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Washer Doesn’t Agitate or Spin


Expert step-by-step DIY directions for troubleshooting and fixing a washing machine that doesn’t spin or agitate properly.

Anatomy of a Washing Machine©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Anatomy of a Washing Machine

Washer Fills but Does Not Agitate

If your washer fills with water but doesn’t agitate, the problem is likely to be a faulty lid switch, a broken belt, or a problem with the motor. (Note: Direct-drive washing machines do not have belts.)

To diagnose the problem, do the following:

1 Check the washing machine’s spin cycle. If this works, the motor is operating and the belt is not broken. If the spin cycle doesn’t work, the belt may be loose or broken. Tighten or replace the belt.

2 Check the lid switch and the tab on the lid that strikes it. If the plastic tab is broken, the washer may halt during certain cycles. Press and release the switch. If it doesn’t click each time you do this, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

3 If these measures don’t work, there may be a problem with the controls, or the agitator solenoid may be broken. Call an appliance repair person.

Washing Machine Does Not Spin

If the washer seems to complete all of its cycles but doesn’t spin:

1 Check to see if the clothes have jammed or are unbalanced in the drum. Unbalanced clothes will also cause a washer to shudder or “walk.” Open the lid and reposition the clothes. This automatically resets an off-balance shut-off switch; just close the lid. If straightening out the load doesn’t stop the washer from shaking, look at the feet and be sure they are properly adjusted to keep the washer sitting level on the floor (you just turn a knob to move them up or down.)

2 Check the lid switch and the tab on the lid that strikes it. If the plastic tab is broken, the washer may halt during the spin cycle. If the switch doesn’t click when you press and release it, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

3 Check the machines’ drive belt. It may be loose, worn, or broken. Tighten the belt or replace it entirely.

4 There may be a problem with the controls; in this case, call an appliance repair person.

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Clothes Do Not Spin Dry

If your clothes remain dripping wet after your washer’s spin cycle, perform the following:

1 Lift the lid during the spin cycle. If the tub is not spinning, you may have a damaged motor coupler. Call an appliance repair person to replace this part.

2 If the tub is spinning, recheck the load to make sure it is balanced. If you are certain the load is balanced but your clothes still come out dripping, you may need to have a damaged motor pulley, tub bearing, belt, or clutch replaced.

3 Be sure the drain hose isn’t kinked. Then check the tab on the lid that strikes the lid switch; if it’s broken, the washer may stop during the drain cycle. Press and release the lid switch. If it doesn’t click each time you do this, it’s probably broken. Remove the switch, test it, and replace it if needed.

4 The water pump may be broken or clogged with a small article of clothing, or the controls may be broken; call an appliance repair person.

NEXT SEE

• How a Washing Machine Works
• Washing Machine Shakes or Vibrates
• How to Install a Washing Machine
• Washing Machine Buying Guide

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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