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.
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.
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.
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!