Washing Machine Bearings: 6 Answers you must Know

Washing Machine bearing is made up of small metal balls put together in a ring-like structure to support the rotation of the drum. These bearings are located at the back of your washer if it’s a front-loader and bottom for top-loaders.

It’s an extremely important component as it supports the drum’s rotation.

Since it’s the most overworked component in your washer, it also tends to get damaged.

Here are the 6 important things to keep in mind when working with a bad washing machine bearing.

How do I know if my washing machine bearings are bad?

The most common symptom of a worn-out bearing OR bad bearing is a loud sound when the drum rotates. It may also sometimes feel like something is banging inside the washing machine as the drum rotates.

The other invisible symptom is the slower RPM rate. Even though you are selecting the highest setting to wash OR to dry the clothes, the drum simply does not rotate as fast as it should.

Another way to identify if the bearing has been damaged or not is to manually spin the drum and see if you hear a loud rumbling noise. If you hear a loud rumbling noise while spinning the drum manually, your bearing is likely damaged.

What does a bad washer bearing sound like?

Worn out OR damaged bearings can have different types of sounds associated. Most common amongst all is scrapping sound, mostly occurring due to rust. Sometimes when the inner drum is loose, you may feel as if something is banging inside, so the banging sound is also a common symptom of worn-out bearing.

In scenarios, where bearings are completely gone, a symptom such as excessive shaking along with the loud banging sound is also possible.

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Why is my washing machine so loud and shaking?

Excessive shaking does not necessarily mean damaged bearings.

Your washer may shake excessively if you overload it with laundry OR when the clothes are not distributed evenly inside. Having said that excessive shaking with loud sounds is a sign that the drum is struggling to move freely. If you notice a loud scratching sound OR banging sound, the bearing is likely damaged.

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Is it worth replacing bearings on a washing machine?

It’s worth replacing the bearings on your washing machine if you know how to do it, as it saves the labour cost. If your washer is extremely old and you don’t know how to replace the bearings, it’s best to go for a new washer.

Most likely, you will spend a lot on labour cost as well as for the replacement bearings, if you want to get it done through expert labour.

Having said that, if you can keep the labour cost low you should always try replacing the bearings.

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Can you use a washing machine with worn bearings?

Yes, you can continue to use your washer if the bearings are barely worn out. Having said that, it’s not recommended to continue using the worn-out bearing for a prolonged period as it will damage the other parts of the appliance such as the drum and basket.

A mild scratching sound while the drum rotates is an indicator that your bearing is either worn out or damaged. You can continue using the washer even with a mild scratching sound, it’s the loud sound and sometimes banging sound that indicates your washer needs repair and it has become unusable.

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How much does it cost to replace a washing machine tub bearing?

Depending on your washer type, replacing the washing drum bearing should roughly cost you between $120 – $190 including the labour charges. The properly placed bearing should last more than 10 years.

It’s recommended to replace the bearings when your washer makes a loud noise and shakes excessively. Having said that, only consider a replacement if your washer is not too old, it simply does not make sense to replace the bearings on 15 years old washer.

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Final Thoughts

Bearings are an important component in any washing machine. It helps to rotate the drum at high RPM to clean and dry the clothes.

Damaged bearings not only make your washing machine inefficient but also affects other parts inside your washer, hence you must get the washer checked if you notice any abnormal sounds.

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