How To Fix A Washing Machine That Won’t Spin

Do you want to learn how to fix a washing machine that won’t spin? If so, you’ve come to the right article.

Washing clothes with a washing machine is as simple as putting your laundry in the washer, pouring in detergent and flicking a button. 

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So it becomes frustrating to have put your laundry in the washer and waited for minutes only to come back and find your clothes still wet and possibly unwashed.

The problem of washing machines failing to spin is a rather common one. There are several reasons why your machine could be failing to launch its spinning cycle. 

That said, it is important to first identify why your washing machine fails to spin when it should, and then find a solution to the problem. 

In this article we will consider some of the reasons why your washing machine may not be spinning, and what you can do to address the situation. 

Some solutions are straightforward enough to be carried out by you, while others will need the technical skills of a trained repairman. 

Now, let’s see why your machine doesn’t spin and what you can do to fix it.

Why Your Machine Doesn’t Spin — Solutions

If your washing machine won’t spin, check the following and you’ll most likely find the culprit…

A Faulty Lid Switch

Most modern washing machines are equipped with a lid switch. The lid switch is responsible for stopping the spin cycle when the lid of the washing machine is opened. It also restarts the spin cycle when the lid of the washing machine is closed. 

Sometimes the switch could become faulty and this is rather common with many washing machines. 

A faulty lid switch could be the reason why a machine no longer spins. And if this is the case the lid switch will have to be replaced. 

Now, this is a simple task that can easily be carried out by you. 

  • Before you start to work on the washing machine, ensure that it is unplugged from the mains. 
  • Firstly, you need to know where the lid switch of your washing machine is located. In most washers it could be found anywhere on the top of the machine. 

You could uncover the top of the machine by using a knife to pop the top open. This gives you access to the inside of the machine where the lid switch should be easily identifiable. 

  • Take note of the name of the machine and its model number. This information could be found on a label at the back of most washing machines. 
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With this information, go ahead and purchase a replacement lid switch from an appliance store or even online. 

  • Ensure the replacement switch is an exact match of the broken lid switch. And to do this, you’ll need to unplug the broken lid switch and snap it out from its holder in the washing machine. Take this switch in hand when you go to purchase a new switch. 
  • With the new switch purchased, snap it into place and plug it in. 
  • Replace the washing machine cover and snap it into place. 
  • Switch on the washing machine and test that the lid switch works properly.  

A Bad Drive Belt

Another reason why your washing machine may be failing to spin could be because of a bad drive belt. 

To check for a faulty drive belt:

  • Open your washing machine and attempt to turn the drum with your hand. Normally, there should be some resistance as you turn the drum. 

If there is no resistance felt, it is an indicator that the drive belt is broken and will have to be changed. 

  • Before you open up the machine ensure that it is unplugged from the mains. Then disconnect the machine from its water supply as well. 
  • You might need to lay the machine on its side to get access into the belt assembly.

Consider placing the machine on old blankets, towels or cardboards. This will protect the washing machine from scratches. 

  • Remove the access panel at the back of the machine. However, in some models, you can only access the drive belt from the bottom of the machine. 
  • Once the drive belt can be observed, take note of the placement of the existing but faulty drive belt. 

To remove this damaged belt, look for a rubber-like or leather part which connects the water pump and the machine’s motor. This is the pump coupling

  • Remove this pump coupling, so that the belt can easily be removed. To create some slack on the belt in order to aid its easy removal, loosen the bolts of the motor mount. 
  • Remember the placement of the old belt and replace the new belt in the same manner the old one was placed. 

If the belt is still proving a challenge to install, try to turn the drum with your hand. This will work the belt into position. 

  • Reattach the pump coupling and tighten the motor mount. Ensure the belt is not too tight or too loose. 

If it is too tight it will wear out quickly. Also, if it is too loose it will eventually fall off the pulleys. 

  • Replace the access panels and reconnect the water supplies and electric plug. Test the machine to ensure that it now works properly. 

