One of the most common washer complaints happens to be the washer won’t spin. The reasons range from heavy loads, a clogged drain pump, an electrical problem or alas, a worn out transmission. Fortunately, some of the problems associated with why your washer won’t spin are easily repaired. In fact, the most common issues are the easiest to repair. Some of the causes presented here require at least some knowledge of mechanics and electricity to troubleshoot and repair your washer. In all cases, operate the machine only when all covers, etc. are in place. While working on the machine, always unplug the unit. For repair procedures it’s best to perform a video search for your specific issue, purchase a repair manual, or hire a professional to complete the repair for you.
The most common reasons why the majority of older top load washers won’t spin:
- Lid switch – at the top of the list for this problem is the lid switch. Note this applies mainly to older Whirlpool washers and some Maytag models. The switch is located just under the top panel, near the 3:00 o’clock position when the lid is open. You can confirm its location by finding the two mounting screws visible when the lid is open.
- Motor coupler – next on the list is the motor coupler. If your machine actually tries to spin but nothing is moving, you might hear a loud grinding noise or similar sound. The likely cause is a stripped coupler. The coupler is comprised of two identical plastic pieces that fit into each other, one on the motor shaft and the other on the transmission shaft creating a union. There’s a black rubber disc between the two pieces that is used for sound deadening. This symptom is exclusive to older Whirlpool top load washers.
- Clutch – further down on the list is the clutch. Problems with the clutch come about gradually and are more noticeable with larger loads due to the extra weight. A classic symptom is your clothes are too wet after the spin cycle is complete. This is because the clutch is worn and slipping.
- Clogged drain pump – In many older Whirlpool washers the drain pump is connected directly to the drive motor shaft. A small garment such as a sock or rag may be stuck in the pump’s impeller causing the pump to jam which in turn stops the motor.
- Worn drive belt – if the drive belt(s) on your Maytag or GE washer are worn out, they will begin to slip to the point where your washer will not spin, even when empty.
The causes of top load washer spin problems vary between models, and the list here is by no means complete. Only the most frequent causes are listed to help you quickly diagnose a common problem before deciding to spend money repairing your washer or replacing it.