Your washing machine's basket agitates because a drive belt inside the machine causes it to spin. Just like a belt on your car, the one in your washer can deteriorate over time and need to be replaced. Here are the signs of a bad drive belt and how it is replaced.
Signs The Belt In Your Washer Is Bad
When the belt in your washer begins to wear down, it may slip occasionally. This can create a squealing noise that gets louder as the belt breaks down over time. You might also smell burning rubber. It's a good idea to call for repairs when your washer starts making squealing noises during the wash and spin cycle because the problem just gets worse until the belt breaks. The basket in your washer may also spin erratically or it may stop spinning altogether once the belt breaks. When the belt has broken, the washer will fill with water and function normally except the basket won't spin.
How To Check The Belt
If you want to verify that the belt is bad, you can look inside the washer. Turn off the water and unplug the power cord before you do anything. Remove the back panel if you can so you can see inside the machine. This isn't possible on all washers. You might need to tip the washer over to see through the bottom. This could be a problem if the washer is full of water as you'll have to manually drain the water out first. Keep in mind that a washer is heavy even if there's no water in it. You might get it tipped over and then have trouble getting it upright.
If you suspect the belt is bad, you may want to go ahead and call for repairs without bothering to open the machine and check the belt. If you decide to take a look inside, check the belt for cracks and frays. It should be one continuous loop with tight tension when you press against it. Once you know the belt is bad, you'll need to look in your owner's manual to find the proper replacement belt to buy.
Have The Belt Replaced
If you have DIY skills, you may be able to replace the belt yourself if you can find the right part. It's a matter of taking out the old one and putting in the new belt. If you don't feel comfortable changing the belt or checking if it is bad, call a repair person so you stay safe and so you don't do anything to damage to your washer. By calling an expert, you won't even have to worry about identifying the correct part and finding a replacement belt. Also, one benefit of calling in someone with experience in washer repair is that the source of the problem can be identified with certainty. Other parts can malfunction and cause problems with your washer and you may waste time changing the belt when the washer has a more serious malfunction.
Contact a company, like Affordable Appliance Repair, for more help.