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What to Do When Your Washing Machine Won’t Spin or Drain Properly

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washing machine won't spin or drain
Dec 2022

A washing machine is a helpful tool to keep your clothes clean and washed. You depend on this machine to clean all your clothes. So it can be very frustrating when your washing machine won’t drain properly.

The best thing to do when your washing machine isn’t spinning or draining is to call a pro. They have the right ideas and experience to fix different faults in the device. However, the issue may be a minor one you can solve independently.

The rest of this guide will discuss the possible causes of your washer not spinning. We’ll also highlight DIY fixes to try for each potential reason.

Why Your Washer Won’t Spin or Drain

There are many potential culprits to suspect when your washing machine won’t spin. But the first action should be to reset the device manually.

Start by checking the plug and power source to ensure everything is in order. After that, unplug the machine and restart the washing process. If it still doesn’t spin, then some of the common culprits to check include;

The Door

Many washing machine models have a component to detect when the door isn’t shut. The whole system automatically stops working when it detects an open door.

It’s always a good idea to check the door when you notice your washer isn’t spinning or draining. Some clothes may be in between the door, causing it to remain open. Remove these items, and try to restart the process.

the door

Improper Load and Washer Balance

The washing machine drum spins to wash clothes correctly. Your washer won’t spin well if there’s an imbalance in the system. Washing machine imbalance can come from these three sources:

  • The washing machine legs
  • Load distribution
  • An overfill of clothes

When you install a washing machine, the washing machine technician will try to place the legs on the same level. Over time, the legs may shift to different spots due to vibration while the washer works. This imbalance will cause certain washer types to stop spinning, especially the front-loading machines.

Likewise, ensure you have a balanced load distribution when using the machine. If you have heavy clothes like duvets on one end, balance the other sides to make the spinning effective.

Lastly, if you fill the machine to the brim, it won’t spin correctly and may not spin at all. The only solution is to remove the clothes and try them again.

Check The Lid Switch

Most washing machine models have a lid switch to detect whether the door is open or closed. And your washer won’t spin or drain if this switch doesn’t work properly. The signal sent to the machine will mean the doors are wide open.

The only solution to this problem is to replace the switch. The location of this switch is usually beneath the washing machine’s door. If you can’t find it around the door, check your user manual for a description of where it is.

If you have the right tools, remove the switch and buy an exact replacement.

Related Article: How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Whirlpool Washer?

check the lid switch

Check Drain Hose for Clogs and Positioning

The drain hose’s position may be responsible for any draining problem you’re experiencing with your washer. Your washer’s drain hose should slope outwards to enable easy outflow of water. And the device won’t drain correctly if the drain is in the wrong position.

While this is an unlikely cause of a washer not spinning, it’s possible. The solution is to rearrange the drain hose’s position — usually at the back of the device. 

The most common issue with a washing machine’s drain hose is clogs caused by clothes. Over time, clothing fibres can clog your washer’s drain hose. These clogs will affect the device’s ability to drain correctly.

Check the drain hose to confirm if there’s a blockage and clear it. Follow this process to check:

  • Trace the drain hose and detach it from the device.
  • Check inside the hose to find clogs.
  • If you can’t see through it, blow air through the hose to see if it passes through.
  • Clear any clogs you notice with a wire hanger.

If the drain hose is clear, then the problem isn’t with it. Most likely, the drain pump is the next culprit to suspect.

Drain Pump Issues

Before water moves out of the machine through the drain hose, it passes the drain pump. Like the hose, the pump can get clogged by cloth fibres and other dirt in the machine. Usually, the pump will make some labouring sounds when it’s struggling to work.

Sometimes, this block may happen due to dirt in the connecting pipes. Either way, you need to get to the pump and unclog it.

Again, check your user manual to be sure of your pump’s location. The front-loading washers have the pump in front, while the top-loading device has it’s at the back.

If you get the pump location, it’s usually easy to remove the covers and fix them. However, unclogging the pump requires expertise, and it’s always better to call an expert.

Motor and Drive Belt Issues

The motor and drive belt are two important components that makes the device work. The washing machine won’t spin if there’s a problem with these two components.

The drive belt is usually below the motor, fitting around the pulleys. It’s the component responsible for the pump’s operation.

Turning the drum manually with your hands is a good way to know if the drive belt is faulty. If the drum spins quickly, there’s a problem with the drive belt.

On the other hand, the motor connects with the drum through carbon brushes. Over an extended period, these brushes may spoil. The motor can also burn out with extended device usage.

If there’s a problem with your washing machine’s drive belt or motor, it’s best to call a technician. These fixes are technical and dangerous if you try them on your own.

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

drive belt issues

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons your washing machine won’t spin. As described above, some may be minor, while others require expert attention.

An expert knows the most likely cause of these defects and can detect other budding problems. If you’re looking for an experienced dryer tech, contact Prime Appliance Repairs.

Here, we troubleshoot and find solutions in the lowest possible time frame. Contact us for same day washer repair services.

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