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The following are a few tips for maintaining your washer:

Closing and reopening the water faucets that supply the washer each month is a good idea, especially if you have hard water. Otherwise they may bind up and not be able to be closed when needed, or leak at intermediate positions. Also, while I have never had a problem or run into one with fill hoses bursting, it is a good idea to inspect your fill hoses for weak spots or bubbles.  It is also a good idea to replace the washers inside the hose ends every year or two. An even better idea, though rarely done, is to use braided high-pressure hoses as fill hoses. Also when you have the hoses off for washer replacement check for buildup on the screens in the fill valves onto which the hoses attach and clean the screens as necessary.

Inspecting the belt on belt-driven machines, either through a rear access panel as on older GE/Hotpoint and Kenmore/Whirlpool machines, or by removing the front panel on many other brands, can allow you to replace the belt at a convenient time instead of at the time the belt decides to break (on a holiday as you are washing the urgently needed holiday finery). Also on most belt-driven brands other than GE/Hotpoint you won't have to work on a machine possibly full of water if you change the belt BEFORE it breaks. (GE has the pump directly coupled to the motor and will pump out, though not spin or agitate, without the belt.

On belt-driven Whirlpool/Kenmore lightly greasing the cam slide-bars on top of the transmission will greatly increase their trouble-free life. Also checking for worn snubbers will eliminate most chronic out-of-balance problems. Checking any brand for traces of minor water leaks before they become major is also a good idea--especially at the pumps. And where rubber hoses such as bleach hoses are attached to the outer tub. Any trace of water tracking/deposits may be indicative of seepage and a possibly larger future leak.

If your machine has variable water level/temp settings, especially if they are push-buttons rather than rotary knobs, you should change the settings through all positions once in a while- or they tend to function only in the setting you always use and freeze up there. Maytags and some Whirlpools are particularly prone to this.

If you move the machine for these inspections, or for any reason, check that you haven't kinked the drain hose which will slow the pumping and may accelerate wear of the pump internal vanes due to excessive back-pressure. For the same reason NEVER hook your drain hose up to a long small-diameter hose to bring your used wash water to your garden, for instance. If you decide to do that (and most building codes/health regulations frown on grey water usage) empty the regular drain hose into a large drum, like a 55 gallon one, and drain using gravity and a hose from the drum, or create a large black-plastic pipe drain system to get your water where desired with gravity, and just place the smaller diameter regular drain hose loosely into the top of the new drain pipe. All drain systems need to be about 36" high where the drain hose hooks on to prevent siphoning problems.

That's about all I can suggest on this topic. Good luck.

Contributed by: Dave, the Appliance Wizard

If you have a non-functioning appliance, you can ask a question in our Appliance Repair Forum or check Dave's web-site at Appliance Help for possible solutions. If that isn't enough, you can call Dave at 888-490-1393 toll-free(8am-9pm Pacific, 11am-midnight Eastern) and, for a small fee, he will call you back with individual help for diagnosis and repair. Bookmark our sites and save the number for future use.

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