What to Do When a Washing Machine Doesn't Spin

Unclog the drain, perform maintenance or call a specialist. Find out what to do when a washing machine won't spin and find the solution.
What to Do When a Washing Machine Doesn't Spin

Written by Jonatan Menguez

Last update: 10 March, 2023

Among the variety of household appliances that occupy home spaces, the clothes washer is one of the most used. Present in millions of homes around the world, people often use these machines to the maximum and even every day if there are many people living together. This can cause wear and tear, so it’s important to know what to do when a washing machine doesn’t spin.

The spinning process is the means by which the washing machine reduces the humidity of the clothes. It’s also often one of the first parts of the machine to be affected for various reasons. Whether it’s due to a faulty connection, a blockage in the pipes, or motor failure, the spin cycle often fails. Find out how you can identify and fix the problem before calling a specialist.

What is the spin cycle of a washing machine?

Washing machines are one of the most useful appliances in the home. Entire families or people living alone often have one of these appliances that improve the quality of life.

Hand washing involves a tremendous amount of effort that the automatic washing machine completely eliminates.

For this reason, people usually use it on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis. Such a requirement implies constant maintenance to extend the life of the device. In addition, washing machines and dryers have a function that reduces the humidity of the garments after sanitization.

This is centrifugation, a process in which the drum rotates with force to remove excess water and facilitate subsequent drying. This force is measured in revolutions per minute and its intensity depends on each washing machine and the established function.

Beyond their usefulness and effectiveness, washing machines are somewhat fragile appliances that can suffer breakdowns when it comes to specific functions. One of the first where it manifests itself is in the spin cycle. To know what to do when a washing machine does not spin, you must first know the reasons for the failure.

Ropa para lavar en la lavadora que no centrifuga.
There are families that make daily use of the washing machine due to the volume of clothes that get dirty.

Why isn’t the washing machine spinning?

There are several reasons that may interfere with this function of the appliance. Some of them present a complexity that must be solved by a specialist. However, others may be common obstructions or lack of maintenance that may have a simple solution.

A common failure is one that affects the electrical cables. With the precautions that the circuit revision requires, you must first check if the cables are well-connected and if there are no breaks in the middle. Disconnect the general electricity of your home to do this, if necessary.

As for the components of the appliance, the capacitor is usually the complement that breaks down the most frequently. This is the device that allows for increasing the revolutions of the drum to start the spinning process.

Start a washing machine program without laundry to check if it’s the condenser that’s faulty. If the functions run normally but it doesn’t spin, it’s very likely that this is the issue.

Another common and easy-to-solve error is the obstruction of the drain pipes. This is where the washing machine eliminates the water that comes out of the clothes. If the circuit is clogged or blocked in any part of the hose, the water doesn’t flow, and the process is interrupted.

The water pump, one of the main components of the appliance, may also break. In this case, there’s no other solution than to have it replaced by a specialist.

What to do when a washing machine doesn’t spin?

Whatever the problem with the appliance, a solution can be found. In the case of simple faults or faults related to maintenance and cleaning, it’s possible to get down to work. Otherwise, call a technician.

1. Errors in the wiring

You can solve the electrical problem by checking the wiring and the connection source. To do this, it’s essential to disconnect the general electrical power and take the pertinent precautions. It’s possible that the washing machine is not well-connected or that the cables are broken, in which case it’s enough to simply replace them.

2. Capacitor issues

Faults in the start capacitor should be repaired by a qualified technician. She or he will most likely replace the part. However, there are newer models in which the capacitor is built into the motor.

3. Drain issues

In this case, it’s possible to find the solution yourself. It’s often sufficient to check the entire length of the drain hose. It starts from the appliance and ends in a pipe, which is located in the structure of the house. Furthermore, it may be stuck somewhere and that is why the water isn’t flowing.

4. What to do when a washing machine does not spin because of the water pump or motor

You can only fix major internal components, such as the water pump and motor with the right knowledge. In such cases, you must open the appliance and check it for faulty parts. Like the condenser, a technician can repair or replace the part.

In this case, it’s best to contact a specialist.

Técnico para arreglar lavadora que no centrifuga.
A technician should replace the motor or pump.

Tips to prolong the life of your washing machine

The best way to avoid problems with your washing machine, and many other household appliances, is to take care of it and maintain it properly. No appliance lasts forever, but with the following actions it is possible to extend its useful life:

  • Be careful with the size: Not every textile is suitable for every washing machine. Large, thick sheets and comforters may make it difficult for the drum to work.
  • Cleaning: There are different areas of the appliance, such as the filters or the soap tanks, where dirt tends to accumulate. Performing monthly or weekly sanitation of these parts helps to clear this away.
  • Distribute the load well: One of the most important measures to take care of the washing machine is not to overload it. Distribute the clothes according to their color and type of fabric, and always leave free space in the drum.
  • Empty pockets well: Check that there are no coins, jewelry, garbage, or blunt objects in the pockets of the garments before washing. Any of these accessories can damage the machine.
  • Use the proper programs: Knowing the washing programs and all the functions of the appliance allows you to use each one at the right time. Also, take into account the revolutions per minute of the spin cycle.

What to do when a washing machine only spins halfway

There are times when the washing machine spins and then doesn’t do so in the next wash. This can be due to several reasons.

For example, this may be due to the amount of laundry. If you overload the appliance, spinning may not start or may slow down, but this doesn’t mean it’s broken. Thus, you should r educe the load and avoid washing heavy bed linen to check the operation.

Finally, the reverse case may also occur, in which a strong spin was programmed with very little load. The solution is simple: modify the program.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.