What to Do When Your Washing Machine Making Noise

Machines are supposed to make our lives easier. But sometimes, they can be a source of real stress. It is not uncommon for people to witness a noisy washing machine situation. If you are one of those distressed people who have been dealing with your washer acting up, you’re not alone. Washing machines solve a simple function but they are complex machines. There are multiple reasons and multiple times at which your washer may be noisy. More often than not, that noise hints towards something that has gone wrong with the deep mechanism of your washer. It is also common for washers to stop making noise for a while and then start making noise all over again (they can get louder). Good news? There may be a lot of DIY investigations and repairs that you can run to fix this issue.

There are many instances when your washer will make noise. Here, we are addressing the common washing machine noises:

Washing Machines Making Noise While Spinning

washing machine making noise when agitating

The spin cycle is the most common cycle for your washer to make noise. The most common cause is the washing machine filter. You must clean the filter if your washing machine is making noise while spinning. If the lint trap is clean and the washer is still making noise, call a professional to find out the problem.

Washing Machine Making Noise when Agitating

washing machine making noise when spinning

In case your washing machine is making noise when agitating, you should check the drum bearing. If the outer tub is moving more smoothly than the inner tub, that is a major sign for the drum bearing to be problematic. In that case, replace the drum bearing immediately.

Washing Machine Making Noise when Filling Water

Open washing machine

If the inlet valve is faulty, it will lead to the washing machine making noise when filling water. Sometimes, the drum will not fill up altogether. In this case, you must replace the inlet valve. You should also check for foreign or broken objects in the drum leading to that noise.

How to Fix A Noisy Washer

washing machine making loud noise during wash cycle

Pump & Pump Motor

The drain pump on a washing machine pumps the water from the washtub before and while your washer spins. To check if it’s the pump that is making the noise, remove the front panel and leave your washer to spin. Be careful and do not touch anything while the washer is on. If the pump is the actual culprit, then turn the power off and remove the inlet hose and the pump. Check the pump impeller and remove any objects or dust. That that may be the reason behind the noise. You should also check the impeller for any kind of chipping or breaking. In case you have a front load washer, there will be a self-contained electric drain pump and its motor may have been damaged. In that case, the whole pump must be replaced.

Once foreign particles and dust have been removed or the drain pump has been replaced, you must carefully tighten the hose clamps. Check for any leakage before you reinstall the front panel.

washing machines noise

Drive Belt

In top load washers, the function of the drive belt is to connect the drive motor to the transmission in some top load washers. In front load washers, the drive belt connects the drive motor to the wash basket. Usually, the drive belt may be either a single V-shaped belt or a multi-rib belt. It is normally made of rubber, but in many models, it is covered in fabric. On front load washers the drive belt is normally a multi-ribbed belt and is designed to be installed for a tight fit. If the drive belt is making noise, it may be worn out or the fabric may be torn. In that case, you must replace the drive belt.

To replace a drive belt you must ​​disconnect the washing machine from the power and water supply lines and remove the front panel to unscrew the belt cover. Carefully remove the old belt without damaging the surrounding parts. When you are done attaching the new belt, run the washer so it aligns with the pulley.

washing machine making loud noises

Direct Drive Motor Coupling

In most top load washers, a direct drive motor coupling transfers power from the motor to the transmission. This part of the washer connects the motor to the transmission. Usually, it is made up of two plastic drive forks and a rubber coupling between the two forks. One part is connected to the drive motor shaft and the other part is connected to the transmission input shaft. The shaft rotates making the rubber coupling between the drive forks absorb the torque. This protects the forks from breaking. If your washer is old, it is normal for the drive motor coupling to wear and stop functioning. This will cause your washer to vibrate and make noise.

