Washing Machines: How to Maintain and Prevent Problems
Closing and reopening the water faucets that supply the washer each month is a good idea, especially if you have hard water. Otherwise they may bind up and not be able to be closed when needed, or leak at intermediate positions.
It is a good idea to inspect your fill hoses for weak spots or bubbles.
It is also a good idea to replace the washers inside the hose ends every year or two.
When you have the hoses off for washer replacement check for buildup on the screens in the fill valves onto which the hoses attach and clean the screens as necessary.
If your machine has variable water level/temp settings, especially if they are push-buttons rather than rotary knobs, you should change the settings through all positions once in a while- or they tend to function only in the setting you always use and freeze up there. Maytags and some Whirlpools are particularly prone to this.
DO NOT overload the washing machine. It will clean your clothes less efficiently, and it will cause undue stress on the moving parts of the machine causing premature wearing down and breaking of the machine.
Load clothes loosely into the machine. Never try and compact clothes to fit more in!
Photo of washing machine by Mark Hillary/Flickr Creative Commons.