DIY washing machine repair disaster

Safety-first The Internet is a great source of knowledge, that’s an indisputable fact. There’s also a wise saying about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. I’ve just heard from an engineer about how he recently encountered someone who had tried to repair his own washing machine using knowledge from the Internet.

His washing machine was displaying an error code and he was fortunate(?) enough to find a description of the meaning online. As it was one of the faults that is relatively straightforward he decided to fix it himself. Having fixed the fault (a blocked pump) the washing machine unfortunately started displaying a new fault. The electronic display was erratic and jumbled.

At this stage he wisely decided to call in a professional who found that he had laid the washing machine down on its right side.

As the washing machine had water inside at the time this had allowed water to run into the electronic control board and damaged it irreparably. The washing machine was scrapped.

Some DIY washing machine repairs can be successful, and can even be very straightforward. Some DIY repairs should never be attempted.

However, even a straightforward repair can go disastrously wrong for the lack of some simple knowledge. The most important advice regarding DIY repairs is to never, ever work on one while it is still plugged in.

After that I would say that without proper electrical knowledge and experience you shouldn’t even be looking at it other than cleaning out a filter etc.

In this case the only disaster was losing the washing machine. There are other cases where the family has lost the person attempting the repair. Even professional washing machine engineers occasionally get electrocuted and die. Usually because of a loss of concentration.

If you have a washing machine that isn’t draining the water, you should empty it first before laying it down because otherwise (as in this example) water can run inside and damage parts. The washing machine could even go with a bang when switched back on.

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3 thoughts on “DIY washing machine repair disaster”

  1. Washing machines have to remain upright all the time–even in repairs. The excess water inside the hoses and valves will leak into the motor. It is true that there are washing machine problems better left to professionals. This is why people should diagnose the problem of their washer and figure out if they need the help of a repair person. The hesitation in calling a repair man is the cost of repair. But attempting to do it on your own without a good knowledge on this might cause even more that repair charges.

  2. Because of limited height I had to take off the top cover to get it under the work surface. Now when I press start I get (E 40) fault.
    The book suggests – Door not closed – Power – Water supply, I have checked these but no success. Does the top cover have a fail safe to prevent the machine working if removed?

  3. Hello Bill: Never heard of it. If it did it should be obvious. I would suggest if the fault occurred after taking off the lid it’s likely to be something else like a sprained door or kinked fill hose, tap turned off etc.

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