It can be a real headache when your Whirlpool washer stops spinning for no reason.
With so many potential causes behind the problem, it can seem impossible to know where to start.
But don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll list all the problems that will cause your washer to stop spinning and explain how to get it fixed as quickly and simply as possible.
Why is your Whirlpool Washer Not Spinning?
The good news is that many of these problems are just simple user errors that can be easily fixed with a bit of cleaning or adjusting some settings.
However, in some cases, there may be a component failure that we will need to identify and replace as needed.
1. The Washer’s Overloaded
It’s easy to want to wash as many clothes as possible, but when you do, sometimes, the washer can be overloaded.
Too many clothes in the load washer will restrict the drum’s ability to spin or potentially stop it from spinning.
Additionally, sometimes the clothes can bundle up onto one side creating an unbalanced load which will also give the drum spinning problems.
2. The Washer isn’t Level
Because the drum spins on a bearing, it needs to be level to function. When it’s not leveled it can cause the washer to rock during a wash cycle which throws it off balance.
This can potentially damage the components and put a strain on the drum mount. It will also make the washer very noisy and unpleasant to run.
3. The Washer’s Jammed
If the clothes tangle up around the perimeter of the basket it can make the washer drum struggle to spin. Some washers also can detect this and will purposely spin slowly to avoid damaging the components.
Ensuring the clothes are evenly distributed is important for having the washer run smoothly.
4. A Glitch in the System
As load washer technology has progressed they have started to use computer systems for many of their features. This can leave them prone to developing bugs and glitches.
This will often require a power cycle or hard reset to fix.
5. The Drain Hose is Kinked
When there is a kink in the drain hose it will prevent water from draining away which can cause the washer to stop spinning if it triggers the fill switch.
It’s easy to kink the hose by accident when you move the washer so we need to ensure it’s straightened out properly.
6. The Drain Pump is Not Working
Similarly, the drain pump also needs to be working to remove the dirty water from the washer.
Otherwise, water will build up and the drum won’t be able to spin. So we need to check the pump for functionality and potentially replace it if it’s not working.
7. The Drain Valve is Clogged
The drain valve opens to allow the dirty water to drain away into the hose. Sometimes this can become clogged up with things like lint or hair that’s pulled out of the clothes.
We’ll need to clean it out to allow the water to drain away.
8. The Door Lock isn’t Working
The door lock needs to latch tightly to the washer to create a water-tight seal. There is also a sensor that tells the machine that the door is shut and that it’s now safe to start up.
If either of these door-locking components becomes defective then the washer won’t spin as it believes the door’s still open.
9. The Drain Pump is Clogged Up
Arguably a more common occurrence than the drain pump failing is that it’s become clogged up with lint and various other debris.
Usually, this happens when the lint trap is blocked so the debris has nowhere else to go other than to the filter. This makes fixing this a two-part process of unclogging the lint filter and then cleaning the drain pump.
10. The Lid Switch is Failing
Most top-loader washers don’t have a door-latching system as gravity keeps the door closed. But they do have a sensor that lets the machine know the door is closed and it can now spin.
These sensors tend to fail, usually to the lid being closed a bit too hard too many times.
We’ll need to test this switch for continuity and replace it if it has failed.
11. A Drive Belt Issue
The drive belt connects the drum to the motor. These belts can sometimes slip off due to excessive vibration, or wear down over time and need to be replaced.
12. The Drive Pulley is Worn Out
The drive belt and motor are mounted to a drive pulley which uses a bearing to spin the washer drum.
These can wear out over time which will prevent the drum from spinning even if the drive belt turns the bearing.
13. Clogged Drain Filter
As an additional layer of protection, the drain pump has its own filter which can also become clogged up. Cleaning this filter is not considered part of general maintenance, but if you’re having this problem unclogging it can oftentimes help.
14. Motor CouplingFailure
The motor coupling connects the inner wash tub and the transmission together. If you can hear the motor running but the drum still won’t spin there’s a good chance this component is failing.
15. A Clutch Issue
Another mechanical component that helps the drum spin, a common issue to occur is that the metal teeth inside of the clutch have worn down over time.
Additionally, if the washer is knocked hard during use the clutch housing might have broken.
16. The Rotor is Worn Out
The rotor is the mounting system that connects the drum to the pulley. Because of the forces exerted on them, these can wear down over time.
They also use an unbalanced weight to keep the drum steady while in operation, sometimes replacing this can help too.
17. Stator Assembly Failure
The stator is a housing assembly in which the drive motor and transmission are mounted inside.
These can commonly fail due to an excess build-up of lint which causes them to overheat.
18. A Drive Motor Failure
The motor that powers the pulley system can also fail due to wear and tear on the gears. If this is tested and found to be defective it will just need to be replaced.
