What Causes the Washing Machine to Not Spin?

A washing machine can stop spinning due to several mechanical or technical issues, including an unbalanced machine, tripped breaker, defective lid switch, broken belt or motor coupler or a defective shifter. An at-home diagnosis can be performed to solve certain problems; however, an appliance repair expert may be needed to address complicated mechanical issues.

A top load washing machine can be diagnosed at-home by first checking if the machine is unbalanced, which happens when the clothes are clumped to one side. Another reason could be a tripped breaker, which can be checked by opening the circuit panel. Resting the breaker might fix the issue. A few other diagnosis include checking to see if the power cord is properly connected, ensuring there is no water blockage and making sure the lid is properly closed. Some of the most common mechanical problems in top load washing machines include a defective lid switch, broken belt or motor coupler and a defective shifter.

A front load washing machine can be diagnosed by checking if the pump is clogged and cleaning it as needed. The machine could also stop spinning due to a tripped breaker or if high efficiency, or HE, laundry soap is not being used. If HE is not being used, add fabric softener, set the cold water setting and restart the machine. Some mechanical problems in front load washing machines are usually related to the water pump, the motor drive unit or the door lock.

Fixing an unbalanced load is as simple as opening the machine and redistributing the clothing inside the tub. Most have a sensor that stops the spin cycle when it detects a problem. Once the load is balanced again, the owner closes the lid and the machine resumes spinning.

Washing machines create a great deal of lint. This lint or a small item can sometimes move through the line to create a clog at the end of the drain line. If the line is clogged, it cannot drain. Owners should check for obstructions, remove them and restart the spin cycle.

If the lid does not activate the lid switch, the machine does not spin. On some machines, closing the lid with more force than normal activates the switch to start the spin cycle.