How to Fix a Washing Machine that Won’t Spin

You get to the end of the washing cycle but your clothes are still sodden wet. They may not even have been properly cleaned. Sound horribly familiar? Then it’s a pretty safe bet your washing machine isn’t spinning as it should.

To work out why your washing machine won’t spin you first need to know exactly how it’s not spinning. What do we mean by that? Well, different problems with your spin cycle will have different warning signs. Pay attention to the way your washing machine spins (or doesn’t as the case may be). You could find solving the issue is as simple as putting different combinations of clothes in the drum, or giving certain areas of your machine a good clean. But if you do need to delve into the inner workings of your appliance we can help you with that too.

Help, my washing machine will only spin slowly!

If your washing machine drum is rotating, but won’t go into a fast spin cycle, the problem could be as simple as an unbalanced load.

Adding A Towel To The Washing Machine

Spinning a washing load fast, when it contains just one heavy piece of laundry, could damage the machine. It puts too much pressure on various parts connected to the drum, like the bearings and springs. To prevent damage, modern machines will spin more slowly if the load is unbalanced, stopping and starting the spin cycle to try and redistribute the clothes.

Avoiding this issue in future is simple. Wash multiple heavy items, like towels, jeans or thick jumpers, in the same wash wherever possible. Washing just one towel with a lot of lightweight items, like underwear or t-shirts, will make it hard for the machine to spread the weight of the load evenly around the drum. And when you put your clothes in the machine, make sure they’re not tangled and bunched up.

Unbalanced loads can also cause excessive noise during the spin cycle. Watch our video on “How to Prevent a Washing Machine Spinning Noisily”, to see for yourself the surprising difference an unbalanced load can make to your machine.

Help, my washing machine won’t spin or drain!

Most washing machines won’t start a spin cycle until they’ve fully drained the water from the wash. If your machine is draining very slowly (or won’t drain at all) the most likely cause is a blockage somewhere in the drainage system.


Removing A Washing Machine Filter

The washing machine filter is designed to catch those loose items you’ve accidentally left in your pockets (coins, hair grips, elastic bands etc) which have fallen down the side of the drum. So when checking for a blockage, the filter is the place to start. You’ll usually find it behind a flap at the bottom of most front loading machines. Be aware that when you pull the filter out, any water in the drum will follow. Empty the machine wherever possible and put down an old towel to soak up any spills.

Once you’ve cleaned out any small items blocking the filter, rinse it thoroughly in warm water and your problem may be solved. But if the filter was relatively clean already there could be a blockage in the “sump hose” (the hose leading to the drainage pump), or in the pump itself.

Our video guide, explaining “How to Diagnose Washing Machine Drain and Pump Problems”, shows you how to remove these trickier blockages and drain your machine.

In future, the best way prevent blockages is to turn out all your pockets before putting your clothes in the wash!

Help, my washing machine will fill and empty, but wont spin!

If your machine is filling and emptying as usual, but not turning at all, the motor that turns the drum could have a fault.

Washing Machine Carbon Brushes

Most commonly, carbon brushes will be the cause of your motor problems. The brushes come into contact with moving parts in the motor, so become worn over time. If your carbon brushes are worn you may hear a spluttering noise from the washing machine, or even see sparks coming from the bottom of it!

Identifying problems with your motor involves removing it from your appliance. If you don’t feel confident taking your washing machine apart, our video guide on “How to Diagnose Washing Machine Motor Problems” helps you check and diagnose your motor issues.

Once you’ve found the cause of your washing machine woes you can get that drum spinning again and get on top of your no doubt mounting pile of dirty clothes. (Ideally before you’ve run out of clean underwear…)

But if you have a problem we haven’t addressed or need help finding genuine spare parts for your washing machine model let us know in the comments. We’d love to help!


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28 Comments

  1. Mike Dennison

    on May 30, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I have an LG WM16331FD washing machine that won’t drain/spin with a heavy load, but that works fine with a lighter load. The machine shows an OE code indicating that the pump/filter/hose is blocked, but we’ve cleaned out the filter and check for kinks etc.

    If you manually drain the error code clears.

    It works fine on lighter loads – any ideas on what the issue might be>

    • mariya

      on May 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      With a larger load the machine will fill with more water, if there is a restriction in the hoses, partial blockage or if the drain hose has been extended it is likely to increase the time it takes to empty. The machine ‘times the drain cycle and if it has not emptied in the allowed time will come up with this error so check how long it takes to empty on a rinse cycle as normally this would be between 30 and 50 seconds. If longer check for restrictions.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  2. Simon

    on May 31, 2017 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Good morning,

    I have a BUSH A147QS washing machine and the water doesn’t drain when doing a load. Initially I found that there was quite a bit stuck in the filter so I have cleared this, I needed to take the drainage filter off from underneath the machine.

