If you have a clothes washer in your home, you probably have either a "top loader" or a "front loader." A top loader washer loads clothes into the top of the machine through a covered opening and has an agitator in the middle of the drum. A front loader washer loads like a dryer, from the front of the machine, and relies on the spinning drum without an agitator to wash your clothes. Both types of washers will need washer repair at some point; that is just the nature of having appliances. However, there are some repairs you will encounter with a top loader that you will not encounter with a front loader, and vice versa.
Front Loader Repairs Not Experienced with Top Loaders
Front loaders rely heavily on the doors locking before beginning a load. If the door is not secure on the washer, it will not start. If you have a front loader whose door does not loudly click when shut all the way and it refuses to shut, the locking mechanism is the first thing the repair technician checks. The second will be the hinges, followed by any blockages that prevent the door from closing.
Clogged drainage holes are another problem that front loaders have. Because water, soap and lint or particles all exit the washer through drainage holes, these drainage holes are frequently blocked. Clearing the drainage holes between loads helps, but if they get really clogged, the rubber gasket at the front of the machine has to be removed to clear the clog.
Top Loader Repairs Not Experienced with Front Loaders
Top loading washers have a click switch that lets the machine know that the door up top is closed and ready to operate. You can find the click switch by looking for either a rounded little pin, or a slot where a tab on the door fits. The tabs can break off over time, the buttons can stick in position, and the switches underneath can break. Thankfully, all of the above are easy fixes, especially if you are able to lift the top portion of the washer up to get at the switch.
Agitators are another problem. Sometimes clothing or items like crayons, pens, markers and even rubber balls can get stuck under the agitators. This may prevent the agitator from moving, or worse, break and melt the writing and coloring utensils so that they destroy your laundry while you are attempting to clean it. All of these top loader issues need to be corrected by a washer repair professional.
In a top loader it usually does not matter if the door is open or closed. You could open the door mid-cycle, with the agitator going, and still be able to toss more laundry in. High-tech, top-loading washers may have locks, just as a safety measure, but most of rest do not.