Understanding Noise in Washing Machines – A Guide to Fix Noisy Washing Washing Machines

One of the common problems a person may encounter with a washing machine is the Noise. Modern washing machines have technologies to reduce the noise and vibration that arise during the wash and spin cycles.

However, due to poor maintenance or operation, several types of noises may arise from a washing machine. So, in this article, we will discuss the different types of noise that may be evident from a washing machine during its operation.

Types of Noises in Washing Machines

Washing machines can make a variety of sounds during their operation. Understanding these sounds is key to maintaining the appliance effectively. Below is a detailed explanation of the types of noises and the common reasons why your washing machine makes such noise.

Thumping or Banging

Thumping or banging is often caused by an unbalanced load. Bulky items or washing too many clothes at once can lead to uneven distribution, causing the drum to move unevenly. Thumping or banging sound in the washing machine is caused by the following:

  • Heavy or Unbalanced Loads: Bulky items like comforters or towels can create an uneven distribution of weight which causes the washer tub to spin unevenly during wash or spin cycles. This can result in loud banging or thumping noises, as well as potential damage to the washer. To avoid this, make sure to distribute heavy or bulky items as evenly as possible within the washer, and try to wash similar items together to maintain a balanced load.
  •  Worn Drum Bearings: Damaged Bearings in your machine can cause the washer drum to move excessively and cause loud noise. This can lead to further damage to the drum and other components of the washing machine. You may hear a loud grinding or scraping sound coming from the washer when the bearings are worn.
  • Damaged Shock Absorbers: In front-load washers, damaged shock absorbers can lead to excessive drum movement and cause a lot of noise during the spin cycle. This can also result in uneven washing and issues with the washer’s balance.

Grinding or Scraping

This noise typically indicates mechanical wear. It could be due to objects caught in the drum, or worn-out pulleys. The possible causes of grinding or scraping noise in your washer are:

  • Debris in the Drum: Coins, buttons, or other small items can get trapped in the washer tub and make a grinding noise. When putting the clothes in the tub, you must ensure to empty the pockets. Because the coins can fall out of the pockets and get trapped in the perforations of the tub. Due to this, the washing machine makes a grinding noise.
  • Worn-Out Pulleys: The Pulleys in the transmission system help to rotate the washer drum. These pulleys can wear out due to overload or continuous usage. The pulleys start to scrape against the drive belt and other parts. Due to this, you can experience a scraping sound from the washer.

Squeaking or Squealing

These sounds are often related to belt or motor issues. A worn, loose, or misaligned belt can squeak as it struggles to turn the drum. Motor problems can also manifest as squeals. The causes of squeaking in your washer are:

  • Dry or Faulty Bearings: Lack of lubrication or wear in the motor or drum bearings of your washer can cause a squeaking sound. This particularly happens with old machines. Old washing machines must be maintained more frequently to avoid such noises.
  •  Loose Pulley on the Motor Shaft: Another possible cause for squeaking is a loose shaft or loose drive pulley in the washer motor. The loose shaft or pulley can create a high-pitched squeal during operation. This squealing can be pretty annoying and reduces the efficiency of the washing machine significantly.

Vibrating or Shaking

Vibrations are common in washing machines, especially during the spin cycle. However, excessive shaking could be due to an unbalanced load, uneven flooring, or weakened leveling legs which makes noise. Your washing machine may vibrate or shake due to the following reasons:

  • Improper Loading: If you don’t properly load your washer, it may cause an imbalance while spinning. This imbalance produces wild shaking and vibrations that eventually make loud noises.
  • Faulty Counterbalance Springs: Counterbalance springs help in stabilizing the drum when it is agitating or spinning. When these springs are damaged due to overloading or prolonged usage, it can lead to noisy washing machines.

Clicking or Ticking

Clicking or ticking sounds can be indicative of electrical issues. These could range from problems with the control board to issues with the timer or relay. Although clicking or ticking is not an annoying noise, they may interrupt the wash cycle and you need to fix it. The probable causes of clicking or ticking are:

  • Relay or Control Board Issues: The control board circuit is the logical unit of washing machines. It has relays that control the alternating of wash cycles periodically. This control board may get damaged due to an electrical short circuit due to overload or high voltage. This can cause ticking sounds when you try to start the washer.
  • Faulty Water Inlet Valves: A water inlet valve is usually a solenoid valve that opens and closes when electrical input is given. When there is an electrical fault, the solenoid valve may not actuate properly causing a clicking sound whenever the washing machine tries to input water.

These are the common types of noise in a washing machine and their probable causes. Let us now understand how to fix a noisy washing machine on your own.

How to Fix a Noisy Washing Machine?

Before you call your technician to fix your noisy washing machine, you can do some troubleshooting on your own to eliminate the noise. Here are the things you must follow to fix the common causes of noise from your machine:

Adjusting the Load for Balance

Open the washing machine and redistribute the clothes evenly. Avoid washing one large item by itself; instead, balance it with smaller items. An unbalanced load can cause the drum to spin unevenly, leading to vibrations and banging noises.

Checking and Replacing Worn Belts

Unplug the machine and access the back panel. Inspect the drive belt for signs of wear, fraying, or slack. Replace the belt if it’s worn. A worn or loose belt can cause a squealing noise and affect the drum’s rotation. So, the belt needs to be replaced to avoid noise and efficient operation.

Tightening Loose Components

 Inspect components such as the drum, pulleys, and panels. Use a suitable tool to tighten any loose bolts or screws. Loose components can rattle or bang during the machine’s operation, especially during the spin cycle.

Leveling the Washing Machine

Use a level to check if the machine is even. Adjust the legs at the base of the washer to level it out. Ensure it’s firmly seated on the floor. When you perform this level check when installing the washer, you can avoid the vibration. An unleveled washer can shake and vibrate excessively, causing noise.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Prevent Noise

  • Clean the drum, filters, and dispensers regularly to prevent build-up that can cause noise.
  •  Check for wear and tear in seals and gaskets, as these can lead to noises during water intake or draining.
  • Go for High Efficiency top-loading washing machine to prevent noise arising from the agitation of laundry
  • Periodically check hoses, fittings, and electrical connections for signs of wear or damage.
  • Stick to the recommended load size to prevent strain on the machine’s motor and suspension system.
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