Aside from special tools available at appliance dealers, like the Agi-Tamer for pulling a stuck agitator, repairing a washing machine just takes some tools that the average do it yourselfer will have on hand. Here is a list of essential tools you will need:
1. Screwdrivers– both slot and Philips head with 4 to 6 inch shafts.
2. Nutdrivers- at the minimum 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch nut drivers- with 4 to 6 inch long shafts.
3. Wrenches- a set of open end or box wrenches as well as a set of socket wrenches.
4. Electrical wire stripper or pliers with diagonal cutting function- for cutting and stripping electrical wiring.
5. Flashlight– for looking into the dark corners and crannies of your machine in the basement/utility room.
6. Alligator Jumper- cheater wire with alligator clips on the ends for testing electrical circuits. Get 14-16 gauge ones about 12-20 inches long, available at electronics stores.
7. Turkey Baster- the syringe type one, for cleaning fill hoses and valve strainer screens
8. Volt-Ohm Meter (VOM)- for circuit testing. Don’t need an expensive one with all the bells and whistles, but has to have a dial with both A.C. Voltage and Resistance settings on the dial. Analog one type with the pointer and dial are better for beginners than digital types.
If you have any of the following, grab them too, if not, you don’t need to go out and buy them, they’re just nice to have tools that will make the job easier:
1. Extensible Inspection Mirror- the little square mirror on a telescoping handle. Helps you look at hard to access spots behind panels and underneath the washer without straining a muscle.
2. Cordless Power Drill/Screwdriver- for quickly pulling sheet panels held in place with lots of screws. One with magnetized screwdriver and nutdriver bits will save lots of time and aggravation.
3. Clip On Ammeter- for checking components for electrical power.
Warning: Always unplug or switch the breaker off for any washing machine you are disassembling prior to doing any work on it.
Washing machines are a major appliance containing complex electromechanical devices and extra care must be taken when working with them in order to avoid injury or property damage.