I’ve recently written about Whirlpool’s new line of top load washers and the learning curve involved with these new machines. It’s not they’re hard to operate, just different from conventional washers that have been around for many years. As with any washer or any other electromechanical device, certain issues crop up that seem to be isolated to a particular design. These new machines are no different. In these new machines, spin and agitation issues seem to be the most popular. Again, many of the issues are not real problems with the machines. Instead, they indicate a need for understanding about this new machine and the process it uses to wash clothes. But I digress. My reason for writing today is to delve into other reasons for slow or no spin, and agitation issues.
Garment lodged between the basket and tub. One issue that is usually caused by overloading the washer is a small garment finding its way under the tub ring and into the space between the tub and basket. This causes a bind in the system causing the machine to stall and turn off when the motor should be turning. Check to make sure the basket spins freely by hand when troubleshooting a spin or agitation issue before checking anything else.
Shift actuator or mechanical bind. An annoying occurrence with these washers is a no spin or agitation condition. The fault with this could be the shift actuator malfunctioning. If the actuator truly is the problem, the main control of the machine will indicate an actuator alarm. The actuator is attached to the gearcase housing underneath the machine. Its purpose is to shift the gearcase from agitation to spin and vice versa, and for positioning and rotation. If this device fails, an alarm is triggered in the main control. If the actuator fails because of a mechanical bind and doesn’t shift properly, the machine will not spin or agitate, but instead just stall and turn off.
Bad connection in harness. The same spin and agitation issue occurs if the harness routed under the machine fails. The harness on some machines is attached to places under the tub to keep it elevated and away from moving parts. The ties used to secure the harness sometimes are too tight and put strain on the wire, creating an eventual break causing the motor to lose power.
Main control defective. If you hear a short buzzing sound when the motor should be turning, suspect the main control, assuming the harness and motor are both OK. This isn’t a common problem but worth checking.