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Is your washing machine not spinning properly? Having trouble with your washing machine particularly on laundry day can be incredibly frustrating. A washer is an appliance most households cannot live without, so when it breaks down, you may be left scrambling for a solution to get it back up and running as quickly as possible. By trying some common fixes for a spinner that’s not working, you may be able to get your washing machine working again without having to hire a technician. 

Here are a few things you can do to try to solve the problem:

Load imbalance

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In most cases, this happens with top-loading washing machines when your clothes are not evenly distributed in the tub. Your washing machine won’t spin and will shut down if it is imbalanced. There’s a sensor within the machine that will cause the machine to shut down to prevent damage to the machine. To fix this problem, turn the washer off and then try to balance the load so it is evenly distributed inside the washer tub. After doing this, close the lid and the spinning cycle should begin again.

Clogged drain trap

Your washer won’t drain well if debris is clogging the drain trap. This is something you will most likely experience if you have a front-load washing machine. Small objects or lint that wasn’t removed from pockets before placing clothes in the washer may find their way to the drain trap and clog it. The filter system is designed to prevent items from clogging or damaging the machine. But a problem arises if the drain trap gets clogged, forcing the machine to shut down.

Each washing machine model is different, so you’ll need to read your manufacturer’s instructions to determine where the drain trap is. In many models, the drain trap door is in the front of the washer, towards the bottom. When you locate it, pull out the top portion so you can access the drain trap cap or plug. Some water will likely be in the trap so be sure to put a cup under the drain trap to collect any excess water and then turn the cap counterclockwise to release it. Let the water drain out and then clean out the lint or debris that is trapped inside a drain. Once you’ve done this, replace the lint trap and make sure it is securely in place, then place the cover back. Start the machine to continue the spin cycle.

Master reset

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If you have tried to rebalance the load and cleaned out the drain trap and the washer still won’t spin, you may need to opt for a master reset to correct the issue. To do this, unplug your washer for about one minute. Then plug it back in and reset it by opening and closing the machine door six times within a period of 12 seconds. Keep in mind that This will not work for all machines. If the master reset does not rectify the problem, there may be a mechanical or electrical problem with your machine that needs the assistance of a technician.

Door lock (interlock)

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Washing machines come with a safety feature that locks the door to prevent it from opening during the cycle. This feature is most commonly found in front-loading machines, although many newer top-loading models also have this feature. The door locks once the cycle begins and remains locked for the duration of the wash cycle. The spin cycle will only operate if the machine door is closed, which then communicates to the control signal controls system that it is locked.

If for some reason the door is not locking or is not signaling the control system that the door is locked, there may be an error code displayed on the digital screen. You will need to have an experienced technician replace the door lock.

Lid switch

Another safety feature on top-load washing machines is called a lid switch, which needs to be engaged for the spin cycle to activate. This works in a similar way as the door lock system we mentioned above. If the lid switch is malfunctioning, your washer will not spin. To check whether this is the problem, close the lid to see if the lid switch is engaged. You can do this by listening for a “click” sound indicating that the lid connects with the switch. If the motor isn’t running but there’s activation between the lid and the switch, the problem may be with the lid switch. If this is the case, you will need to have a technician replace the lid switch. 

Note: do not try to bypass the lid switch because this can result in serious injury.

Drive belt

If the drive belt on your washing machine is extremely worn, it can prevent a top-load or front-load washing machine from spinning. You can determine whether the belt is the issue by listening for slipping sounds from the belt. A faulty drive belt should be replaced by an expert. Before replacing the drive belt, the technician will check to make sure that the idler pulley or motor glide is working correctly and applying the necessary tension on the belt.

Many homeowners try to replace the drive belt themselves because it seems like a simple task, but we recommend having a qualified technician do the replacement. This way you can be sure that the new belt is the right type. Also having a technician do it will ensure that the parts and labour are covered under warranty.

Direct drive motor coupling

This kind of repair is not one you want to do on your own. The direct drive motor coupling is a feature in some top-load and front-load machines in place of a belt drive. The function of this part is to transfer power from the motor of the machine to the transmission by engaging the drive forks that cause the tub to spin. Over time, the direct drive motor coupling will wear and malfunction. To diagnose and conduct repairs on the direct drive motor coupling, you will need to remove the cabinet to access this part. This is why it’s essential that you have a qualified technician handle this.

Clutch assembly

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This part is built into some top-load washer models and locks the transmission to assist the spin cycle. The clutch pads will wear over time and either slow down the spin cycle or stop it altogether.

Some signs that show your clutch assembly may need to be replaced are:

  • break residue or shavings at the bottom of the machine
  • a burning smell during the wash cycle
  • loud noises during the spin cycle

Clutch assembly repair will need to be done by a professional technician because repairs can be complicated. Accessing the clutch will require you to remove the cabinet, the drive motor and the transmission assembly.

If you have tried the above and still cannot determine why your washer is not spinning, contact a professional appliance repair company like Fix Repair. We’re known for accurate diagnosis and quality replacement parts.

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