Should You Use a Washing Machine with a Missing Drum Paddle

a washing machine with a missing drum paddle

If the drum paddle on your washer has recently broken, you might be wondering if you can continue to carry out wash cycles.

Keeping your washing machine in the best condition possible will help to extend the life of your washing machine, which is why you should replace a broken drum paddle.

If you can’t replace the drum paddle right away, we recommend that you don’t continue using the machine for safety reasons and to protect your clothes.

You can read on to learn more about why a drum paddle breaks and what you can do about it.

Can I use a washing machine without a drum paddle?

You should not use a washing machine with a missing drum paddle. The drum on your washing machine can be very sharp and will almost certainly rip your clothes during a cycle.

If you take a look at the hole where the paddle should be, you’ll notice the edges of the hole and the grooves are made of sharp metal.

If you catch your hand, you could cut yourself and when your clothes are being cleaned, they will snag and get ripped.

clothes that have been ripped during a wash cycle

The drum paddles are designed to assist in making sure the clothes are agitated during a wash, meaning the quality of the wash will also be reduced.

Before your machine goes into a spin cycle it will attempt to balance out the load. If your machine has missing drum paddles, the drum will struggle to balance out the load.

Washing machines can be very noisy if the load has not been balanced out correctly.

How drum paddles get broken

If you forget to take coins out of your pockets before you start the wash cycle, they can bang around in the drum and damage the paddles. Forgetting to check your pockets might also be one of the reasons your washer is not draining.

Drum paddles are made of plastic, so they are prone to get snapped and penetrated by objects in the drum while spinning.

We have also found that if you put trainers in your washing machine, they can be too much for your washing machine to cope with and will result in the drum paddles breaking off.

trainers inside a washing machine

Some washing machine manufacturers have tackled this problem by designing the drum so that it has paddle like curves in the drum, removing the need to have fitted plastic paddles.

Washing machines with metal drum paddles is something you should look out for when buying a new washing machine as it can save you money in the long run.

If you think that something has caused your paddle to snap or the plastic from the paddle has gotten stuck in the machine, you can take a look at our guide on how to recover lost items from your washing machine.

How to replace the drum paddle

If you need to take a drum paddle out of a washing machine, you can usually do this by fitting a thin screwdriver through one of the holes which releases the retaining catch. The hole is in a different place for different machines.

The method of fitting a new drum paddle to your washing machine varies depending on the model.

washing machine drum paddle

Some machines make it easy by allowing you to just slide the new paddle into the groves and the drum will automatically lock the new paddle in.

Some washing machines like those that are manufactured by Hoover will require you to screw the new paddle in.

Screwing the paddle in can be done by removing the soap dispenser pipe with the lid off so that you can line the paddle up with the hole and fit a screwdriver in.

If your washing machine has a sealed drum and no way to access the paddle release, this means that the drum paddle can not be replaced. This is rare but some manufacturers do make machines like this.

It has been known that some repairers will use heat and waterproof glue to fit a new paddle after breaking the old one off, but we don’t recommend this for safety reasons.