A washer that won’t start or turn on means dirty clothes can’t get washed. When you are without a washer, that can be a big problem. To get your washer to work properly and start, we have compiled a repair guide below to assist you to fix a washer that will not turn on, start, or run. The procedures below are for both front loaders and top loader washers.
Below you will find a list of the most common washer parts and components (from the most probable to the least probable) that can malfunction and cause your washing machine to not turn on or start. Use our comprehensive list to help you troubleshoot which part may need to be removed and replaced.
Main reasons a washer will not start (either front or top load):
1. Power breaker off, washer not plugged in.
2. Lid switch faulty, door switch faulty.
3. Start switch and or timer faulty.
4. Washer motor faulty.
5. Main control board faulty or shorted.
Power to Washer
Be sure the washer is plugged into the electrical outlet in the wall. Also be sure the breaker switch in the breaker box is turned on. If you live in an older home your box may be called a fuse box. If so, make sure the fuse is in good working condition.
Door Switch Strike (Front Load Washer)
The door switch is a safety feature on front loading washing machines. On front loaders, the door switch must be closed and the door must be locked. If this switch malfunctions, the washer won’t start. This switch is in the door frame of the washing machine where the door shuts. If you suspect the door switch is causing your washer to not start, carefully check the strike where it engages into the door lock assembly. Be sure the lock is working properly by keeping the door shut and locked shut. You can check the door switch for continuity with a multimeter. Be sure to disconnect the power to the washer when you check for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the door switch.
Lid Switch (Top Load Washer)
A lid switch is a safety device located under the lid on top load washers. This lid switch will not let the motor operate when the the lid is open. If the lid switch is faulty, then the washing machine will not start. It may fill with water but will not spin if the switch is faulty. Some lid switches on top loaders also control the water inlet valve. In some top load washers, if the lid switch is bad, the washer will not fill with water. The lid switch is under the lid. There is a pin or pusher attached to the lid. This pin or pusher (when lid is closed) will press the lid switch. If your washer will not start, be sure the switch is being pressed. If the lid switch is being pressed but no power is being supplied to the washers motor, then the switch is most likely bad. To test the switch, turn off power to washer and remove the wires from the lid switch. Check the switch for continuity with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the lid switch.
Start Switch and Timer (Top Load Washer)
The start switch timer on top load washers is part of the timer. This starting switch is turned on by pulling out the timer knob. If after pulling the timer knob the washer will not start, you can test it for continuity with a multimeter. Remove power from the washing machine and find the timer contacts. Some top loaders have a start switch that is a momentary contact type of switch. This switch will be located on the control panel. You can also test this switch for continuity with a multimeter while pushing the button in. Remove power from the washer before testing for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the start switch and or timer.
Sometimes the timer knob wears out and cannot properly engage the timer shaft. If this is the case, then the knob is at fault. The knob cannot grip the shaft therefore is unable to turn the machine on. A worn knob will cause it to slip. Turn off power to the washer and inspect the back of the timer. Make sure the timer shaft engages the knob when it is pulled in or pushed out. If the knob is worn, replace it with a new one.
Both top and front load washers use a motor that spins and agitates. (A top load washer uses a reversing motor) The motor spins in one direction to agitate and the other direction to spin. When the wash motor will not turn on it may be faulty. If the motor makes strange humming sounds then the motor may be at fault. To test the motor, remove the belts and try to start the motor. If it runs then you know something else in the washer is causing the issue. On newer direct drive washers, you will have to disconnect the pump and the coupling to the trans. If the direct drive motor turns on, then then you have a transmission issue or possibly the pump. If the direct drive motor won’t start then it should be replaced. On front load washers the motor drives the washing basket with a ribbed belt. Remove the belt and try to start the motor. If the motor runs, then be sure the basket turns and doesn’t have anything stuck or jammed between it and the outer tub basket.
Main Electric Control Board
The control board controls every component in your washer. If the main control board does not properly control the motor, the filling valve, the drain motor, or the door lock, the washer will not start. The only way to determine if the control board is at fault is to visually inspect it. Check for burned areas or any component on the board that may look burned or damaged. If you find burned areas or components on the control board, remove and replace it.
If you still need help, assistance, or answers to fix your Washing Machine That Won’t Turn On, ask the
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