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Washing Machine not Working

If you are struggling with a washing machine that is not working, you certainly are not alone. Fortunately, the problem can often be addressed quickly and easily.

When a washing machine is not working, including the buttons and lights, it is likely a problem with the power supply. It can often be traced to the breaker panel or perhaps a wire that has become loose. Reset the breaker and check the receptacle.

Man adjusting the start button of washing machine

There may also be a number of other issues that can lead to a washing machine not working. These include such items as the washing machine motor, door seals, clothing caught in the mechanism, and an issue with the control board.

Washing Machine Not Working

As you look down through the following possible issues and their fixes, you will see that many of them are easy to repair, once they are diagnosed.

Look for an Error Code

Always check the control panel digital display for an error code. It may be easy to decipher but there are also times when it may be a series of letters or numbers.

Error codes differ from one manufacturer to another and even from one machine to another. If an error code appears, check with the documentation that came with the machine to see what it means. Often, this will provide you with a specific fix.

Power Supply

When the power supply is interrupted in some way or another, it can keep the machine from working altogether. The lights will not be lit, no sounds will occur and in some cases, the machine may shut down in the middle of the cycle.

The first, and most obvious thing to check when a power supply issue occurs is the breaker box. A tripped breaker will stop the flow of electricity to the receptacle that is powering the washing machine.

Tripped breakers typically are slightly out of line with the other breakers in the breaker box. There may also be a small red area showing to the side of the breaker.

You can reset the breaker by flipping it entirely to the off position and then back on again. If the breaker continues to trip, unplug the washing machine and see if it continues to do so.

If the breaker is tripping while the washing machine is unplugged, contact an electrician as it is likely an issue in the wiring or the breaker itself. If the breaker continues to trip while the washing machine is plugged in, contact a repairman.

The receptacle may also have gone bad. Although it doesn’t happen very often, you should test the receptacle by plugging in another appliance, such as a lamp. If it is a GFI receptacle, try the reset button.

Finally, inspect the power cord and plug carefully. If the cord is cut or damaged or if the plug is burnt, you should contact an electrician to replace the cord.

Lid Switch

As you likely know, the washing machine will not operate when the lid is open. This is a safety measure that is built into top load washing machines.

At times, the lid switch may go bad and the washing machine may act as if the lid is open, even when it is closed. The lid switch can be tested with a multi-meter for continuity.

It is also important not to slam down the lid to the washing machine, as that damages the lid switch and can break it. Carefully lower the lid into place to avoid this problem.

Washer Motor Overheating

Another safeguard to most washing machines is that a sensor will detect if the washer motor is overheating and shut it down automatically. This is done to protect the motor.

Buttons Not Responding

If the buttons are no longer responding, it may be a problem with the control panel or button controls. Unfortunately, these are difficult to test and diagnose.

You can remove the control panel and button control mechanism to visually inspect it with a magnifying glass. If any burnt areas or cracks are noticed, they should be replaced.

Clothes in Mechanism

Although washing machines are specifically designed to keep the clothing in the washtub, there are times when a piece of loose clothing may get somewhere that it doesn’t belong.

If the clothing gets wrapped up in any of the mechanisms, belts, pumps, or working parts, the machine may shut down and not restart.

Washer Door Won’t Unlock

This is a relatively common issue that occurs on front load washers. It is especially a problem when the cycle has already started.

You can’t open the door of a front load washer when it is already operating. There is a safety mechanism that keeps you from doing so.

Then again, the locking mechanism may have jammed and that keeps the washer door from unlocking after the cycle has completed.

Some things to look for when the washer door won’t unlock include if it is draining properly. Check the drain hose for clogs and run a short cycle with no laundry or detergent.

Hard Reset Required

Doing a hard reset may often get the washing machine back into service again. A hard reset is performed by turning the power off for at least 60 seconds and preferably for five minutes or longer before turning it back on.

If you have easy access to the receptacle, you can simply unplug the washing machine. Otherwise, you can turn it off in the breaker box by flipping the appropriate breaker off. When you restore the power, it may be working again.

There may also be a specific reset that is done by pressing a series of buttons in order. This is something that is different from one manufacturer to another and from one washing machine to another.

The service manual that came with the washing machine may tell you how to do such a reset. Otherwise, you can check online by searching for your washing machine model and doing a reset.

Washing Machine Not Filling

Man fixing the washing machine

One of the obvious reasons why a washing machine would not be filling with water is because there was no water to supply the machine. This can happen for a number of different reasons.

Valve Turned off

If the water valve got turned off, either at the washing machine or perhaps a secondary valve, it will keep the water from filling. This is sometimes a problem when you have the water setting on hot and the water is turned off at the hot water heater.

It may also be an issue with the main water valve, but that would be easy to check. If there is no other water to any other faucet in the home, then it is a problem with the main water valve. It may also be that they are working on the water lines in the area.

Pinched line

Check the water supply coming into the washing machine. Did a line get pinched in some way or another? This sometimes happens if the washing machine is out of balance and it moves in a way that pinches the line.

Inlet Valve

There is a valve that allows the water to flow into the washing machine. Since water is constantly under pressure and pushing toward the washing machine, the inlet valve keeps it from entering until it is time to run the cycle.

The inlet valve may either have become defective or clogged in some way or another. Inspect the inlet valve visually and replace or clean if necessary.

Replaced Water Hoses

The water hoses that supply the washing machine have small washers where they connect to the valve. Often, people will replace the washing machine and continue to use the same water hoses and valves.

Over time, the water hoses may get built up on the inside and that can slow down the flow of water. If the washers deteriorate, they can also block the flow of water into the machine.

