How to Fix a Pump Belt for a Washer With a Burning Smell

It is not uncommon for a belt to be the cause of a burning smell in your washer. This is because belts are fast-moving parts that can create excess friction. When there is too much friction, a belt will overheat, causing a burning rubber smell. If you notice this smell during a spin or drain cycle, the pump belt may be the source. We’ll help you determine if the pump belt is the problem and how to replace it if necessary.

What is a Pump Belt?

Some top-load washers use a belt to operate the drain pump. This belt is normally a standard V-shaped belt that is coupled from the drive motor to a pulley on the drain pump. There may also be an idler pulley assembly to provide tension on the belt. Signs that the pump belt is failing on a top-load belt-driven washer include a burning rubber smell, a noisy drain or spin cycle, or water left standing at the end of the drain cycle.

Where is the Pump Belt Located?

The pump belt is located under the tub and is attached to the drive motor pulley.

A 3D diagram showing the components of a washer and specifying the location of the pump belt

How to Access, Remove, and Inspect the Pump Belt in a Washing Machine

  1. Disconnect your washer from the power source and open your washer’s cabinet.
  2. Locate the pump belt, which you will find attached to the drive motor pulley. Remove the clamps holding the pump belt in place, then remove the pump belt itself.
  3. Visually inspect your pump belt for any signs of burning, wear, fraying, or damage.
  4. If your belt shows any of the above symptoms, you will need a replacement pump belt.

How to Install a New Pump Belt

If you need to replace the pump belt, make sure you get the precise replacement for your model of washing machine and ensure that you adjust the belt to the degree of tension required by the manufacturer, since it may not be meant to be snug. When installing a new pump belt, simply attach it to the drive motor pulley by replacing the clamps holding the previous belt in place.

Next: Troubleshooting the Idler Pulley

Go To Main Page: Burning Smell

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