Laundry Center: Washer won't spin

A broken lid switch or lid lock assembly can prevent the washer on a laundry center from spinning. A faulty drive motor, drive system failure, drain system problem or a control system failure can also prevent the washer from spinning.

The washer typically won't spin the load unless the control system detects that the drain pump drained the water from the washer tub. Open the washer lid and check to see if water drained from the washer. If the tub is full of water, check the house drain for your laundry center for a clog and clear the house drain if clogged. If the house drain for the laundry center is okay, check the drain pump and drain hose for clogs and clear any clogs in the drain system. If the washer's drain system is clear, reassemble the washer and run a cycle without clothes to see if the drain pump runs when activated. If the drain pump doesn't run or the pump motor runs but the pump doesn't drain out the water, then you may need to replace the drain pump.

If the washer drain system is okay, check the washer lid switch. Many laundry center washers won't spin the load if the lid switch doesn't detect that the washer lid is closed. To check the lid switch, unplug the laundry center and check continuity through the lid switch with the lid closed using a multimeter. Replace the lid switch if the meter measures no continuity through the switch with the washer lid closed.

Some laundry centers use a lid lock assembly to lock the washer lid shut during the spin cycle. The drive motor won't start in the spin mode if the lid lock assembly doesn't detect that the lid is shut and locked. If your laundry center uses a washer lid lock, check to see if the washer lid locks shut during the spin mode. If the lid doesn't lock in the spin mode, then you may need to replace the washer lid lock assembly. If the washer lid locks during the spin mode, then a lock switch on the lid lock assembly may not be detecting that the lid is locked. Unplug the laundry center and check the lid lock switch for continuity with the washer lid locked. Use the wiring diagram as a guide for checking continuity through the lid lock switch. You can typically find the wiring diagram inside the laundry center console (also known as the control panel) or as a page of the parts diagram. Replace the lid lock assembly if you don't measure continuity through the lid lock switch with the lid washer lid locked.

If you find no problems with the drain system and lid switch or lid lock assembly, then a drive system failure could be preventing the washer from spinning the load. Laundry center washers use various types of drive systems. Some laundry center washers use a direct drive system while others use a belt-drive system to drive the agitator and spin basket.

In a laundry center that uses a direct-drive system to move the agitator and spin basket, a flexible coupling on the motor shaft connects the motor shaft directly to the gearbox input shaft. The flexible coupling protects the drive motor from damage if the gearbox or drive system seizes up. The washer won't spin or agitate if the flexible coupling breaks even though the drive motor runs in both spin and wash modes. You may not notice whether the washer agitates when you discover that the washer isn't spinning, so move the washer timer to the wash mode and see if the agitator moves. If the washer doesn't agitate or spin and the motor runs in both modes, then you'll likely need to replace the flexible coupler.

A failed gearbox or clutch can also prevent a direct-drive laundry center washer from spinning. If the agitator works in the wash mode but the wash basket doesn't spin in the spin mode, then you may need to replace the clutch or the gearbox.

In belt-drive laundry center washers, a worn or broken drive belt can prevent the washer from spinning the load. Unplug the laundry center and check the washer drive belt. Replace the washer drive belt if it's worn or broken. If the drive belt is okay and the belt rotates the gearbox pulley but the gearbox doesn't spin the wash basket, then you may need to replace the gearbox.

If the washer drive system is okay, then a failed drive motor could be preventing laundry center washer from spinning.

For a laundry center that uses a timer to control washer operations, a failed contact in the timer can prevent the timer from sending current to the drive motor in the spin mode. Using the laundry center's wiring diagram as a guide for which timer contact to check, use a multimeter to check for continuity through the timer drive motor contact in the spin mode. Replace the timer if you measure no continuity through the timer's drive motor contact because the timer isn't sending current to the drive motor in the spin mode. You can typically find the wiring diagram as a page of the parts diagram or it the wiring diagram may be stored inside the laundry center control console.

For a laundry center that uses an electronic control board to control washer operations, the control board will typically signal an error code when a component failure prevents the washer from spinning. Use the information in the error code chart to help you diagnose and repair the failure that is causing the error code. Clear the error code and the washer should resume spinning.

