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If it is a top-load (I'm not sure about front loaders) the direct drive motor coupling has broke. It's designed to break (for safety reasons), and will eventually break due to fatigue. If the washer washes and drains, it is usually this part. A $10 part which takes 10 - 30 min to replace. Here's a link to the part and some other common parts.
It sounds like it could be the coupling that has worn or broke, to verify this put the washer in spin, let it drain the water out (if it will) then turn off the timer or open the lid, wait 10 seconds or so then start back up in spin. If the washer just whines then it is most likely the coupling. I have put together some instructions on this if you follow this link it will tell you more about it and how to replace it if you wish. Let me know if this helps.
the coupling on the motor ia broke you have to take the front off the washer and take the pump off there are clips you have to take off pull the motor out and the rubber coupling is right you will have to buy another coupling they cost about $10.00 then you put it back together. Tommy
IF your coupling is broke then put a new one on and see, but without a coupling then you dont have a washer period. Whirlpool is very good make if a new coupling does not work and you can hold the tub while it is spinning then you have a bad basket drive. but put a coupling on and then put it in spin, bypass the switch with a ink pen or something and try holding the tub if you can then its the basket drive if not your good to go.
Had the same problem.
Take the back off (after the usual precautions, unplug, turn water stopcocks to off).
Look at the bottom of the motor, there are 2 thin brown wires loosely held together with a short white protective tubing. It is likely that one or both of these wires have come loose from a Bakelite type connector going into the motor, near where the belt rotates.
This is the feedback tachometer to the control unit. Basically it tells the machine how fast the motor is going. When the machine starts to fill, the motor turns a couple of times, no feedback therefore the control unit stops the cycle and drains it.
I tried to solder the wires back onto the connector but when I refitted the motor the joints broke again (maybe I was too rough but the connector isn?t designed for re-soldering).
A replacement motor did the trick ? but check out Hotpoint?s service plan, it lasts for a year and they will replace the motor under that plan. If a different fault develops they will replace the machine for a new one. Hope mine breaks within the year?good luck.