The spinner doesn't work on my washing machine

Written by christie gross
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The spinner doesn't work on my washing machine
Close water supply valves and unplug the machine before inspecting it. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A washing machine that fails to spin leaves laundry wetter than usual and requires more time in the dryer. Although a spinner may stop working for a number of reasons, the cause is usually attributed to a component that has malfunctioned on the machine. A preliminary machine inspection can help narrow down possible causes of spinner breakdown and determine whether or not you need to consult a washer machine repair specialist to assist you with the repair.

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Broken Lid Switch

A washer machine has a lid switch that securely fastens the access door shut while the washing machine is operating. The lid switch is basically a safety feature to prevent you from reaching into the washing machine in midcycle and becoming injured. However, if the lid switch fails to latch, it can prevent the washer drum from spinning. Open the washer door and locate the lid switch. Move your finger over the switch and listen for a clicking sound. If you don't hear it "click," the switch is broken and needs replacing.

Faulty Water Level Switch

The water level switch, also known as the pressure switch, regulates the water level inside the washing machine. The switch sends a signal to the control console when water reaches a certain level in the machine, and the control console directs the water inlet valve to close. If the water level switch goes bad or breaks, it's unable to properly monitor the washer's water level and can interfere with the spin cycle. If you suspect the water level switch is defective, consult a washing machine repair specialist to switch it out with a new one.

Worn Belt Drive

Older-model washing machines and some newer top-loading ones have at least one belt that operates the motor to the water pump and transmission. A washer with a loose or failing belt drive won't function properly, produces a burning smell, squeals and doesn't spin. Consult the washing machine manual for instructions on where to find the belt drive on your washing machine. Once found, make sure that it hasn't slipped out of alignment. It should bear a deflect tension of no more than half an inch. If the belt appears loose, worn or damaged, replace it.

Motor Coupler

New washing machines, like front-loading washers, usually have a motor coupler in place of a belt drive. The motor coupler essentially serves the same purpose as the belt drive: to spin the drum and activate the water pump to push water out of the washtub. It's comprised of three disks that connect with interlocking tabs. Over time with repeated washing machine use, the tabs can break and cause the motor to falter. As a result, the motor doesn't produce enough power to operate the transmission to rotate the drum, and thus the washer fails to initiate the spin cycle. Since you must remove the motor to evaluate the motor coupler, it's best to contact a washing machine repair specialist to inspect your washer and make any necessary repairs.

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