Washer: Slow or no agitation or spinning
Many components come into play when the spin basket or agitator moves, and a problem with any of them could prevent the washer from agitating or spinning.
For top-load, direct-drive washers (washers whose lid doesn't lock during the wash portion of the cycle), worn agitator dogs, a broken agitator or a failed gear case can prevent the washer from agitating. A bad clutch, worn clutch band or broken drive block could prevent the basket from spinning. A broken motor coupler, failed lid switch or bad timer can prevent this type of washer from spinning or agitating.
On top-load, vertical modular washers (washers whose lid is always locked during the entire wash cycle), a failed shifter assembly or worn drive belt can prevent the washer from agitating or spinning the wash load. Watch our video on how to troubleshoot a top-load washer that won't drain or spin for solutions for agitation and spin problems on both types of top-load washers.
Front-load washers spin or tumble the load at a slower speed to agitate the garments in the wash portion of the cycle. A broken door lock, bad motor control board or failed main electronic control board can prevent a front-load washer from tumbling. A front-load washer won't spin if it can't drain out the water so a failed drain pump can prevent this type of washer from spinning. A broken shock absorber can also prevent a front-load washer from spinning because the control will detect excessive tub vibration when a shock can't help stabilize the tub.
Electronically-controlled washers often display an error code when the washer agitate or spin the load. If your washer displays a code, look it up on our washer error code charts and follow the troubleshooting advice for that code to fix your washer.
Replace the washer agitator dogs
Agitator dogs are small cams, located within the top half of the agitator, that control the agitator's movements. The dogs ratchet across the gear teeth in one direction and dig into the gear teeth in the opposite direction to create agitation. If the top half of the agitator spins freely, instead of ratcheting, replace the the agitator dogs.
Repair or replace the direct-drive washer clutch
The direct-drive washer clutch assembly is mounted above the direct-drive transmission under the outer washer tub. The clutch releases the brake and allows the basket to spin. If the clutch is worn out or isn't releasing the brake properly, either repair the clutch using a clutch band kit or replace it using a clutch replacement kit. A common symptom of a worn-out clutch is wet clothes at the end of the spin cycle because the washer isn't spinning fast enough or at all.
Replace the washer lid switch
The lid switch on a top-load washer is a safety switch that detects whether the washer lid is closed. The lid must be closed when the basket spins; some top-load models require that the washer lid be closed before the washer drive motor runs. An open lid prevents some top-load washers from filling. If the lid switch isn't detecting whether the lid is closed, replace the switch.
Replace the washer motor coupler
The motor coupler is a flexible coupling on the motor shaft connection to the direct-drive gearbox. The motor coupler protects the drive motor from damage if the drive system seizes up. If the washer fills and drains but won't agitate or spin even though the drive motor runs (and typically buzzes), replace the motor coupler.
Replace the washer gearcase
In a direct-drive top-load washer, the gearcase drives the agitator and the spin basket.The washer gearcase has internal gears that create the agitation motion. For the spinning motion of the spin basket, it shifts the drive shaft and spins the drive tube. If the gearcase in a direct-drive washer locks up or it doesn't work properly in the agitation or spin mode, replace it. The gearcase typically makes a grinding noise and may leak oil when it's failed.
Replace the washer motor control board
The motor control board is a circuit-control board in a front-load washer that's usually in the bottom of the washer next to the drive motor. It monitors and controls the drive motor speed and direction for the tumble and spin actions during the cycle. If the motor doesn't run, the motor control board might need to be replaced.
Replace the washer drive block
The drive block, which attaches to the top of the spin tube, rotates the spin basket when the washer is in spin mode. If the drive block wears out, the basket wobbles and rattles during the spin mode or won't spin at all. Before replacing the drive block, make sure the spanner nut under the agitator that holds the spin basket against the drive block isn't loose. If the spanner nut is tight and the basket still wobbles, replace the drive block.
Replace the washer water-level pressure switch
The water-level pressure switch detects the water level in the wash tub. If the water-level pressure switch is defective, the washer won't fill properly. It could not fill at all or it could overfill even to the point of overflowing. If the pressure switch doesn't accurately detect and control the water level in the washer, replace it.
Replace the washer timer
The timer controls the component functions in the washer. 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 the user select cycles on the timer. If the timer motor does not advance or the contacts are defective in the timer, replace it.
Replace the washer door lock assembly
The door lock assembly on a front-load washer includes a safety switch that detects whether the washer door is closed, a latch and a locking mechanism. If any of these components fails when the door is open, the door won't lock; if a component fails with the door is closed, the door won't open. Replace the entire assembly if any component fails.
Repair or replace the washer 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. The belt on a belt-driven pumps 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 replacing a seal. If the pump can't be repaired or rebuilt, replace it.
Repair or replace the washer spin basket
The spin basket is the perforated container that holds laundry during the wash cycle. The spin basket is inside the stationary outer tub. If the spanner nut becomes so loose that the spin basket doesn't rotate properly, tightening the spanner nut can often fix the problem. If the spin basket was damaged while the spanner nut was loose, replace the spin basket. Also replace the spin basket if it's scratched or damaged by an object left in a laundered garment.
Replace the 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. It's either 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's defective.
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.
Replace the washer shifter assembly
The shifter assembly-also called the actuator-in a top-load washer is mounted on the bottom of the gearcase. The shifter assembly's motor shifts the drive system between the agitation mode and the spin mode. A sensor on the shifter monitors the position of the drive system during the wash cycle. If the motor, sensor or mechanical parts of the shifter assembly fail, the washer stops and signal an error code. Replace the shifter assembly if it malfunctions.
Replace the washer basket drive
The basket drive is on top of the transmission and clutch assembly in the washer drive system. The basket drive houses the brake mechanism for the spin basket and has the spin tube shaft that rotates the spin basket in the spin mode. The washer won't spin and you'll hear screeches and squeals when the basket drive fails. Replace the basket drive if it's worn or broken.
Replace the washer clutch band
The clutch releases the brake in the drive system to allow the basket to spin when the washer is in spin mode. The clutch band creates friction between the clutch hub and the clutch lining, causing the entire clutch assembly to rotate and release the brake. A worn clutch band won't release the brake so the washer won't spin. Replace the clutch band if it's worn or broken.
Replace the washer agitator
The agitator is mounted inside the spin basket of the washer. The agitator rotates back and forth and moves the clothes inside the spin basket to achieve effective cleaning during the agitation cycle. Replace the agitator if it's cracked or broken, or if the top part of the agitator is not ratcheting properly, which indicates damage to the teeth that engage the agitate dogs.
Replace the washer drive belt
Some washes have a drive systems that uses a belt to transmit the rotation of the drive motor pulley to the gear case or the spin basket pulley. If the motor runs but the spin basket or agitator does not move, then the belt may be broken. If the belt is damaged or broken, replace it.
Replace a washer shock absorber
Shock absorbers absorb the vibrations and movements of the outer washer tub on a front-load washer. The shock absorbers also hold the outer tub in place to prevent damage, while allowing reasonable movement during spin and agitation modes. A common symptom of a failing shock absorber is knocking and tub instability at high spin speeds. If the shock absorbers don't maintain the stability of the tub, replace them.
Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.
Let us show you some easy direct-drive top-load washer repairs that you can do yourself in less than 30 minutes.