washer won't spin

Troubleshooting Why Your Washer Won’t Spin

Modern washing machines are more powerful and efficient than ever, but that all goes out the window if your washer won’t spin all of a sudden. What are the potential causes of this problem, and how do you determine which one is the culprit?

If you have a washer not spinning, let us show you how to diagnose and fix it quickly.

Why Your Washer Won’t Spin

There are plenty of possible reasons for why your washer won’t spin. Most of the time though, the problem can be narrowed down to one of these common defects or part failures:

1 – Drive Belt

What it is: Regardless of whether you own a front-load or top-load washer, they both use powerful belt-driven drive motors to make the tub spin. The belt itself is durable and made of heavy-duty material, but even they can wear out over time.

How it fails: In some cases, the drive belt may have just come loose or lost tension with the drive pulley. That’s not always the case though, as some belts do get stretched, frayed, or torn over time due to overloading the washer or coming into contact with other damaged parts.

How to diagnose it: You’ll need to access the drive belt and give it a thorough visual inspection. Pull on it to check for slack and re-tension using the idler pulley if necessary. If you find the belt has cracks, tears, or is completely broken, replace the part.

washer not spinning
Image from Repair Clinic

2 – Lid Switch

What it is: Top-loading washers use lid switches as safety mechanisms. Their job is to stop the washer from spinning when the lid is opened during operation.

How it fails: Most lid switch failures are due to normal wear-and-tear. If you allow the switch to get damaged by letting the lid slam shut, it can accelerate the part’s deterioration.

How to diagnose it: Start by pressing the switch with your hand. If there is no click, the part is most likely defective. To be sure though, remove the part and test it with a multimeter. If the switch doesn’t show continuity, you’ll need to replace it.

washer isn't spinning
Image from Sears Parts Direct


3 – Door Latch

What it is: For front-loading washers, the door shouldn’t be opened while the cycle is running for any reason, and the door latch is what prevents the unit from running while open.

How it fails: A door latch can become physically or electronically damaged due to customer abuse or as a result of other part defects. This will cause the unit to think the door is constantly open, and therefore won’t allow it to spin.

How to diagnose it: Inspect the door latch for physical damage and check to see if it closes properly. If the latch looks good, use a multimeter to test each switch on the latch assembly. If any have failed, replace the part.

washer door latch
Image from Repair Clinic

4 – Motor Coupling

What it is: This part connects the transmission to the drive motor on top-loading units, and your washer won’t spin if it breaks.

How it fails: The motor coupling is actually designed to break in order to protect the motor and transmission when the washer is overloaded.

How to diagnose it: Access the motor coupling and give it a thorough inspection. If you see any signs of damage or breakage, it will need to be changed out.

washing machine won't spin
Image from Sears Parts Direct


A washer not spinning isn’t always an easy thing to diagnose on your own. If you’re still having trouble, call the washer repair experts at Oak Valley Appliance today!


David lange

David Lange

In 1982 David went to work for his mom as a service technician and has been servicing appliances ever since. He is the owner of Oak Valley Appliance, an appliance repair company in Tehachapi, CA, with local techs also serving Lancaster, Ridgecrest, and surrounding areas.