4 Reasons Why Your Washer Won’t Run and How to Fix It

Washing machines are one of those few household items that never seem to require any maintenance. They happily do their job with little to no complaints—until they stop working out of the blue. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a new machine, why not try and fix it yourself? This article discusses the common reasons why your washer won't start, as well as solutions.

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Reason #1: Power Source Failure 

Your washing machine might not be working because it has no power. The cord might have unplugged itself or the outlet might have short-circuited. The power loss might also be caused by a faulty or damaged cord. Perhaps it degraded over time or a rodent chewed through it.


Double-check the cord and make sure it's tightly plugged in. 

If the machine still doesn't start, test the outlet using another device. This will help you determine whether there's an issue with the circuit breaker or if a fuse is blown. 

If you suspect the cord is at fault, check the insulation. Cracks, cuts, and exposed wires are indications that it needs to be replaced. You can also test it with a multimeter. If the device doesn’t beep or light up, the power cord is bad and must be replaced.

Reason #2: Door Switch Issues 

Washing machines have a safety feature that prevents them from starting if the door switch isn't locked. This mechanic was implemented to prevent leakage. The door's lid has a pressure tab that senses when it's closed, signaling that it's safe to start. 

If either lid or pressure tab is compromised, the washer will remain idle even when you push the "start" button.


Set your multimeter to the lowest ohms of resistance and test your lid switch. If it comes out negative, you'll need to unmount and replace the switch. 

Instructions and parts vary depending on the model, so refer back to the owner's manual for instructions on lid switch replacement. 

If you're unsure of how to replace it yourself, reach out to a professional to do it for you.

Reason #3: Broken Start Switch or Timer

The start switch is the button you press to start the washer, while the timer controls the washer's start and stop cycle. If either switch is broken, the washing machine won't start. 


Inspect the knob and look for visual damage. If it looks fine, check the continuity of the switch. If it doesn't read any continuity, then the switch is indeed faulty. It needs to be replaced for the machine to work.

Reason #4: Short-Circuited Control Board 

The washer's control board regulates the electrical functions of the machine. If it's defective, the washer won't run. It'll either be completely dead or light up without a response. 


If the main board has short-circuited, it needs to be replaced. 

In top-load washing machines, the board is situated in the top panel. As for front-load washers, it's located either at the back or in front of the control pad. 

To test the control board, use a multimeter and check for continuity between the terminals. If you don't see continuity, the control board is faulty and needs replacing.

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