Washer: Won't start

If the washer is getting power but doesn't start, the switch that senses whether the lid or door is shut or locked might have failed. A failed timer, main electronic control board, user interface board or motor control board can also prevent the washer from starting.

Washers with an electronic control system often signal an error code on the display when the washer won't start. If your washer display signals a code, use our washer error code charts to determine the cause of the code and fix the problem.

Vertical modular top-load washers signal a component problem in a unique way. This type of top-load washer locks the lid during the cycle because it spins the basket at a high rate of speed in the spin mode. A vertical modular top-load washer flashes the Lid Lock light instead of a code when the washer won't start. This video shows how to troubleshoot flashing lid lock errors on a vertical modular washer.

A top-load, direct-drive washer uses an electro-mechanical timer to control washer functions, so it won't signal error codes. This type of washer doesn't lock the lid because it spins the basket at lower speeds than a vertical modular top-load washer. Instead, the direct-drive, top-load washer stops if you lift the lid. The wash cycle won't start if the direct-drive washer doesn't fill or the water-level pressure switch doesn't detect that the washer filled. This video shows how to troubleshoot a top-load, direct-drive washer that won't fill. As shown in the video, a failed water inlet valve assembly or bad water-level pressure switch can prevent a direct-drive, top-load washer from starting.

washer

These repairs may help solve your washer problem

Replace the washer door lock assembly

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.

How to replace the door lock assembly on a front-load washer

Does the door on your front-load washer door refuse to lock? The problem could be the door lock. This repair guide and video show how to replace the door lock assembly on a front-load washing machine in 6 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Replace the washer main 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.

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

A failed front-load washer 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
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Replace the washer lid switch

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.

How to replace the lid switch/lock assembly on a top-load washer

When a top-load washer won't start or won't spin, it could mean a broken lid switch/lock assembly. This DIY repair guide and video show how to easily replace the lid switch/lock assembly on a top-load washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the lid switch in a direct-drive top-load washer

If your top-load washer won't spin, the lid switch might be broken. This repair guide and video explain how to replace the lid switch in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer motor control board

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.

How to replace a motor control board on a front-load washer

If your front-load washer doesn't spin or spins at the wrong speed, the problem could be the motor control board. This repair guide explains how to replace the motor control board in 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Replace the washer timer

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.

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
 30 minutes or less
Read more
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.

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
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Replace the washer water inlet valve assembly

Replace the washer water inlet valve assembly

The water inlet valve assembly is a set of electrically operated water valves that control the fill function in the washer. Replace the water valve assembly if the washer won't fill because a valve doesn't open or if the washer overfills because the valve doesn't close.

How to replace a water inlet valve on a vertical modular top-load washer

When a top-load washer won't fill, or it fills with water even when unplugged, chances are the water inlet valve is to blame. This repair guide and video show how to replace the water inlet valve in 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the water inlet valve on a direct-drive top-load washer

Is your top-load washer not filling with water, or is it filling even when it's unplugged? Suspect the water inlet valve. This DIY repair guide and video explain how to replace the water inlet valve in less than 30 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace a water inlet valve on a front-load washer

If your front-load washer won't fill with water, or if the washer fills with water even when it's unplugged, the problem could be the water inlet valve. This repair guide and video explain how to replace the washer water inlet valve in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer water-level pressure switch

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.

How to replace the water level pressure switch on a direct-drive top-load washer

When a top-load washer overfills with water, or when it won't fill at all, the water level pressure switch might have given out. This repair guide and video show how to replace the water level switch in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
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: broken lid switch or lid lock, bad pressure switch, broken shifter assembly, faulty control system
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: clogged drain hose, house drain clogged, bad drain pump, water-level pressure switch failure, bad control board or timer
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: bad lid switch or door lock, bad timer or electronic control board, wiring failure, bad water inlet valve assembly
Main causes: lack of electrical power, wiring failure, bad power cord, electronic control board failure, bad user interface board
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.

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