Washing machines are household appliances facilitating relaxing lifestyles worldwide. Unlike other electronics used in residences, washing machines do not house any gases, e.g. Freon. However, the phenomenon of exploding washing machines continues to baffle experts worldwide.
Do Washing Machines Have the Capacity to Explode?
Washing machines do have the capacity to explode and in recent years, big and well-known washing machine brands experienced customer complaints on the same. Top loader washing machines were the main culprits, while a few front-loading machines exploded causing bodily harm. Customers describe loud noises, similar to car crashes when their machines explode. Others claim pictures shaking on walls, and floors vibrating before explosions occur. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has recorded several complaints.
What Takes Place when a Washing Machine Explodes?
Certain washing machines boast a counter-balancing block used to keep the machine stable. This block keeps the machine stable, particularly when it is in a spin.
Experts aren’t sure if power surges cause the block to be unstable, but these blocks have been known to shoot the housing of washing machines.
Due to the weak nature of the loading-bay of washing machines, it is easy for parts to shoot through.
For example, a front-loader usually has nothing but glass between users, clothes, and electronic parts of the machine.
A top-loader has an even weaker top-door. When explosions take place, there is little to prevent clothes and other more damaging metal parts from hitting owners.
Because it is such a rare occurrence, customer reviews rarely mention exploding machines. With millions buying and replacing machines globally, it just so happens that exploding machines were indeed a rare occurrence, one that lead to a few recalled appliances.
Reports on Exploding Washing Machines – Main Culprits
Between 2016 and 2018, several units of washing machines had been recalled since they have become infamous for exploding.
Reports claimed that moms had near-death or injury misses when their washing machines went rogue.
One mom was hospitalized with a concussion and over 2 million units of one washing machine model had to be recalled for fear of more damage.
The spokespeople, not surprisingly, had little to comment about regarding exploding products.
Speculation didn’t help them either, as consumers came up with their own theories as to what happened.
Signs a Washing Machine Might Explode
If you are familiar with washing machines, you know of loading capacities, and risks associate therein.
When a washing machine exceeds these loading limits, a few things may occur, including explosions. On that note, here a few more (exploding) washing machine symptoms to be wary of.
A washing machine should only have one weirdly loud noise, if any. Most machines use intense power to spin and dry clothes.
This causes certain machines to produce a whirring sound, which should not turn into a roaring sound.
A roaring sound implies overload, in turn causing strain to the drum and electrical parts. A sign of damage already brewing, and an explosion is not out of the question.
If your machine is unstable, check it again when it is empty. Simply put, your machine should be stable when empty.
If you cannot make it wobble by touching the sides, front and/or back, it should not shake when it is in a spin. This shaking when the machine is in operation causes parts to be out of sync.
These parts, along with a heavy load to wash and spin, create a volatile and unpredictable environment.
When heavy shaking occurs, it may cause vibrations in other parts of the house. When shaking occurs, and if the load proves to be too heavy, a machine may topple over.
In extreme cases, you may find your washing machine has moved from its normal position, to another position across the room.
Though this is not an explosion per se, the move may occur because of a minor explosion, or it may be leading up to one.
More on Exploding Washing Machines
In 2017 over 2.8 million washing machines were recalled, and many replaced.
Several reports claimed:
- Detached themselves from their housing, or chassis, with extreme vibrations experienced within homes.
- Caused serious explosions resulting in major injuries, including concussion and cracked jaws, but no deaths.
- Penetrated laundry rooms, in one case, a garage wall, straight into the owners’ living room.
What to do When Machines Act Unexpectedly?
Immediate Responses when a Machine Explodes?
As is with any faulty household appliance, be sure to call customer care numbers readily available for all major brands.
Warranty documents and receipts often have a placement for easily accessible hotlines for all complaints.
For all intents and purposes, it is important to ensure any and all washing machine damage, directly and indirectly, has not affected electrical wiring within the home.
Any Counter Measures to Ensure it Doesn’t Cause more Damage
In this regard, and probably more immediate a response is to call your local fire department, and electrician to check the electricals.
Turn off your main power supply, or circuit breakers, and disconnect your washing machine. Once it is completely off your power grid, you may turn the power back on, remembering to make that call to your local electrician.
Washing machines are meant to make life profoundly easier, and they do. On exploding washing machines, it is unfortunate that it has happened in the past, but these isolated incidents have not, and should not deter you from making a purchase.