Troubleshooting a Janome Sewing Machine (Fix & Repair Guide)

Machines break down. It doesn’t matter who makes them. No matter how good of quality the machine is. Eventually, it wears down and stops working. When that happens it pays to be able to do the repairs yourself and save on repair bills.

Some repairs are so simple all you need is a screwdriver, soft cloth, air blower, and some oil. Then you are done after a few minutes of work. Even troubleshooting Janome sewing machines are not all difficult repairs that require a qualified repairman. The key is to know the difference.

To learn how to wield that screwdriver and other tools you need to repair a Janome machine just keep reading our article. It has put the information you need to know in this handy little guide. Take a few moments and see what you can do on your own first.

Why is My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing?


There are several reasons why this situation arises. The first one may be that you are sewing too many layers of fabric together at the same time. A lot of home sewing machines are not designed to handle that amount of work and just quit on you.

Second, your presser foot may be up and the feed dogs cannot grab the fabric to push it through the needle. Just unclog the jam and check your manual if you need any help here.

Third, you may have threaded the machine wrong, set the tension too tight or set the stitch length to 0. That covers most thread issue and just re-thread the machine, reset the tension and stitch length to get out of that predicament.

Then check your bobbin area to see if it is full of lint. This happens more often than you realize and a simple cleaning should get you back on track.

How do I Service My Janome Sewing Machine?


The servicing of all sewing machines are basically the same. The first thing you need to do is take the cover off the machine and key areas like the needle plate, etc. Then peer inside and see if there is a build-up of lint and dirt.

Next, take a cloth or a nice soft bristle brush and sweep those areas clean. Next, go to the bobbin and remove it and its case, if you can, and clean that of dirt and lint as well.

When it comes to lubrication, you should follow your manual to make sure you find the correct lubricating points and the right amount of oil to use. Next check all key parts like tension, bobbin winder, etc. To see if they are in top working order.

The Janome website refers you to your owner’s manual for the right procedure to follow every time you want to service your Janome sewing machine. It also focuses on keeping your bobbin area clean and changing the needle after 8 hours of service.

To clean the bobbin they recommend a few drops of cleaner on a clean rag and wipe the bobbin down with that. Finally, take your sewing machine to an authorized dealer or repair shop and have them do a tune-up for you every year.

How to Take a Janome Sewing Machine Apart

It is not possible to give you disassembling instructions for every Janome sewing machine model. The following are for the 423 S. There should be some similarities between all machine models that the company makes.

  • 1. Remove the casing by and above the needle. It has a cover over it s you may need a screwdriver to lift the cover.
  • 2. Go to the back of the machine and remove the screw holding the plastic case in place. It too is under a cover.
  • 3. Turn the machine on its side and remove all screws on the bottom. You can only loosen the purple front plate holder screw. The bottom cover should come off now.
  • 4. Now remove all screws holding the top cover and remove it from its place. This includes removing the bobbin winder screw.
  • 5. With all these screws out you should be able to remove the side cover. Now you should be in a position to clean and lubricate all the metal and other parts inside the sewing machine.
  • 6. After your cleaning and maintenance are done, reassemble your sewing machine.

Janome Sewing Machine Manual


The Janome website for servicing your sewing machine says for you to contact your local Janome dealer if you do not have a manual and they will order one for you. Or you can just go to this Janome link and find your model of sewing machine and click on the link to get access to your owner’s manual.

That link is for current models only. The following location is for what Janome calls retired models. You can find your older models at this link. Just take some time to look through the list to get the right one for you.

If you do not get through to your manual at those links outside of Janome are some other locations you can find an owner’s manual for your sewing machine. Just click this link to get to one such location.

Then this company makes all Janome owner’s manuals free of charge. Its a great deal considering they were selling them for $20 each.

Janome Sewing Machine Won't Turn On

This could simply be an electrical problem and the simplest fix is to check to see if it is plugged in. If not then do so and push the power button again. Next, check the fuses on your sewing machine and to your electrical outlet.

There may have been a short and they need to be replaced. Next up is to check the power cord itself. Look for frayed or loose wires, connections and see if the power cord is attached to the machine correctly.

Either replace the cord or tighten the connections. If you are not comfortable with handling electric wires then take it to a qualified repair shop especially if it is still under warranty.

Now if your sewing machine is computerized, you may have to unplug it and let it reset itself. Plan for at least a couple of hours for this to get done.

Janome Bobbin Thread Not Catching


There are at least 9 reasons why your Janome sewing machine is not picking up the bobbin thread. The first is that you put the needle backward. Or the bobbin is in backward.

Next, both the bobbin and top thread are not in their correct positions. Pull both threads to the back or reverse the bobbin and needle. Or you have the wrong needle for your project. Check the needle and replace it with the correct one if that is the case.

On top of those issues, your needle may be bent, warped, or broken. In this case, just replace the needle. Finally, your timing may be off and you will have to fix that issue before you can start sewing again.

Bobbin Not Turning

The first thing you should do is check to see if you have the correct bobbin size in your bobbin area. If the wrong bobbin is there the center hole may be too big for the mechanism to grab the bobbin and turn it.

