If you find that your washing machine is not working at its best anymore, then it could be due to the drum bearings being damaged. Drum bearings are positioned at the back of the drum, and work by letting the inner drum turn smoothly.
There are a few tell-tale signs that will show if your drum bearings are at fault.
When your machine starts making a lot of noise during a cycle, this could be caused by faulty drum bearings. Another issue could be that the inner drum is moving more than it normally would, especially when compared to the outer tub.
If it becomes clear that these components are causing problems for your machine, then you’ll need to consider whether it is worth replacing the washing machine bearings, or whether you would benefit more from purchasing an entirely new machine.
Replacing them may feel like more of an inconvenience than its worth, and it isn’t always cheap to purchase new bearings, either. However, a new machine is a costly investment in itself.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at washing machine bearings in more detail, so you can decide if it’s worth replacing them.
Factors to Consider
When you’re thinking about whether to replace your washing machine bearings, there are several areas for consideration.
1. How Old is the Machine?
It is essential to think about the age of your washing machine.
If it is a new machine, there lies an argument that if the drum bearings are faulty already, it is probably better to replace it anyway. However, if you do replace the bearings instead, then you’re likely to get many more years out of this machine than if it were an older model.
An older machine will be less likely to benefit from new drum bearings, as it may only have a year or two left in it regardless. Something else could go wrong even if the bearings are replaced or repaired, and therefore it may be better to purchase a new machine. Logically, the older the machine, the more you should opt for a new model if the bearings stop working properly.
The validity of the machine’s warranty will also link into its age. If the warranty is still valid, you could save money in the long run by replacing the washing machine bearings, as opposed to purchasing a new machine instead.
3. How Often Do You Use the Machine?
If you are someone who likes to freshen up clothes on a regular, if not daily, basis, or if you have a large family and frequently wash big loads, then you may find that replacing the washing machine bearings would not make as much sense as purchasing a new machine.
Using the machine more often means that you’ll suffer more if it stops working suddenly, and there’s a greater risk of that happening if you only replace the drum bearings, and not the whole machine. A shiny new machine will likely see you through for longer.
Replace or Repair?
The question of whether your drum bearings should be replaced or repaired is one that you’ll need to think about. As easy as it may be to simply replace them, it could be an expensive job, and repairing them could be a more cost-effective option.
Let’s take a look at the argument for both replacing or repairing the drum bearings:
Option 1: Replace
By replacing your worn-out drum bearings with shiny new ones, you’ll essentially be giving your washing machine a new lease of life.
You may find that doing this means you’ll get a few more years out of your machine, and it will freshen it up. In addition to this, replacing only the bearings will likely be cheaper than purchasing an entirely new machine.
Typically, washing machine bearings last around 10 years, so by replacing them, you can feel assured that the fresh new bearings won’t wear out anytime soon.
However, how much does it cost to change the bearings in a washing machine?
Well, the answer varies depending on the type of machine you have, and if the cost of hiring someone to come out and replace them. Generally, you can expect to pay between £100-£200 to change the drum bearings. It is worth assessing whether it makes more economical sense to repair the bearings yourself, or to purchase a new machine instead.
Option 2: Repair
Repairing the washing machine bearings is a more budget-friendly option, and therefore more economical than replacing them, or buying a new machine.
Although the prospect of repairing them yourself can seem like a laborious job, if you are relatively handy then it isn’t as difficult as it may seem. There are several useful videos available online, and you don’t need that many tools to get the task complete.
However, by repairing them instead of replacing them, you may find that they could need fixing again, and may be more prone to damage than a new set of bearings.
Should You Just Buy a New Machine?
Considering whether it’s worth replacing the washing machine bearings may also raise the question of whether you would benefit more from purchasing a new machine instead.
There are several factors that can make purchasing a new machine more appealing than replacing or repairing the bearings.
With a new machine, you’ll remove any inconvenience that replacing the bearings can cause. For example, you won’t need to read any instructions to start fixing them, and you won’t need to call someone out to fix or replace them. This also means, with labour costs included, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to purchase a new machine.
If your machine with its damaged bearings is already old, then buying a new machine makes sense. Simply replacing the bearings could mean that something else could go wrong with the machine later down the line, in which case you’ll be spending more money than you potentially would have on purchasing a new machine to begin with.
Another factor to consider is whether you can even replace the bearings at all. Some more modern machines feature outer sealed drums, which means you can’t physically change the bearings. If this is the case, you’ll need to purchase a new machine anyway if the bearings become damaged.
So, is it worth replacing washing machine bearings?
The answer isn’t black and white, and it completely depends on your machine.
Overall, the best advice we can offer is to assess how old your machine is, and whether the costs required to replace the bearings is a big enough saving to warrant a replacement as opposed to purchasing a new machine instead.
In terms of cost, the cost of replacing the bearings varies depending on your machine, and can cost between £100-£200. If you have a new machine, then it may be worth the investment, but if it’s old, then replacement bearings may not do much to salvage the machine.
If you decide to get a new washing machine instead of just replacing the bearings, check out our roundup of the best washing machines in the UK.
Thanks for reading, and we hope this has helped you! Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!