Trouble-Shooting: My Washing Machine Is Not Spinning

Help! My Washing Machine Is Not Spinning.

The spinning motion of your machine is vital for your fabrics if they are to be cleaned. They cannot just sit in soapy water and come out clean. 

Common reasons your machine may not spin include:

  • It being overloaded
  • A faulty door locking mechanism
  • It is in the middle of a cycle
  • It may be blocked or the pump is faulty
  • The pressure switch is blocked

Possible problem 1 – overloading


Check your machine isn’t overfull
Your machine may not spin properly or may fail to spin at all if you have stuffed too many items into the drum during a single load. Machines should not be filled beyond three-quarters of the drums physical space. To prevent this, lighten the load you place in the machine and ensure the items are evenly distributed when you put them inside. The later advice will help prevent your machine from becoming unbalanced. 

Possible problem 2 – middle of a cycle


Check to see if a wash cycle is happening
Maybe your machine isn’t spinning because it is in the middle of a wash cycle. This means the items of clothing will not start spinning until the designated time has elapsed for them to finish washing – in accordance with the machine’s programmed setting. 

Possible problem 3 – faulty lid switch


Check door switch/door interlock assembly
Door locks are components that prevent hands from entering the machine during washing. Your lid switch can be found inside the cabinet near the door frame. Switches that are damaged will prevent your machine from spinning and need to be replaced. For guidance on assessing and replacing a faulty lid switch please see page 7. 

Possible problem 4 – misaligned settings


Check programme switches
Your machine won’t spin if it’s speed and programme selector switches or knobs are set between different speeds or programme. You need to ensure they are not positioned improperly. 

Possible problem 5 – drain pump not working


Check drain pump
Objects lodged in the drain pump can cause machines to stop spinning. If you regularly hear a humming sound when the machine is full of water, there is probably a problem with the drain pump. Typical culprits are coins, buttons and pieces of fabric. For guidance on checking and changing your machine’s pump please see page 11. 

Possible problem 6 – damaged belt system


Part of what makes a machine drum spin is a system of pulleys and belts. Overtime these wear down from use and may get damaged. Damaged and worn belts and pulleys can stop a machine spinning. When the belt system has is broken, the drum will fill with water and function normally, but it won’t spin.

To check if you may have a damaged belt system use the following tests

Does your drum squeal as it spins?
To check if you have a damaged belt system listen to your machine as it spins. A squealing noise is symptomatic of a belt system that is wearing down. This sound will get louder the more the belt breaks down. 

Can you smell burning rubber?
If you smell burning rubber, there is a good chance it is the belt system going bad. 

Does your machine erratically?
If your drum spins erratically this may be indicative of problems with the belt system. If you suspect you have problems with the machine’s belt system, we recommend calling in a washing machine repair expert. 

Possible problem 7 – Check machine brushes

Outside of the belt system, which also assists your machine’s drum with turning are its carbon brushes. When these become worn your machine will have problems spinning.

  • If your machine fills and empties water normally but the drum doesn’t spin, or if it’s making some sort of spluttering noise, or if you can see sparks underneath the front of the machine you probably have worn brushes 
  • You will know if your brushes need replacing by having a look at how much material is left on them to determine how worn they are.
  • To access the motor brushes, you’ll need to remove the backplate of the machine. Once you have access to the motor remove it, you’ll notice two motor brushes attached. Remove them in order to properly determine how much material is left on them. 

Possible problem 8 – damaged motor


Check the motor

A machine’s motor is what ultimately turns and spins its drum or basket. Like most motors, there will be cranks, gears, shafts, splines and rods that assist the motor with turning. Often these parts can become worn out or moved out of place, when this happens it is usually best to get a washing machine expert to replace and realign these parts.