For many people using Whirlpool’s new top load washers, some of the same old issues come up, but now, for entirely different reasons. The previous versions of these washers exhibited, for the most part, mechanical problems preventing or stopping motor movement. Though the symptoms still exist, the reasons seem to be related more to electrical or electronic issues.
Electronic circuit boards now control the majority of the functions in this new top load washing machine. If your washer won’t spin or agitate, focus your attention on an electrical problem first unless there’s an obvious mechanical problem such as a seized basket that won’t move. That’s unusual, so stick with troubleshooting from the schematic.
- Breaks in the harness. I thought (at least hoping) these issues were resolved years ago, but that’s not the case. Harnesses contain small signal wires that can easily get pulled or tie-wrapped too tight, causing them to appear fine, but are actually open when read with a meter. Troubleshooting harnesses can get time consuming, so work in sections to narrow down the problem quicker.
- Blown start capacitor. It seems on some new machines, the motor start capacitor is undersized. I’ve seen the body of the caps completely blown apart. The cap is located underneath, next to the shift actuator.
- Main control. Speaking of undersized, it looks like the triac on the board might be the culprit based on the number of times I’ve seen burnt boards, and of course, no motor movement. But to be fair, it seems this particular problem is fading away as revisions to new boards are implemented.
- Shift actuator. In the early machines of this series, the shift actuator would jam or otherwise fail completely by not shifting the gearcase from agitate to spin and back again. Error codes on the control will confirm this.
The majority of the time, the machine simply turns off if a cycle is attempted and the motor is commanded to run. The control sees no movement via the sensor in the actuator, and immediately turns the machine off. In other cases when only the shift actuator is at fault, the error code will flash instead and disable the machine. If at any time you replace parts on the machine, it’s a must to calibrate the main control to realign the peripherals and sequence the control so the cycles operate correctly. The calibration routine is included with replacement parts that require recalibration of the control.