Around 2.6 million washing machines are sold every year in the UK and this figure is only likely to increase as the population rises. However, are we perhaps a little too quick to discard our old machines and replace them with a new one?
Appliance Spares Warehouse, online domestic appliance spares retailer, has produced a handy infographic that highlights;
a) How we are guilty of taking the washing machine for granted
b) How we throw our appliances away far too soon
According to the Whitegoods Trade Association, 30% of faulty washing machines that are returned by customers don’t even require any spare parts, while a further 25 to 30% only need new parts that cost less than £20. A lot of the time, malfunctions are caused by a simple blockage.
Around 96% of British homes have their own washing machine, and it’s far more cost-effective to have access to a personal machine, rather than making regular trips to the local laundrette. It also goes without saying that it’s generally far cheaper to repair your existing machine than to purchase a new one.
While it can be argued that modern washing machines are not built to last as long as those designed in the 1980s, it should be noted that they are generally far cheaper to run nowadays. Unfortunately, some Britons have an aversion to DIY and are far from confident when it comes to fixing broken appliances.
This is a shame, as just a little bit of research and common sense can save you huge sums of money in the long run. Here are a few tips on what to look for if your washing machine suddenly gives up on you:
Are you Under-filling your Washing Machine?
It sounds bizarre, but it’s not uncommon for modern washing machines to develop a fault if the owner is not putting enough clothes in. If you only use half of the drum’s capacity, it can become unbalanced and stop spinning. Try again with a full load to see if it begins to rotate.
Have you got a Blockage?
Before you consign your machine to the dump, check to see that there isn’t a simple blockage. It’s common for stray cigarette lighters or coins to sneak into your washing, and these can cause problems.
Is Water Leaking Out of My Machine?
Nobody wants to find pools of water on their kitchen floor, but this is no reason to dispose of your machine. Chances are you just need new seals, which are easy to replace.
Understanding Washing Machine Fault Codes
Just like in your car, a washing machine will display a fault code or message when something has gone wrong. This is not a signal for you to panic and call out a professional engineer at great cost. Consult your product’s handbook and see if you can get to the bottom of what the problem is. Maybe you just need some replacement motor brushes? Again, these are very cheap to buy.
What is that Nasty Smell from my Washing Machine?
We’re advised to wash our clothes on lower temperatures in order to reduce our carbon footprint. While this is more than fair, consistently washing clothes on low temperatures can lead to a build-up of bacteria, which often carry a nasty odour. You’d feel rather embarrassed (and financially worse-off) if you’ve bought a new machine when all you needed to do was put your towels or bed sheets on a hot wash every now and again.
These are just some basic troubleshooting tips that could help you save money, you can also see some frequently asked questions about installing a washing machine in our project section. As with any DIY task, make sure you do things safely, so if you are planning to open your machine up in order to investigate further, ensure you’ve disconnected it from the power and read the instructions thoroughly.