More causes of a noisy washing machine

Part 2
Part 2

In this article I look at more causes of a noisy washing machine. However, this is part two of a more comprehensive article.

The first part looks at the most common causes. So you should really read that article first washing machine is noisy (part 1). Alternatively if you want to read this one first there’s another link to part one at the bottom of this article.

Squealing from washing machine

A high pitched squealing or harsh noise on spin can be motor bearings. This can be caused if all the grease has worn away or been flushed by water from a leak (all relatively rare). It’s easy to check for by taking the belt off and running the motor alone. If the noise is still there it’s clearly the motor (make sure the pump isn’t making the noise though as that also runs at the same time). Motors usually can’t be repaired these days and only come complete – Buy washing machine motor


Knocking noise on spin

A knocking noise can be a loose drum (tub) weight or loose motor. Check that the motor is fixed tightly to the outer drum and that no drum weight is loose. The knocking noise is caused when the drum shakes about on spin. Without laundry inside, the drum hardly moves, so the noise isn’t normally present.

Towels or sheets usually make the noise the loudest. Another symptom of a loose drum weight can be a lot of grey concrete dust under the washing machine if the weight is crumbling.

Check for a loose drum (tub) weight. There are usually at least two. One on the top of the tub (outer drum) and another around the front of the outer drum near the door seal or at the bottom of the drum underneath. Check by disconnecting the washing machine from the mains and bouncing the drum around by hand to see if it makes a knocking noise that can be located to the drum weight.


Warning: Most washing machines have plastic outer drums. So over tightening a drum weight bolt can easily shear the bracket resulting in a new tub being required. Once a drum weight has come loose the plastic tub is often damaged anyway, especially if it isn’t caught early enough. But if caught early you might get away with tightening it back up.

Commonly though, the force of the drum weight swinging around often breaks the fixing away from the drum. If this has happened it can’t be repaired without fitting a new drum. The drum weight is fixed on using bolts with locking nuts. If yours have come loose you can try tightening them, but listen out for them coming loose again in the future. If so, try to buy some new locking nuts or use Loctite. Don’t over-tighten.

Anti vibration pads

By Electrolux for any washing machine


Tapping noise on spin

Buy drum pulleyOne source of strange knocking or tapping noises can be a worn drum pulley. The noises made by a loose drum pulley are deceptively strange, and not what you would expect. Check the videos out in this article to see if the noise you are investigating sounds like a loose drum pulley – rattling tapping and grinding noise on spin

More tapping noises on spin

Alternatively, a constant tapping noise on spin can be caused by the drum hitting something, especially if it is worse with heavier loads. It might even be absent with very light loads. It could be caused by something trapped in the drum, or if the heating element is not located properly inside its bracket the drum can hit it.


If the heating element has recently been removed and replaced then if it is not located inside its bracket properly the drum could hit it on spin. This is dependent on exactly how the heating element’s tub bracket is designed. These days many of them are very difficult to get wrong. The old Hoover washing machines with a metal outer tub used to have a very badly designed bracket and the heating element could easily be fitted without locating it in place.

These metal brackets also used to rust and drop-off in old machines. It used to be very common. But these days most outer drums (tubs) are made of plastic and many of them have a heating element bracket designed into it and part of the mold, which is essentially just a shelf that the heating element fits underneath making it virtually impossible to not fit the heating element properly.


The drum could be hitting the heating element, especially with heavy loads in, if one of the drum spider arms has broken. Check washing machine noisy – part one under the section “damaged drum or drum spider.

Other tapping noises could be caused by a faulty foot at the base, or something loose in the chassis. Try holding the washing machine firmly whilst it is happening to see if the tapping stops. Make sure the washing machine is properly level. If the tapping noises caused by this type of problem though the noise should not be allowed or alarming. A loud, alarming sound is much more likely to be caused by problems mentioned in the last paragraphs.

A small clicking sound or tapping sound may be able to be recreated by actually moving the washing around to simulate it moving during spin. This would help you locate it. Other than that you’d just need to try and locate where the sound is coming from. Many of the modern washing machines with very high spin speeds can shake about quite violently and things inside such as hoses can move around and vibrate quite a lot potentially catching on the casing.


This type of problem should be observable with the lid off. It is highly likely to be present without any laundry inside because there is virtually no movement until laundry is inside the drum and then things shake about quite violently.

Scraping noise when the drum turns

A light metallic scraping noise each time the drum revolves, which usually also happens when you turn the drum by hand is often caused by an underwire from a bra getting trapped between the outer drum and inner drum – check how to remove something stuck in washing machine

Noisy Drive belt

Sometimes a badly worn drive belt can cause a surprising amount of noise. I’ve even come across some where I was convinced the drum bearings were gone until I took off the belt and spun the drum by hand to find the noise had gone. The noise was caused by the rubber degrading, and the individual tracks (only on some belts) getting covered in melted rubber. This caused a distinct rumbling sound very similar to drum bearing failure.

Buy washing machine belt

Crackling or grating noise when drum turns

A crackling or grating noise when the motor turns can be caused by sparking carbon brushes in the motor. When the drum is turned by hand the noise is not present but when the motor runs on its own, sparking and crackling noises can be heard. The motor may well not be running smoothly, and could be faltering or stuttering too. How to spot worn carbon brushes

Don’t get carried away

Avoid accidents

Over the years, even experienced appliance repairmen have been seriously injured or killed.

Part 1: on noisy washing machines

This article contains just a few of the possible causes of a noisy washing machine. For more causes of a noisy washing machine see part 1: Washing Machine is Noisy

Repairs
Fixed-price repairs, Pay monthly, Repair & protect your whole appliance..
Spares

Ransom Spares is a family company with over 1 million spare parts. Next day delivery available, friendly company with over 5000 reviews on Trust Pilot - Buy your appliance spare part

Price match promise: "If you find the exact same part cheaper, we’ll not only match it, we’ll beat it!"

Join Which?

Several Which? Trial Offers available. Research future purchases & potentially save more money than it costs

10 thoughts on “More causes of a noisy washing machine”

  1. Hi! Is there a way I can send you a recording to get your ideas on what’s going on with my washing machine? Long story but one year 4 washing machines and they have all done the same! I am at my wits end. :-( Emma

  2. Hi what could be wrong if my washing machine makes a crackling sound on spin like its full of gravel and there’s a burning smell coming from the back after the cycle has ended?

  3. My washer is making like a metal fan clinking ticking during the spin cycle…I was washing a load and it shut off mid cycle then after an hour or two it came back on and started the whole clinking while spinning…can you please help…thanks

    1. When I turn the drum it doesn’t make the noise it sounds like it is coming from inside the front of the washer in the lower right corner it sounds like a metal fan turning and hitting another piece of metal it has not been moved or messed with…

  4. My washing machine is making a loud screaming noise during the rinse and spin cycle and then something smells like its burning coming from the back of the washing machine, then it stops and doesn’t finish its job. Could you tell me what this could possibly be and what I need to do to fix it? Thank you.

Comments are closed.

Comments Policy

Comments welcome (unless closed). Please keep on topic with the article. (Moderated before appearing).


Scroll to Top