One of the best aspects of becoming a homeowner is saying goodbye to coin-operated apartment laundry. No more sock disappearances, no more scrambling to get a $5 changed for quarters. Most importantly, no waiting for the other customers who forgot to move their clothes from the washer to the dryer.
Now that I’m a homeowner, I will admit that it took me awhile to figure out the inner workings of a washing machine. But luckily, I found washer maintenance isn't as difficult as I originally thought.
I can now remedy a number of common washing-machine issues, like draining a waterlogged washer, all by myself. Here’s how:
1. Power down
Though it may seem obvious, it bears repeating. Turn off the washer if it's running and unplug it from the wall.
2. Find the hoses
BobVila.com notes that you may need to pull the machine slightly away from the wall to access the drain and water-supply hoses, and their valves. Turn off the red and blue knobs on each supply (for the hot and cold water); leave the gray drain hose as-is.
3. Empty the water
Get a large bucket or tub ready and then slowly detach the drain hose from the wall - keeping it turned up in the air as you do - and then pour out the water from the hose into your receptacle. (You may need to reattach the drain hose while you empty the bucket if there's a lot of water.)
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4. Check the drain hose
If the water poured slowly from the drain hose to the bucket, there is probably a clog. Use a plumber's snake (or DIY make one made from a wire coat hanger) to remove the obstruction.
5. Check the drain pump
If there’s not a clog in the hose, it could mean that there is one in the washer's drain pump. According to The Family Handyman, this requires unscrewing the front or back panel to find the pump, and if a chunk of clothing (or pet hair, or whatever else) has caused a clog, you’ll know. Simply, use needle-nose pliers to remove it.
6. Clean the filter
In the case of a front-loading washing machine, you should remove any buildup from the drain-pump filter and rinse it with a soft brush.
7. Put it back together
If you've managed to fix the issue, replace all panels, screws, hoses and valves as they normally would.
Being prepared for any serious appliance breakdowns is a smart move. Having plans from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe in place before any washer or appliance issues arise can help with the costs of covered repairs. Get a plan.