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What to Do If Your Washing Machine Won’t Turn On

washing machine won't turn on
Jun 2021

There are several reasons why your washing machine won’t turn on when you need it. The good news is you can fix some of these issues by applying simple DIY techniques. 

DIY methods can save you the time and cost of hiring experts. However, there are issues that only experts or professionals can handle or tackle. 

It doesn’t matter if your machine is a top-loader or front-loader, as the DIY techniques can serve both types. If the DIY methods prove unsuccessful, it’s time to call in professional washing machine repair services.

This article will serve as an easy step-by-step guide to find out the issue with your washing machine and why it won’t start. 

Equipment for Fixing Washing Machine Not Turning On

It’s always advisable to remove the plug from the external sockets before fixing sensitive areas like the control board in your washer. Removing the washing machine plug from the sockets will help you avoid electrocution.

You’ll need some essential household tools to fix your washer for you to resume your laundry ASAP. See the list of the tools you’ll need below:

  • Pliers
  • An electric tester
  • Hex Head and Torque spanner
  • Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Nut drivers
  • Adjustable wrenches, nut drivers and sets of sockets
  • Pliers
  • Rubber mallet

Related Article: What Is the Cost of Washing Machine Repair in Toronto?

Why’s My Washer Not Coming On?

Sometimes, when you buy a new washing machine, it may come with industrial problems. You can detect these industrial problems shortly after putting on the washer or even before using it. Washers with this rare issue go back to the manufacturers for them to do the needful. 

But if you’ve been using the washer for a while and it just stops coming on, then something is definitely wrong. It may be malfunctioning due to some issues you can fix yourself.

Power Plug and Breaker

The power source is the first and simplest reason your washer may not be coming on. Without power, your washer won’t start. The power plug is responsible for providing energy for the washing machine. It provides power for the washer by transmitting electric currents from the external socket to the machine’s main control board.    

The spin cycle makes the washing machine move when it vibrates intensely. As a result, it sometimes makes the power plug come loose. 

The holes of the socket may not be tight enough to hold in the plug anymore. As a result, it can cause your washer to stop working abruptly, and such sudden power loss may damage your washer’s control board. 

A flipped breaker can also contribute to sudden power loss to your washer. Breakers overturn or flip when a circuit carries too much load. It happens at any moment and can be responsible for the power loss in your washer.

Faulty Knobs and Shafts

Knobs are round handles you can use to operate a control like switching on a washing machine. You may need to take a better look if the knob on your washer is not giving the result you desire. 

If the knob on your washer’s power switch cracks or gets broken, then it may stop turning on the switch. It may be that a piece holding it together fell off, or it’s bad as a result of wear and tear.

Door or Lid Switch

door or lid switch

You won’t be able to turn on your washing machine if the door is still open. Manufacturers build washers to lock their lids or doors before they start functioning because they splash water around. 

There’s a pressure tab on the lid switch that recognizes when you close the door. Then it sends a signal to enable the washer to know that it’s okay to start. 

A broken door or lid switch can’t send a signal, so your washer still thinks it’s unsafe to start washing. You may still see responsiveness and some lights, but your washing machine will not function. Instead, it will keep giving you an error message.

Broken Washer Motor

You can tell if the motor of your washing machine is faulty simply by listening. When motors start humming, whining, buzzing, and whirring, they are beginning to fail. Likewise, washing machines with loud or unusual motor sounds is a call for help. 

Once you hear the washer struggle to start and fail in the process, the motor is bad! Replacing it requires extreme care and experience. Call washing machine repair services to give it a look.

Shorted Main Control Board

The main control board of a washer is as the central processing unit (CPU) is to a computer. It organizes other components and controls the washer appropriately. Newer washers have complex control boards, unlike the old ones that have simpler ones.

If the control board is “shorted”, you won’t be able to turn on your washing machine. The washer will not have any spark of life. There may be uncommon responses, but it definitely won’t start.

You can locate the main control board in old top-load washers at the top control panel. The recent front-load washers have theirs at the front but behind the control.


Overheating can happen when you use a washer consistently over time. It may suddenly stop and refuse to start. Overheating may be due to an excessive workload. Simply give it some time to cool down before trying to start it again.

How To Fix a Washer That Won’t Come On

Households with little children can’t function without a washer for a day. When the washer refuses to start, dirty clothes pile up, and it can be disturbing. Before hitting the dial button for the repairer, you may want to try out some DIY fixes to get your washer up and running. 

The tips below will serve both front loader and top loader washing machines. These tips will also help you troubleshoot and discover the root of the problem.  

Check the Power Source

There are several reasons your washing machine isn’t coming on, but this is the most common one. Tracing the power source isn’t a complex task. You simply need to check if the washer is correctly plugged in the socket. 

You also need to ensure the switch in the breaker box is in the on position. Don’t use extensions for your washer! It’s best to plug them directly into a wall socket. 

check the power source

Scrutinize the Knobs and Shafts

When the timer knob on your machine wears out, it’ll lose its grip on the timer shaft. To fix this, turn off the power to the washing machine and examine the back of the timer.

Proceed to take off the knob from your washer for cleaning. Knobs get dirty and tacky from food splatter if you rarely clean them. 

Next, look for missing pieces that may keep the knob from firmly gripping the shaft. Finally, replace the knob with a new one if it’s worn out.

Look Out For the Door or Lid Switch

The lid switch is that pin or pusher you can locate directly under the lid. Make sure the door or lid presses the switch when you close it. If your washer doesn’t receive power after the door presses the switch, then the switch is bad. 

To ensure the switch is at fault, turn off the power to the washer, then remove the wires from it. Next, check the switch with a multimeter for continuity. If, after checking, there’s no continuity, it’s time to replace the lid switch. A lid switch is one unusual reason your washing machine won’t come on promptly.

The Start Switch May be Faulty

If your washer doesn’t start after pulling the timer knob, test it for continuity with a multimeter. Remember to unplug the washer from the external socket before finding the timer contacts. 

Some top loader washers have their start switch on the control panel. Test the switch for continuity while you push the button in. If there’s no continuity, replace the switch or timer. 

Broken Washer Motor

A broken motor is one primary reason you won’t be able to turn on your washing machine. If you hear a humming or whirring sound from your washer, then the motor may be broken. To be sure a broken motor is the problem, you have to test it. 

You can test the motor by detaching the belts, then try starting it. If the motor runs, then the fault is from something else. 

For newer models of washers with direct drive, disconnect the pump and the coupling to the trans. If the direct drive comes on, it’s most likely your washer has a pump or transmission issue. But if the direct-drive doesn’t come on, you need to substitute it with a new one.

The motor in front load washers drives the washing bassinet with a ribbed belt. Take off the belt and start the motor. If the motor is running, you need to be sure there’s nothing stuck between the bassinet and the basket at the outer tub. It’s an essential tip to fix a washing machine that isn’t coming on correctly.

Bad Electronic Control Board

The best way to check if the control board of your washer is faulty is by observing it physically. You may notice some burns or damages on the board. Remove those bad areas and replace them. However, it’s best to let a professional handle this task.

Related Article: Solved: Washing Machine Isn’t Spinning or Draining


There’s never a good time for your washing machine to go bad. Imagine you try to do a load of laundry before stepping out or heading for work just to find out that your washing machine won’t turn on properly.

After trying the DIY methods above your washer refuses to come on, it’s time for experts to step in. Prime Appliance Repair is always ready to save the day. Use our same day professional washer repair services for excellent results. 

We offer first-class services at very affordable prices. So get in touch with us, and we’ll have your washer working perfectly in no time! 

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