A Faulty Drive Motor

If it is the case that your washing machine fills up with water and empties out normally, but the wash tub does not turn at all, there could be a problem with the motor which turns the drum. 

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It is likely that the carbon brushes in the motor is really what is faulty. This is most likely the case if while the machine is in operation, you hear sputtering noises, or you see sparks coming out of the bottom of the machine. 

  • These carbon brushes wear out over time as they come in contact with other moving parts in the motor. 
  • To be sure that the carbon brushes are worn out, you will have to take out the drive motor from the machine and examine it. 

You can see how to take out the drive motor from the machine and how to examine it below:

Faulty Or Worn Out Clutch Assembly

A clutch assembly is used in some washers to connect the transmission input shaft to the wash basket drive shaft when the water spins. 

With time, this clutch starts to wear out due to friction as the clutch pad periodically comes in contact with the housing. 

A worn-out clutch pad could make your washer spin slowly or to not spin at all. 

  • Look out for brake dust or shavings underneath the washing machine or a slight burning smell. These are typical indicators of a worn-out clutch. 
  • To correct this problem, the clutch assembly will have to be removed and examined for faults. 

This requires some degree of skill. So, it’s advisable to consider calling your repairman to remove, inspect and diagnose the clutch assembly

Faulty Drain Pump

Most washing machines will only start a spin cycle after all the water from the wash cycle has been completely drained out. 

If your washing machine drains slowly or does not drain at all, a culprit could be the drain pump. 

  • To be sure, first check the machine for any blockages. These blockages could occur in the washing machine filter. 

The washing machine filter traps things like hair, coins, elastic bands, etc. It is usually found behind the flap at the bottom of most front-loading machines

  • Before opening this flap and removing the filter, ensure that the water in the machine is emptied out. 
  • You might have to devise a way to get rid of the water in the machine. Clean out any items in the filter and rinse it with warm water. 
  • If the draining out of water from the machine is still slow, the problem could be caused by either a blocked drainage hose or a faulty pump. 

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Unbalanced Load

If your washing machine moves slowly in the spin cycle, this could be due to unbalanced load in the machine. 

If the load is unbalanced and the machine continues to spin at very high speeds, this will put enormous pressure on the bearing and springs connected to the drum. This could in turn, damage the components not the drum. 

Modern washers have a damage prevention feature that makes the washer spin and stop intermittently in an attempt to redistribute the clothes and balance the load. 

  • To avoid having an unbalanced load in the washing tub, endeavour to wash heavy items together. 

Clothes like towels, jeans, jumpers and thick blankets should be washed together. 

Do not load one thick towel with light underwear, for instance. This will make the load unbalanced. 

  • It will also make it difficult for the washing machine to attempt to balance the load by redistributing them. 
  • Also, ensure that your clothes are not tangled up when you load them in the wash tub.

Tangled clothes make it more difficult for the washing machine to redistribute. 

  • An unbalanced washing machine could also be responsible for slow spins or no spin cycles. 

So check to see that your washing machine is positioned in such a way that it is balanced and not leaning to a particular side. 

Check for broken or bent legs, if the washing machine is mounted on some sort of support. 

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There might be other things that affect the spin cycle of your washing machine.

  • However, the most common reasons why a washing machine fails to spin have been captured in this article. 

So when next your washing machine fails to spin, check to see if it is any of the issues we pointed out. And if it is, the recommendations we’ve made would be just fine.

  • Bear in mind that not all problems can be solved by you, especially if you do not have the technical know-how. 

If you are not confident about opening up your washing machine, it’s safer to call the repairperson to work things out. 

  • Nevertheless, if you choose to do things yourself, ensure you always switch off the machine before opening it up. 

Carry out your troubleshooting as safely as possible and when in doubt, halt your work and call a repairperson. 

  • Lastly, servicing your washing machine frequently will do you a world of good in preventing components of your machine from breaking down without notice.

Discuss with your repairperson to arrange servicing periods for your washing machine. That way you can ensure your machine is always ready for use. 

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