Any issue with your washing machine is a pain, but one which requires you to restart an entire load of laundry is really annoying.
Worse than this, is one which has many different causes, making it hard to pin down exactly what the issue is.
Moreover, even if you are able to find out what the issue is, electric faults can be difficult to fix without some expert knowledge.
The fuse in your washing machine can blow for a number of different reasons. Like any fuse, this is a safety feature usually related to one of the electronic components in the machine failing, resulting in an overload of current to the fuse. If the fuse has blown or keeps blowing when you replace it, then the components in the machine need to be investigated.
We’ll look at the problems that arise from a fuse in your washing machine blowing, what some of the common causes are and how to identify certain causes.
Why a Blown Fuse is Bad
A blown fuse usually means that you need to restart your load of laundry at the very least.
This means that you end up wasting both time, water and detergent to fix the issue.
As annoying as this can be, this isn’t the worst thing that comes from this though.
Replacing a blown fuse is easy, provided you know the current rating of the fuse which blew.
Because of this, it can be tempting to just replace the fuse and carry on as usual.
Not only will this usually just result in another blown fuse, but it can also cause lasting damage to your machine.
This can exacerbate existing issues with the components in your machine that caused the blown fuse in the first place.
If a fuse blows, it is best to try and work out what the root cause of this was, rather than replacing the fuse and carrying on.
Common Causes of Blown Fuses From Washing Machines
There are a number of different things that can causes your washing machine to blow a fuse.
Many of these are electronic, but some can be due to leaks inside the appliance.
Dampness: This one is a prevalent problem in colder weather, especially if you keep your machine in an outhouse.
If there is moisture in the air where the machine is kept, then there is a good chance that some of this could end up inside (and not in the drum where you generally want moisture).
This can then lead to shorts in various components in the washing machine, which will almost certainly result in a blown fuse.
This one can be tricky to diagnose because a blown fuse can happen here pretty much any time, either when you turn it on or during operation.
Defective start/stop switch: This switch can develop a fault over time due to the heat produced from repeated applications of current through its connection.
This can end up with a short circuit which will blow the fuse (or trip the circuit breaker).
In a lot of cases this will usually mean the switch stops working and you are no longer able to start the washing machine.
Washing machine leak: This one is usually pretty obvious if it’s happening.
If there is water coming out the front of your machine while it runs, there is a good chance that that water is getting into other parts of the machine as well.
This will almost certainly lead to short circuits in any number of the inner components, which results in blown fuses.
Heating element: If the heating element in the machine (the part that heats the water to wash your clothes) starts to act up, this can cause a blown fuse, as the component will often end up drawing too much current.
If this is the cause, the washing machine will reach the heating stage of the wash cycle before failing, which can usually be easier than other faults to notice.
Power socket overloaded: This one is easy to fix if it ends up being the problem.
In general, you shouldn’t connect more than one kitchen appliance to the same outlet.
A washing machine and a dryer, for example, should be connected to separate outlets, as the current being drawn from both together is usually too much.
You also should generally never use extension cords with kitchen appliances, as you can’t be sure that the extension has the best wiring required for these things.
So that’s a decent list of common causes for faults in your washing machine that lead to blown fuses, you can look at how to troubleshoot your washer to find out the best way to fix these issues.
How to Troubleshoot Your Washing Machine
As always, before doing any kind of troubleshooting, disconnect your washing machine from the mains.
One of the best ways to troubleshoot the problem is to try and identify at what point the fault actually occurs.
For example, if the washing machine won’t even turn on to begin with, then the issue would potentially be with a faulty start/stop switch.
If the washing machine appears to be running fine until the water needs to be heated, then the heating element is the most likely culprit.
If you’re able to watch and pinpoint when the issue is happening, you’ll be able to find the root cause much quicker.
Of course, if the issue is seemingly happening at random points in the cycle then this becomes really hard.
If you’re comfortable with doing so, you can get the multi meter out.
This tool helps you identify electrical faults by testing resistance, current and voltage between two points in a circuit.
If you’re able to get into the washing machine itself it would definitely be beneficial to test some of the classic problem components.
Manufacturer’s instructions or websites sometimes hold information on what values for current and resistance there should be for their components and you can compare your readings to these.
It’s not unusual for there to be a little bit of deviation, but if one of the components gives a reading that’s way off, you can be pretty confident that you’ve found the cause of your problem.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a massive amount you can do on your own once you have found the issue and usually a professional engineer is needed.
So the most important thing is not to ignore this issue! Don’t simply replace the fuse and carry on as normal.
Doing so can lead to serious damage to your washing machine.
As usual, if in doubt, always defer to the manufacturer themselves!
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