Washing Machine Drum Banging? (here’s why & what to do)

Washing machines make a lot of noise when running which is why so many are placed in utility rooms or garages to keep the noise away from family life. For those of us that have the washer in the kitchen, ignoring the sound of the washer becomes a part of life.

However, an unfamiliar banging noise coming from the drum of the washer cannot be so easily ignored. Nor should it be, because it could indicate a serious problem with your washing machine.

But, it’s not all bad news, in many cases, you can solve this annoying problem yourself. In this article we take a close look at banging noises emanating from the drum of the washing machine. We look at what causes the noise and offer the best solutions for each cause.

Why Is There A Banging Noise Coming From The Drum Of The Washing Machine?

There are several reasons that could cause a loud banging noise to come from the drum of the washing machine which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Overloaded DrumRemove excess laundry and stick to the weight limit in future
Uneven LoadRedistribute the laundry and wash heavy items separately
Unbalanced ApplianceLevel the appliance
Loose Drum ScrewsCheck and tighten the drum screws
Broken basket Or Spider ArmsReplace the basket or spider arms
Worn Shock AbsorbersReplace the shock absorbers
Worn Suspension RodsReplace the suspension rods
Faulty Drive Belt Or PulleyReplace the drive belt and/or pulley
Worn Drum BearingReplace the drum bearing

Let’s take a closer look at each of these possible problems;

An Overloaded Drum

Two people putting clothes in a laundry basket from the washer

If you cram too many clothes into the drum of your washer, it can lead to problems like a banging drum. 

You should never load the drum with more than around 75% of the maximum load capacity to ensure it runs correctly.

This means an 8 kg capacity drum shouldn’t have more than 6 kg of laundry added to the drum. This allows adequate space for the laundry to move freely around the drum and will also prevent the drum from banging against the side of the washer.

Uneven Load

The most likely reason for your washer to make loud banging sounds is an uneven load. This is particularly prevalent during the spin cycle when the drum is moving at its fastest.

Always make sure to load the laundry so that the load is even. This problem is often caused by trying to wash heavy items with lighter ones. You should always wash bulky items like bedding, towels or jeans separately to prevent this from becoming a problem.

Unbalanced Appliance

Another common cause of a banging drum is an uneven appliance. If the washing machine isn’t sited on level ground, it can cause the drum to become unbalanced and clash on the side of the casing.

You should ensure the washer is level using a spirit level. Check side to side and front to back. You can use the adjustable feet on the washer to level it up.

If all of the above is fine, your problem could be mechanical. Some of these issues can be checked by anyone while others might need to be tackled by a technician.

Loose Drum Screws

washing machine drum

The drum is held into position by the drum screws which can loosen over time. This could be causing the drum to bash against the side of the casing and create the loud banging noise.

Checking the drum screws involves removing the top and front panel which might be a step too far for many of you. If you do not feel capable of performing this check, we recommend getting a technician to do this for you.

Broken Basket Or Spider Arms

Front loading washing machines use spider arms to hold the drum basket in place. If there’s a problem with the basket or spider arms, the drum will not be held in place and could bang against the washer’s casing.

You can check the status of the basket and spider arms by gently moving the drum up and down. If there is excessive movement in the drum, the basket or spider arms could be damaged.

This is definitely a job for a technician to do as it involves removing panels and dismantling the drum assembly.

Worn Shock Absorbers

Front loading washing machines have shock absorbers that help to keep the drum balanced allowing it to spin evenly. You will need to remove the back panel to locate and check the shock absorbers. 

If they are disconnected or worn, they will need to be replaced. This is a relatively easy task, but if it’s a step too far for you, we recommend contacting a technician to do it for you.

Worn Suspension Rods

person checking the top load washing machine

On top loading washing machines, instead of shock absorbers, they have suspension rods. They are attached to the frame via springs and keep the appliance balanced when in operation.

If the suspension rods are damaged, they will make a loud clanging or banging noise during the spin cycle. Accessing the suspension rods can be tricky, which is why we recommend contacting a technician to check and replace these if necessary.

Faulty Drive Belt Or Pulley

The drum on your washer turns due to the drive belt and pulley system which is connected to the motor. If the drive belt or pulleys are damaged, it can allow the drum to bang on the casing.

You will need to dismantle some of the panels to access these parts which is why we recommend contacting a technician. If the drive belt or pulleys are damaged, they will need to be replaced.

Worn Drum Bearing

The drum (or tub) bearing keeps the drum spinning correctly during every rotation. It does this using ball bearings inside the bearing to facilitate every turn smoothly.

If the drum bearing becomes worn, it can cause the drum’s rotation to falter, leading to the loud banging sound. This is definitely a part that needs to be checked and replaced by a technician.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Making A Grinding Noise? (try this)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my washing machine drum banging?

If your washing machine drum is banging, it could be because; you have overloaded the drum, the load is uneven, the washing machine is uneven, the drive belt or pulley system is damaged, the basket or spider arms are defective, the drum screws are loose, the drum bearing is worn or the shock absorbers are worn and need replacing.

Why is the drum on my washing machine wobbling?

If the drum on your washing machine is wobbling it is most likely caused by an uneven load or an overloaded drum. You should only fill a washing machine’s drum to 75% of its capacity and wash heavy items separately.

Can I still use my washing machine if the bearings are going?

It is possible to use your washing machine if the bearings are going, but it’s not advisable. The bearings will only get worse which could cause damage to other components. It is advisable to get the bearings replaced as soon as possible.

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