Tell me how to fix a washing machine that won’t spin

Knowing how to fix a washing machine that won’t spin can be a lifesaver considering technicians can at times bill you upwards of $400 depending on the faulty part.

As astronomical as this figure sounds, replacement parts range between 10 and 200 bucks.

So, why not save that extra cash and let me show you how you can quickly fix your washer like a professional… And in case you are wondering, I am a professional appliance repairman – so you have nothing to worry about.

How to fix a washing machine that won’t spin

There are about a dozen different causes for your washer not spinning problems.

Since there is no one-does-it-all solution, we shall work our way down starting with the easiest (and quickest) solutions.

Try resetting the washer

In my line of work (as a repair technician), I have come across washers that won’t spin due to software a glitch.

Remember, these appliances are controlled by an electronic control board which acts as the brain of the unit.

And, just like computers, these control boards need to be reset once in a while.

To reset your washer, unplug it from the power outlet – or trip the circuit breaker – and let it sit for five minutes.

Are you overloading or under-loading it?

Overloading the washer will exert additional pressure on the motor making it hard for the motor to spin the washtub.

So, make sure that you are not loading your washer past ¾ way.

On the other hand, underloading the washer is likely to throw it out of balance… When this occurs, the washer will then stop and try to rebalance the load.

If it’s unable to rebalance, it will stop spinning – it might even give an error code such as Ub (in LG and Samsung washers).

To fix an unbalanced washer, do the following:

  • Make sure that the washer is level – adjust the leveling legs if need be.
  • If the load size is small, throw in one or two extra towels.

Confirm that the door is latching fully

This mostly affects front-load washers – they won’t start if the door is not latching fully to avoid flooding the room.

Nonetheless, a door that’s not latching fully might stop some top load washing machines from spinning.

Now, if the door latch is good, you should hear a clicking sound when you close the door.

Something else: When closing the door, try and give it a firmer push – sometimes this does the trick.

So, if your door is not latching fully, it’s an indication that it’s bad and needs replacing… To make replacing easier, below is where you can get a replacement latch for some common washer brands:

Washing machine brand Replacement door latch
Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana Buy it on Amazon
Samsung Buy it on Amazon
Electrolux, Frigidaire Buy it on Amazon
LG Buy it on Amazon
GE Buy it on Amazon
Kenmore Buy it on Amazon

Other than a faulty door latch, it could also be that the lock switch is bad.

This is more so if the door is latching fully but your washer is still giving a door-related error code such as a dE error code in LG washers.

To test if the switch is to blame, insert the multimeter probes into the switch terminals… The door should have continuity when the it’s locked and no continuity when it’s open.

If your switch does not pass this test, it means it’s faulty… You can order a replacement switch on Amazon using the above links – most switches are found on the latch assembly.

Make sure that your washer is getting water

Remember, for the washer to start spinning it should first have water.

So, start by making sure that you have both water faucets fully open.

Next, straighten out any kinks that might be along the water inlet hose, or get a durable replacement hose if yours is leaking.

Moving on…

Disconnect the hoses from the washer and check if the mesh filters are full of clogs/deposits… If they are, scrub them using a toothbrush and rinse them under warm running water to remove the residue.

Finally, check that the inlet valve is working properly.

To test it, first measure the voltage at the valve’s wire connector – when the washer is running, it should be around 110-120v AC.

If it’s not, confirm that the wires are good – fully insert loose wire connectors and replace any broken wires… Otherwise, it means the control board is bad and you should replace it – order a replacement board at Amazon (select one that fits your washing machine brand).

If the voltage is good, test inlet valve terminals for continuity – no continuity means the valve is bad.

So, if your valve is the culprit, be sure to replace it… Below is where you can get a good replacement valve for some common washer brands:

Washing machine brand Replacement water inlet valve
Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana Order it on Amazon
Samsung Order it on Amazon
Electrolux, Frigidaire Order it on Amazon
LG Order it on Amazon
GE Order it on Amazon
Kenmore Order it on Amazon

Check if the belt is loose, worn out, or broken

The belt is responsible for spinning the drum as the motor runs.

So, disassemble your washer and have a look at the belt.

If you note that it’s loose, be sure to tighten it – using the idler pulley.

However, if you note your belt has worn out – has lost its grip on the wash tub – or is broken, your best bet will be to replace it (below are links to the specific replacements at Amazon-click to view prices)

Whirlpool, Maytag, and Amana Top Loading washer’s replacement belt

GE, Hotpoint Washing Machines belt 

GE GTW335ASN0WW, GTW460ASJ8WW, and GTW335ASN1WW  Washers belt

Frigidaire, Kitchen Aid, Admiral, Estate, and Jenn-Air washers belt 

Kenmore washers belt


Is the pulley bent?

