A burning smell from the washing machine or indeed any electrical appliance indicates that the item is either about to break down or is imminently dangerous. You should therefore turn off the washing machine at the wall and take the plug out if you notice any strange smells and leave it turned off and unplugged until you have repaired it.
If the smell is coming from the appliance itself, then unplug it immediately. If the burning smell is coming from a plug or from the plug socket, then turn the power off and wait until the plug has cooled down before you unplug it.
We would recommend that you do not attempt to repair a washing machine yourself unless you are already experienced with electrical repairs and appliance repairs; washing machine motors can retain a lethal amount of static electricity, even when they have been unplugged for a while.
Broken drive belts
Washing machine drums typically spin with the assistance of a drive belt, and if this belt becomes broken or is badly connected, it can rub against other components or itself, creating friction and leading to a burning smell.
Frequently, washing machines don’t spin when the drive belt is broken. You may need to replace your drive belt – ensure you wear appropriate safety equipment and choose the right belt for your appliance!
Broken drive motor pulleys
A drive motor, or the drive motor pulleys, can become worn out or broken over time. Pulleys can become rusted and degraded, which can create excessive friction and cause the pulleys to begin to burn and melt. Idler pulleys can become seized up or jammed, which can cause the drive belt to malfunction and overheat.
If this is the case, and you are capable of doing so, then inspect the pulley and motors and replace any components that are visibly damaged. Check the assembly to ensure that the motors are pulling the pulleys properly and that they can do so without resistance.
Broken drive motor
The main drive motor is arguably the most important component in a washing machine, and when this component becomes defective, it can overheat and start making a burning smell. A washing machine motor can also break down when other components fail – for example, if the pulleys seize up, then the motor will not be able to function properly, which can cause it to break down.
When replacing a washing machine drive motor, remember to check that there is nothing else wrong with the appliance and that the components the motor operates are functioning properly. Do not replace a washing machine motor unless you are completely confident in what you are doing, and protect yourself from electrical shocks!
Burning smells from appliance plugs
The problem is not necessarily within the appliance itself, however; it might be within the plug or the cable. Repairing this kind of washing machine breakdown is usually far easier and cheaper than other types of washing machine repair, but you should still not attempt it unless you can do so safely.
Check the socket connections, the fuse contacts and the cable for signs of damage. Once you have identified what part of the plug, cable or socket is broken, simply replace it. Ensure you use a fuse that is appropriate for your particular appliance!
Avoiding washing machine breakdowns
The most commonplace preventable issue in washing machine breakdowns is overloading. If you put too many clothes in your washing machine, you will stress the internal components of the appliance, cause the motor and electrical elements to work overtime, and put the drive belt under greater pressure than it can safely handle.
So when loading clothes into your washing machine, remember, if in doubt, leave it out!
Don’t forget, we offer cover for a range of household appliances to ensure you have peace of mind should yours ever suffer a breakdown. Please contact us via our website or on 0345 3192 247 to find out more. Or call us today for urgent assistance. Our technical teams will run through some simple diagnostics to see if it can be fixed over the phone and if not, they’ll send a manufacturer engineer where possible to take a look.
Don’t attempt to repair the appliance yourself unless you’re really confident what you’re doing. A number of things could go wrong including risks of jamming, electrocution, burns, scalds, cuts and much more. We’ve got a number of highly skilled engineers up and down the country – so you’ll never be far from help when you need it most.
24|7 Home Rescue have a wide range of specialist cover plans for your home emergency and appliance needs. What’s more, you can customise your own cover to suit your exact requirements. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to discuss this in detail.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.