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What To Do If Your Washer Won't Starting? 10 Tips To Fix It

Is your washing machine refusing to start, leaving you with a pile of dirty laundry? Don't worry, we're here to help you troubleshoot the issue. There are several potential causes why washing machine won't start, and we'll walk you through some common solutions to get your laundry routine back on track.

Jul 12, 20237.3K Shares272.2K ViewsWritten By: Alastair MartinReviewed By: James Smith
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  1. The Top 5 Reasons Your Washer Won't Start
  2. What To Do When Your Washing Machine Won't Turn On: 10 Easy Steps
  3. People Also Ask
  4. Conclusion

Having a washing machine that won't start can be a frustrating experience, especially when you have a pile of laundry waiting to be cleaned. However, before you panic or rush to call a repair service, it's important to go through a few troubleshooting steps to identify and potentially resolve the issue yourself. In this article, we will guide you through common causes why washing machine won't startand provide practical solutions to get your machine back in working order.

The Top 5 Reasons Your Washer Won't Start

Top-Load Washer Won’t Start — Washing Machine Troubleshooting

If your washer won't start, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. Here are the top five reasons why your washer may not be starting:

Power Supply Issues

The most common reason for a washer not starting is a power supply problem. Check if the washer is properly plugged into a functioning electrical outlet and ensure that there is power to the outlet. Additionally, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure the circuit hasn't tripped.

  • Loose or disconnected power cord -The power cord may become loose or disconnected from the electrical outlet, preventing the washing machine from receiving power.
  • Faulty electrical outlet - The electrical outlet itself may be faulty, with issues such as a loose connection, a blown fuse, or a tripped circuit breaker.
  • Tripped circuit breaker -A power surge or an electrical overload can cause the circuit breaker to trip, cutting off power to the washing machine. This is a safety feature that protects the electrical system from damage.
  • Power outage -A general power outage in your area can obviously disrupt the power supply to your washing machine. In such cases, the issue is not specific to the machine itself but to the external power source.
  • Damaged power cord -If the power cord is damaged or frayed, it can cause a power supply problem. This can occur due to wear and tear or accidental damage.
  • Electrical wiring issues -Faulty or damaged electrical wiring within the washing machine or in the home's electrical system can lead to power supply problems. This may require professional attention to diagnose and repair.
  • Malfunctioning power switch -The power switch on the washing machine can become faulty, preventing the machine from receiving power when it's turned on.
  • Power surges or fluctuations -Sudden increases or fluctuations in voltage, known as power surges, can disrupt the power supply to the washing machine. These surges can be caused by lightning strikes, faulty wiring, or utility company issues.

Door Or Lid Switch Problems

Most washers have a safety mechanism that prevents them from starting if the door or lid is not properly closed. If the door or lid switch is faulty, the washer won't start. Inspect the switch and make sure it's not damaged or misaligned. Clean any dirt or debris that may be preventing it from engaging properly.

  • Misalignment or damage -The door or lid switch can become misaligned or damaged over time. If the switch is not properly aligned or if the mechanism is broken, it may not engage properly when the door or lid is closed, resulting in a failure to start the machine.
  • Worn-out switch mechanism -With regular use, the door or lid switch mechanism can wear out. The internal components or contacts may become worn, preventing the switch from functioning correctly.
  • Buildup of dirt or debris- Accumulated dirt, lint, or debris around the door or lid switch can interfere with its proper functioning. This buildup can prevent the switch from engaging or disengaging properly, causing the machine not to start.
  • Faulty wiring or connections -The wiring or connections associated with the door or lid switch may become loose, damaged, or disconnected. If the switch is not receiving or sending the proper electrical signals, it can result in a failure to start the washing machine.
  • Safety features -Many washing machines have safety features that prevent them from starting if the door or lid is not securely closed. These safety mechanisms are designed to prevent accidents or water leakage. If the door or lid switch is not functioning correctly, it can trigger these safety features and prevent the machine from starting.

In case of door or lid switch problems, it's important to carefully inspect the switch and associated components for any visible damage, misalignment, or debris. Cleaning the area around the switch can help if buildup is causing the issue.

Faulty Control Panel Or Start Button

Washing Machine Won't Start - Top 7 Problems and Fixes - Top-Loading and Side-Loading Washers

A malfunctioning control panel or start button can prevent the washer from starting. Check if any buttons on the control panel are stuck or unresponsive. If the control panel is damaged or the start button is faulty, it may need to be replaced.

