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Washing Machine Faults

Like most appliances, washing machines generally have a finite service life.
If they are well looked after, kept clean (internally) and not overloaded, this will optimize the life expectancy of the machine.

By far the most common fault which causes washing machines to stop working is blockage of the impeller / filter.
This is generally caused by items left in pockets of clothes being washed such as coins, hair grips etc.,
It’s worth noting that blockages caused by items of this sort are within the control of the tenant – so the cost of removing items of this sort should also fall to the tenant.

Having said that, manufacturers generally include information on “cleaning” or unblocking the filter / impeller in the owner’s manual. Nowadays of course, information of this sort is also readily available on-line and via YouTube videos etc.

Where blockages of this sort occur, the machine will typically stop working mid-cycle often during the “drain” cycle – leaving the machine full (or part full) of water and with the door locked.

Generally speaking the “filter” is near the bottom of the machine at the front – often behind a flap cover.

Emptying and un-blocking a machine without creating a flood requires a little thought, planning and care. Certainly it is easier with two people present – the stronger one to tip and hold the machine.

The machine should, of course, be turned off at the mains.

If the plumbing connections allow, draw the machine forward slightly to allow it to be tipped back slightly. Towels or similar can then be placed to catch any spillage. A vessel such as a shallow washing-up bowl can then be used to catch water from the filter / impeller drain.

Great care should be taken to release any water in such a way that allows the drainage to be stopped when the collection vessel is almost full and emptied. Depending on the volume of water left in the machine, this may need to be repeated a few times.

Sometimes any items or material causing the blockage will simply flush out with the water.
Sometimes they may need to be carefully removed.
The filter cover / drain can then be replaced and re-secured and the machine should resume it’s cycle to complete drainage etc.

Clearly, many tenants would prefer delegate tasks of this sort to an experienced plumber of handy-man – but do bear in mind – if the cause of the blockage is negligent use, the costs of such a “call-out” should fall to the responsible tenant.