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Washing Machine Takes 3 Hours To Wash


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#1 Curious

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:34 AM

Over the last few months the washing machine has been taking over 3 hours to complete full wash cycles even on the short wash. -i.e upto 3 times as long as normal. I think the water filters are OK and I don't think the pump is blocked either.

Any ideas on possible solutions please?
Curious, is a made up name that I use to re-post questions I answered in my original Washerhelp forum (before I closed it to new questions). The reason I've transferred them to this new forum is to make them easier to find, more useful, and to add more relevant information and related links - as well as to host them on a much better forum. Andy - Washerhelp.

 

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#2 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:41 AM

A washing machine fills with water, heats it up to the right temperature, and then when the thermostat (or NTC on more recent machines) tells the programme timer that the right temperature is reached the programme timer moves on to start rinsing and spinning.

On the old washing machines, if the heater is faulty, or the thermostat, or the programme timer is faulty, then the washing machine will stick on wash. It will either boil the water and heat for ever, or it will wash for ever, waiting for a signal from the thermostat that never comes. However, most modern washing machines will abort the wash if such faults occur, and usually indicate some error code - Washing machine stops with an error code

With old and newer washing machines alike, if it completes the cycle all on it's own, then there can't be anything not working. This is because any component not working will cause it to stick, or abort with an error code.

If it takes much longer than normal, the main suspect is that it's taking a long time to heat the water but it is still heating it. This could be caused if the machine is taking too much water in on wash (check the water level on wash looks normal (if you haven't observed what normal is, it shouldn't normally be much above the bottom of the door glass on machines made in the last 10 years and even older machines shouldn't be more than half way up the glass on wash)

Another (rarer) possibility is a damaged heater or one caked in limescale which isn’t heating up very well at all.

The final possibility is that the drain hose is pushed too far down the drain pipe and water is siphoning out down the drain causing the machine to be constantly losing water followed by filling up with fresh. This can slow a machine down and can be detected by noticing it fills up in short bursts constantly through out the wash or rinse. Also check that water isn’t trickling down the drain when the machine is not actually pumping water out - Washing machine constantly fills with water and goes down the drain

If you suspect the heating element could be causing the slow wash times, try pouring some hot water into the soap dispenser drawer while it is initially filling up. If this significantly reduces the wash time it could indicate that it is slow due to taking a long time to heat the water.

[UPDATE]

Some washing machines are now capable of getting stuck on wash for hours, where something is clearly wrong, but without triggering an error code. There are certain anomalies (or bugs) which allow this to happen. If this is happening call an engineer.


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#3 Curious

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:51 AM

The water level seems low, rather than too high and there does not seem to be any
obvious evidence of siphoning. I am thinking that this indicates that it could be the problem with the heating element that you said is possible, since we are in a hard water area. (the washer is about 4 years old, although not used exceptionally heavily)

If this is the case is the element likely to be a reasonable DIY job?

I've tried adding hot water through the soap dispenser as you suggested and it has reduced the time. The 30C wash came down from 2hr 45 min to 1hour 15 min so it certainly does seem to be water heat related.

I've managed to get out the old heater element, luckily it was at the back of the machine. Well most of it came out easily but one piece got left behind and had to be fished out from under a metal shield at the bottom of the stainless steel tub. It was thoroughly coated with lime and broken so its not surprising it wouldn't heat the water.

I will order a new element online. I'm expecting that to do the trick.

When the new heating element goes in, should it be clear of the small shield that sits over it? There does not seem to be much clearance and there doesn't seem to be any easy way to stop it touching.

Thanks for your help again Andy

#4 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:56 AM

It sounds like a new heater should sort it. A washing machine heater usually fits into, or under a bracket, to hold it in place and stop the drum from hitting it. If there is a metal "shield" I would expect the heater to fit under it. If there is a bracket or clip, the heater should push into it. Examine it carefully to see which way the heater will interact with it.

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#5 Curious

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:59 AM

The heater element arrived this morning - under 24 hours delivery! :)
With the old one already out it only took 20-30 minutes to get everything running fine. Its now back to around 60 minutes for short washes on 30C and 40C.

Andy, your help has been much appreciated.
Curious, is a made up name that I use to re-post questions I answered in my original Washerhelp forum (before I closed it to new questions). The reason I've transferred them to this new forum is to make them easier to find, more useful, and to add more relevant information and related links - as well as to host them on a much better forum. Andy - Washerhelp.




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