19. The Control Board isn’t Working
The control board is the digital ‘brain’ of the washing machine, and when this goes bad many of the features of the washer will stop working. We’ll need to replace the board to return functionality.
20. A Transmission Failure
The transmission is a complicated mechanism with many potential failure points. These are extremely hard to repair by yourself so this too will need to be replaced.
21. Incorrect Detergent Type
Using the wrong type of detergent can result in excess sediment and suds build-up, which may clog the machine and affect functionality. Ensuring that you use the correct detergent and the recommended amount specified is important.
How to Fix a Whirlpool Washer Not Spinning
Many issues that you run into with a washer not spinning are due to clogs and build-ups, which can easily be cleaned out by hand.
Other times there may be a component failure that will require a technician to help you replace it.
1. Reduce the Load in the Washer
If your washer is over 75% full you should consider removing some and doing a second load to put less strain on the machine.
Additionally, if the clothes are bundled up onto one side you should redistribute them evenly.
2. Level the Washer
Using a spirit level, check for low corners on the washer.
You can then adjust each of the feet individually to get it completely level with the floor.
3. Unjam the Washer
If the washer’s jammed with clothes, remove everything from the washer and check for anything that needs to be put into netted bags such as lace or tassels.
4. Perform a Power Cycle
To power a cycle washer we need to turn it off and then completely remove it from the wall outlet. This will allow the energy stores in the capacitors to dissipate.
Wait for 1-2 minutes and then plug it back in.
5. Unkink the Drain Hose
Inspect the drain hose for tight kinks that may restrict water flow. If any are found, pull the dryer out and straighten the hose out, then push it back in carefully, being mindful not to cause any new kinks.
6. Replace the Drain Pump
If the drain pump has been checked and found to be faulty it will need to be replaced. You can contact Whirlpool support for assistance from a trained technician on how to do this.
7. Unclog the Drain Valve
Using your user manual, locate the drain valve on your machine. Unplug the washer from the power supply and then clean the drain valve out using something like an old toothbrush.
8. Fix the Door Lock and Sensor
If the door lock isn’t latching it will need to be replaced with a new one. If it is latching the issue is likely with the sensor. Test the sensor using a multimeter and if it’s broken then this too will need to be replaced.
9. Unclog the Drain Pump
The drain pump can be unclogged using a vacuum and a brush. Ensure the lint filter is kept clean so debris can’t pass through into the drain pump in the future.
10. Test and Replace the Lid Switch
The lid switch must be tested with a multimeter to determine functionality. If it’s found to be defective, then it can be replaced. Fortunately, this process is a little easier as top-loading washers are more accessible.
Follow these instructions on how to do it.
11. Check the Drive Belt
If the drive belt has come off you will need to reinstall it. If it looks very old and frayed it may just be worn out in which case you should swap it out for a new one.
12. Replace the Drive Pulley
If the drive pulley bearing has worn out you will need to replace it. To prevent this issue from occurring again in the future ensure it’s kept clean and free from lint and debris.
13. Unclog the Drain Filter
Much like the lint filter, the drain filter can be unclogged using a vacuum and an old toothbrush. This maintenance should be performed ideally every six months to prevent clogging.
14. Replace the Motor Coupling
After inspecting it visually if it’s determined to be damaged you will need to call a technician to have it replaced. You can pre-emptively prevent this issue from re-occurring by avoiding overloading the washer.
15. Replace the Clutch
Whether the housing or the bearings are worn down, this will need to be replaced by a professional as it’s too difficult for a user to service.
16. Fix the Rotor System
The first thing to do is replace the unbalanced weight on the end of the rotor. These are quite cheap components and easy to replace yourself.
However, if the entire rotor system needs replacing you will need a technician to perform this task.
17. Replace the Stator System
Sometimes the stator system can be cleaned out to restore functionality, but this is more of a preventative measure.
If this has been flagged up as broken then it just needs to be replaced.
18. Install a New Drive Motor
The drive motor is situated underneath the washer tub and can be easily replaced.
All you need to do is remove the back panel and detach the wires from the old motor.
Remove it from the chassis and insert the new motor, then reinstall the wires in the same way and re-attach the back panel.
19. Replace the Motor Control Board
The motor control board is a very complex component and cannot be user-serviced. You will need to contact Whirlpool support for additional assistance.
20. Repair the Transmission
If the transmission has failed, it will need to be repaired. Fortunately, most common components can be sourced from Whirlpool or a third-party vendor and be user-installed.
However, if you don’t feel confident doing this we recommend contacting a professional.
21. Use the Correct Detergent
Make sure you are using the correct detergent for an electric washer, and follow the instructions on the packet to ensure you don’t overload the machine with detergent.