  • Physical damage -The control panel or start button can sustain physical damage over time, such as cracks, dents, or broken parts. This damage can hinder the proper functioning of the controls or prevent the start button from registering inputs.
  • Wear and tear -With regular use, the control panel and start button can experience wear and tear. Over time, the buttons may become unresponsive, sticky, or difficult to press, leading to issues with starting the machine or adjusting the settings.
  • Moisture or liquid exposure -If moisture or liquid enters the control panel or comes into contact with the start button, it can cause electrical shorts or corrosion, leading to malfunctions. This can occur due to spills, leaks, or excessive humidity in the laundry area.
  • Faulty electronic components -The control panel contains electronic components such as circuit boards, capacitors, or microprocessors. If any of these components become faulty, it can result in erratic behavior or complete failure of the control panel or start button.
  • Software or programming issues -In some cases, issues with the control panel or start button can be related to software or programming problems. Glitches or errors in the firmware or control software can cause malfunctions or unresponsiveness.

If you suspect a faulty control panel or start button, there are a few steps you can take. Firstly, check for any visible physical damage or signs of liquid exposure. Clean the buttons and control panel gently with a soft cloth. If the problem persists, it is advisable to contact a professional technician or the manufacturer's customer support for further assistance. They can diagnose the issue more accurately and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements for the faulty control panel or start button.

Overloaded Or Unbalanced Load

Some washers have sensors that detect an overloaded or unbalanced load. If the load exceeds the washer's capacity or is not distributed evenly, the washer may not start. Try removing some items or redistributing the load to ensure it's balanced properly.

  • Exceeding the weight capacity -Every washing machine has a maximum weight capacity that it can effectively handle. Overloading the machine by adding more clothes than recommended can put excessive strain on the motor and other components, leading to malfunction or failure to start.
  • Uneven distribution of laundry -Properly distributing the laundry inside the drum is essential to maintain balance during the wash cycle. If the clothes are unevenly distributed, with heavy items concentrated on one side, the drum can become unbalanced during the spin cycle. This imbalance can trigger safety features that prevent the machine from starting or cause excessive vibrations.
  • Interference with sensors -Some washing machines have sensors or load detection mechanisms that monitor the weight distribution. If the load is unbalanced or exceeds the recommended capacity, these sensors may prevent the machine from starting or cause it to stop mid-cycle to prevent damage.
  • Increased wear on components -Overloading the machine or having an unbalanced load can place additional stress on various components, such as the motor, drum, suspension system, and bearings. Continuous strain on these parts can lead to premature wear and tear, resulting in reduced efficiency or eventual breakdown.
  • Incomplete cleaning -When the washing machine is overloaded, water and detergent may not circulate properly around the laundry. This can lead to inadequate cleaning, as the water may not reach all the clothes effectively.

To avoid issues with overloaded or unbalanced loads, follow these guidelines:

  • Read the manufacturer's instructions to determine the recommended weight capacity for your washing machine.
  • Avoid overloading the machine and distribute the laundry evenly inside the drum.
  • If you have a large load, consider splitting it into smaller loads to maintain balance and ensure proper cleaning.
  • Follow any load balancing or distribution instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • If the machine becomes unbalanced during the wash cycle, stop it and redistribute the load before restarting.

Defective Motor Or Drive Belt

If the motor or drive belt is defective, the washer may not start or agitate. Listen for any unusual noises coming from the washer during the startup process. If you suspect a problem with the motor or drive belt, it's best to consult a professional technician for diagnosis and repair.

  • Motor failure -The motor is responsible for driving the drum and agitator in a washing machine. If the motor becomes defective, worn out, or burned out, it may not have enough power to start or operate the machine. This can result in the washing machine not starting at all or failing to perform its functions properly.
  • Broken or worn-out drive belt -The drive belt connects the motor to the drum or agitator, allowing it to rotate. If the drive belt is broken, loose, or worn out, it cannot transmit power effectively. As a result, the washing machine may not start or the drum may not spin properly during the wash cycle.
  • Slippage or misalignment -In some cases, the drive belt may slip or become misaligned on the motor or pulleys. This can occur due to wear and tear or improper installation. When the belt slips or is not properly aligned, it may not transfer the required power, causing the washing machine to malfunction or not start.
  • Excessive tension on the belt -If the drive belt is overly tensioned, it can put excessive strain on the motor and other components. This can lead to motor failure or damage to the belt itself, resulting in the washing machine not starting or operating as intended.
  • Lack of maintenance -Insufficient maintenance, such as lack of regular cleaning or lubrication, can contribute to the motor or drive belt problems. Dust, debris, or lack of proper lubrication can lead to increased friction, wear, and potential damage to these components.

