When your washing machine makes a loud noise during a spin cycle, it’s a cause of concern. And the earlier you figure out the reason behind it, the sooner you can address the problem and prevent long-term damage to your device.
A washing machine makes a loud noise when spinning due to a loose drum or a foreign object stuck in the device. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, you can fix it yourself or hire a professional to repair it.
This article will help you find the problem in your washing machine and walk you through how to fix it!
A loose washing machine drum makes a repetitive banging sound while spinning. The solution is to tighten the drum by replacing certain faulty parts. Let’s have a look at them.
Tub bearings are essential in ensuring the smooth spinning of the washing machine drum. In front loaders, these bearings can be found at the rear of the outer tub, while in top loaders, they are at the bottom of the washer.
Normal wear and tear cause the bearings to fail. Consequently, they can’t hold the drum as tightly, causing it to wobble and create a loud noise when spinning.
Drum bearing replacement is a complex process that requires disassembly of the unit, where you remove the inner tub or wash basket to access the bearings. While you can do it yourself, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have skills in such repair work.
If you feel confident in your abilities to do the job successfully, this YouTube tutorial video can walk you through how to replace washing machine bearings:
Suspension rods connect the drum to the top of the machine to minimize the bouncing of the tub as it spins. There are four suspension rods in a top-load washer, one in each corner. If your washer is shaking and noisy during operation, you may have a failing suspension rod.
To replace a damaged suspension rod, follow these steps:
- Unplug your machine and remove the drain and inlet hoses.
- Detach the screws on the top panel of the washer using a screwdriver.
- Tape the washer lid closed.
- Slide the top panel towards you, then lift it and secure it using a two-hook lanyard.
- Locate the failed suspension rod and lift it to remove the bearing. Let go of the rod and remove the bearing cup.
- If replacing a rear rod, hook it to the frame to ensure the tub remains supported when you rest the washer on its back.
- Lower the top back down and screw it in place.
- Place a towel on the floor and carefully lay the washer on it, such that it’s lying on the rear panel.
- With the bottom of your washing machine exposed, pull the faulty rod out. If a rear suspension rod, you’ll have to unhook it from the frame by pushing the bottom of the rod.
- Insert the new rod through the opening in the tub. If a back suspension rod, hook it to the frame.
- Return your washer to an upright position and lift the top panel again after unscrewing it.
- Place the new bearing cup by snapping it in.
- Lift the new suspension rod through the bearing cup and attach the new bearing.
- Place the top panel back onto the washer and screw it in place.
- Reattach the drain hose and water supply lines.
- Plug the washer back in and turn the water supply back on.
- Turn the washer on—it should now spin as expected.
Shock absorbers are springs located at the bottom of your front-load washer to absorb the impact of the drum spinning. If your shock absorbers are disconnected or worn down, your machine will shake vigorously when in use.
Washing machines can have anywhere from 2-4 shock absorbers, so check your appliance’s manual to see how many you have. Instead of replacing just one shock absorber, replace them all so that the device remains even.
You will need needle nose pliers and a wrench to replace your shock absorbers.
Consult your manual to learn how to access your washer’s shock absorbers. Some units only need to be turned on their side to access the bottom, and some may require you to remove the top and front panels.
Shock absorbers look like tubes that attach the outer tub to the base frame of the machine. They are secured on each end of the appliance using a combination of pins and bolts.
To remove the pin, push the tab down and use your needle nose pliers to pull the plug out. Then unscrew the bolt securing the shock absorber on the other end using a wrench.
Attach the new shock absorber to the base of the unit first. Place the washer first, then the nut, which you’ll tighten using the wrench. Put the other end of the shock absorber into position at the tub and fit the new pin.
Repeat these steps to replace any other shock absorbers.
Stressing your washer can throw the spinning drum out of alignment, which can cause the drum to loosen over time. To prevent this:
- Balance your loads. Distribute your clothes evenly in the washer to prevent your washing machine drum from becoming unbalanced and eventually loosening.
- Don’t overload your washer. Overloading your machine can cause it to go off balance during the spin cycle. It can also stress the drum bearings, causing them to fail prematurely.
- Don’t underload your washer, either. An undersized load will lead to clothes accumulating on one side of the spinning drum. As a result, the tub might become unbalanced and start vibrating excessively and making banging noises.
- Level your washing machine. A washer that is not level will shake and vibrate while in use and often make loud noises. To level your appliance, raise or lower the legs.
- Check for loose drum screws periodically. If the screws holding the drum in place become loose, your washer could start making banging sounds. Inspect the drum screws from time to time and tighten any ones.
Loose objects trapped in the washer can also cause the machine to make loud noises when spinning.
Small items can become lodged in the following places:
Front-load washing machines have a pliable rubber gasket around the door to provide a watertight seal. Foreign objects like coins can sometimes hide underneath the rubber seal, causing strange sounds.
Carefully pull the seal back and run your finger around it to feel for any items that may have gotten trapped there. Remove any that you find.
Additionally, clean the rubber seal regularly as mold can build up in the folds of the seal.
An object can get stuck between the outer and inner drum, making a rattling or scraping noise when the drum spins. Common culprits include bra underwires, buttons, coins, and keys. Rogue items in the drum can damage the machine beyond repair.
If you hear a scratching sound, it’s likely a bra underwire. If a clanking or knocking sound, it’s probably a coin or other object.
Use a flashlight to check the washer basket and tub for loose objects. If a bra underwire is behind the noise, a portion of it could be protruding from one of the drum holes. You’d then be able to pull it out using pliers.
If there are small items of clothing stuck between the inner and outer drum, you can use a wire coat hanger to hook and pull them out through the edge. This YouTube video illustrates how to do this:
In some cases, you can also get a trapped object out through the holes underneath the drum paddles. If the drum paddles in your washing machine can’t come off, you can remove the heater or sump hose to try to find the object. The video above illustrates how to use these techniques.
If you cannot visibly locate the item, you may have to dismantle the washing machine drum. If this is the case, contact a professional.
Loose objects can make their way to your washer’s lint trap. Some washers have cleanable filters, while others have mesh lint traps.
The lint trap in your machine may be located:
- Along the top rim of washer drum
- Within the agitator (top-loading washing machines)
- End of the drain hose
The easiest and quickest way to find out where the lint trap in your washing machine is is to refer to your owner’s manual. Once you locate it, check for any items caught in the lint trap. While at it, clean the lint trap.
If the lint filter is removable, soak it in hot soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then using a soft brush or paper towel, clean off the lint and residue from cleaning detergents and fabric softeners. Clean the space from where you removed the filter using the same cleaning tools.
If non-removable, brush or wipe off the lint using a soft brush or paper towel. Replace disposable lint traps when they become clogged.
Ideally, clean your lint filter every three months to keep your washing machine working efficiently.
High-efficiency washers have a self-cleaning pump filter, usually located Inside a small door at the bottom corner of the unit, in place of a lint filter. Still, run a clothes-free wash cycle every month to flush leftover lint.
The YouTube video below shows how to remove coins, bra underwires, and other debris that get caught in the pump filter:
A loose drum or trapped object is most likely responsible for the noise in your washing machine.
If you think there’s something stuck in your washer, say a coin, check the rubber seal, drum, and lint trap.
If the cause of the noise is a loose drum, check the tub bearings, suspension rods, and shock absorbers. They may be worn out or broken and require replacing.
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