Washing Machine Won’t Spin: Top 7 Problems and Fixes for Top-Loading and Side-Loading Washers (With Video!)

When a washing machine isn’t spinning like it’s supposed to be, there may be a problem with one of seven washing machine parts. Before starting to troubleshoot a washing machine, make sure the circuit breaker is off or the machine is unplugged. The hot and cold water supply should also be turned off. These safety precautions will prevent accidents during the process. Once your washer is safe to work with, proceed with this easy troubleshooting guide to save money and fix your washer yourself.

Once you have identified the part needed for your washer, search below using your specific washing machine model number to identify the exact part needed:

1. Coupler

When a washing machine isn’t spinning like it’s supposed to be, there may be a problem with one of the machine’s components. Before starting to troubleshoot a washing machine, make sure the circuit breaker is off or the machine is unplugged. The hot and cold water supply should also be turned off. These safety precautions will prevent accidents during the process. 

One of the top reasons a washer doesn’t spin is due to the coupler failing. The coupler is a part that connects the transmission and the motor on direct drive top-load washers that are a bit older. Couplers consist of three pieces and typically are made of plastic and rubber that work together so the motor can spin the transmission. One plastic part is located on the transmission, while the other is on the motor, and the rubber part is in between the two to absorb vibrations.

Sometimes when the coupler fails, the sound of the motor running will be present but the washer won’t spin or agitate. When the coupler is broken, it can also lead to loud noises from that area since the broken pieces will grind together. Another indication of this problem is finding pieces of plastic or rubber on the floor under the washing machine. If this is happening with the washer, the coupler will need to be replaced.

2. Drive Belt

The drive belt can also be the cause of a washer that won’t spin. It’s connected to the drive pulley and motor pulley so the inner tub can spin. Two kinds of belts are available: V belts and multi-groove belts. Regardless of the style of the belt, if it is broken, stretched out, or has fallen off, the washing machine will not be able to spin. On front-loading machines, the drive belt is typically on the back of the washer. With a top-loading washer, it will likely be found on the bottom.

Take a look at the belt for any damage associated with it. If it has merely fallen off, placing it back on can sometimes work. However, if it’s damaged or stretched out, it is going to need to be replaced. Sometimes there are other symptoms that the drive belt is no longer working, such as the smell of burning rubber, squealing noises during the spin and wash cycles, and an erratically spinning tub. 

The first thing you need to do is access the belt and then take it off of the drum if it’s still attached. If the belt has snapped or broken, it won’t be found on the pulleys. Instead, look for it on the bottom of the washing machine. The new belt that will be attached should be the same part and model as the old one to ensure it fits. Align the belt around the drum pulley with the flat side facing out. Secure the belt to the drum pulley, loop the free end around the motor pulley, and spin the washer tub so the belt aligns.

3. Lid Switch Assembly

The lid switch assembly is the next part to check for a washing machine that doesn’t spin. This part is a safety device that tells a washer when the lid is closed and locked. Many different varieties of lid switch assemblies can be found in a washing machine. On old top-loading washers, the cycle could be started with the lid open, but if the lid had failed, the washer couldn’t reach the spin or drain cycles. 

In most cases, the lid switch assembly is found under the washer top. When the lid is closed, the strike will engage the switch to let the washer know that the lid is closed. The first thing to check is whether the strike is damaged. If it is, it will need to be replaced. If the strike is working, the next thing to look at is the lid switch. It needs to be tested for continuity using a multimeter.

Using a multimeter will let a user know if the part can hold and carry electric current. Set the multimeter to continuity and then touch the probes together to make sure the device is working. Based on your switch type, the wires will either need to be removed or disconnected from the wiring harness. Touch a probe to each terminal, and with the lid closed, it should offer continuity. When the lid opens, the continuity should not be present. If this isn’t the case, the part isn’t working and should be replaced.