    I then put the machine on an empty spin cycle and this worked fine. However as soon as I put some clothes in the cycle starts, fills with water then I can hear the click to start spinning but nothing happens and the cycle shows as finished shortly after. I can drain the water on the drain cycle and it doesn’t spin after that, regardless if there are clothes in or not.

    If I tip the machine over and take the drainage filter off then put it back on the machine starts spinning on a spin or rinse cycle. As soon as I put it on a normal cycle with clothes it fills with water but then doesn’t spin… I’ve checked and there are no other blockages that I can see/feel… it’s very odd.

    I’m reluctant to just go out and buy another machine just yet as it does seem to spin still. I also wasn’t sure if it sounded slightly different when spinning but I don’t pay enough attention normally to know whether it is different or not..

    Any ideas what might cause this?

    Thanks,

    Simon.

    • mariya

      on May 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Simon,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      From the description we understand the machine fills and empties correctly but does not turn or spin the drum.
      The most likely cause of your problem is worn motor brushes and replacing these on a similar machine is shown here:
      http://www.espares.co.uk/advice/7/2274/

      For information on diagnosing motor problems please see our article:
      http://www.espares.co.uk/advice/7/1730

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  3. chris paton

    on June 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Hi,

    I was hoping for some advice. My Wife had the washing machine on the other day and when I came home (I could tell by the look on her face something was wrong) she immediately said to me ‘the washing machine is broken’.

    I don’t (or didn’t) know anything about washing machines but I’ve done a few things that’ll hopefully help you to help me.

    It turns out that during the cycle when it ‘broke’, towards the end of the cycle my Wife could smell a very feint burning. When she got up to have a look, there was a plate in the sink covering the drainage and possibly blocking the natural action of the machine (?).

    The machine is washing, turning and draining seemingly ok now. It just wont do a fast spin.

    Unless it’s completely empty. That’s the bit a find strange. With nothing in it and put on a fast spin – it works fine.

    I’m sure this must point to something in particular for you guys that are in the know about these things.

    Can you advise before I have to call some over-eager repair man out?

    Thanks in advance.

    • mariya

      on June 15, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Hi Chris,

      From your fault description we understand the machine will fill, empty wash and spin when empty. There can be a number of reasons why a machine may not spin.

      1: If the water is slow to drain and has not fully emptied the machine will not be allowed to spin. Select a rinse cycle and time how long it takes from when it starts draining until the pump noise changes showing it is empty. If it takes longer than 45 seconds when empty check the filter is clear of debris as this will slow emptying down. For more details on this see our video: How to diagnose washing machine drain and pump problems: http://www.espares.co.uk/advice/7/1732

      2: If the wash load is not balanced the machine will repeatedly try to re arrange the load and may not allow it to spin if there is one or two heavy items that it cannot balance. For more details on this see our video: How to Prevent a Washing Machines Spinning Noisily : http://www.espares.co.uk/advice/7/2401/

      3: if the main wash motor splutters when turning it may have worn brushes. These can stop the power from reaching the armature of the motor correctly so if the other two reasons above check OK see another video: How to Diagnose Washing Machine Motor Problems: http://www.espares.co.uk/advice/7/1730

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  4. chris

    on June 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Hamza,

    Thank you very much for your very comprehensive reply.

    I’m very pleased to say that I took your advice and in short, I think the burning smell may have been the brushes.

    However, using your advice, I am chuffed to say I got the fast spin cycle working again. I believe it was – as you had advised – the uneven loading of the machine.

    So a massive thank you for your help – you saved me a potential fortune!

    Thanks again,

    Chris

  5. Daniel

    on July 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Hello,

    I was hoping for some advice. I have a Samsung 12kg WF1124XAC washing machine. The drum turns clockwise and counterclockwise when washing on a cycle. When it comes to the fast spin part it does not. The water will drain but it will not spin fast. I have checked for blockages from the drain pump and the filter. I have checked all hoses and cleared all junk from it. The drain pump is working. It drains quickly.

    I went into the service mode setting with nothing inside and had it spin 1400 rpm. That works fine. But when I go and choose any wash setting it will not spin fast in normal consumer setting. The motor works I think as it spins fast and I checked the belt. I’m confused to why it is not spinning fast to make the clothes a bit less wet.

