March 10, 2023

What Causes The Washing Machine To Stop From Working

What are things you should do when your washing machine is not working at all? You should consult a washer repair expert or identify the cause of the problem so you can try to fix it or point the appliance expert toward the problem.

Power Or Breaker Problems

The number one cause of washer problems is an external factor – no power to the appliance or tripped breaker. Washing machines shake during their functioning and it’s possible that the power plug attached to the machine or the outlet has gotten loose. This will result in no power to the washer and it won’t run. So, check the back of the machine and the power outlet to make sure the power cord is firmly in place.

The other power-related problem is a flipped or tripped breaker. A breaker can be tripped due to power voltage issues, a problem with an appliance like a washer, or a faulty breaker. So, check your breaker box and locate the breakers that are flipped or at the off position. Turn them on one by one to see which one is supplying power to the washing machine.

Broken Knobs

This is more common in top-loading washing machines. If you’re turning the knobs and the machine is not starting (power is checked and on), the knobs may be dirty or broken.

Mostly, the knobs are made of plastic to avoid electric shock to the user. However, this can lead to cracks and damage to the knobs. If a knob is cracked, turning it will not turn the switch under it and, in turn, won’t turn on the machine.

Washer knobs are cheap and easy to replace. Remove the knob and buy a new one by showing that to the salesman.

In some cases, a knob is not cracked but doesn’t work due to dirt and debris stuck to it. You can clean the knobs and dry them to check if this fixes the problem.

Faulty Door Switch

A washing machine can detect if the door or lid is open and won’t start. This is a common feature in washers because water is circulated inside the machine for cleaning clothes and if the door is not closed properly, splashes of water can come out of the machine.

To avoid this problem, washers have door switch or lid switch. When the door is closed, the switch is pressed indicating to the washer that the door is locked and it can begin the operation. However, if the door switch is malfunctioning, it won’t detect the closing of the door. Therefore, the machine won’t start.

Start Switch Issue

The start switch allows the machine to begin functioning when you pull the timer knob. If your washer is not turning on, inspect the start switch. For a top-loader machine, it’s fairly easy because the start switch is in the control board on the top. You can remove the board to expose the start switch and the timer.

Test the start switch for continuity using a multimeter. Remove the start switch and connect both ends to the terminals of the multimeter.

Broken Washer Motor

This is the most expensive cause of the washer not turning on. A sign of a malfunctioning washer motor is the humming or whirring sounds when you switch on the machine. Moreover, if your washing machine is making loud sounds during operation, it indicates that something is wrong with its motor.

A washer motor can be repaired by an expert but you should consider replacing it to avoid problems later. Any repairs or replacements of a washer motor must be done by an appliance repair technician.

Shorted Control Board Of The Washer

The control board of a washer is the circuit or place where all the wires from the washer are connected. So, if the main control board is shorted, your machine won’t run at all because the brain of the machine that was handling the electrical tasks is dead.

If you have an older washer, the control board may be simpler and you may be able to inspect it yourself. However, in the case of a newer washer, let an expert inspect the control board.


There are various causes of a washer not running. You should determine the issue yourself or hire an appliance repair Northern VA service for fixing your washing machine.

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