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Causes for Why Washer Smells Like Burning

The moving parts of a washer tend to wear out or can become fouled and loose causing unwanted friction and a washer that smells like burning plastic while it is running. The moving components of the washer can be checked for signs of washer burning smell and then diagnosed to fix the problem. Some of the most common causes for a burning smell from a washer are listed below: 

Belt Friction

One of the most common and easiest causes to check for if you are experiencing a burning smell from your washer is the belt friction against the washer tub. Some washers have a rubber coupler between the transmission and the motor that takes a beating. If there is no agitation or spin and the burning smell from the washer is like rubber, the belt may need to be checked for fraying, splitting, and replacement.

Electrical Problems

Burning smells are not all created equal. If the burning smell coming from the washer is electrical not rubber scented, this may indicate water leaking onto electrical components and causing a shortage or sparking. 

Pump Belt Issues

On some washing machine models, the water pump requires a rubber belt to drive the drain pump. The belt itself is usually in the shape of a V and comes from the motor to the drain pump pulley where it operates to open and close the drain pump. If the washer burning smell is coming from the drain, you should inspect the pump belt for issues or damage washer repair

Motor Pulley Friction

Since the pulley is designed to be in contact with the belts that connect the motor of the washer to the washer drum and drains, friction is inevitable. However, if the motor pulley connected to any one of the components of the washer becomes fouled, stuck, or jammed, it can create too much friction and heat that can cause a washer burning smell. 

Actions to Take for a Burning Smell Coming From the Washer

The actions that you can take for a burning smell coming from the washer are fairly easy and require you to unplug the machine then either tilt it onto its back to get access to the underside or to open the top lid to get access to the components around the washer drum. Some of the easiest actions to take for cause of why your washer smells like burning are listed below: 

Check and Replace the Belt

The belt for the washer drum can be accessed by tipping the washer on its side and looking up from the bottom. The motor and transmission may also have a rubber coupler that could be checked during this inspection as well. If you see that the rubber belt or coupler is frayed, worn, or broken, you will need to buy a new belt and replace the old one. 

Washer Leaking on Electrical

The best thing you can do as an action for a washer that smells like burning from electrical problems is to unplug the washer and call a professional electrician or appliance repair person. 

If you can open the top lid of the washer with a sparkling knife or flat head screwdriver and then spot where the water may be spilling onto the electrical components, you may be able to address the leak. The most common action that you can take is to patch or replace the water intake or drain tubing that goes into the washtub. Look for any damage or tubing that is missing. 

Replace or Reposition the Pump Belt

The small pump belt that connects the motor to the drain pump hole may need to be repositioned or replaced. The belt runs from the motor and can fray or break due to use and age of the belt. If you see any damage, replace the belt.

The belt can also come loose from the pulley system that holds it in place, causing friction that can make the washer smell like burning. In this case, the action to take is easy. All you have to do is reposition the belt back onto the channel of the pulley. 

Clean or Replace Pulleys

The pulleys are meant to handle the friction of the belts leading from the motor of the washer. However, if they become damaged, worn, or too dirty for movement to take place without a lot of friction, they can cause the burning smell. 

The pulleys can be accessed from the underside of the washer and are the casings that the belts run through on their way around the washer tub or to the drains. Try to clean them of any debris. However, if you see that there are pieces of rubber or rubber dust under the washer when you move it, it may be time to replace the pulleys and belts together. 

Trusting Washer to MAAR24 for All of Your Repair Needs

The highly trained and experienced professionals at MAAR24 are known for great customer service, honest quotes, and fast and friendly service. Save yourself from damage and wasted time by contacting us to troubleshoot and fix the washer smelling like burning. 

The advantages of working with the MAAR24 are: 

  • Years of experience with all types of appliances
  • Free custom quotes and service call
  • Fast and reliable service 
  • A team dedicated to helping you
  • Legitimate TSSA Licensing 
  • Parts ordering and servicing


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