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Why your washer is making banging sounds on the spin cycle

Woman loading laundry into noisy washing machine

Boom, bang, boom—if that's the sound of your washing machine struggling to clean your clothes, you may have a problem.

How serious is it? That depends. It could require an extensive repair—or an easy, do-it-yourself solution. We'll help you determine which one.

Here at Asurion, we don't just fix appliances: We fix the frustration you feel when yours don't work—whether your washing machine won't start or isn't spinning properly. Here's our guide to why your washer is making loud, banging noises during the spin cycle and what to do about it.

Why is my washer making loud noises while spinning?

There are various reasons your washing machine is banging and clanging instead of humming along, including:

  • You've loaded your washer with too much laundry.
  • You've loaded your washer unevenly.
  • Your washer is unbalanced on the floor.
  • The basket or drum spider arms are broken.
  • The drum screws are loose.
  • There is an issue with the drive pulley or belt.
  • The tub bearing is worn out.
  • There is an issue with the shock absorbers.
  • The suspension rods are worn out.

We'll walk you through how to determine the problem and what you can do about it. But for safety reasons, before you try any of these steps, make sure to unplug your washer.

Don't overload your washer

Sometimes your washing machine cycle is very loud because you've put too much laundry into it. Try reducing your load size and give your clothes more room to move around while the washer agitates.

Here's a guide for ideal laundry load sizes:

  • Top-loading washers: 80% max
  • Front-loading washers: 60% max

Load your washer evenly

The most common reason your washer makes banging sounds during the spin cycle is that an unbalanced load has thrown it out of whack. When you put your dirty clothes in your machine, make sure to distribute them evenly in the drum. Heavy items mixed with lighter ones can cause it to spin unevenly. Try washing bulky jeans and towels—as well as bedding—separately.

Check your washer feet

Your washer will make noise while agitating if it's off balance. An easy fix: Check to see if your machine is on even ground. If it is, make sure that its feet—the round, adjustable pads at the four bottom corners of the machine—are level. If one foot is higher than the others and not firmly planted, twist it until it's even with the other feet and the washer is steady.

Check for a broken basket or damaged drum spider arms in front-loading machines

If you're loading your laundry properly and your machine is level, then you may have to troubleshoot a mechanical problem—typically involving a part related to the drum—to find out why your washer is making loud noises.

Front-loading machines employ drum spider arms, a multi-armed stabilizer, to hold the drum basket in place. To check if either the basket or the drum spider arms are cracked or broken:

  1. Open your washer door and gently move the drum up and down.
  2. If the drum is moving excessively, one or more drum spider arms are likely cracked.

Inspect the drum screws

Another reason your washer is making noise could be loose screws in the drum.

To check, put on work gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges. Next, open your washer cabinet to gain access to your machine's drum to see if the screws holding it in place are loose.

  • For top-loading washers, remove the top and back panel.
  • For front-loading washers, remove the top and front panel.

Finally, check the drum screws—the parts that secure the drum to its basket—and tighten any loose ones.

Look at the drive pulley or belt

Still hearing banging or grinding sounds from your washing machine? Try checking its belt system, which often includes pulleys to run the motor and keep the drum spinning and agitating laundry back and forth.

Remove the washer cabinet to inspect these components. If you see any cracks or breaks in any of them, they will need to be repaired or replaced by a professional to keep your washer spinning properly.

Check for a worn-out tub bearing

The tub or drum bearing is the part that allows your washer to spin by keeping it on track (courtesy of ball bearings) for every rotation. If the drum bearing is worn out, a repair pro will need to uninstall the drum to access it and replace it.

Look for an issue with the shock absorbers on front-loading washers

These parts help keep your washer's drum balanced and spinning evenly. Open your machine's back panel to check if the shocks are disconnected or worn out. If so, they will need to be replaced to keep your machine running evenly and quietly.

Check for worn-out suspension rods on top-loading washers

The suspension rods—there are four—are attached to top-loading washer frames with springs to keep the machine balanced while it's running. If they are damaged, you'll hear clanging during the spin cycle.

To inspect these rods, check your owner's manual to see where and how to access them. Then check the rods for damage. If the rods are damaged, you may need to contact a professional to replace them.

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