Washing machine won’t spin! Help!

My Washing Machine Won’t Spin, what can I do?

If your washing machine won’t spin take heart, you are far from alone. This is actually quite a common problem and the cause can be very simple and easy to fix, or complicated and require good DIY skills. We’re going to look at various reasons your washing machine won’t spin, and give you some solutions to resolve the problem.

Simple cause, simple fix

If the problem is intermittent it could be as simple as an unbalanced load. Sometimes clothes or towels or blankets can bunch to one side and the weight can result in your washing machine not spinning properly. Often, an overloaded washing won’t spin either.

So what’s the trick? How do you ensure that you pack the perfect load?

According to eSpares, you should wash heavy items together, and put them in the washer individually so that they don’t get tangled. Wash light items together and resist the temptation to stuff in a bath sheet or blanket as this will, once again, unbalance the load.

Simple cause, not so simple fix

Bear in mind that it doesn’t take several items to constitute a heavy load. Cramming your thick winter duvet in the machine may not unbalance the drum or tub, but the substantial weight can damage important components, including bearings and springs. If this is the reason the spin cycle is not working properly you may have to replace the damaged parts. Your owner’s manual will show you where to find them.

Not so simple reasons your washing machine won’t spin

  1. A problem specific to top-loaders is wear and tear on the direct drive motor coupling. This could affect the transmission and clutch (if there is one) and will result in your washing machine draining but not spinning.

It’s not an easy fix. It involves accessing your machine’s innards and potentially removing the motor and pump before you can reach and remove the direct drive motor coupling. You need to be able to remove it without damaging nearby components and install the replacement drive without damaging other parts.

Unless you really know what you’re doing, you should call a professional technician to replace the part.

  1. A damaged drive belt could be the reason your top-load or front-load washing machine won’t spin. The most common problems are overheating and, of course, normal wear and tear. Sometimes there are additional problems, including a conked out idler pulley, motor glide, or transmission pulley. These parts ensure the drum or tub moves freely.

Your owner’s manual will show you where to find the drive belt, which is easy enough, but removing it is another matter. You need to disconnect the clamps that connect the belt to the drive motor (check your owner’s manual). If you’re confident with this level of DIY then you might also be confident enough to replace the belt with a new one.

If DIY is not your thing, call a professional technician.

  1. Our final example of a problem that could lead to your washer not spinning clothes dry is a malfunctioning motor, most commonly caused by worn carbon brushes. One of the signs of this problem is your washer draining but not spinning. Another sign is a spluttering noise.

You’ll have to remove the motor to fully inspect it and find the source of the problem. Motors can be complex parts, so you should only tackle replacing the motor if you are completely confident in your DIY skills. Otherwise, you guessed it, call a professional technician.

Is the reason your washing machine won’t spin really what you think it is?

There are some in the industry who disagree with much of the information supplied above. They call them ‘washing machine myths’ and they are keen to dispel them. Let’s take a quick look.

  1. Damaged belts. Modern belts in modern washing machines aren’t prone to stretching or even a significant amount of wear and tear.
  2. Carbon brushes. Worn brushes are a problem but only in machines that have seen a lot of action over several years.
  3. Faulty timer. Only in the rarest of circumstances does a broken timer ensure your washer stops at the rinse cycle.

Some genuine problems, according to the article, include:

A blocked washing machine filter: Clean the filter and check the drain pump for blockages. Carry out this task at least once a month.

Spin out of balance detection: Modern washers have an electronic system that can tell when the load has caused the drum or tub to spin out of whack. The system either stops the spin cycle in its tracks or slows it down to prevent damage. The load can be either too heavy or too light, as is the case if you are just washing one item (that is not your winter duvet).

A genuinely faulty washer: These faults are difficult to detect and should best be checked and repaired by a professional technician.

Remember: It is vitally important that you unplug your washer if you are going to undertake any repairs by yourself. Safety first.