Washer Not Draining Or Spinning – 8 Reasons

Why is My Washer Not Draining or Spinning

Suppose that you throw your clothes in the washer, start it, and move out to do other things. But, when you come back to check on the laundry, you find it stuck in the middle of the washing process, damp in water, doing nothing, not draining or spinning. Now, how would you feel?

In this brief guide, we have compiled a list of all possible reasons that can cause your washer not to drain or spin and their solutions.

Reasons Why Washer Does Not Drain Or Spin:

In the United States, 40% of all service calls related to washing machines are about simple matters. Most of the problems associated with washers can be checked and corrected without calling a professional.

A clogged drainage hose or a malfunctioning part can cause your washer not to drain or spin. Problems like clogged drain hose or bad lid switch can be corrected without even calling a repairman. However, fixing a malfunctioning part might be out of our league.

Below, we have discussed in detail the top reasons that can cause your washer not to drain or spin and how you can fix it:

1. Low Voltage Or Use Of An Extension Cord:

This cause might seem too obvious or simple, but trust us, sometimes, low voltage can be the main culprit causing your washer to malfunction. Before you move on to inspect the drain hoses or pumps for a clog, check your electrical source first.

Furthermore, beware of using an extension cord or an adapter for your washer. Directly plug the power cord into a grounded 3 prong outlet as most extension cords or adaptors can’t generate enough electricity to run the washer’s motor.

Due to low power, your washer can overheat and shut off on its own. Although your washer will restart functioning once the motor is cooled down, however, you will still frequently struggle with this problem if you continue to use extension cords.

To Fix The Problem

If low voltage is the main culprit behind your washer not draining or spinning, check your fuse or breaker box to ensure they are working well. Otherwise, call a professional electrician.

If the problem lies in the use of an extension cord, install a new outlet within a short distance from your washer and plug the power directly in the outlet.

2. Unbalanced Load:

Your washer may also not drain or spin because of too much load imbalance. When you wash a single or bulky, heavy item (e.g., bedsheets, small rugs, comforters, or blankets), an imbalance routine may pause the washer for some time to redistribute the load.

Generally, any modern washer will add more spin time when an unbalanced load is detected to redistribute the load. After redistributing the load, the washer will resume functioning normally.

Furthermore, a heavy, large load can almost fill 3/4 part of the machine, giving the washer’s sensors a wrong signal of being overloaded or full. In such a case, your washing machine can’t reach adequate spin speeds and leave items dripping wet.

To Fix The Problem

The solution is pretty simple, either add more items in the washer or redistribute the load.

3. Faulty Water Level Control:

The next possible culprit behind your washer not draining or spinning can be faulty water level control. It might be possible something is struck or clogging the plastic tube attached to the water valve.

To Fix The Problem

Find this plastic tube and check if it is clogged or not. To clean the plastic tube attached to the valve, thoroughly mix 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1 gallon of water to make a solution. You can also use vinegar alone if you want. Pour the solution or vinegar alone into the plastic tube.

Another quick solution is to buy a bottle of drain cleaner from your nearby supermarket or order from Amazon. However, if the problem is in the valve or it is corroded, replace it with a new one.

4. Faulty Lid Switch Assembly:

A defective lid switch can also be a possible reason why your washer isn’t draining or spinning. If you have a top-loading washer, there is a high chance that something is wrong with the lid switch. The problem can be manual or electrical. Using an Ohm meter or any other multimeter, check the lid switch for continuity.

Your washer won’t start draining and spinning until the lid is tightly closed. To be sure that the lid is the main culprit, notice whether there is a “clicked sound” or not when you lower or raise your lid.

One of the reasons why your lid switch isn’t working correctly can be that the case has split or glue has failed to hold it together. Simply reattach the halves and make them stick together.

To Fix The Problem

Follow these simple steps to reattach:

  • Unplug your washer.
  • Unscrew the two Phillips screws underneath the top of the washer.
  • Move the basket in the washer a little bit to take out the lid switch.
  • Carefully grab the lid switch out.
  • Carefully wrap a cable or zip tie around the lid switch to hold the case tightly together. Make sure the Strike or paddle can still move after the wrapping.

5. Clogged Drain Pump Or Hoses:

A clogged or faulty drain pump and hoses can also be the reason why your washer isn’t draining or spinning.

Drain pumps are used to remove the water from the tub during the draining process. Different washers have different drain pump styles. Your washer might have a simple drain pump with an outlet or your drain pump might be a little advanced with a motor attached to it. If your washer isn’t draining water, it could either be clogged or failed.

Another reason why your pump isn’t draining the water can be clogged washer hoses. Sometimes, things like baby socks and handkerchiefs get stuck in the pump and drain hoses. There are several hoses that carry water in different parts of the washer. Check all hoses within your washer to see if something is clogging them.

To Fix The Problem

If your drain pump or hoses are clogged, clean them with vinegar or baking soda solution. However, if your drain pump motor has failed, replace it with a new one.

Also, make sure that the end of your drain hose is not more than 96 inches (roughly around 244 cm) above the floor. If it is above, your drain hose won’t be able to drain the water in the tub.

6. Worn Or Damaged Pump Belt:

A worn or damaged pump belt can also cause your washer not to drain or spin. If your pump belt has fallen off or worn out, your washer won’t be able to drain the water as the pump belt functions between the drain pump and motor.

Washer Not Draining or Spinning Reasons

To Fix The Problem

Pump belts are usually located at the bottom of the washer, on the pulleys. If the belts get worn or damaged, you need to replace them.

7. Washing Machine Timer:

The next possible culprit behind your washer not draining or spinning can be the washing machine timer. It controls most of the functions of your washer. The washing machine timer decides a specific period for the water to fill before the washing cycle begins. It is a set of specific instructions operated within the washer.

If this set of contacts have failed, your washer won’t be able to drain or spin. The washing machine timer is usually located at the control panel.

To Fix The Problem

Using an Ohm meter or any other multimeter, check the washing machine timer for continuity. If there is no continuity, call a professional and replace it with a new one.

8. Excessive Sudsing:

If you have a front-loading washing machine, excessive suds may be causing your washer not to drain or spin.

Most people fail to notice the manufacturer’s instructions related to detergent measurements. You might haven’t realized it before, every washer has its detergent measurements.

Too many suds can confuse your machine’s sensors to think that it is overloaded. In such cases, your washing machine will not reach adequate spin speeds, leaving the clothing items dripping wet.

To Fix The Problem

Ensure you use high-efficiency (HE) detergent with low foaming action if you have a front-loading washer. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions in measuring detergent.

Furthermore, if you live in an area where you have very soft water, use less detergent in the washer. Many suds can easily be produced in very soft water.

Washer Not Draining Or Spinning – The Takeaway

To conclude, a range of reasons can cause your washer not to drain or spin. From low voltage and unbalanced load to faulty lid switch assembly to clogged drain pumps and hoses that can cause the washer to malfunction.

Most of the problems related to washers can be checked and corrected without calling a repairman. However, if you have a washing machine with many controls, it’s better to call a repairman than messing things on your own