Washer Not Spinning

In this section we will address top load washing machines manufactured by Whirlpool, that will not spin. The Whirlpool Corporation has manufactured top loading washers under the following brand names, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Roper, KitchenAid, Kirkland, Maytag, as well as some other brands. When a top loading washer manufactured by the Whirlpool stops spinning, ask yourself, does the washer agitate? If the washer does agitate, it's a pretty good indication that the motor is good. Also you can be absolutely certain if the washer agitates that the coupler is not defective. At this point, the most likely culprit in this scenario, is the washer lid switch. The washer lid switch is designed to prevent the washing machine from spinning when the washer lid is lifted.

A washer lid switch is a safety device designed to prevent someone from getting injured. Therefore, if you have a defective lid switch you must replace it. Do not simply connect the wires together to eliminate the lid switch, it's just not safe. To check the lid switch we need to remove the control panel to gain access to the connector that connects the lid switch to the washers main wiring harness. Depending on the model washer you have, you will either find Phillips head screws on the far right and left of the control panel that secure it to the top. On some washers you may have to snap off the decorative end caps on the control panel to gain access to the screws. To remove these end caps, use your finger to grab them at the top and pull slightly forward disengaging them from the control panel. Now you have access to the two screws that hold the control panel to the top. On a few models the control panel is held in place by two screws that come through the back forward into the control panel. Finally on a limited number of models, the control panel is held in place by spring-loaded clips at the right and left hand side of the control panel. Simply use a putty knife or flat screwdriver and push the clips rearward to release the panel. Once you have the control panel loose you can rotate it back and lean it against the wall behind the washer.

The washer lid switch is connected to the wiring harness by a connector that comes up through the washer top. Press the locking tabs on each side to unlock the connector and pull it up. Once the connector has been removed, you can use an ohmmeter to check for continuity of the lid switch. You check the switch for continuity by placing your meter leads in the connector on the washer top, that goes to the lid switch, not the section attached to the wiring harness. Make sure that you put the leads of your meter together to verify your ohmmeter is working properly. When an ohmmeter is set to read resistance, the meter sends out a very small current through the ohmmeter wire leads. The ohmmeter records the amount of current that went out of the meter as compared to the amount of current that comes back to the meter. Normally a switch will have zero resistance. In other words, it should read 0 ohms on your meter. If you are using an analog meter, you should get a full deflection of the needle. If your ohmmeter reads infinity, the lid switch is defective.

To replace the lid switch, you must remove the washer cabinet. First use a small screwdriver to release the lid switch connector protruding through the top of the cabinet where you check the resistance. Now locate the two odd looking spring clips on the right and the left side of the washer top that hold the washer top to the washer back. Take a flat head screwdriver at the very front of these clips, and press down and backwards to release the clips. Grab the left and right rear of the top of the cabinet and rotate it up and forward. Rest the cabinet on the floor with the front of the washer cabinet down. Use a piece of carpet or beach towel, to prevent damage to the front of the washer.

Now you can remove the ground wire attached to the lid switch that is connected to the washer top. You will need a 1/4 inch nut driver to remove the screw that holds the wire in place. Using a Philips head screwdriver, remove the two stainless steel mounting screws that secure the lid switch to the washer top. Remove the old lid switch and the harness by removing the metal retainers that hold the harness up an out-of-the-way in the washer cabinet. Now all you need to do is install the replacement lid switch and reverse the process to reassemble the washer.