Thumps, bumps, and squeaks
We’ve all been there. Your clothes washer thumps and you wonder if that’s normal, or your bedroom floor squeaks but you figure that just happens in old houses. “Most homeowners have a spidey sense when they hear something that’s not right,” says Ed Padilla, founder and director of the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals. Some people address such problems promptly while others put them off, but Padilla finds there’s a certain kind of homeowner who’s especially good at resolving issues. “In my experience, women find these things more than men,” he admits. “I’ll frequently get a call from a wife who’s hearing something in the attic, for example, her husband tells her it’s nothing, but when we come out, sure enough, there’s a problem.”
While there are some things you can fix yourself, you should never try to DIY these home improvements.
Thumping in washing machine
That thumping sound a washing machine sometimes makes – typically as a result of an unbalanced load – is more than just annoying. It could mean a problem with your balance ring, which is a ring filled with fluid positioned at the top of the tub to counterbalance your load. “Most drums spin at a velocity of 1,000 to 1,200 RPM, and because there’s not a lot of room in the machine, the drum is very close to the control board,” explains Scott McConnell, board member of the United Appliance Servicers Association. “If you don’t address that thumping, the drum in the machine could eventually come so far out of balance it starts smashing the control board – and what would have been a little expense becomes a repair worth more than the machine.”
Squeaking in washer or dryer
With their belts, rollers, pulleys and drums, washers and dryers have more moving parts than most appliances – and there are certain sounds in these complex machines that should get your attention. “Never ignore a squeak because it’s metal on metal rubbing together at a high velocity,” says McConnell. A little squeak could develop into a big problem like a complete drum collapsing. “We’ve seen dryer drums cut in half allowing clothing to fall into the heater area. We’ve also seen washer bearings completely fail at high spin, which tends to destroy a lot more than just the tub.”