Once you are done inspecting the belt, confirm that the pulley is not bent.

You see, a bent pulley is the most probable cause for a loose belt.

So, if your pulley is bent, be sure to straighten it out – replace it if its condition is beyond repair.


Change the suspension rods – top load washing machine drum not spinning

If your top load washer is not spinning, there is a high chance that one (or more) of the suspension rods is bent/broken.

So, be sure to check them out.

And, if you note that any of the rods is bent/broken, it’s advisable to swap them out all at once.

This way, you will avoid further problems down the line… You can shop for replacement rods on Amazon (below are the specific links)…

Samsung washer replacement rods

Whirlpool, Kenmore, Amana, Maytag washers replacement rods

LG washing machine suspension rods

Change the tub bearings – front load washing machine drum not rotating

A common cause for front load washers not to spin is worn-out tub bearings.

In most models, you can find them between the inner wash basket and the outer wash tub.

So, be sure to disassemble your washer and inspect the bearings.

Of course, if they are worn-out, your best bet will be to swap them out.

We recommend the following replacement bearings (depending on your exact model)…

Samsung washers replacement bearings

LG washers replacement bearings

GE washers replacement bearings

Kenmore washers replacement bearings

Frigidaire, Electrolux washers replacement bearings

Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana washers replacement bearings 

And while still in there, remove any small clothes (such as socks) that might have found their way in there… They might also be possible causes for your washer not to spin.

Check if the capacitor is working

A word of caution: Before testing the capacitor, disconnect your washer from the power outlet and short the capacitor.

Otherwise, you risk electrocution as the capacitor still has a significant charge in it.

Pro tip: To short the capacitor, connect both of its terminals with a good electric conductor such as a screwdriver.

Now, using a multimeter, measure the capacitance through the capacitor terminals and compare your reading to the nameplate values.

If your reading is not close to the nameplate value, it’s an indication that the capacitor has failed.

Subsequently, to fix your washer, order a replacement capacitor and swap out the faulty one.

Check for a possible motor failure

First things first, remove any foreign objects that might be in there.

Next, confirm that the motor is getting around 110-120v AC by testing the power wire connectors.

To do so, disconnect your motor from the wire connector, insert the multimeter probes into the connector, and try to run a spin cycle.

If it’s not getting around 110-120v AC, confirm that the wiring is good – reconnect any loose connectors and fix any broken wires.

Now, if the wiring checks out but the motor is still not getting power, it means the control board is bad… In this case, your best bet will be to replace it.

To see current control board prices, click your relevant washer model….

Otherwise, proceed to the other tests below:

Check to see if the carbon brushes have worn out… If they have worn out, it’s could be time to order some replacement brushes and swap out the old ones.

Use the following links to check pricing:

Bosch Washing Machine Motor Carbon Brushes

Whirlpool AWM325 AWM326 motor carbon brushes

On the rare occasion that all the above check out but your motor is still not kicking on when you try to run a cycle, there is a huge chance that the motor has burnt out.

And your only workaround to this is to replace it.

Pro tip: Most front-load washers have a motor stator assembly (functions the same as the motor). To see if the stator is good, measure resistance between any two of its terminals – it should be around 9-11.5 ohms.

Otherwise, it means the stator is bad and you should replace it.

Having said that, below are some good replacement motor stators /replacement motors for some of the most common washer brands:

Washing machine brand Replacement motor/stator assembly
Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana Buy it on Amazon
Samsung Buy it on Amazon
Electrolux, Frigidaire Buy it on Amazon
LG Buy it on Amazon
GE Buy it on Amazon
Kenmore Buy it on Amazon

Change the control board

At times, there might be signs of burnt relays which signal a bad control board.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

This is because the control board might occasionally fails but won’t have any visible signs.

That is why, it’s always advisable to first try all the other possible steps above before replacing the control board.

So, if all else does not help, consider getting a compatible control board for your model and replace it… and it could be pricey so do your maths first

How to fix a washing machine that won’t spin – parting words

When testing some parts, you will need to have the washer’s tech sheet or service manual nearby.

This is because some parts (such as the motor) involve measuring the voltage in the wire connectors and you need to be sure that you are measuring at the right wires.

Otherwise, you risk shorting your appliance.

So, make sure to have the service manual (or tech sheet) nearby. Fortunately, if you do not have it, you can easily Google for a softcopy using the washer’s model number.

Finally, remember to calibrate your washer if you decide to change the control board.


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