When washing the laundry, we rarely stop and think about its mechanics; we’re just happy the appliance can clean the clothes for us. Problems arise when you can hear nothing but disturbing rumbling sounds. These noises are almost always an indicator that the bearings have gone. And now, you might be wondering how much it will cost you to get them fixed.
The washing machine bearings replacement cost ranges from $150 to $185 for labor and materials, on average. If you have some electric know-how, you could replace them yourself and cut off costs; it’ll only cost you about $75 in this case.
Is It Worth Replacing Washing Machine Bearings?
Replacing your washer’s bearings is more than worth it, even if you have to hire a professional for the job.
As mentioned above, you can expect to pay between $150 and $185; the final price varies based on your location, washer brand, and the actual time required to complete the task. And that’s for hiring a professional – you’ll unlikely spend more than $100 to replace them yourself.
By comparison, buying and installing a new washing machine can cost you anywhere between $450 and $3,500, depending on where you live, what type of washer you buy, and the actual time needed to install the washer.
Considering the national average, most homeowners will spend about $700 for buying and installing a basic front-load washer with no bells and whistles.
If you know how to hook up the new washer yourself, you can expect to pay about $300 for a basic washer.
What Does A Washing Machine Sound Like When The Bearings Have Gone?
There are several signs that your washer’s bearings have gone, but unusual noises are often the main symptoms homeowners notice.
It is important to understand that your washer can make different noises when various components (not only the bearings) break. Knowing the difference between these sounds can help you understand whether it’s broken bearings or something else you’re dealing with.
When it comes to bearings, the washer will make a continuous rumbling sound while the drum is spinning. This is different from a rattling sound, which is more like a bunch of keys hitting one another. The same rumbling noise can come from the motor bearings, too. Thus, you should also check the drum and see if you can shake it easily by hand when the washer is turned off.
If you can hear the same rumbling sound when you’re spinning the drum manually or the drum shakes easily, you’ll likely have to replace the drum bearings.
Washer Bearing Replacement Cost
The washing machine bearing replacement cost can vary from brand to brand. Some manufacturers have cheaper parts compared to others. Check out below the average cost for the most common washing machine brands.
Samsung Washing Machine
Samsung is one of the most popular washers brands; these appliances are known for their longevity and minimal problems, but even they need maintenance. Samsung washing machine bearings have a lifespan of about five to seven years, and a new kit would cost you about $65.99, on average.
LG washers are as popular as Samsung, but the appliances don’t last quite as long. To make up for the required maintenance and shorter lifespan, the brand offers cheap replacement parts. In fact, a new drum bearing kit for a front-load washer will only cost you about $25.99.
Whirlpool Cabrio Washing Machine
Whirlpool is another brand that has made a name for itself in the washing machine market. The Cabrio model is one of the most popular top-load washers. Similar to Samsung, Whirlpool’s parts have a relatively long lifespan. That said, a new set of bearings can cost you about $51.59.
While Kenmore doesn’t enjoy the same popularity as Samsung or Whirlpool, these washers appeal to homeowners on a budget. Not only will you pay less upfront compared to bigger brand names, but a new set of bearings will only cost you $16.99 on average.
How To Change Washing Machine Bearings: 5 Easy Steps
Having the washer bearings replaced isn’t very expensive, but you could save some bucks if you replace them yourself. Are you up for the job? Follow the quick guide below.
1. Gather the necessary tools
- Socket wrench
- Adjustable pliers
- Wire brush
- Flathead screwdriver
- Rubber mallet
- Wooden dowel
- Bearing seal
- Penetrating oil
2. Disassemble the washer’s cabinet
To access the washing machine bearings, you have to take its cabinet apart. Before doing anything else, turn off the appliance and unplug it.
Turn off the cold and hot water supply, then follow the steps in your washer’s manual to take apart its front cover and the V-belt connecting the drum to the motor.
If your washing machine has a stator motor, remove it by unclamping its wires. Remove the stator motor from the armature and set it aside.
3. Remove the old bearings
Once you’ve removed the cabinet and the drum, you can remove the old bearings by knocking them off with a tool, such as a wrench or a chisel. The bearings should come off easily.
4. Install the new bearings
Before installing the new bearings, it is essential to clean the interior of your washer. Use a wire brush to clean the tub’s shaft and spider.
Once cleaned, apply the bearing seal and level it with a flathead screwdriver. Spray some penetrating oil on the outer side of the bearing and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After this time, remove all traces of oil from the bearing housing with a nylon brush and smear some dishwashing liquid on its surface.
Insert the outer bearing into the cavity and tap lightly with a rubber mallet to set it in place. Switch to a wooden dowel and continue tapping until the top of the bearing is flush against the surrounding surface.
Turn the housing on the other side and install the inner bearing following the same steps. When done, position the bearing housing back in its place.
5. Assemble the cabinet
Insert a new rubber drum housing seal and assemble the cabinet following the steps in your washer’s manual. Because each washing machine has different components, the safest way to accomplish this is by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Roughly, you’ll have to reverse all the steps that you did to disassemble the washing machine.
When you’re done, hook up the appliance to the water lines if you’ve disconnected it, or turn on the water otherwise. Plug it in and test its functioning. If you still hear rumbling noises, it’s time to call a technician.
Is It Safe To Use A Washing Machine When Bearings Have Gone?
You could keep using the washing machine even after the bearings have gone; however, you won’t enjoy its service for too long. The drum will eventually stop rotating, so you’ll have to replace the bearings sooner or later.
Something to keep in mind is that not replacing the bearings as soon as possible can develop into greater damage. If you don’t want to spend heaps of cash on a new washer, you should avoid using the washing machine after the bearings have gone and service it as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although changing the drum bearings isn’t exactly complicated, this procedure requires some knowledge. If you’d like to give it a try but still have questions or concerns, check out these answers.
How long should a front load washer last?
The average lifespan of a washer, front load or otherwise, is about 14 years. The actual lifespan depends on many factors, though.
If you want your washing machine to last so long, you have to take care of all scheduled maintenance and use a descaler each time you wash a load. Installing a whole-home water softener can also prolong the appliance’s lifespan, especially if the water in your area is very hard.
In addition to everything above, you should avoid loading the washer beyond its maximum capacity.
How much is a new washing machine?
The price of a new washer ranges from about $300 to over $1,500. At the lower end of the spectrum, you can find basic washing machines with no particular functions and poor energy ratings.
At the higher level, you can find hi-tech washers you can control from a distance via an app, and that boasts loads of washing functions. Comparatively, a new washer/dryer would cost you between $500 and $2,000.
How long will a washing machine last with noisy bearings?
It is hard to say, but probably not more than a few months at most. All rattling and rumbling sounds coming from the washer are concerning, and you should investigate the cause immediately.
While broken drum bearings aren’t the end of the world, a broken motor could set the appliance on fire. For this reason, you should either repair the washer yourself or hire a professional to take care of the task.
Replacing the washing machine bearings won’t cost you the world, but it can give you peace of mind. Repairing your washer will undeniably cost less than replacing the appliance altogether. You could even complete the task yourself if you have a bit of experience.