Troubleshooting Guide: Why Is My Washing Machine Not Working?

Your washing machine is a modern convenience that simplifies your household chores and keeps your clothes clean and fresh. However, you may encounter issues where it refuses to work efficiently or breaks down altogether. One of the common culprits behind such problems is limescale build-up. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of limescale and explore its adverse effects on washing machines, helping you understand why your machine might not be working as expected.


Understanding Limescale Build-Up

Limescale, also known as calcium carbonate, is a hard, chalky deposit that accumulates over time due to the presence of minerals in hard water. It is particularly prevalent in areas where the water supply has high mineral content. As water is heated inside your washing machine, these minerals separate and settle, resulting in limescale deposits on heating elements, pipes, and other internal components.


The Consequences of Limescale Build-Up

washing machine limescale buildup

  1. Reduced Efficiency: Limescale acts as an insulating layer, preventing effective heat transfer. Consequently, your washing machine’s heating elements require more energy to reach the desired temperature, leading to longer wash cycles and increased energy consumption.
  2. Damaged Heating Elements: Limescale accumulation around the heating elements restricts their ability to function properly. This can result in overheating, premature failure, and expensive repairs or replacements.
  3. Clogged Pipes and Valves: Limescale can obstruct the pipes and valves within your washing machine, leading to reduced water flow and pressure. This can cause uneven distribution of water during cycles, resulting in subpar cleaning performance and potentially damaging delicate fabrics.
  4. Malfunctioning Sensors: Many modern washing machines use sensors to monitor water levels and temperature. Limescale can interfere with these sensors, leading to inaccurate readings and erratic behaviour, such as incorrect water level detection or unexpected interruptions during cycles.


Prevention and Maintenance

  1. Regular Descaling: To combat limescale build-up, it is crucial to descale your washing machine periodically. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a suitable descaling agent or natural alternatives like vinegar or lemon juice. Run an empty cycle with the descaling solution to dissolve and remove limescale deposits.
  2. Use Softened Water: Use softened water or use water softening tablets to minimise the mineral content in the water supply. This helps reduce limescale formation and extends the lifespan of your washing machine.
  3. Proper Detergent Usage: Use the recommended amount of detergent according to water hardness and load size. Excessive detergent can contribute to limescale accumulation.
  4. Clean Filters and Dispensers: Regularly clean and maintain the filters and detergent dispensers in your washing machine to prevent limescale build-up.
  5. Install a Halcyan Water Conditioner: If you’d like a ‘fit and forget’ solution to hard water and limescale, you can install a water conditioner. It gives you all the benefits of soft water, including increasing the lifespan of your appliances.



Limescale build-up can significantly impact the performance and longevity of your washing machine. Reduced efficiency, damaged heating elements, clogged pipes, and malfunctioning sensors are just a few of the problems caused by limescale deposits. By understanding the adverse effects of limescale and implementing preventive measures, you can ensure your washing machine continues to operate smoothly.


Regular descaling, using softened water, proper detergent usage, cleaning filters and dispensers are all potential steps to prevent limescale accumulation. By installing a Halcyan Water Conditioner, you can save energy, extend the lifespan of your appliance, and enjoy clean clothes without the hassle of frequent breakdowns.


Remember, a well-maintained washing machine not only saves you time and money but also contributes to a more sustainable and efficient household.


If you’d like to find out more about the Halcyan Water Conditioner, you can explore our Knowledge Centre and find out how it works here. You can call our expert team on 0345 504 0656 for more information on whether you have hard water and how you can benefit from installing a Halcyan.


Why choose Halcyan?

Halcyan Water Conditioners is a British company based in Bristol and our alloy-based solution to hard water is unique to the UK. Unlike water softeners, our alloy-based Water Conditioner is an eco-friendly, people-friendly solution to hard water that ensures your washing machine is performing as it should. With our 30 Year Warranty and our 12 Month Money Back Performance Guarantee, you can enjoy peace of mind that our little device is taking care of your home and your washing machine too!

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