The belt on a washing machine transfers power from the motor to the pump and transmission. Occasionally, this belt will wear out and break from the constant movement inside the washer. When this happens, the easiest and least expensive way to fix the problem is to replace the belt. The belt can be accessed from the bottom of the machine without taking the washer apart. Fix the problem yourself and the washer will be back to work in no time.
Unplug the washing machine power cord from the electrical socket before attempting to access the washer belt. Turn the water supply off by hand at the shut-off valves behind the washing machine.
Move the washer about 3 feet away from the wall. Tilt the washer back so it is resting against the wall, placing a wood block under the front of the washer to hold it in place.
Locate the adjusting bolts on the water pump at the bottom of the washer cabinet. Loosen the bolts with a socket wrench, sliding the pump forward to take the tension off the belt.
Remove the belt from around the pump and motor pulleys, taking it out of the washer cabinet. Place the new belt around the motor and pump pulleys, sliding the water pump back by hand to add tension to the belt.
Tighten the bolts on the water pump with a socket wrench while keeping the tension on the belt by hand. Remove the wood block from under the front of the washer.
Tip the washer back down onto the ground, moving it back against the wall. Turn the water supply back on at the shut-off valves.
Plug the power cord of the washing machine into the electrical socket.
To find out what size belt your washer uses, take the broken one with you to purchase a new one, take information on your washer make and model to the hardware store, or look up the information in your owner's manual.
Never attempt to fix the washer belt while it is still plugged into the power supply.