Fixing a Washing Machine That Won't Spin

How to Fix a Washing Machine That Won't Spin

Picture the scene. In the middle of another busy week, you finally get round to sorting your laundry and putting a quick load in the washing machine. You open the door to transfer your clothes to the dryer or the washing lineÖ but theyíre still sopping wet.

Granted, your washing machine not spinning isnít the biggest household disaster. But itís still pretty annoying when your appliance decides to skip the spin cycle. Not only do you have armfuls of dripping-wet clothes, you also have to call someone in to fix the machine.

Or do you? Before you start googling repair technicians, have a quick read through our troubleshooting guide. Thereís often a simple reason why a washing machine wonít spin, and with a bit of luck youíll be able to identify and fix the problem yourself. This guide covers:

Samsung washing machine

Why is my washing machine not spinning?

Thereís usually a fairly simple reason why your washing machine isnít spinning. For example, a washing machine won't go into a spin cycle until the water has drained. So if the drainage hose is kinked or damaged Ė or if itís got blocked somehow Ė that could be the source of the problem.

Sometimes the underlying issue can be sorted straight away, and other times you might need to call in a professional. The first step is to listen and feel the outside of the washing machine to work out whether itís unable to spin at all, or if it stops mid-spin-cycle. Washing machines with spin cycle issues often wonít drain either. If youíre having problems with both, the same guidance applies.

Issues with the wash load

Thankfully, the most likely reason why your washing machine wonít spin is also one of the simplest to fix. If youíve overloaded the machine, it may fill but not spin. Some washing machine models have sensors to tell you when theyíre too full, while others wonít detect an issue until the drum has filled with water.

An unbalanced load Ė where clothing settles on one side of the drum Ė can cause the same issue. The washing machine will either not spin at all, or not reach a high enough speed to be effective.

An uneven washing machine

Even if your washing machine was perfectly level when it was installed, over time it can become uneven and unbalanced. If your washing machine isnít completely level, sensors may tell it that the drum has been drained of all water when thereís actually still some left behind. So when you open up the door after the machineís finished spinning, youíre greeted with wet, soggy clothes.

A drainage problem

As we mentioned, a spin problem can also mean a drainage problem. If water isnít flowing to and from the appliance properly, it will start the spin cycle but never pick up speed or drain the water fully.

If thatís the case, itís probably an issue with the drainage hose, which could be kinked, twisted or crushed, or blocked with debris from inside the washing machine Ė anything from loose change to stray buttons.

A power source issue

Is your washing machine still plugged in? Itís not as daft a question as it sounds Ė a particularly fast spin or bump can easily cause plugs to start working their way out of the outlet.

If thatís not the issue, your harmless-looking extension cord could be the problem. Many extension cords canít conduct enough electricity to power a washing machineís motor, which may overheat and shut down as a result.

A faulty motor or drive belt

Of course, washing machines naturally suffer from wear and tear just like any other household appliance, and thereís a chance your problem could be down to a mechanical fault such as a burnt-out motor or worn or broken drive belt.

If the drive motor isn't working, your washing machine may have issues when it tries to spin, even though it fills without any problem. If the drive belt breaks or falls off, the washer may still be able to agitate and make noise, but the drum won't spin around. While you can check these faults yourself the actual fix may be more tricky, so unless youíre a confident DIY-er the safest option here is to book a repair technician.

Washing machine drum

Fixing a washing machine that wonít spin

Washing machine not spinning? Here are 10 easy checks to try:

  1. Check loads sizes
  2. Redistribute an uneven load
  3. Check detergent doses
  4. Level an uneven washing machine
  5. Check the hose for kinks
  6. Look for a blockage
  7. Check the power source
  8. Stop using an extension cord
  9. Check the drive belt
  10. Replace the drive motor (or get an expert to do it for you)

Note that some of these repairs may require you to remove the back of the washing machine to check internal components. If you do this, make sure the machine is unplugged and the water source is shut off.

1. Check load sizes

The front of your washing machine should have a capacity guide telling you the maximum number of kgs you can add in one go. While some machines have a family-sized 12kg capacity, others are a more modest 6kg.

If you think overloading the washing machine could be to blame, you can check how much youíre putting in with a laundry bag and a luggage scale. Or you could follow the advice of the people at Bosch, who recommend filling approximately 3/4 of the drum, leaving a handís width gap at the top of the washing machine drum when loading.

If you have a full drum that wonít spin, unfortunately your only option is to remove some of the wet clothes and try again.