To fix this, the usual way is to remove the cabinet to get access to the drive coupler and replace the rubber coupling. Ensure that the power is shut off. In most cases, you have to replace the whole part along with the forks.

noisy washer

Shock Absorbers

Also known as struts, shock absorbers are more common in front-load washing machines. Just like the name suggested, these absorb the shock that your washer may have while functioning. They do this by dampening the tub movement during the spin cycle. Usually, you will find these shock absorbers attached to the base frame and to the outer tub. To access them, you will need to remove the front panel or the rear panel depending on what best provides access. It is common for shock absorbers to weaken over time. When this happens, the machine will wobble and also make a loud banging sound while it’s on its spin cycle. Ignoring damaged shock absorbers might damage your washer over time. The washing machine making noise on the wash cycle may also be due to damaged shock absorbers.

Leaking fluid is another sign of a damaged shock absorber. While replacing the shock absorbers, ensure that your washer is not connected to power.

Washer and dryer stacked

Tub Dampening Strap

Tub dampening straps perform the same function in top-load machines that shock absorbers do in a front load washer. If your top load washer is making noise while spinning. There are four rubber straps connected to every four sides of the drum. When you raise the washer, you can access the straps. If you wash large loads or if your washer is old, it is common for the straps to get stretched or damaged. In that case, the tub will rub against the cabinet during the spin cycle and make a loud banging sound. Washing large loads and ignoring the tub dampening strap may cause more severe damage to the washer. You must replace these straps for this reason.

Even if one strap is more damaged than the others, you must change all the straps in one go.

front load washing machine

Drive Motor

In top load washers, the motor operates the transmission and spins the wash basket. In many models, it also operates the pump. In the case of front-load washers, the drive motor operates a belt that further operates the wash basket pulley. If your drive motor is damaged or damaging, you will hear a loud buzzing noise. You might also smell some burning. This means that the drive motor has a thermal overload and it needs to be replaced.

Washing machine is making noise

Drive Motor Pulley & Transmission Pulley & Pump Pulley

If you have a belt-driven washing machine, the motor pulley is used to support the drive belt. It may support the pump pulley as well. Even if the drive motor is fine, the problem may be with the motor pulley and the pump pulley causing your washer to make noise. The common problem with pulleys is that they can accumulate grease, rubber compound, or dirt. This leads to a loud sound while your washer performs various functions. The sound is closer to a squealing noise.

Check these pulleys for signs of dirt accumulation or damage and ensure that there is no distortion. Replace the pulleys if needed.

stainless steel washing machine

Pump Belt

The pump belt is responsible for driving the pulley on the drain pump. When this part of your washer is damaged, you will hear a loud thumping sound every time your washer spins. You might also notice a burning rubber smell and the heating of the washer. In this case, you must not delay and replace the pump belt immediately.

washing machine wash basket

Tub Bearing

Tub bearings enable the wash basket to rotate freely. If the tub bearings get damaged, you will hear a loud rumbling sound every time your washer functions. The damage to bearings is also caused by harsh or unrefined detergents or if you use anything other than a detergent to wash your clothes. This calls for replacing the tub bearings. It is also advised to replace the tub seals with the bearings to ensure the proper functioning of the new bearings.

black washing machine

Agitator Directional Cogs & Dogs

You will notice cam-shaped objects in the agitator of your washing machine. These are called cogs and dogs that work interdependently. Over time, these lose their grip and start slipping leading to the washing machine making noise while agitating. In this case, it is always advised to replace the agitator.

Open front load washing machine

Clutch Assembly

In top load washers, the clutch assembly locks the transmission input shaft with the wash basket drive during spinning. With continuous use, the friction causes the clutch to get damaged and cause a scraping sound when the washer is on the spin. You will find the clutch below the lower drum of your washer. If you notice any friction marks or damage on the clutch, it is time for you to replace the clutch.

Call a Professional to Help with Your Noisy Washer

Washing machine repair by Appliance Wizards

Since washing machines are complex machines, it is always advised to call a professional for inspecting and replacing parts to fix a noisy washer. Call now.