How to Repair a Washing Machine that Won't Start

What You'll Need
voltage tester
replacement lid switch for your model (if necessary)
your models manual
replacement fuses (if necessary)

There’s nothing more frustrating than a washing machine that won’t start, but to repair a washing machine you have to first diagnose the problem. Check the power supply and the lid switch. Sometimes, after running several loads, a machine will overheat, in which case you simply need to let it cool down. If you’re not that lucky, here’s how to fix the problem.

Step 1 - Determine the problem

Before you do anything, unplug your machine and check the outlet for power with your voltage tester. You may need to reset the circuit breaker. If the electrical source is fine, check the power cord for any breaks or kinks that may have damaged it. Consult your manual to determine where the overload switch can be found. This is especially crucial if you tend to run large loads of laundry. Be sure to remove any laundry from the tub before you hit the switch and try to run the machine again.

Once you have ruled out these problems, move up to the lid. Between the lid and the machine, there is a switch which turns your machine on and off. Press it to see if it clicks, and check the tab on the lid to be sure it’s pushing it down correctly. If your lid switch is not clicking down properly, you have found your problem.

Step 2 – Observe and Report

Check for any damage around the metal lid switch. Bent metal or ill aligned tabs are easier to fix than a full switch replacement. Determine if your switch uses a wiring harness or if you can test the terminals on your switch directly by consulting your manual. If so, have a wiring harness separate the two pieces carefully to expose the wires.

Use the voltage tester to determine if the switch’s power is faulty. Test it first released, and then with the switch pressed down. If the voltage doesn’t read a change, you need to replace the switch. If you model uses a fuse, check that as well. A bad fuse can be changed out easily.

Step 3 – Switch the Switch

Make sure you have your model and serial number in hand when ordering your replacement switch. This can usually be found on the top or top back of your machine, or under the lid. You can check your local hardware store for the part, or go online to find it. When you have the switch, remove the lid of your machine using the screwdriver and wrenches and take out the old switch, making sure to note how it is connected to the probes. Install the new switch, connecting it to the probes the same way. Depending on your model, you may need to use a screwdriver.

Once you replace the lid and make sure the tab is aligned with the new switch, you’re ready to plug in your machine and give it a go. Make sure all your screws and bolts are on right and tight, and get that laundry done.