What causes the basket spider in washers to break?

Similar to other components or parts, the basket spider in a washing machine may break due to many factors including aging, lack of maintenance, overloading, placing the washer on an unlevel surface, unbalanced drum, high spin speeds, corrosion, uneven distribution of loads, etc.

So, out of all the factors that cause the drum spider to break, some are controllable and some are not.

Factors such as regular maintenance, proper loading of the washing machine, and avoiding overloading can be controlled to prevent drum spider breakage.

However, certain factors, such as manufacturing defects or regular wear and tear over time, may not be controllable.

So, it’s important to keep the appliance in good shape and check it often to catch any problems before they get worse.

Key Takeaways

  • Basket Spiders refers to one of the components of the front-load washing machine that sits behind the drum.
  • It holds the drum and it typically consists of 3 arms that support the washer’s drum.
  • A damaged or worn-out basket spider or its arm will prevent the drum from rotating freely and may cause damage to the motor, eventually damaging the drum and other internal components.
  • It can wear out due to multiple reasons such as aging, corrosion, unbalanced washing machine, etc.

What causes the basket spider in washers to break?

Several factors can contribute to the breakage of the basket spider, including:


Damage caused to the basket spider due to aging can be hard to control.

But if you are lucky enough, the washing machine spider may last as long as the washer.

So, in order for luck to work in your favor, it is important to regularly service your washing machine.


Basket or drum spiders in front-load washing machines are usually made of cast aluminum or another metal that is prone to corrosion due to frequent contact with water or trapped moisture.

Sitting at the back of the drum creates a higher chance of attracting water due to leaks. The leaks can be from worn-out hoses or inlet valves. Also, a gap behind the drum due to a crack or worn-out seal may cause leakage, eventually leading to water damage.

Whatever the reason is, if you leave it unattended over time, it will eventually start corroding and break prematurely.

So, in any situation, if you notice leaks from the machine, make sure to get it fixed at the earliest.

Unbalanced drum

Over time, if you continue to run cycles on your washing machine with an unbalanced drum, gradually the spider arms will crack or completely break down.

If your washer is not level, you can use the carpenter’s leveling kit and place it on top of the washer.

Based on the readings in the leveling tool, you can adjust the legs and level the washer.


Frequent overloading of the washing machine will eventually lead to premature failure or breakdown of its basket spider.

Similar to a washer not being level and having an unbalanced drum, overloading is equally responsible for damaging the basket spider in a washing machine.

While the washing machine basket spiders are made of sturdy materials such as cast aluminum or other metals, they are only capable of supporting a certain amount of weight.

If you frequently overload your washing machine beyond its capacity, it will impact the basket spiders in the long run.

So, you should always load the specified amount of laundry depending on the capacity of your washing machine model.

High spin speeds

High-speed spinning in front-load washers can cause repeated stress on the basket spider arms, resulting in cracking or breakage over time.

Regular maintenance of your front-load washer can help prevent basket spider breakage due to high-speed spinning.

Symptoms of a damaged basket spider

If the basket spider becomes damaged or broken, it can cause a number of problems with the washer’s performance.

Here are some common signs that indicate a broken basket spider:

Loud banging noises during the spin cycle

Loud banging sounds made during the spin cycle are one of the most typical indications of a broken basket spider.

Wobbling or shaking of the tub during the wash cycle

The tub wobbling or swaying throughout the wash cycle is another indication of a broken basket spider.

This occurs as a result of the drum’s unbalance, which might make it move and generate vibrations.

Also Read: How to balance a washing machine drum?

Visible cracks or damage to the spider arms

Cracks or damage to the spider arms is another telltale sign of a damaged basket spider.

If the metal arms of the basket spider are twisted or damaged, it is obvious that the spider is broken and has to be replaced.

Water leaking from the washer

Last but not least, water leakage from the washer may be caused by a damaged basket spider.

This is because the drum is not being supported properly, which can cause it to move around and damage the seals that keep water inside the washer.

Tips to Prevent Basket Spider Breakage

Preventing basket spider breakage requires some care and attention, here are some tips to help you avoid this problem:

  • Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Make sure you’re using the correct amount of detergent and not overloading the washer.
  • Distribute Laundry Evenly: Make sure the laundry is evenly distributed in the tub before starting the wash cycle.
  • Avoid High-Speed Spin Cycles: Try to avoid using high-speed spin cycles unless necessary, and limit them to only a few times per week.
  • Clean the Washer Regularly: Regularly cleaning your washer can help prevent excess buildup of detergent, fabric softeners, and other residues that can contribute to basket spider breakage.

Read: How to replace a drum spider in the washing machine?

Final Thoughts

Washing machine basket spiders are installed to hold the drum in place and move them during function.

Regular inspection or timely servicing of the washer not only helps to prevent damage to the drum spider but also prolongs the lifespan of the washer and other internal components too.

Also, as a best practice, always make sure your washing machine is not overloaded and is balanced to prevent the basket spider from wearing out.

Lastly, if the basket spider is damaged, the replacement can be done at home with a little know-how in troubleshooting electronic appliances.

However, the task may become challenging at times, and it’s better to hire a service professional if you are unsure about the replacement procedure.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at) portablelaundry.com