Troubleshooting A Washing Machine That Doesn’t Run

There are a number of reasons that a washing machine doesn’t run, fortunately, many of these problems are easy to troubleshoot by the homeowner before calling in a repair professional. While many of these checks are simple, you must use care around electrical devices and you should not attempt any check or repair that you are not comfortable completing.

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Check the Plug and Power Cord

The first step to troubleshoot a washing machine that doesn’t run is to make certain that the power cord is plugged in. If the cord is plugged in, make certain that the cord has not been damaged. If you believe the cord is damaged, turn off the breaker to the outlet before touching the cord.

Check the Breaker

Check the breaker that runs the washing machine. If the breaker is off, flip it to the on position. If the breaker continues to turn off there is a problem with the washing machine or breaker, leave the breaker off and call a repair person. If the breaker is on, flip it to off and then back on to reset it. If you have a fuse box instead of a breaker box, check the fuse that operates the washing machine.

Check the Outlet

If the cord and breaker appear to be working properly, next check the outlet. Defective outlets often show burn marks on the exterior of the outlet. You can use an outlet tester or electrical tester to make certain the outlet is working, or you can simply plug a lamp or other electrical device (that you know is working) into the outlet to check it. If the outlet is defective, turn off the breaker to the outlet until you replace it or have it replaced.

Lid Switch

Washing machines have a switch on the lid that works as a safety device preventing the washer from spinning if the lid is open. These switches work in different ways, but the most common is for the lid to have a tab that presses down on a button on the washer body. Find this button and slowly depress it with a pencil or other object. If the button does not make a clicking noise when depressed, it is likely defective. If your washer does not use a tab and button system, you should still hear a click when closing the lid to the washer. If you believe the lid switch is defective but are not comfortable replacing it yourself, when you call a repair person let them know that you believe the switch is bad and provide the repair person with the make and model of your washer. The repair person can then bring a switch with them (or you can order it yourself) saving the repair person an extra trip and saving yourself money.

Nicole Hennig
Nicole Hennig is a freelance writer, content writer, blogger, and also a photographer. She graduated from the University of Caloocan in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015.

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