How to fix a washing machine that will not drain or spin

Written by katherine bostick
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How to fix a washing machine that will not drain or spin
(waschmaschine image by Stefan Häuselmann from Fotolia.com)

There are several reasons that a washing machine won't drain or spin. The cause could be something as easy as a clog or something difficult that will need a licensed repairman. Start with the simplest possible cause and work down to the more difficult causes.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Flashlight
  • Voltmeter
  • Wrenches
  • Bucket
  • Rags or mop

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Instructions

  1. 1

    A washing machine won't spin if the water can't drain. Check hoses for any kinks or clogs that may prevent the water from draining. If a hose has kinks, try to straighten out the kinked hose. If it can't be straighten sufficiently, replace the hose. If hoses are not kinked, check for clogged hoses. This can be done by using the screwdrivers to remove the hoses and looking for clogs or running a water hose through the clogged hose to remove the clog. Use the rags and bucket to clean up the water that comes out of the hoses when they are disconnected. Once the clog is cleared, put the drain hose back into place. The washer should drain and spin now if a clogged or kinked hose was the problem.

  2. 2

    If the washer still won't drain or spin, check to see if the lid is not closing all the way or if the lid switch is not clicking into place. Close the lid and make sure that it closes all the way down. When the lid closes, the lid switch should click. If there is no clicking sound, then the switch may need to be replaced. Follow manufacturer's directions for replacing the switch. If the lid does not close all the way, visually check for signs that the lid is bent. If bent, try to bend it back into place.

  3. 3

    Loose or broken belts could also prevent a washing machine from draining or spinning. Pull the washer away from the wall and, using the screwdrivers and wrenches, remove the back panel. Using the flashlight, visually check for any broken or loose belts. Replace any broken or loose belts. Although replacing washing machine belts is difficult, anyone who has replaced belts on a car, lawnmower or even a bicycle chain should be able to accomplish the task.

  4. 4

    Another possibility for a washing machine to not spin or drain is the pump. With the back panel still off the washer, check the pump with the voltmeter to ensure that the pump is getting power. If the washer is getting power, turn on the washer and listen to find out if the pump is running but the water is still not draining. It may be necessary to remove the pump and clean it or to replace the pump with a new one. Once the pump is replaced, turn on the washer to determine if it will now drain and spin.

  5. 5

    If all of the above steps fail to produce a washing machine that drains or spins, then it is time to call a professional repairman. Use the screwdrivers and wrenches to replace the panel on the washer and push it back against the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Refer to the troubleshooting section of the manual that came with the washing machine.
  • Never touch electrical components without disconnecting from the electrical power.

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