to wobble, walk and bounce when the machine is in use.
If this happens, it can cause extra wear and tear on the appliance that can lead to the need for emergency maintenance to be performed.
Ensure that the legs of the washing appliance are level. Wooden shims, such as the kind available from a local hardware store, can be used to level out the machine in the event that the floor or appliance itself is uneven.
Important note about self-adjusting legs: Some appliances are equipped with legs that automatically adjust when the entire machine is tilted forward on its front legs.
If the legs don’t adjust after being lifted 3 to 4 inches off the ground, they may need to be loosened with a hammer. This is best done with another person to help.
Tip #5: Clean the Fabric Softener Dispenser
Though the method for doing so is specific to each machine, it’s important to routinely clean the fabric softener dispenser. This prevents problems from hiding inside of that compartment only to become dislodged during a later wash cycle.