Tip & How-To about Washing Machines
I see many questions about washing machines that do not spin. There can be many reasons and it is impossible to cover everything that can happen with every make and model. I will attempt to cover the basic things that can happen with the majority of the washing machines that have been sold.
First thing to check if your washer is not pumping or spinning is to see if the motor is running. If the motor is not running then check the pesky lid switch. When the lid gets slammed it hammers that switch and eventually will bend it or break it completely. Some washers will wash but not spin or pump, others will do nothing. This switch is located under the lid on the edge of the frame around the lid. Often there is a hole that a pin from the lid will go through and push on a lever that is the switch. Check that it is not simply bent, so that it does not trip the switch inside anymore. To change or check the switch the top will need to be raised or the front removed. Getting to it, is often harder then the replacement.
If the motor is running then you may have a broken pump belt or a broken or frozen pulley. If the belt is broken replace it. To check the pulley, remove the belt and then check to see if the pulley turns freely. If it does not, replace it.
If you are pumping, but not spinning, then you will need to again check the lid switch. Next on the list is the motor coupling. Many washers made are actually Whirlpool. These washers all use a coupler that is made of plastic and rubber and they will wear out after some time. This couples the motor to the transmission. If it breaks it will need to be replaced.
Other machines use belts. These belts can become stretched and then will not grip the pulleys to spin them at the proper speed. This also will often give that burning rubber smell. Be sure to replace these belts with washing machine belts as they are specially made for this purpose and are often not the same as regular automotive belts.
Drive motors are often a source of trouble. These motors often run in forward and reverse. They spin one way to agitate and the other to spin. Just because it works in one direction, does not mean that the other direction cannot be burnt out. This often happens and just because “it works” people think the motor is okay. The motor still needs to be replaced if either direction goes bad.
GE manufactured washers use a clutch system. This slowly bring the spin cycle up to speed as the water goes out of the washer. When this becomes worn the spin will not be as fast or may not spin at all. If your clutch needs to be replaced, you may want to hire that out as it is quite a project for most DIY’ers.
The final problem would be the bearing or basket drive. This gets worn or even will get tight so that the basket will not spin freely. If this goes bad you will usually have excessive noise when the washer spins. This too is a project that you may want help with.
As you can see there are many things that can go wrong to make problems with the spin cycle of a washer. You will have to do some detective work to figure out exactly what the problem is with your washing machine.
Posted by D. Floyd... on