4. Door Latch Assembly

The door latch assembly is another safety device for a washing machine. It lets the washer know if the door is closed. It’s also responsible for locking the door while the washer is in use. Many styles of door latch assemblies are found in various washing machines. If this part stops working, the latch won’t send a signal to the washer that the door is closed and locked, which will prevent the washer from spinning. 

Some washers may still fill with the door latch assembly not working but it will not spin or agitate. If the washer features a diagnostic mode, after trying to run the washer several times, an error code should pop up on the display. On front-loading washers, the assembly is behind the front panel while it’s on the top for a top-loading washer. Before opening the machine, visually inspect the door strike for any damage.

If the washer isn’t spinning and it’s giving an error code, the user manual for the machine can give you more insight into what further steps to take. Find the code and follow the steps listed in the manual. If there is no code but you believe the latch has failed, a wiring diagram or user manual can give you information on how to check it for the model you own.

5: Clutch

Those who have top-loading washers should now consider the clutch if the washer is not spinning the way that it should. It gradually increases the speed of the washer during the spin cycle. Clutches are found in many types but all of them are responsible for the same thing. Inside there is a material like a brake pad that drives and grips the washer. If the material inside starts to wear down, the clutch may not work the way it should and the washer tub may no longer spin or agitate. 

The clutch is typically found at the bottom of the machine. If the washer tub is no longer spinning and noises are coming from the area near the clutch, it’s an indication that the component may have stopped working. In this case, the clutch will need to be replaced. One sign that the clutch has likely gone bad is found when listening to the agitation while it runs. If the agitator makes no noise when it moves, the clutch is likely the problem.

6. Motor Control Board

Next, when a washing machine doesn’t spin, the motor control board should be inspected and tested. It controls the direction and speed of the motor in the washing machine. Most newer washers include a separate control board for the motor functions. If it’s not working, it may not send power to the motor, which will lead to the washer not spinning or agitating.

On a front-loading washer, the control board is often found mounted on the bottom of the base of the machine. With a top-loading washing machine, the part is typically found inside the control panel. The first step is to check and make sure that the wiring connections to the board are plugged in securely between the board and motor. Another thing to watch for is damage or corrosion that might indicate the board is no longer working. 

If the problem continues, the user manual for the washing machine can be a help. Follow the troubleshooting steps recommended by the manual to test the board in your washing machine. If the part has failed, it will need to be replaced. 

7. Tub Bearings

The final component to check when your washing machine won’t spin are the tub bearings. These parts let the drive shaft rotate when the washing machine goes through its various cycles. Most of the time, one of two types of bearings will be present in a washer tub. The washing machine might utilize a sleeve bearing or ball bearings. The draft shaft rides on the bearings.

Most of the time, when a sleeve bearing fails, it will start to make a squealing sound, but that isn’t the case for bad ball bearings. These bearings might create so much drag that the washer tub is unable to spin. Front-loading washing machines have bearings found on the outer tub rear, while top-loading washer bearings are located at the bottom of the outer tub behind the motor.

Age can cause any type of bearing in a washing machine to fail. If the tub seal is leaking and water gets inside of the bearings, this can also cause them to stop working correctly. Bearings that are beginning to fail will make a squeaking noise, and as they get worse, the sound will accelerate. If the bearings aren’t replaced, they eventually can seize up and prevent the spinning of the washer tub. 

Turning the inner tub of the washing machine is one way to test whether the tub bearings have failed. Pay attention to any noise or whether the bearings are no longer turning as smoothly as expected. Replacing the bearings is needed if they are no longer working. It’s also recommended that you replace the tub seal at the same time.

Still have questions after reading this guide? Please reach out to AppliancePartsPros.com, we are always happy to help you fix your appliance yourself.  Since 1999, AppliancePartsPros.com has helped millions of people repair their broken appliances by providing high-quality original parts at well below retail prices, free tech support and troubleshooting, and award-winning customer service! We’re open 7 days a week. Visit our site at https://www.appliancepartspros.com or call us at 877-477-7278. Over 90% of orders delivered in 1-2 days with guaranteed overnight shipping available! 365 days to return any part. Expert, friendly, US-based customer support team.