Why My Front Load Washer Is Not Starting

Introduction

Whether you do laundry once every week, twice a week, or twice a month, a washer and dryer are essential components for that chore. If either of them breaks down, washing and drying your clothes become very inefficient and puts your plans to a halt. You can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it for you. For now, let’s check out why your front load washer is not starting and how you can fix it.

The Details

  1. Broken plug or breaker – If your washer was working perfectly fine the day before and refuses to start out of nowhere, then it’s probably because it’s not getting any power. You need to literally get behind the problem and check the power plug. If you have an old washer with a loud and rumbling motor and drum, it probably shakes a lot.

All that shaking can pull out the power cord from the wall and make the machine stop working. So, if your washer suddenly stops working midway through a cycle, there’s a high probability that it got unplugged from the wall.

Even if the power cord doesn’t get unplugged, it may get loose and cut off power. So, check the power plug and make sure it’s plugged into the wall properly. On the other hand, you may have a flipped breaker cutting off the power supply to the washer. This usually happens when a certain circuit gets overloaded, and the breaker kicks in to protect your appliances.

A circuit may get overloaded due to many reasons. It may be a lightning strike, a power surge from the grid, or two or more high-load appliances drawing power from the same plug. Make sure that the plug next to the washer is only connected to the washer and flip the breaker to the “on” position.

  1. Broken shafts and knobs – Different models of washers come with different operating mechanisms. Modern models come with switches and touch control panels while old models come with knobs. So, if there’s a knob that needs to be rotated to turn on the washer, then you should check it out. Old washer models come with knobs that are made from brittle and cheap plastic. If it cracks or breaks, turning it may not actuate the connected switch.

To check the knobs, pull them out of their shafts and flip them over. Inspect for cracks or other signs of damage. If that’s the case, replacing the knobs should fix the problem. On the other hand, the knobs with the shaft notch may be gummy or full of gunk. Clean them up with warm water and dish soap. After that put on a tiny amount of grease or lube on the notch and put it back on.

  1. Faulty door switch – Your front load washers have a tiny pressure tab on the door. This tab is connected to a switch that gets activated only when the door is shut properly. If the switch doesn’t actuate, the washer won’t start. It’s a safety mechanism that prevents you from accidentally flooding and making a mess in your laundry room.

If the door switch is broken or faulty and the pressure tab isn’t functioning properly, it would prevent your washer from working. Your dryer thinks that the door is not closed, and it isn’t safe to start. In that case, you need to replace the pressure tab or check the switch and circuit it’s connected to and make sure it’s working properly. Otherwise, you need to replace that component.

  1. Broken motor – If the washer motor is broken or faulty, it’s obviously not going to turn the drum and enable the spinning cycle. Usually, you can tell if the washer motor is broken just by listening to it. Even the most silent motors create a low humming, buzzing, or whining sound when they fail to start. On the other hand, if the washer motor makes very loud noises while operating, it is on the brink of failure.

You can also take it a step further and test out the motor yourself. Disassemble the back panels to get access to the motor and disconnect the motor wires using a plier. Get a digital multimeter and check for resistance. To do that, set the multimeter to RX1 or the lowest setting. Touch a probe to a metal tab on the motor. It should read 0 or a number very close to 0. Otherwise, the motor is faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced.

  1. Fried control board – The control board is the brain of the washer. It is connected to several sensors and controls many components of the washer. Old washers have simpler control boards. However, modern washers have very complex control boards and are often firmware locked by the manufacturer so that third parties can’t access them even for repairs.

Since the control board is connected to so many sensors and components, it is very difficult to isolate the problem and diagnose exactly what’s wrong. You won’t be able to fix it without professional training. That’s why it’s best to hire a pro for this job.

  1. Faulty timer – A faulty timer is another challenging problem that may prevent the dryer from starting. The timer is a component that controls the washing cycle and decides when the dryer needs to start or stop and proceed to a different cycle. If you have a digital multimeter, you can check if the timer is functioning properly. If you have a faulty timer, you simply need to replace it.

Conclusion

When your washer is not starting, there are several points of failure that need to be investigated. From faulty switches and broken knobs to a broken motor and a fried control board. On the other hand, if your dryer breaks down and things seem too complicated, you can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire pros to diagnose the problem and fix it for you.

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