Washer: Why doesn't my washing machine work at all?

If your washer is completely unresponsive, start by ruling out the obvious--is it unplugged? Did the circuit trip? To test whether the electrical outlet is the problem, plug a hair dryer or other electrical device into it. If the hair dryer doesn't work, the wiring in the outlet is the problem. Have an electrician repair the electrical outlet.

If the hair dryer works, there could be a wiring problem in the washer. Follow these steps to check wiring in the washing machine:

  1. Unplug the washer and check the power cord for damage. Replace the power cord if it's damaged.

  2. Check the wiring connections on the timer or main control board. Reconnect any loose wires.

  3. If your washer has a digital display, check the wiring connections between the main control board and the user interface board. Reconnect any loose user interface wires.

If the wiring connections are okay, you may need to replace the main control board or the user interface board. We recommend that you have a service technician test the washing machine control board and user interface board or the washer timer before replacing control components. Testing the controls typically requires live voltage checks. We don't recommend that you perform live voltage check on your washer yourself because those tests are dangerous.

washer

THESE REPAIRS MAY HELP SOLVE YOUR WASHER PROBLEM

JC-WASH-Replace-the-washer-main-electronic-control-board

Replace the washer main control board

The main electronic control board, also called the mother board, governs the timing and execution of the washer component functions. It controls the fill valves, the drive motor and the drain pump.

Washer main control board

Find the required part specific to your product.

RG-WASH-Replace-Top-Load-Washer-Electronic-Control-Board-Intro-Image
July 1, 2013By Lyle Weischwill

How to replace the electronic control board on a top-load washer

A failed top-load washer electronic control board can cause multiple problems, from no display lights to the washer not filling, spinning or draining. If you or a service technician determine that the electronic control is faulty, this repair guide and video show how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

RG-WASH-Replace-Front-Load-Washer-Machine-Control-Board-Intro-Image
July 1, 2013By Lyle Weischwill

How to replace the machine control board in a front-load washer

A failed front-load washing machine control board has several symptoms, including the washer not starting, filling, spinning or draining. If you or a service technician determine that the machine control board has failed, this repair guide shows how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
JC-WASH-Replace-the-washer-timer

Replace the washer timer

The timer — also called a cycle selector — is the dial you use to set the cycle on a washing machine with mechanical controls. The timer makes the washer move through its cycles, from initial filling to final spin. Replace the timer if it doesn’t advance the washer through its cycles.

Washer timer

Find the required part specific to your product.

RG-WASH-Replace-Direct-Drive-Top-Load-Washer-Timer-Intro-Image
July 1, 2013By Lyle Weischwill

How to replace the timer in a direct-drive top-load washer

If your top load washer doesn't advance through the cycles or gets stuck in one cycle, it's likely the timer has failed. This DIY repair guide and video show how to replace the timer in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
JC-WASH-Replace-the-washer-user-interface-board

Replace the washer user interface board

The user interface board holds the buttons you press to set up the wash cycle. Replace the user interface board if one or more of the buttons don't work.

Washer user interface board

Find the required part specific to your product.

RG-WASH-Replace-Front-Load-Washer-User-Interface-Board-Intro-Image
July 1, 2013By Lyle Weischwill

How to replace the user interface board in a front-load washer

When a front-load washer's control panel won't light up or respond when you push the buttons, it could mean the user interface board has failed. This repair guide shows how to replace the user interface board on a washing machine in 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Symptoms common to all washers

Choose a symptom to see related washer repairs.

Main causes: leaky water inlet valve, faulty water-level pressure switch, bad electronic control board
Main causes: lack of electrical power, wiring failure, bad power cord, electronic control board failure, bad user interface board
Main causes: water heater failure, bad water temperature switch, faulty control board, bad water valve, faulty water temperature sensor
Main causes: unbalanced load, loose spanner nut, worn drive block, broken shock absorber or suspension spring, debris in drain pump
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, bad pressure switch, broken shifter assembly, faulty control system
Main causes: clogged drain hose, house drain clogged, bad drain pump, water-level pressure switch failure, bad control board or timer
Main causes: worn agitator dogs, bad clutch, broken motor coupler, shifter assembly failure, broken door lock, suspension component failure
Main causes: no water supply, bad water valves, water-level pressure switch failure, control system failure, bad door lock or lid switch
Main causes: bad lid switch or door lock, bad timer or electronic control board, wiring failure, bad water inlet valve assembly

Articles and videos common to all washers

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

January 3, 2022

Why is my washing machine leaking when not in use?

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn how to fix a washing machine leak

December 30, 2021

How to fix a washing machine

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn how to fix your broken washing machine

April 10, 2020

Cleaning your appliances after a drinking water advisory

By Julie Riebe

Find out how to clean and flush household appliances once a boil water advisory is lifted.