8 Ways to Fix a Noisy Washing Machine

noisy washing machine

It can be troubling if your washing machine has been noisy lately. We’re going to walk you through everything you should check when your washer has been making more noise than usual.

The reasons for a noisy washing machine can vary depending on the make and model, but if you follow our checklist, you can get your washing machine back to normal in no time.

We recently wrote a post on why a washing machine would shake and vibrate during a wash cycle, so this is a follow on some more in-depth faults.

1. The drain pump impeller is stuck

The drain pump on your washing machine can get a real beating sometimes. It has to deal with small blockages and obstructions, which can sometimes be too much.

If your washing machine has a blockage, then the drain pump impeller can get stuck, which results in a noisy humming coming from the machine.

A good indication that the drain pump impeller is jammed, is if the washing machine is struggling to drain the water away and is sitting making a buzzing or humming noise.

If your machine has a blockage, you will have to investigate the blockage and remove it. Sometimes this means that the drain pump will have to be replaced.

2. The counterweight has come loose

The counterweight on a washing machine creates an even balance so that the drum of the machine does not violently shake during a spin cycle.

The weight is made from concrete, meaning that it is vulnerable to cracking and splitting.

Usually, three to four bolts hold the counterweight down to the drum. These bolts can loosen themselves off over time, meaning the machine will bang around.

If your machine seems to be banging off the side of the cabinet, the drum counterweight may need to be tightened up.

It’s important that if you’re going to tighten the weight up, you don’t over-tighten it. If you tighten the bolts on the weight up too much then you can damage the weight, meaning it will need to be replaced.

3. The drum bearings need to be replaced

We recently covered a topic about if it’s worth replacing the drum bearings in your washing machine. We discussed the different signs that the bearings have failed and what you could do.

washing machine drum bearings

One of the things we talked about was how noisy a machine will become if the bearings have failed.

Drum bearings wear down over a long period of time and the closer they are to giving up, the noisier they are.

If your machine has been making a whirring noise or you have seen plastic inside the drum, then the bearings might need to be looked into.

4. The lid needs to be tightened

If your washing machine has recently been repaired, the lid may not have been tightened up properly.

The same goes for if the lid has been overtightened and cracked. Both of these things may have resulted in the lid being able to shake around during use.

It should be pretty obvious if the lid of your washing machine is loose. You will be able to move it around and lift it up and down by hand.

The fix is quite simple, you should tighten up the lid on both sides and if it has cracked, try to repair it, or replace the lid.

5. The machine is starved of water

It might seem obvious but washing machines need water so they can operate. The washing machine will be connected to a water supply tap by a fill hose.

The fill hose then connects to the back of the machine to the water inlet valve. This valve is a solenoid valve which opens and closes when the water needs to be let into the machine.

If your washing machine is starved of water when it’s attempting to fill up, the solenoid valve will make a buzzing noise.

If you press start on your washing machine and it’s making a buzzing noise, you should make sure that the machine has a good supply of water.

Reasons that your washing machine might not be filling include:

  • A kink in the water fill pipe
  • No water supply to the machine
  • A faulty water inlet valve
  • A defective control board
  • A blocked soap dispenser

It’s a good idea to check that other areas of the house are getting a good supply of water so that you know the fault is only with the machine.

6. The motor is sparking

Ever seen your washing machine sparking from the bottom? Well, that’s probably because the motor has started to fail.

washing machine motor and belt

The motor on a washing machine gets worked really hard on every wash cycle, meaning it’s going to break down every now and again.

Reasons a washing machine motor fails:

  • The carbon brushes need to be replaced
  • Excess carbon is causing the motor to spark
  • The copper windings have worn down
  • The motor wiring block is faulty or has burned

It’s more common than you would think for a washing machine motor to spark. It can be quite scary if you have never seen it before.

Usually, it means that the motor needs to be replaced. If this is the case, it’s always a good idea to see if you can find a second hand motor from a used machine. This can save you a lot of money on the repair costs.

7. Something is stuck in the drum

Don’t you find it annoying when you can hear a noise, but you don’t know where it’s coming from? Well, when something is stuck in the drum, it can feel impossible to figure out where the scraping and banging is coming from.

It’s really common for bra wires and other pieces of metal to make their way through the small holes in the drum and then scrape as the drum turns.

The real problem with this fault is getting the stuck object out. If you’re lucky, you might be able to pull a bra wire back out through one of the holes.

If you think something is stuck in the drum, you should slowly turn the drum by hand whilst shining a torch on the drum so you can see if anything is sticking out.

If you can’t see anything, you could remove the heater at the rear of the machine and hope to get lucky by finding something there.

The heating element at the bottom of the drum is most likely what the metal-on-metal scraping noise is when your washer is turning.

This fault can be so frustrating that people just replace the machine entirely because they can’t get the object out of the machine.

8. Check the rubber door seal

The rubber door seal on your washing machine is a great place to look for small items that may have come out of your pockets during the wash.

looking in between drum seal and the drum

The crevice in the middle of the door seal is where you will find coins, hair clips, keys and other things that may be shaking around during a wash.

Door seals are prone to degrading over time and getting really dirty. We have found that when this happens, they are more flexible and allow more things to get stuck in them.

If you’re interested in how to clean the rubber seal on your washing machine, you should head over and read our article. We talk about preventing mould build up and making sure the seal lasts as long as possible.

When your washing machine is spinning, you might hear some clicking and banging coming from inside the drum. If you do, you should inspect the rubber seal.