One of the most crucial tasks a washing machine performs is to turn its drum at various speeds. It does so to agitate the laundry and drain water from the fabric. The part where the drum rotates the fastest is known as the spin cycle, and it’s supposed to happen quietly.
When your washing machine spin cycle becomes very loud, that’s a sign of a problem. You can narrow the cause down by identifying the type of loud noise you hear, whether it’s a banging, squeaking, or engine-like grinding noise. The most likely reasons are an imbalanced load, damaged suspension rods or shock absorbers, faulty drain pump, and worn-out bearings.
Keep reading as we explore the most likely reasons your washer becomes loud during its spin cycle.
Why Is My Washing Machine So Loud When It Spins?
It’s entirely normal for a washing machine to make some noises, but they shouldn’t be loud. A faulty washer can make several different loud noises during its spin cycle. Each of those sounds points to a unique cause, whether it’s banging, squeaking, or an engine-like noise.
Typically, loud noises during the spin cycle happen because of an unbalanced load, worn-out suspension rods (on top-load washers) or shock absorbers (on front-load washers), a faulty drain pump, or worn-out bearings.
This section will explore all of those likely causes and how you can troubleshoot them.
Sounds like: Loud Banging
What it is: When troubleshooting your washer and investigating the noise, it’s always best to start with the quickest causes to rule out. In this case, you’ll want to make sure that the noise isn’t coming from the laundry that you’ve loaded into the washer.
Remember: you should always balance your laundry load evenly so the washer can work without any problems.
How it fails: A common user error with washing machines is to load it in a way that has no balance. For example, putting too few or too many items and loading large items like curtains can cause an unbalanced load.
When that happens, the unbalanced weight will cause the drum to swing and hit the washing machine’s internal frame, causing a loud banging noise.
This noise is most noticeable during the spin cycle because that’s when the drum is spinning at its fastest.
How to fix: The solution to this problem is to balance your laundry load each time you use the machine. If the load is too small, place one or two towels to add weight and balance the drum.
Suppose you’re washing something big like bed sheets or curtains. In that case, use the correct wash program (e.g. bedding), as it turns the drum slowly during the spin cycle. That will prevent it from hitting anything and causing that loud banging noise you hear.
Suspension Rods Or Shock Absorber
Sounds like: Loud Banging
What it is: The drums inside all washing machines are supported to ensure they can spin freely without causing much noise. The type of support is different depending on the washer you have.
For example, suspension roads provide support in a top-load washer. Meanwhile, shock absorbers support front-load washer drums instead.
Thanks to those supports, your washer drum can spin even at its highest speed in perfect balance without making much noise.
How it fails: Loud banging noises can happen during the spin cycle when the drum turns at its fastest. That happens because the supports, whether suspension rods or shock absorbers have worn out or broken.
As a result, the drum will not spin balanced and start to hit the washer’s frame or other components inside.
Not only is this annoying as it produces those loud banging noises, but it can also cause the washer to damage itself from the inside.
So, if this is the case with your washer, shut it off immediately and begin troubleshooting the issue.
How to fix: Any worn-out or damaged suspension rods or shock absorbers must be replaced, as they’re not repairable parts.
When you replace them, be sure to replace all of them simultaneously, even if only one is damaged.
Firstly, if one shock absorber or suspension has already become worn out, it’s likely that the others will wear out soon as well. So changing all of them now prevents you from repeating this repair in the near future.
Besides that, shock absorbers and suspension rods are typically sold in kits, allowing you to change them all together.
You’ll have to remove the washer’s panels to gain access to the existing supports. Carefully remove and replace them with new parts.
Faulty Drain Pump
Sounds like: Squeaking
What it is: The drain pump is a crucial component that helps remove water from the washer and drive it out through the drain hose. The pump will turn on several times throughout a wash cycle whenever the washer wants to remove used water to replace it with fresh water.
However, the final time the drain turns on is at the end of the wash program, during the spin cycle. As the drum spins at high speeds and removes moisture from your laundry, the drain pump turns on to get that water out of the washer.
How it fails: A little bit of a squeaking noise during the spin cycle is standard. However, a loud squeaking noise clearly shows there’s a problem with the drain pump.
The pump has moving parts that rotate to drive water out of your washer. So, the squeaking noise you hear means a damaged part inside the pump is turning and grinding against the pump’s insides.
How to fix: You can’t repair a faulty drain pump, so replacing it is the only option.
Worn-Out Tub Bearings
Sounds like: Loud Grinding Or Engine-Like Noise
What it is: Your washer relies on bearings to help the drum turn smoothly and quietly, especially at high speeds during the spin cycle. These bearings are on the back of the outer drum. Inside, they consist of rollers or balls that turn around in a metal ring frame.
Both top- and front-loading washers of all brands and models have bearings.
How it fails: Bearings most likely become worn-out because of regular wear, especially if the washer has been in use for many years. That wear will affect the smooth motion of the rollers or balls inside the bearings.
When those parts become worn out, the bearings will not turn as smoothly as before. Instead, they’ll struggle to do so, causing loud grinding noises or what people often describe as ‘engine-like’ noises.
How to fix: A replacement is necessary, but how that happens depends on the design of your washer model. In some cases, you can replace just the tub bearings. However, other models require you to replace the outer tub as a whole, as it has the bearings built into it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some other frequently asked questions you might have about loud noises during your washer’s spin cycle.
How Do You Know If The Bearings Have Gone On Your Washing Machine?
You can tell that your bearings are bad by the type of noise the machine makes and how that noise changes. Firstly, you’ll hear a grinding or engine-like noise during the spin cycle.
On top of that, you’ll notice the noise grows more intense as the drum speeds up and grows less severe when the drum slows down.
Is It Safe To Use A Washing Machine When Bearings Have Gone?
Yes, you can continue to use the washing machine even if its bearings are bad. However, it’s best not to do this. A drum that can’t turn smoothly because of worn-out bearings forces the motor to work harder than it should.
Is It Worth Fixing Bearings On A Washing Machine?
Yes, it’s worth fixing the bearings on your washing machine, especially if the appliance is only a few years old.
However, if your washer is more than 10 years old, it’s reaching the end of its useful lifespan. Unfortunately, the worn-out bearings won’t be the last problem you’ll face with the machine, so it’s an excellent time to start shopping for a new one.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Bearings In A Washing Machine?
You can expect to pay $150 to $260 to replace the bearings in your washing machine. The final cost will depend on the washer brand and model you have and the technician’s labor costs.