If the electronic control board doesn't signal an error code, unplug the laundry center and check the circuit board for a burned spot, indicating a failed control board. Replace the control board if you find a burned spot.

laundry center

These repairs may help solve your laundry center problem

Replace the laundry center lid lock assembly

Replace the laundry center lid lock assembly

The lid lock assembly is a safety device that senses if the washer lid is shut and locks the lid shut during the spin cycle. The lid lock switch shuts off the washer motor if the lid is lifted during agitation. If the lid lock fails to detect that the lid is shut or fails to lock the lid during the spin cycle, replace the lid lock assembly.

How to replace a laundry center washer lid lock switch

If your laundry center washer fills with water but won't agitate, the lid lock switch could be to blame. This repair guide and video show how to replace a laundry center lid lock switch in just 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the laundry center washer drive motor

Replace the laundry center washer drive motor

The washer's drive motor provides the force to rotate the spin basket. It also drives the shaft of the gearcase to move the agitator in a top-load washer. The washer drive motor is attached to a drive pulley with a belt or is directly attached to the drive shaft. If the motor windings fail or the bearings on the motor lock up, the motor won't run. Replace the drive motor if it fails.

How to replace a laundry center washer drive motor

If your laundry center washer won't spin or agitate, the washer could need a new drive motor. This repair guide and video explain how to replace a laundry center washer drive motor, with step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the laundry center washer timer

Replace the laundry center washer timer

The washer timer controls the washer components. Also called a cycle selector, the timer has a motor that advances the internal cams inside the timer body. The cams open and close electrical contacts to energize and de-energize components during the wash cycle. A control knob on the stem of the timer lets you select cycles on the timer. If the timer motor doesn-t advance or the contacts are defective in the timer, replace the timer.

July 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a laundry center washer timer

If your laundry center washer won't advance through the fill, wash, drain or spin cycles, the washer timer could be the problem. This repair guide and video show how to replace a laundry center washer timer in 6-quick steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Repair or replace the laundry center drain pump

Repair or replace the laundry center drain pump

The drain pump removes water from the washer at the appropriate times during the wash cycle. The pump's bearing can seize, the seal can fail or the impeller blades can break. In addition, on a belt-drive pump, the belt can break, and the pulley can shear off. A humming noise when the washer is full of water is a common symptom of a failing pump. In some cases, you can repair the pump by clearing it of debris, fixing wiring failures or rebuilding it to replace a seal. If the pump can't be repaired or rebuilt, replace it.

How to replace a laundry center washer drain pump

If your laundry center washer won't drain, it could be because the drain pump is broken. This DIY repair guide and video show how to replace a laundry center washer drain pump in less than 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more

Symptoms common to all laundry centers

Choose a symptom to see related laundry center repairs.

Main causes: blocked exhaust vent, clogged lint screen, bad timer, moisture sensing problems, weak gas valve coils, bad heating element
Main causes: control system failure, broken heating element, bad gas valve coils, gas supply failure, voltage supply problem, blown fuse
Main causes: bad lid switch or lid lock, drive motor failure, broken motor coupler, bad timer, faulty electronic control board
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, faulty drive motor, drain system problem, broken drive system components
Main causes: door not fully shut, bad door switch, faulty push-to-start switch, wiring failure, bad drive motor, blown fuse, control failure
Main causes: unbalanced load, broken suspension springs or shocks, worn snubber ring
Main causes: clogged drain system, blocked drain hose, bad drain pump
Main causes: broken dryer drive belt, weak drive motor, binding drum seals
Main causes: lack of water supply, failed lid switch or lid lock, bad water level pressure switch, control system failure, bad water valve

Repair guides common to all laundry centers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your laundry center.

How to replace a laundry center washer drive motor

If the motor doesn’t run, you can replace it in less than an hour.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer snubber ring

If the washer tub bangs the cabinet during the spin cycle even though the load is balanced, you might need to replace the snubber ring in the base of the washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer lid lock switch

If the washer fills but won’t start the agitation cycle, the lid lock switch could be defective.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all laundry centers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your laundry center.

June 5, 2018

Displaying error codes on Kenmore and Frigidaire laundry centers

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Step-by-step directions for entering the diagnostic test mode.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working