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The Main Reasons Why Your Washer Stops Spinning


In this article…

In this article, we will review 8 common reasons why a front-load washer stops spinning.

washing machine stops spinning

Whether you have a top-load or front-load washing machine, when it breaks down, it can create havoc throughout your entire day.

If it stops spinning and draining in the middle of a cycle, you must contend with all that wet clothing. If it stops working at the end of your wash load, the countdown begins on how long it’ll take to get the machine repaired, and you worry about how much it will cost.

The Good News is:

  • 1. You may have a non-mechanical problem that you can handle yourself, or
  • 2. FIX Appliances CA can provide same-day service for many of your washing repair needs.

If your washing machine stops spinning, there are a couple of non-mechanical things you can check right away to alleviate the problem:

Load Imbalance

washing machine load imbalance

This generally happens to top-loading machines when heavier clothes are loaded to one side instead of spreading out evenly. The machine will automatically shut down when it senses the load is out of balance to prevent mechanical damage.

Turn the washer off and re-balance the load by moving the clothes to an equal distribution. When you close the lid, spinning should resume. It may be necessary to drain excess water from the tub before the regular wash cycle resumes.

Clogged Drain Trap

A clogged drain trap can be a common non-mechanical reason for a front-load washer to stop spinning. Lint and small items left in pockets or inadvertently picked up with the laundry may collect in the drain trap. The filter system prevents the items from entering the main drain and clogging or damaging it. However, the machine will shut down if the drain trap becomes clogged.

Machine models differ, but you’ll need to locate the drain trap door (usually on the front bottom portion of the washer.) Pull out the cutout section to access the drain trap cap or plug. Some water will remain in the trap, so place a cup under the lid to catch any liquid before turning the cap counterclockwise.

Allow the water to drain out, then clean out any lint or debris that may be trapped in the drain. Once cleared, replace the lint trap (secure it by turning it clockwise) and snap the cover back into place. Restart the machine to resume the spin cycle.

Master Reset

If neither rebalancing the load nor cleaning the drain trap resolves your problem, a master reset may help.

Unplug the machine for approximately one minute. Plug it back in and reset the computer by opening and closing the door six times in 12 seconds. Not all appliances will respond to this action.

If you’ve tried these fixes without success, you will want to consider that your machine has a mechanical or electrical issue and needs professional intervention:

Door Lock (Interlock)

washing machine broken door lock

A safety mechanism is included on all front-loading and some newer top-loading washing machines that prevent the door from being opened mid-cycle. A door lock/interlock system consists of a lock on the appliance, the door strike and the switch. When the door is closed, it triggers a signal to the control system that it’s locked and allows the spin cycle to operate.

If the door lock or strike malfunctions, a digital error code may be displayed, and the washer will cease agitating and spinning. Contact an appliance repair professional to replace the door lock or assembly.

Lid Switch

Like the door lock system noted above, older top-load washing machines use a lid switch to operate the spin cycle safely. The underside of the washer lid will be equipped with a pin that activates the switch when the lid is closed.

When you close the lid, verify that the switch is activated by making sure the lid is tightly closed and by listening for the “click” when it connects with the switch. If activation is present, but the motor isn’t running, you may have a defective lid switch. Contact a service technician for a replacement. Never bypass the lid switch, as serious injuries can occur.

Drive Belt

An excessively worn drive belt can prevent your top-load or front-load washer basket from spinning. And while you’ll want an expert to replace it, you can save time troubleshooting by listening for sounds of the belt slipping or whining that could indicate a belt issue.

The repair professional will verify that the idler pulley or motor glide provides the proper belt tension and moves freely. While you may be tempted to replace the drive belt yourself, it’s better to hire a licensed technician to do the job. You’ll be assured that the proper replacement belt is used for optimum performance and experience peace of mind knowing the parts and labour are covered under warranty.

It might be worse:

Direct Drive Motor Coupling

washing machine motor

If the mere name of this part has you searching for your owner’s manual, likely, you shouldn’t tackle this repair yourself. The direct drive motor coupling is used on some top-load and front-load machines instead of a belt drive. Its main purpose is to transfer power from the motor to the transmission. As it wears, the coupling will slip and eventually fail to engage the drive forks that allow the basket to agitate or spin.

This diagnosis and repair will require removing the cabinet to access the direct drive motor coupling, so contact your repairman soon.

Clutch Assembly

A clutch assembly is used on some top-load washers to lock the transmission to aid the spin cycle. Repeated friction can cause the clutch pads to wear and scrape, eventually slowing the spin cycle or stopping it altogether. You may notice other symptoms such as:

  • Brake dust or shavings under the machine
  • A burning smell during the wash cycle
  • A loud noise during the spin cycle

This is another complicated mechanical repair that should be left to the professionals. To access the clutch, you’ll need to remove the cabinet, the drive motor and the transmission assembly. The washing machine technician can accurately determine if the clutch is worn or damaged and if it should be replaced.

Other Causes Why Washer Stops Spinning

washing machine water pump

While these are the most common causes of spin failure on the front- and top-load washing machines, other issues can present problems. An appliance repair service can determine more serious problems such as a faulty water pump, motor or transmission.

Is your washer still not spinning?

Our washer repair experts will solve any issue with your broken appliance.

With proper use, care and maintenance of your top-load or front-load washing machine, you should experience many trouble-free years of operation. If you encounter problems with your washer not spinning or other issues, contact FIX Appliances CA online or by calling 1-888-242-0777.

Common Washing Machine Issues

  • The washer won’t spin
  • The washer is making a loud noise
  • The washer won’t agitate
  • The washer won’t drain
  • The washer squeaking
  • The washer vibration
  • The washer fills slowly
  • The washer leaking water
  • The washer won’t start
  • The washer won’t fill with water
  • The washer overflowing
  • The washer door or lid won’t lock
  • The washer stops mid cycle
  • Error code on the electronic panel
  • Burning smell from the washer

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