Washing Machine Not Spinning

Washing Machine Not Spinning

We get asked all the time in my repair business about washers not spinning so we decided to write about it as very often it's got nothing to do with the machine itself.

There are a number of reasons why your washing machine will not spin, many of them sadly are user generated errors that will often incur a charge to repair, even under warranty so please take the time to read the main reasons below for a washing machine not spinning or not spinning properly before calling a washing machien repairman.

The Washing Machine Spin Myths

Let's dispense with the old myths about washing machines.

Belts don't stretch. They don't and haven't done so for many, many years and in fact most belts will outlive many modern machines.

A washing machine spinning

Carbon brushes do wear down and this can cause a spinning problem with your washing machine but, the machine has to be a few years old for this to be the problem and it is easily checked, you can read more about how to check and replace washing machine carbon brushes here.

PCB, electronic modules or however you choose to refer to them do cause issues with spinning, or not spinning, but more on that in a bit.

Timers rarely, if ever, cause a machine not to spin or do something else wacky. My advice is, never, ever buy a timer because you "think" it might be faulty. You have to be sure as almost universally these parts are non-returnable and not cheap.

If you're thinking it may be a control part that's faulty, or you just think it is then I'd strongly urge you to read this article before you do anything at all

Blocked Washing Machine Filter

If your washing machine or washer dryer doesn't spin the first thing to check is the filter if the machine has one. Blocked filters are the most common cause of not spinning, often accompanied by its bedfellow fault, not draining.

Pull the filter out and clear out anything that you find in the washing machine drain pump, for more on how to do this please see this artice about washing machine drain pumps. You really should do this on at least a semi-regular basis anyway, most manufacturers say after every wash but that's a bit over the top, every few washes is usually fine unless you have an issue.

If the machine has drained you will most likely get a couple of cupfuls of water on the floor, that's perfectly normal.

If however the washing machine has failed to drain then be prepared for a flood!

If you don't want the hassle then feel free to call an engineer to rectify this.

Washing Machine Spin Out Of Balance Detection

This is the most common reason for a complaint of not spinning on a washer or washer dryer that we get. In fact it's almost a daily occurrence, especially when the appliance is still under warranty.

What happens is that the electronics in the washer detect an abnormal load and it will then abort the spin cycle, or at least it will not reach its top spin speed.

This happens for a few reasons, the first and main one is that it stops the machine from bouncing about due to a load that will make the drum move in an ellipse. That would, were it allowed to go ahead, result in the machine "walking" forward and even with this protection in place this can still occur in the flooring is not sound enough.

You can read more about installation of a washing machine here

The next is that it stops the outer tank of the washer (the bit that holds the water in it) from hitting the sides of the actual outer cabinet and causing damage.

Now, logically, the above being correct the larger that you make the load capacity of the machine to fit into the same space then the larger the outer tank has to be. Therefore there's less room between the outer tank and the actual cabinet, so you have to make the out of balance control stronger to stop any damage from happening.

This causes issues on modern machines as most cannot actually spin single items of clothing, the out of balance control is too harsh (for good reason) and the machine will not spin at full speed under these conditions.

This can also happen if you overload the machine.

Please remember that some of these electronic controls are very sensitive and any indication that an out of balance condition would occur will cause the machine to abort. So if you have this the best advice I can offer is to re-distribute the load and try again.

Of course all this is a result of consumer demand for washing machines that use higher spin speeds and have larger capacities. Sadly this is one of the side-effects of those features.

Washing Machine Doesn't Drain, So Will Not Spin

If your washing machine will not drain the water out then it will not spin. 

If you look inside the washing machine drum, through the door glass, you will often see water in the drum which means it could be a blocked filter, go back to the first section here if that is the case. 

Next you need to find out why your washing machine didn't drain the water causing the "not spinning" fault. Normally this would be something obstructing the drain pump from correctly draining the water away but you may have to dig a little deeper than that on occasion. You will often find small coins or kis toys etc find their way into the pump manifold (this is the plastic housing that the pump is mounted onto with the hoses attached) and blocked one of the inlets or outlets and, on occasion, these can get into the drain hose and block that.

After that you need to make sure that the washing machine drain pump is actually working.

You can do this using a multimeter and a simple continuity check of the drain pump's motor coil live and neutral connections as it will either make a circuit or not. If it does, the winding is okay and it should run, if not you need a new drain pump.

Also check the drain pump rotor. On an induction pump this will be solid and turn with the cooling fan on the back of the drain pump but on newer magnetic pumps the rotor will turn with a little resistance then "flick" to the next position repeatedly and the same way in both directions. If it's loos or broken, you need a new drain pump for your washing machine.

Faulty Washing Machine

There are faults that can cause a washing machine not to spin asides from the points above which you may be able to resolve on your own but my advice would have to be to call an engineer if you are unsure after checking the points made above.

This one fault can be caused by electronic control modules, motors, motor tachos, capacitors, pumps as well as a few other things besides and, almost every machine is different so it's not always easy to diagnose the fault remotely.

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