Next, the bobbin may not be in its proper place or secured. Double-check the positioning and snap it back into place and that should do the trick. If it is a clutch problem see if the bobbin area is dirty and clean it. If it still won’t turn, take it to an approved repairman.

Another cause of this problem is that the bobbin was not wound in the right direction. Just rewind the bobbin in the right direction and things should be fine. These are not the only issues that stop the bobbin from turning but they are the most common ones.

Janome Machine Won't Reverse Stitch


In this case, make sure you press the reverse stitch switch and hold it down. The machine won’t go into reverse if you just press and release the switch. Or the bar hooks around the feed dog just need a little oiling to get them to move correctly.

Next up is the switch itself. If you press and hold it and the machine doesn't go in reverse, you may have a faulty switch. The dealer or repairman will have to replace that for you.

If it does react but not successfully, then you need to clean and oil the machine. If you have done that, you may need to ask a repairman to look at it for you. But be careful you may be dinged with a $150 service fee.

Janome Won't Stay Threaded

Simple problems require simple solutions, The first place to check would be your thread is too short. The next simple cause would be that the thread was never under the presser foot when you started to sew.

That allows the thread to be pulled out of the needle when you start working. Next on the list is that you finished a previous pattern mid stitch and your machine will try to finish that stitch when you start it again.

Unthreading your machine is one of the results when that takes place. That is because the take-up lever was not in its highest position. Make sure the take-up lever is in its highest position before moving on to your project. Turn your hand wheel if it isn’t where it needs to be.

Janome Sewing Machine Won't Stop


The first place to look to find the cause of your trouble is your foot pedal. Sometimes there is something lodged in there or out of place that keeps the foot pedal engaged. If you are under warranty you may be able to get a new one for free. Or if not, you may have to pay $65 for a new one.

Another way to fix this problem is to turn your machine off and then on again. This may be a temporary solution but it might help you complete your workload in a timely manner before investigating the problem further.

One thing you have to be careful of is voiding your warranty. If you try to fix the problem yourself you could put yourself in a difficult position by losing your coverage. It is best to go to a dealer even with simple fixes when your warranty is in force.

Foot Pedal Problems

This is an issue that may be taken care of by the above information. Generally, when the foot pedal starts to have a problem it could mean that it needs cleaning or something is stuck inside.

Under warranty go to your approved repairman and see if they can find the problem. If not then you are going to have to replace the pedal. That is the most common option when it comes to fixing the foot pedal.

If you are not under warranty you can try checking the wires to see if they are loose or frayed. If you have a computer chip inside, don’t mess with it. Let a repairman handle that task.

If the wires are loose or frayed either tighten them up or replace the wires if you can. If not, replace the pedal and forget about it.

Janome Handwheel Hard to Turn


This is a common problem at times with all sewing machines. The first place you should check would be your tension settings. If it is too light then you may have difficulty turning your handwheel.

Next, there may be a clog somewhere in the sewing machine. That problems require a good cleaning to resolve. Then you may have wound your bobbin without disengaging your handwheel. This is more of a problem for older sewing machines.

Older sewing machines are easier to fix than newer ones. Plus, you do not have to worry about the warranty like you do 2with newer machines. If those fixes do not do it for you then go to a repairman and see what they can find out.

If there is an inner wheel then see if loosening that undoes the problem for you

Handwheel Stuck

If this is a problem, you can first try to rock the handwheel. What this motion does is allow for the sewing hook to cut any thread build-up that may be causing the handwheel to stop turning.

Then you can try cutting the upper and bobbin threads. Then pulling the bobbin out to see if your hand wheel starts turning again. And releases the thread. After that check your needle clamp if the previous solution doesn't solve the problem.

Open it up and raise the needle bar using the handwheel. Start cutting the thread after pulling the needle out until the jam is cleared. Make sure to cut the thread under the needle plate when using this option.

Finally, check the inner wheel to see if that can help solve your problem. It may be the item that is locked and stopping your hand wheel from turning. The inner wheel is on most older models of sewing machines.

Janome Hook Race Problems


Most of your sewing machine issues can be solved if you start with the most common solution-- cleaning your machine. Even for the hook race issues, cleaning your machine is the go-to fix first.

To access the hook race you need to open up the needle plate. That means removing the needle and presser foot. Next, remove the bobbin and bobbin case, and clean. The hook race is by the bobbin area so cleaning it all is the one-step fix you have open to you.

Once you have finished cleaning, you can put everything back together and the problem should be solved. If not, you may want to check with a qualified technician to see what other solutions there are available to you.

The key to cleaning this portion of your sewing machine is the warranty. If cleaning is not allowed while the warranty is in effect then do not do it.

Some Final Words

This is a brief troubleshooting guide for a Janome sewing machine. Unfortunately, that company makes too many different models to effectively describe how to fix them here. These general tips should help you with all the different models Janome makes.

If you own a computerized Janome machine don’t mess with it, just take it to the repairman warranty or no warranty. That will be the best way to get your machine up and running again.

As for other sewing machines make sure to check your warranty prior to starting any repair. It can save you some headaches and some costs if you do.

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