My Whirlpool Washer Isn’t Working (Repeating Cycle, Keeps Draining/Shutting Off)

Whirlpool is one of the biggest manufacturers of home appliances, with annual revenues of about $21 billion US. Even with such a massive company, their appliances still run into operating issues. If your whirlpool washer isn’t working, you’re probably frustrated and desperate for a reason why.

Some of the most likely reasons why your Whirlpool washer isn’t working include uneven loads, hot water issues, and the washer’s timer being stuck. It could also be caused by a blocked drain or a faulty fuse in your home. Calling a professional is the best solution with big appliances like washers.

If you would like to know the reason why your Whirlpool washer isn’t working, explore the rest of this article. We will be examining the most common issues that you may encounter with your washer, and how to fix them, if you can do so safely.

Whirlpool Washer Keeps Repeating Cycle

It’s challenging enough to time your laundry cycles right when your machines are working properly. When they are acting up, and your cycles are doubled, or even tripled, your entire schedule can be thrown off.

If your whirlpool washer completes an entire wash cycle, and then automatically starts again, the most common reason is because it is stuck in a test mode. 

One way to test if this is the issue is to unplug the washer for ten seconds, then plug it back in and run the cleaning cycle. If the washing machine tries to repeat the cycle again, then chances are it is in “Continuous Test Mode.”

This problem was addressed in a Technical Service Pointer released to Whirlpool technicians. 

The directions for washers with individual status lights are as follows:

  1. Make sure the washing machine is completely off.
  2. Using the main knob, make the following motions:
    1. Turn knob counterclockwise to reset the machine.  
    2. Turn knob clockwise until you hear a click and then wait .05 seconds.
    3. Turn knob clockwise until you hear a click and then wait .05 seconds.
    4. Turn knob clockwise until you hear a click and then wait .05 seconds.
    5. Turn knob clockwise until you hear a click and then wait .05 seconds.
    6. Turn the main knob clockwise until you hear one click, then wait.

This combination of movements should fix your repeating cycle issues, and if it does not, the best bet is to call a technician from a local dealer.

Whirlpool Washer Stuck on 1 Minute

Another common issue people run into with their Whirlpool washers is the never ending one minute timer. The machine may go through the entire wash cycle normally, until the timer reaches the one minute mark. The washer then continues spinning for a long time, sometimes up to an hour.

If this is happening to your machine, it is likely caused by a drain blockage. Washers have a catch for things that may fall out of your clothes, like coins, and this catch prevents them from going down the drain and creating a more serious blockage.

If this catch is blocked, the washer often won’t stop spinning, because it’s trying to wait until the blockage is cleared. Look in your manual for the location of your washer’s coin catch, and clear any blockages that may be there.

Whirlpool Washer No High-Speed Spin

If your Whirlpool washer starts the wash cycle, but doesn’t reach the high-speed spin you’re used to, the problem is most likely a simple fix.

Chances are, the washer has too much water in it after the rinse cycles. If there is too much water in the machine, it won’t engage in the high-speed spin. This excess of water is most likely caused by an uneven load in the machine. The clothes might be bunched up and holding onto a large amount of water.

Simply check to make sure the load is spread out evenly, and then restart the washer.

Whirlpool Washer Stuck on Sensing

Another problem you may run into with your Whirlpool washer is it getting stuck on one part of the cycle. If the part it gets stuck on is the sensing stage, the washer may not start. It will simply blink the sensor light repeatedly.

If your washer’s sensor light is repeatedly blinking without any action happening, you may have something jammed in the side of the inner tub and outer tub. The job of the sensor is to detect when the inner tub and spinning hub are aligned. Once the inner tub falls into place, the sensor will signify the rest of the cycle to start.

When your washer is stuck on the sensing mode, the sensor is detecting an issue somewhere in the machine. Check around the outside of the inner tub for something like a stray sock or shirt that could be preventing the inner tub from dropping into place.

Whirlpool Washer Turns On Then off Immediately

What is happening when you turn your washer on and then it turns off immediately? Is this a serious issue?

There are many things that could be happening if this is what your washer is doing. The easiest place to start is with the door latch. This could be the issue if the following events occur:

  1. Close the washer door.
  2. Turn the washer on.
  3. Washer door locks.
  4. Washer sits for a moment- or maybe moves a little.
  5. The washer door unlocks.
  6. Washer turns back off.

If this is the sequence of events, then it’s likely you have an issue with the door lock. This is usually an easy fix, like replacing a latch or installing a new lock.

Also try unplugging your washer for two minutes, then plugging it back in and starting the cycle again.

Whirlpool Washer Doesn’t Spin Sometimes

If you find that your Whirlpool washer is spinning intermittently, there are two possible issues that are simple to solve, and a few more that are not as easy.

The first reason why your washer might be spinning off and on, is because you are opening the lid to the washer too often. If you open the lid to the washer and add in a last minute pair of jeans to be washed, you might be frustrated by the lack of spinning. 

Most washers have a two minute delay from the time the lid is opened to the time they start spinning again. The solution for this is to simply be patient.

The next reason why your washer may be acting erratically is a broken lid switch. The lid switch has power that runs to it, and when the lid is closed, the switch turns on and it tells the washer to run. 

When the switch is broken, it can turn on and off randomly. When this happens, the washer thinks the lid is being open and closed, and will wait the two minutes before it turns back on. If this is the issue, the switch will require replacing.

Whirlpool Washer Lid Lock Clicking

Your Whirlpool washer could also encounter an issue that involves the lid lock clicking repeatedly, without ever starting a cycle. 

This is increasingly annoying when the door of the washer seems to be closing properly, yet the machine won’t start.

The issue here is with your lid lock not properly engaging. It is easiest to call a technician to come out and fix the issue for you, but if you want to save money, you can attempt to fix this at home. 

