How To Fix A Washing Machine That Is Not Agitating Or Washing

Trying to wash your clothes but your washing machine will not agitate or wash? If your washing machine fills with water but then stops, here is the best tip to fix it fast. If you have a top loading washer, the MOST likely part to have failed is the LID SWITCH. Before anything make sure that you have the lid shut. The machine will not run if the lid is open. This is a safety feature so the machine will not agitate with the lid in the open position. Many times we can get into a rush and forget to shut the lid. If you have the lid shut and the machine has only filled with water and stopped, read on below. (If your washer is NOT SPINNING DRAINING, click here.)

washer no agitate

Your top load washing machine has a safety feature built in that will not let it agitate or wash if the lid is open. If the lid switch in your washing machine goes bad, the washer will think the lid is in the open position. This will cause the machine to not do anything after it fills with water. If the lid switch is bad, having the lid either open or closed will make no difference. If the washing machine has power, has filled with water, then stops, makes no noise, then the lid switch is most likely the part that needs replaced.

The best thing to do at this point is to get the make and model number of your washing machine and type it into Google. Write the words “lid switch” after it and find the exact part for your machine online. Order it next day air and install it with the instructions included. If this did not fix your washer, there is another part that has failed. See below.

VIDEO: Troubleshooting why your washing machine is not agitating

The lid switch is the most likely part to fail in this circumstance. However, this is only the most likely and there may be another part at fault. Here is a short list of ALL the parts in your top load washer that may have failed (and caused your particular problem) in alphabetical order…

  • Cycle Selector Switch – The cycle selector switch controls the speed of the motor and if it goes bad it can stop the motor from operating.
  • Drive Belt – If the belt falls off or becomes worn the transmission will not turn and the machine will not agitate. The machine will make a humming noise as the motor will be running.
  • Drive Motor – This motor turns the agitator and drum to wash your clothing. If it goes bad the machine will not agitate.
  • Lid Switch – The lid switch makes it so if the lid is opened, the machine will not run. A bad lid switch will make it so power cannot get to the drive motor.
  • Timer – The timer supplies power to turn the motor. If the timer is defective, the motor will not turn therefore no washer agitation.
  • Water Level Switch – The water level switch (aka Pressure Switch) controls the water level. If defective the motor may not receive power.

These are the most likely parts that may have failed due to the issue we have explained above. Use safety precautions when doing any type of maintenance checks on your washer.

Not all top loading washing machines work in the same way. Some have different parts and operating functions. This guide shows the most basic and general method of fixing most top load washers.

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 30 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of machinery. Contact here

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