Washing Machine Not Spinning

Man looking at the washing machine

This issue is often discovered when the clothes are coming out of the washing machine soaking wet. You may also hear a humming noise when it is supposed to be spinning but the drum is not turning.

The following are some of the issues that could lead to a washing machine not spinning. It’s a relatively short list, but it is often an easy fix.

Lid Switch

If the lid switch has gone bad, it will keep the spin cycle from happening. This is a safety feature found on all washing machines so that you don’t get your arm or other body parts stuck in the machine while it is turning quickly.

For a top-load machine, the lid switch may need to be repaired or replaced from time to time. Unfortunately, it is one of the weakest links of the machine and often, people simply slam the lid shut and break the lid switch.

You can check the lid switch on a top load washing machine by visually inspecting it or by checking for continuity on certain switches. If the lid switch is bad, it needs to be replaced.

There is also a lid switch on the front-load type of washing machine, and it is known as a door interlock. It is also a safety feature that keeps the washing machine from operating while the door is open. It also keeps the door from being opened while it is operating.

Like the lid switch on a top load washing machine, the front-load door interlock can also get damaged. If it does, it will not allow the machine to operate or spin. It will need to be replaced.

Jammed Pump

If the machine is humming but not spinning, it may be a problem with a jammed pump. In some cases, it may be a piece of clothing or something else that got caught in the pump but in other cases, the pump may need to be replaced.

Load Imbalance

Washing machines were made to be loaded evenly. If you have a very uneven load or if you are washing something that is too heavy for the washing machine, it may stop the spin cycle from occurring.

Often, a load imbalance can be diagnosed if the machine is wobbling during operation. Sometimes, the imbalance is enough that it triggers a safety mechanism that keeps the machine from spinning altogether.

Motor Brushes

If the motor brushes have become worn, the washing machine will not be able to spin. This is something that can be diagnosed by a technician.

Washing Machine Not Agitating

Man showing the washing machine

The agitator is the device that allows your machine to move back and forth and essentially wash the clothes. There are a number of things that can happen to the agitator or the machine that would keep it from operating.

Lid Switch

This deserves mentioning because if the lid switch is broken, the machine is not going to agitate or do anything else. Essentially, it will act as if the lid is open. Check the lid switch for damage and replace if necessary.

Something in the Agitator

Although the working parts of the agitator are separated from the tub where the clothes are being agitated, there may be times when clothing gets stuck down in the agitator. It could wrap itself around it and keep it from operating.

Broken Agitator

It is possible for the agitator to break. You can do a visual inspection and if it is broken, it will need to be replaced.

Motor Problems

The motor can be tested by a professional. If the motor is not operating properly, the washing machine will not agitate and may not spin. In most cases, the motor has to be replaced and cannot be repaired.

Transmission Problems

Most people are surprised to learn that they have a transmission in their washing machine. If the transmission is experiencing problems, it should be repaired or replaced.

Drive Belt

It is possible for the drive belt to stretch over time. It may result in a washing machine not agitating or a burning rubber smell while the machine is operating. The drive belt should be replaced.

Avoid overloading the washing machine to keep the drive belt from stretching in the future.

Washing Machine Not Draining

Frustrated man while behind the washing machine

When the washing machine doesn’t drain, always check for an error code first. If there is an error code, check it in your user manual to diagnose the problem.

In many cases, a problem with a washing machine not draining can be traced to the pump or hose. There are only a few things that can happen to keep the machine from draining.

If the pump is not working, it will not push the water out of the machine. Sometimes, a pump will make a humming or whining noise when it is about to go bad. You can check the continuity of the pump with a multimeter after disconnecting it from the washing machine.

There may also be something clogging the hose or the drain pipe. You can check the hose by disconnecting it from the washing machine and trying to run water from a garden hose through it.

Typically, a problem with the drain beyond the hose is easy to diagnose. If the drain line is clogged, the water draining from the machine will typically just flow out onto the floor.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on September 28, 2021.

There may be times when the spin cycle is not engaging properly and the drain is not being used. During the spin cycle, water is forced out of the machine. If the spin cycle is not working, the machine will not drain.

Finally, there may be an issue with the laundry detergent you are using. Always use the recommended detergent and not some other type of soap as to many suds may be produced.

Washing Machine Not Balanced

Man checking the clothes in the washing machine

When a washing machine is not balanced, it will typically jump around and make a lot of noise. Most people are familiar with that noise, yet it may take them by surprise.

The first, and most obvious issue is an unbalanced load. If you are loading the machine, make sure that you load it evenly and in such a way that it will not become uneven while it is washing or spinning.

If the load is unbalanced, stop the machine and redistribute the load.

At times, the washing machine may act as if it is out of balance because you are washing a load that is too large for the machine. This is often the case when you try to wash a large comforter or something similar.

Most household washing machines can only handle clothing and smaller washable items. Take larger items, such as a comforter to the laundry mat.

Finally, the machine itself may be out of balance. You can check it with a level and adjust the feet by turning them until the machine is level.

Washing Machine Not Drying Clothes

Man checking the clothes in the washing machine

Although a washing machine does not actually dry clothes, it does spin the majority of the water out of them. If your laundry is coming out of the washing machine soaking wet, it is a problem.

One of the most common reasons why a washing machine does not dry clothes is because it is not spinning. This is typically due to either a bad motor or the lid switch not engaging.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 28, 2021.

Another problem can be the drain hose is clogged. If not enough water is able to get out of the washing machine, it will stay in the clothes.

A washing machine will not work if there is no power to it. Check the breaker panel for a tripped breaker and test the receptacle using a lamp or another appliance. The power can be checked with a multimeter.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 28, 2021.

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