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The 'How to Fix it' Guide for Washing Machines That Won't Spin

Washing Machine Won't Spin - How to Fix it?
The common anomalies that may lead to a washing machine halting its spinning function are presented here. You'll need a short guide that will provide you with all the troubleshooting help you need.
Omkar Phatak
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Slamming Kills the Lid Switch
Avoid slamming the washing machine's lid, as it damages the lid switch, causing the spinning to stop. Close it carefully to ensure a long life for the switch.
Life without a working washing machine can be tough. One of the most common problems is its refusal to spin. There are many factors that may cause the spinning function to cease. You can always choose to ignore it and hope that the machine will fix itself and start spinning on its own. However, once you exhaust your stock of usable clothes and the soiled ones keep piling up, at some point, you may have to give up your belief in miracles and get down to figuring out why there is no agitation or spinning.

Every appliance, including a washing machine has certain problems, which can be easily fixed by anyone, while there are some which are best left to experienced repairmen. If your washing machine won't spin at all, there are ways in which you can take care of the problem on your own, if it's not very deeply rooted. It is essential that you refer to the manual, which is usually supplied by the manufacturer. An understanding of the basic working of the machine will be helpful.
Washing Machine Troubleshooting: Solving the 'No Spin' Problem
washing machine structure, parts
Before we go ahead, let me list the tools and other materials that you might require while undertaking the repair. Here is what you will need:
-Digital Multimeter
-Bucket or Container With a Mop
-Repair Manual
-Safety Goggles
-Safety Gloves

*Before you go ahead, switch off the machine and unplug it. (The instructions provided here are generic and will apply to most machines, but there might be some exceptions.) Make sure that you disconnect the machine from the electric supply, before attempting any kind of repair.
Lid Not Properly Closed/Lid Switch Malfunction
washing lid
A machine won't spin, if the lid isn't properly closed. The indication of its closure is provided by the lid switch. There is always a clicking sound which signifies the closing of the switch. In case you do not hear the clicking sound, the switch may not be working, resulting into the machine not spinning. In that case, getting the lid switch replaced will solve the problem. Also, the functioning might have halted, because of the dispenser drawer not being closed. Sometimes, when there is too little load in the machine, the spinning doesn't get triggered. In such a case, put a few more clothes to trigger functioning.

To check whether the lid switch is causing a problem, locate it, and check its connecting wires. Using the digital multimeter set on resistance checking mode, connect its probes with the wires. Now, open and close the lid and observe the resistance readings. Normally, the readings should alternately switch between continuity and infinity (i.e. no continuity), when the lid closes and opens. If you do not find this switching pattern, the switch may have become dysfunctional. To fix the problem, you will need to replace it.

For Maytag-type machines, you will have to access the panel behind the front console, to replace the switch, located within. For the Whirlpool-type machine, the switch is already exposed. Just remove the attachment screws to remove the old switch and replace it with a new one. Make sure that the lid is open, when you remove the old switch.
Draining Problems
drain diagram
A washing machine won't spin if the water is not drained properly in every wash cycle. Check the drain hose for clogging or kinks. If it has kinks, straighten it out and if it has clogged, clean it. Make sure that you have a bucket and mop in readiness, as water may spill out of the pipe. You may have to use screwdrivers to remove the hose. If the halt in spinning is because of clogging, cleaning the hose should do the trick and the machine will be up and running in no time.
Problems With the Belt
washing machine belt
Another reason which may cause the washing machine to stop spinning or spin slower is a broken or loose drive belt. Using the screwdriver, open up the back panel of the machine and inspect the condition of the drive belt. One way of checking whether the belt is the problem is to spin the drum. If it rotates with least resistance, as compared to the normal situation, when it experiences some amount of resistance, the belt definitely has a problem.

If the belt is slack, locate the tightening bolt and tighten it using wrenches. If it's broken, then replacing it will take care of the problem. If you cannot do it on your own, call a technician. Make sure that you buy a new belt, that matches your machine's specifications.
Problems With the Rotor/Stator Assembly
The rotor and stator assembly, together work to create a strong electromagnet that helps drive the machine's drum, to make it spin or agitate. If either of the two parts are burnt or damaged, the machine assembly won't spin. If this is the problem with your machine, you will have to call in expert technicians to get the parts replaced, to restore functionality.
Worn-out Motor Coupler
A small part, that is installed in connection with the transmission and motor shaft of the machine, is the motor coupler. Its wearing out may lead to a halt in the machine's spinning. Refer to the manual and identify the coupler. Its rubber and plastic body makes it easy to be located. Replacing it should do the trick.
Pump Problems
Problems with the machine pump might be the reason why the machine is not spinning. Locate the pump by removing the back panel and inspect it. Check if it is getting power, using the digital multimeter and set up its knob to check voltage. Remove the pump and clean it. If it works after cleaning, your machine should begin operation. If its belt is broken or the pulley is frozen, a replacement is on the cards.
Worn-out Clutch
Some machines have a clutch installed within them, to control the spin speed. With time, this part tends to wear out and if it does, the spinning may entirely come to a halt. In this case, a replacement of the clutch is the only option. It is recommended that you take help from a technician for the job.
Drive Motor Problems
motor assaembly
A reversing motor is used in certain machines to drive the agitation and spinning, which occur in different directions. It is quite possible that the motor may have burnt from one side, leading to a hindering of spinning operations. Most probably, you will have to get the motor replaced, in this case. Make sure that you buy the appropriate motor, according to manufacturer's specifications.
Even after checking for all these causes, if the machine doesn't work, it's time you called the technician and get the job done. Hopefully, these repair instructions will change the 'won't spin' status of the machine. It helps if you know these simple repair techniques, as they save you money and time.