Is It Safe To Use A Washing Machine When The Bearings Have Gone?


When your washing machine starts to sound like the starting grid of a NASCAR race and your laundry is louder than a Metallica concert, it’s safe to assume that you’re about to run headlong into the sort of bearing-based trouble that can wreak havoc on your pocketbook and bank balance

It’s the noise that no one wants to hear but, thanks in no small part to built-in obsolescence and the passage of time, everyone ends up experiencing at least once in their life.

The truth is, all washing machines eventually reach the end of their useful lives, and the root cause of their demise is almost always the same.

Sooner or later the drum bearings wear out, and when they do it can lead to all sorts of other problems.

It doesn’t matter what you do or how careful you are, the wear and tear of keeping up with you and your family’s laundry will take its toll on your washing machine.

The everyday demands of having clean clothing and the insidious nature of water will put an end to the seals that are designed to keep the bearings safe, and given enough time, the bearings in your machine will seize, rust, and fail. It’s an inevitable fact of life. 

But the end of the bearings doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of your washing machine, as you can always call a qualified technician to replace them and give your machine a new lease of life.

But that can be expensive, and sometimes when you’ve added up the costs of the call-out fee, the price of the parts you’ll need (in this case, new bearings) which can vary considerably depending on the manufacturer of your machine and the labor involved, it can be more financially prudent to just buy a new washing machine

Alternatively, you could always attempt to replace the bearings yourself.

The internet has made it possible to order any part for any machine at the click of a button. And YouTube has a never-ending visual encyclopedia of mechanical tutorials that can teach you how to strip and rebuild your washing machine.

So before you do call in a technician or start looking for a new washing machine, fixing your machine yourself is an avenue that’s worth exploring.

That said, while it’s a warning sign that you’re going to need to start thinking about fixing or replacing your washing machine when the bearings start to go, it isn’t something that you need to do immediately.

Even though their failure does mean that your washing machine will soon follow suit, as worn and broken bearings will eventually damage other parts of your machine, such as the drum and major electrical components, it is safe to use your washing machine if the bearings have gone, as long as you don’t use it for too long before you either replace the bearings or the machine itself. 

Can You Grease Washing Machine Bearings? 

Washing machine bearings work on the same principle that almost every set of bearings do, they’re there to assist in the operational rotation of an object.

And in a washing machine, the bearings are there to help the machine’s drum spin, which is an integral part of the washing cycle.

They work the same way, which means that just like every other set of bearings, it is possible to lubricate the bearings of your washing machine. 

However, it isn’t a simple or straightforward task, and in order to access the bearings to grease or lubricate them, you’ll have to take your washing machine apart first. The good news is that there are plenty of tutorials available to help you to do it.

The bad news is that the bearings are one of the least accessible parts of any washing machine.

Having said that, when you do eventually reach them, all you have to do in order to grease and lubricate the bearings is remove them, carefully and slowly prise off the oil seal and protective cover, and then grease the bearings using a manufacturer-approved lubricant.

Then replace the cover and oil seal, and reassemble your machine with your greased bearings in place. 

Is A Noisy Washing Machine Dangerous? 

A noisy washing machine can be incredibly dangerous to your bank balance or your pocketbook if you ignore it for too long, but it can also be easily fixed.

The worst-case scenario, if your machine is incredibly loud, is that the bearings are shot, in which case you’ll need to either have them replaced by a professional, replace them yourself or if the cost of installing new bearings is prohibitively expensive, invest in a new washing machine.

There is however also a best-case scenario and the fact that your washing machine is noisy could be due to the fact that it isn’t leveled properly and all you need to do is adjust its feet (which can easily be done manually) to make it purr like a kitten.

If that doesn’t fix it, the fact that’s rattling and vibrating like a Saturn V rocket on the launch pad means that there is something seriously wrong, and while it isn’t dangerous to life or limb, a noisy washing machine will inflict some serious punishment on your economic well being. 

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Is it safe to use a washing machine when the bearings have gone?

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