Homeowner's Guide To Replacing A Washing Machine Drive Belt

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Few things are more frustrating than appliances that simply won't stop having trouble. In addition to disrupting your daily routine, appliances with problems can also absorb a great deal of your time. A few months ago, I spent an entire Saturday trying to figure out why our dishwasher wasn't working. To end these kinds of problems, I decided that it would be smart to invest in an appliance services plan. Simply put, professional technicians would come out and repair our appliances whenever they stopped working properly. This plan was a lifesaver for our family, and this blog is all about why.

Homeowner's Guide To Replacing A Washing Machine Drive Belt

22 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Washing machines are more than just convenient--they're a central part of many people's hygiene and cleaning regimens. Thus, a malfunctioning washing machine can lead to huge amounts of stress. This article will teach you how to replace a drive belt that has become broken or excessively worn.

The Drive Belt

Your washing machine's drive belt has one simple but vital job: to ensure that the drum rotates properly during the wash cycle. Problems tend to arise when something physically prevents the drum from moving; for example, an article of clothing that has managed to become wedged in between the lip of the drum and its housing. Alternately, an excessively heavy load can impede the drum's movement.

Either of these problems tend to cause a lot of strain on the belt and pulley system. As the motor unsuccessfully continues trying to move the drum, the belt will be pulled backwards through its pulley system. This generates a large amount of friction, often causing the belt to wear down, melt, or even catch on fire. If you've noticed the smell of burning rubber, chances are your drive belt is in need of replacement.


To verify that something has indeed gone wrong with the belt, you'll need to open the casing of your washer. Tip it backwards and prop up the front edge with paint cans. This will allow you the clearance necessary to access the belt, while ensuring that the washer won't coming crashing down on you in the process. Next, use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the bottom panel of the washing machine.

The belt should be visible immediately once this panel is removed. Take a close look at the belt, using a flashlight to assess whether it appears excessively cracked, frayed, or burned. If so, plan to replace it as soon as possible. It's also a good idea to replace a worn out belt. A worn belt is one that can be pressed more than 1/2" from its resting position.


Now comes the simple part. To remove a bad belt, simply move it to the edge of the pulley and then manually rotate the motor, thus spinning the belt off in the process. Installing a new belt is just as simple. It's important to be sure, however, that your replacement is of the right size. Look up the part number in your owner's manual. If you don't have this, bring the old belt along with you to your appliance store; they should be able to help you identify the appropriate replacement. 

For more information, talk to a professional like Automatic Appliance.