Remember, if you're unsure about troubleshooting or repairing your washer, it's always recommended to seek assistance from a qualified appliance technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix complex issues, ensuring your washer is up and running smoothly again.

What To Do When Your Washing Machine Won't Turn On: 10 Easy Steps

Washer Not Working - The Most Common Fix

If your washing machine won't turn on, here are 10 easy steps you can follow to troubleshoot the issue:

  • Check the power supply -Ensure that the washing machine is plugged into a functioning electrical outlet. Verify that the outlet has power by plugging in another electronic device.
  • Inspect the power cord -Examine the power cord for any visible damage or loose connections. If you notice any issues, consider replacing the power cord.
  • Reset the circuit breaker -Check the circuit breaker panel in your home and see if the circuit breaker for the washing machine has tripped. If it has, reset the breaker by flipping it off and then on again.
  • Verify the door/lid is properly closed -Ensure that the door or lid of the washing machine is securely closed. Some machines have safety features that prevent them from starting if the door or lid is not fully closed.
  • Check the control settings -Review the control settings and make sure they are correctly set for the desired wash cycle, temperature, and other options. Ensure that any delay start options are not enabled.
  • Inspect the start button -Check if the start button is functioning properly. If it feels loose or unresponsive, it may need to be replaced.
  • Remove any blockages -Check the detergent dispenser, filter, and other areas of the machine for any blockages that may be preventing it from starting. Clean out any debris or buildup.
  • Perform a reset -Some washing machines have a reset function that can help resolve minor issues. Consult the user manual for instructions on how toperform a reset on your specific model.
  • Check for error codes -If your washing machine has a digital display, it may show error codes when it fails to start. Refer to the user manual to understand what these error codes mean and how to address them.
  • Contact a professional technician -If you have tried all the steps above and your washing machine still won't turn on, it's advisable to seek help from a qualified appliance repair technician. They will have the expertise to diagnose and fix more complex issues.

By following these 10 steps, you can troubleshoot the issue of your washing machine not turning on. Remember to prioritize your safety and consult a professional if you are unsure or uncomfortable with performing any troubleshooting steps.

People Also Ask

Why Is My Washing Machine Not Spinning?

There are several possible reasons for a washing machine not spinning, such as a broken or worn-out drive belt, a faulty lid switch, a malfunctioning motor, or a clogged pump. It's best to consult a professional technician to diagnose and fix the issue.

Why Is My Washing Machine Not Draining?

If your washing machine is not draining, it could be due to a clogged drain hose or pump filter, a malfunctioning drain pump, or an issue with the washer's control board. Check for any blockages and clean the drain pump filter, but if the problem persists, it's advisable to seek professional assistance.

Why Is My Washing Machine Leaking Water?

A leaking washing machine could be caused by various factors, including a damaged door seal or gasket, loose or worn-out hoses, a malfunctioning water inlet valve, or a faulty tub seal. Inspect these components for any signs of damage or leakage and replace them as needed.

Why Is My Washing Machine Making Loud Noises?

If your washing machine is making loud noises during operation, it may indicate a problem with the drum bearings, a loose drum pulley, a worn-out belt, or objects trapped between the drum and tub. It's recommended to have a professional technician examine the machine to determine the exact cause and carry out any necessary repairs.

Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Bad?

A foul odor in your washing machine is often caused by a buildup of mold, mildew, or bacteria. This can occur due to leaving damp laundry in the machine for too long or using too much detergent. To eliminate the smell, run a hot water cycle with vinegar or a specialized washing machine cleaner and leave the door open between washes to allow for proper ventilation.


A washing machine that refuses to start can put a halt to your laundry routine and cause unnecessary stress. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can often identify and resolve the issue without needing professional assistance.

Remember, if all else fails, it's always wise to seek help from a qualified appliance repair technician. With a little patience and perseverance, you'll soon have your washing machine up and running, allowing you to tackle that pile of laundry with ease.

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