The following YouTube video gives an explanation of how to fix the lid lock if you would like to attempt it on your own:

Whirlpool Washer Won’t Agitate, Spin or Drain

The washer might be trying its best, but it simply cannot spin. If your Whirlpool washer won’t agitate, spin, or drain, then it essentially won’t do anything you paid for it to do.

The most common reason for this is a broken drive belt. The drive belt is part of the mechanism that makes the washer spin. It wraps around the pulley and the motor at the bottom of the machine, and the movement of the drive belt is what twists the machine into motion.

If this component is broken, the machine won’t spin properly. Alternatively, the belt may be loose, and simply needs to be tightened against the pulley once more. 

If you are comfortable taking your washer apart to troubleshoot this issue, you can save yourself a lot of money by tightening the belt on your own, or ordering a replacement and installing it yourself.

Whirlpool Washer Stops at Spin Cycle

The most common reasons why your Whirlpool washer may stop at the beginning, or in the middle of, the spin cycle, comes down to faulty switches. There are two main switches which need to be engaged for your washer to run. They are similar, but different.

Lid Switch

The lid switch is a sensor that tells the machine when the lid is on the machine is closed. The machine will not operate if it thinks the lid is open. There is a lid switch in every top-load washer. There may also be a similar sensor in the door of a front-load washer.

Door Lock

The door lock should not be confused with the lid switch. A door lock is what prevents the washer from opening, when it’s engaged. A washer may have both a lid switch, and a door lock. Door locks are almost always present in front load washers, though they can also appear in top load washing machines.

When either of these switches fail, your Whirlpool washing machines will stop washing. It’s totally possible that the repeated failure of your washing machine is caused by the failure of one, or both, of these switches. 

You can troubleshoot the problem by testing the power continuity of the switches. This will tell you if the switches are having an electrical issue. If they do have continuous power running through them, then the issue with the switches could be mechanical. 

The connections between the door and the body of the machine could be cracked or broken, and may need to be replaced.

Whirlpool Washer Keeps Shutting Off

Nothing is worse than a repetitive issue that you don’t know how to solve. The frustration you face each time your Whirlpool washer shuts off is only going to get worse if you don’t fix the problem.

One thing that may cause your washer to shut off is inconsistent water flow. If your washer is not getting enough water, it will shut down the cycle. This could be because of interrupted flow to the machine caused by a drain blockage or plumbing issue. 

Another issue with inconsistent water in the machine is a wide variation in water temperature. If you have your machine running a hot cycle, yet it is only receiving cold water from your plumbing, the machine will shut down. 

Washing machines have an internal temperature gauge, and won’t complete cycles if the wrong water temperature is provided to them. This is to protect the integrity of your garments.

To fix this, make sure that both the cold and hot water faucets leading into the washing machine are turned also. Also make sure that the hoses delivering the water are tightened properly. Next, check your hot water tank to make sure it is producing the hot water that your washing machine needs to clean your laundry.

Whirlpool Washer Shuts Off Mid-Cycle

As we’ve learned, washing machines shutting off in the middle of the cleaning cycle is a common issue. Other than the reasons touched on above, there are a few more causes of random machine shut offs.

Faulty Power Supply

If the system that is powering your washing machine has any sort of blips or inconsistencies in power, your machine may shut off randomly. This will cause the machine to quit its cycle altogether. The machine probably won’t restart on its own, and it may not even drain.


Just like any machine, washing machines are subject to overheating. Whirlpool machines have a safety feature which sense the temperature of the machine and the motor. If the temperature of either reaches unsafe levels, the machine will shut off immediately.

Too Many Suds

Depending on which Whirlpool washer you have, your machine may turn off if there are too many suds in the tub. It may then stop, and wait until the suds subside, or it may go through an extra rinse cycle to clear out some of the suds. To stop this from happening, use high energy specific detergent.

Whirlpool Washer Not Draining Completely

While a clogged drain pump or coin catch is the most common reason that stops a Whirlpool washer from draining completely, there are also other potential reasons.

Clogged Pumps and Hoses

Your washer could be encountering a clogged hose or pump. Like the coin catch, small items can shake out of your laundry and find their way into various hoses in the machine. Check all of the hoses that you feel safe to, before calling a professional.

Broken Belts

There are a few different belts in your washing machines that, when broken, can stop the system from draining fully. The first of these is the water pump belt. This is a belt that isn’t found in many modern machines, but had a home in many older ones. If this belt is worn out, it won’t operate the water pump, and therefore won’t remove all of the water in the tub.

The second is the drive belt. This is the belt that rotates the main motor of the washing machine. This can get worn out or come loose overtime, and when it does, it causes the machine to act out.

Whirlpool Washer Won’t Drain or Spin

Of all of the issues you can encounter with your Whirlpool washer, a washing machine that doesn’t drain may be the most frustrating. Your clothes aren’t any more clean, and now they are sopping wet.

The number one cause for a machine that won’t drain or spin is because of a user error. Often people select the wrong type of cycle for the laundry they are doing. Delicate and hand wash cycles are designed to spin more slowly, and if these modes are selected for the wrong fabrics, the machine won’t drain properly. 

A single large or bulky item can also prevent a washing machine from spinning. If the machine detects an uneven load, it will stop spinning to prevent damage. Make sure your loads are evenly dispersed throughout the machine to prevent this.

Final Thoughts

You might jump on the service line for the first year after purchasing your Whirlpool washing machine, thanks to their one year warranty, but after that first set of 365 days, you’re probably going to be more hesitant to call. Getting your major appliances serviced comes with large fees, and often you may be tempted to fix them yourself.

You can use this article as a guide to determine which of these issues are safe to attempt to repair on your own, and which are better left to the professionals.

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