Washer Not Spinnning

The spin cycle is used to move more water from the clothes than just draining the water out.  The faster a washer spins, more water is removed from the clothes.  This also has a benefit of cutting down on the amount of time your dryer has to run to remove the moisture from the clothes and dry them. 

Most Kenmore / Whirlpool style washers have a coupler that connects the motor to the transmission.  Most every other brand has a belt that spins the wash tub during the spin cycle.

Here are some things to check when you have a washer that is not spinning.

Washing Machine Lid SwitchLid Switch

This would be the first thing you always check when your washer is not spinning.  The washer will think the lid is open and not spin.  This is a safety feature to prevent you from breaking your arm if you reach in the tub while the washer is spinning.  A common complaint for a bad lid switch is, "my washer is full of water and won't spin".

There are two parts to the lid switch that make it work.  One is the actuator.  These are located on the lid itself.  This is what presses down on the lid switch to activate it and tell the washer that the lid is closed.  Make sure your actuator is not loose or broken.

The switch itself is located on the washer.  It usually sits behind a little hole that the actuator goes into.  Most have a paddle that moves up and down as the lid is opened and closed.  Sometimes the lever on the switch wears out and hangs too low for the pin to push. This is a result of a cracked lid switch housing. When you look into the hole the pin goes into, the lever of the lid switch should completely block you from seeing in the hole. If you take a flat head screwdriver and push on the lever through the hole, you should be able to hear a tiny clicking sound every time you push it. Sometimes the arms on the lid switch will break completely off.

Testing the Lid Switch - Whirlpool and Kenmore Washers

Video for Testing Whirlpool and Kenmore Lid Switches

To Test this style of switch is rather easy. First you must accessWhirlpool and Kenmore Lid Switch the plug under the control panel that connects the switch to the wiring harness. Watch this video on getting under the control area. Once you locate the plug for the lid switch you will see 3 wires going to it. Unplug the switch from the wiring harness. Test the two grey wires for continuity when the lid is closed. You are testing the plug on the cabinet of the washer. If the switch shows an open circuit when the lid is shut then the switch is bad.

How to Bypass a Washer's Lid Switch

Door Lock AssemblyDoor Lock Assembly

The door lock assembly is what is used on a front load washer.  This will lock the door and not allow you to open it until the tub has stopped spinning.  There is a solenoid inside the lock that activates when the washer is in a spin cycle.  Also there is a microswitch inside the lock assembly that tells the washer that the door is closed so the washer knows it's safe to spin.  Most of the time you can hear a door lock and unlock, this is the solenoid moving back and forth.

Whirlpool / Kenmore Motor CouplerMotor Coupler

This is what's commonly known as the Direct Drive. When the coupler breaks, the motor is unable to spin the transmission. The washer will still drain because the water pump is connected directly to the motor on the opposite end as the coupler. When this is broken, a common complaint is, "My washer drains, but it won't spin". Checking the coupler on this type of machine is simple. You can see it from under the machine. Tilt the washer back and rest it against the wall. Look up under the bottom and locate the motor. Now look between the motor and the transmission. That is the location of your coupler.

Washing Machine MotorBad Motor

A washer will not spin if the drive motor is defective.  Washer motors are capable of spinning at different speeds and in both directions.  This is how your washer can have multiply spin speeds and agitation speeds.  It is possible for a single direction and speed to go out.  That means your washer can spin on high, but not low.  This can be tricky to diagnosis.