    Thank you,
    Daniel

    Thank you

  6. Ian

    on July 28, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Hi Espares

    Can you please help or advise , I’m in my holiday apartment – not in uk. got a Hoover DYN10146PGB silent pulse inverter. Had problems since it was new , intermittently going to E03. been taken away by repairers 4x !!! (there is no hoover repair centre here- I didn’t know to check when it was sold to me) many things they ‘said’ were changed inc. heater, sensor, airpressure, pump, main control, I think they said they even changed the shock absorbers! anyway it is still going to E03 and now its every single time on any program -;(( and my wife is driving me crazy. I tried somethings myself – what seems to make it work is when I removed the secondary earth cable from the contact on the machine body (not the one from the mains cable) it unbelievable works and washes well BUT now it will not go to fast spin, only spins very slowly. so still having big problems with the wife! – Can you help PLEASE URGENT thank you so much and I love your videos.

  7. Ian

    on July 28, 2017 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Hi did you get my request about my washing machine as its disappeared , thank you

    • mariya

      on July 28, 2017 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Ian,

      Yes, we have replied to your original request.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  8. Shirlene

    on August 13, 2017 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    My hot point washing machine will drain are spin but will fill up and wash can I fix this problem belts are on

  9. Kori

    on September 20, 2017 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    The drum in my washing machine wont spin, I have a PROACTION PRO510A+W. I have attempted to repair it myself, there was nothing in the filter at the bottom and it is impossible to access anything inside as the washing machine casing is all one except for the front panel which appears to have zip ties holding it and a couple screws. Anybody have a solution?

    • mariya

      on September 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Kori,

      We are sorry but have not been able to get any service information regarding these machines so are unable to give any specific advice.

      Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  10. John

    on October 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Hi wondering if you could help my partner has told me that our washing machine is dead (BEKO WMB714422W) She said the drum was turning slow and now the it will not turn at all but will drain etc

    Any ideas please

  11. mauro

    on January 2, 2018 at 12:49 am - Reply

    My washing machine (Hotpoint) seem to work perfectly fine until the last drain and rinse. Before that, the water is drained properly, whereas when the cycle gets at the last rinse, the water is not drained, the spin goes slowly and the washing time is delayed. I found that if I manually unscrew the filter and remove water, the machine goes back to normal. It spins normally and the cycle ends successfully. This also happens with medium loads.
    What I found strange is that this only happens at the last drainage, as before that the hose expels the water very well.

    I have already checked the washing machine for blockage in the filter, drainage hose, sump hose and pump impeller but everything is clear.

    Any ideas of what the cause may be? Many thanks in advance

    • hali

      on January 3, 2018 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Hi Mauro,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Can you please confirm the model number of your appliance and we shall look into this.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  12. Ben

    on January 16, 2018 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Hi I have a Candy Evo W4853D showing an E03 error code. I’ve checked/cleaned the filter and hoses and both the pump, to expel the water, and the element works fine.

    If I wash on empty, 2 out of 3 cycles complete. If I wash with any load it throws up an error just after the wash cycle just before the it adds the conditioner. There’s no water in the drum either.

    Would you have any ideas of what could be causing this issue? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advanced.

    • hali

      on January 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Error E03 is a ‘drain error’ check if the machine can empty from rinse in around 45 seconds. If there is a restriction in the filter or hoses and it is much longer the machine may time out and give this error. If the water clears in under 45 seconds there may be a partial blockage of the pressure hose so try using a washing machine cleaner like Stock Number ES1566874 as it may be due to detergent build up in the drum.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  13. anthony

    on January 23, 2018 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    hi espaares i have a bush wm1470tve and its not draining water or spining its stuck with 6mins left in the cycle with a buzzing sound what can i do to fix it thanks

    • hali

      on January 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Anthony,

      Your problem is likely to be something stuck in the filter blocking the pump. Drain the water by lowing the drain hose to a bowl then place towels under the filter and remove it to check for debris as shown in our advice article: https://www.espares.co.uk/advice/symptom/washing-machine-not-draining-water

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Hamza @ eSpares

  14. Joe

    on February 13, 2018 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have a hotpoint wml720 Aquarius and the washer won’t spin at full speed and also won’t drain, I’ve checked the pumps etc but can’t fix the problem what could this be, thanks

  15. lee finch

    on February 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Hamza,
    please can you give me some advice, I have a bush WM-1260TVE washing machine, recently during a normal wash cycle it doesnt do a high speed spin to finish with, so we select the “spin” option and finish them that way, now this is becoming more regular also the “SPIN” option will now not go high speed,
    im a mechanical engineer so i am happy to go in and check things out here is what i have checked, main motor bushes good (replaced last year) drain pump stripped out rotor turning freely and with a 240v supply, hoses to the pump are clear, filter is clear, diaphram switch working ok check manualy by gently blowing and with a multi meter and visualy checked the diaphram is not punctured, also checked with just one wet towel in for load imbalance, yet the drum still just turns but will not go high speed to spin?
    can you shed any light on this or is it possiable its now a programe error?
    many thanks
    lee

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