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Do You Have A Washing Machine That Won't Spin? Here Are A Few Common Causes And How To Fix Them

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When your washing machine suddenly won't spin up, you have a major headache on your hands — the drum will be full of soapy clothes, leaving you to rush to the nearest coin laundromat in order to wash and dry your clothes. There are a number of potential problems that can cause a washing machine to never engage its spin cycle. Thankfully, some of them are easily repairable. Others will require you to call a professional appliance repair service to have your washing machine fixed. To help you find out what's preventing your washing machine from spinning, here are some common causes and their fixes.

Heavy or Unbalanced Load

Newer washing machines contain sensors that will measure the weight of the load in the drum along with its balance. For safety reasons, these washing machines will refuse to engage the spin cycle if they detect that your load of laundry is too large or unbalanced.

Simply try removing articles of clothing from the wash and rearranging them so that they're balanced — heavier articles of clothing such as jeans should be placed on the bottom of the drum close to the center, and lighter articles of clothing should be stacked on top. After rearranging your load of laundry, close the lid and see if the washing machine spins up.

Broken or Damaged Drive Belt

If your washing machine is belt-driven, you'll need to check the condition of the belt. Disconnect the power to the washing machine and take off the back panel so you can look inside — there should be a thick rubber belt connecting the motor to the transmission. The friction caused by the drive belt rubbing against the transmission wears it down and will eventually cause the belt to break.

Replacing a broken or worn drive belt is easy. You need to order a replacement from the manufacturer, unscrew the damaged belt from the motor and remove it, loop the new belt around the transmission and then securely screw it into the motor.

Broken Drive Motor Coupling

Some washing machines use a direct drive system instead of a drive belt. In a direct drive washing machine, the motor is connected to the transmission by a motor coupling. Look at where your washing machine's motor connects to its transmission — the motor coupling is the two triangular pieces with a rubber disc between them.

Similarly to a drive belt, friction wears down the motor coupling over time and it can break. However, replacing the motor coupling is a more complex job than replacing a drive belt — it's best to call an appliance repair technician instead of attempting it on your own. Installing a motor coupling improperly can place too much stress on the motor, causing it to wear out faster.

Door Button Isn't Functioning

For your safety, a washing machine won't engage its spin cycle if its door is open. Unfortunately, sometimes the door button on the washing machine malfunctions. When this happens, the washing machine will always recognize the door as being open, preventing it from spinning.

Remove your washing machine's top panel and look for the door button. With the washing machine powered on, depress the door button and listen for a clicking sound. If you don't hear one, your door button is defective and needs to be replaced. This is another easy job — simply order a replacement from the manufacturer, unscrew your defective door button and screw in the replacement.

If you do hear a click when you depress the door button, examine your washing machine's door. The door button is depressed by a small tab on the door when you close it. Sometimes this tab bends or breaks off. If the tab is defective, you'll need to straighten it or replace it.

When none of these fixes work, it typically means that your washing machine's electronics are defective or its motor has burnt out. Fixing either of these two problems should be handled by an appliance repair specialist — replacing the circuit board or the motor in your washing machine is an involved process that often requires special tools. To get your washing machine spinning again, call an appliance repair specialist — you'll avoid the high prices and the hassle of going to the nearest coin laundromat to do your laundry. Contact a local appliance company to learn more about how they can help you.