2. Redistribute an uneven load

An unbalanced load impacts how the machine runs and how it goes through cycles. Itís easy to tell if thatís whatís going on, as youíll hear a thumping sound as the machine tries to pick up speed.

If youíre washing a couple of heavy items, try adding a towel or two to try and balance the load. If your washing has clumped together on one side of the drum, you can open the door and shift the items around so theyíre distributed more evenly. Your washing machine manual may have a section on how to ensure a balanced load, which you can check for future reference.

3. Check detergent doses

Another common mistake lots of us make is using too much detergent. But did you know that, as well as being bad for your clothes, too many suds can cause issues for your machine?

Too much detergent will fill the drum with foamy soap, which the washing machine then has to get rid of. This may lead to the machine stopping or postponing the spin cycle while it ejects the extra foam. To avoid this, check the dosing requirements Ė you might be surprised at how little you really need. Ariel has produced this guide on how to dose your machine to help.

4. Level an uneven washing machine

Is your washing machine trying to tell you something? If it makes a lot of noise and vibrations when it spins, it could be because the machine isnít balanced. Either your floor is slightly uneven, or the machine has moved slightly from its original position. Some washing machines will even sense when theyíre not level and won't spin as a safety precaution.

Itís an easy fix Ė just adjust the legs on the washing machine and use a spirit level to make sure itís sitting completely level.

5. Check the hose for kinks

The drainage hose removes the waste water from the washing machine and drains it away. If it becomes crushed, damaged, kinked or twisted, the water wonít drain properly and the machine may not spin.

Turn the washing machine off, carefully pull out the hose and check it for signs of damage. If you can see an obvious twist or kink you may be able to straighten it out. Otherwise, itís a case of replacing the hose as per the instructions in your user handbook. Be extra careful when sliding the washing machine back.

6. Check for a blockage

If the hose looks fine but you still suspect drainage might be the issue, you can check for blockages. Turn the washing machine off and pull it out, then gently remove the hose from the machine and then from the wall attachment. Check the handbook for guidance here as some models vary. Itís also a good idea to have some old towels ready to catch any water.

Hold one end of the hose under a tap so you can check whether the water flows through the hose properly. If not, youíll need to find something long and thin to try and dislodge the blockage with Ė a straightened wire coat hanger is fine as long as youíre careful. When youíre done, reattach the hose as instructed and slide the washing machine back into position, making sure you donít snag the hose.

7. Check the power source

This oneís really straightforward Ė just make sure the washing machine is still plugged in properly. If it is, check your homeís circuit panel to ensure that a breaker didnít trip. Itís also worth checking another electrical appliance to see if a power cut could be responsible.

8. Stop using an extension cord

Washing machine manufacturers generally advise against plugging them into extension cords because of the large amount of electrical current they need to operate. If thatís the issue, and thereís nowhere closer to plug the machine in, you should think about moving the washing machine or having a new outlet installed.

9. Check the drive belt

If the drive belt has slipped or broken youíll hear the motor running during the spin cycle, but the drum itself will remain still.

To check, youíll need to take the back off the washing machine and look to see whether the drive belt is still on the pulley. If not, you may need to replace it. Itís an easy enough fix Ė just make sure you buy one thatís made specifically for your brand and model of washing machine.

10. Replace the drive motor (or get an expert to do it for you)

If everything else has drawn a blank, it could be that the drive motor has burnt out, preventing the spin cycle from functioning properly. In that case, the washing machine may have issues mid-cycle when it tries to spin, even though it fills and agitates without trouble.

Replacing the drive motor isnít a DIY-friendly job, so if you suspect this is your issue, it's best to call a repair specialist. You might even need to start thinking about a new washing machine.

What should I do next?

No luck so far? If youíve worked your way through the checklist and canít find an obvious reason why your washing machine is not spinning, you may have to call a repair specialist. Washing machines can be fairly complicated, so you donít want to risk injuring yourself or damaging the machine.

When repair estimates come in at more than half the cost of a new model, it makes financial sense to buy a new one. A newer, more energy-efficient model will have lower running costs and should offer years of reliable service.

Need a new washing machine?

At Marks Electrical, we stock a wide range of top-brand washing machines at competitive prices. Start by taking a look at our washing machine buying guide, and remember weíre always happy to lend a hand if you need any help narrowing down your search. Delivery is free over £250, and we can even dispose of your old washing machine with our in-house recycling service.

Take a lookÖ


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