Knowing how to troubleshoot a Whirlpool washer can be a shortcut for maintenance techs in a time crunch. This guide reviews seven common problems with Whirlpool front load and top load washers and how to fix them.
When troubleshooting a Whirlpool washer’s parts and controls, shut off the power supply either by unplugging the washer or flipping the circuit breaker. Disconnect the hot and cold water supply to the washer.
The Washer Won't Start
- Check the power source. Make sure that the power cord is plugged in, and the laundry room’s circuit breaker is turned on at the electrical panel.
- Replace a power cord with visible damage. Use a multimeter to test an undamaged power cord for electrical continuity. Replace the power cord if it has no continuity.
- A faulty door latch will prevent a front load washer’s fill cycle from beginning even if the door is closed. If the latch is damaged or fails to close, replace it. Test the door latch switches with a multimeter and replace any switch that has no continuity.
- Use a multimeter to test the terminals of the lid switch and lid strike of a top load washer. Replace any component that has no continuity.
- Test the power button and other buttons on the main control board. If none of the buttons are working, check the power to the board. If some buttons work and others don’t, replace the board.
- Check the thermal fuse, which will blow if the washer overheats. Replace a damaged fuse and look for signs of the washer overheating.
- Check the line fuse, which will blow if the electric circuits are overloaded. Replace a damaged fuse and check the wires, motor and drain pump.
- Faulty timers are less common but may prevent the washer from starting or interrupt the cycles. Test the timer with a multimeter and replace if it has no continuity.
Pro Tip: Newer Whirlpool washers have a reset feature that allows you to restart the washer after a power failure or load imbalance. Follow the reset procedure in the owner’s manual and test the washer to see if it runs.
The Washer Makes Loud Noises or Vibrates
- Confirm the washer is properly balanced. Use a level and raise or lower the adjustable feet until the washer is perfectly level.
- Worn tub bearings are common problems in Whirlpool front load washers. After 10 years, a tub bearing can wear out and prevent the tub from rotating properly. If the bearing is sold separately, replace it. If the bearing is sold only as part of the entire outer tub assembly, consider replacing the washer.
- Lubricating the tub bearing can also eliminate a noise issue.
- Check the washer’s shock absorbers, which can cause noise or vibration if damaged. If one shock absorber is damaged, replace all four of them.
- Inspect the suspension springs and replace any that are broken.
- Check the water inlet valve for mineral deposits that can lead to noisier operation. Replacing the valve is recommended over cleaning out the deposits.
- Faulty drive motors are less common, but after testing the other components, check the drive motor for power. If the motor has power and hums but doesn’t run, turn freely or is noisy, replace it.
The Washer Won't Drain
Remove standing water in the washer tub before troubleshooting.
- Locate the drain pump filter, also called the coin trap, at the base of the washer. Turn it counterclockwise and remove lint or other obstructions. Rinse the filter with water and replace it in the washer.
- Straighten the drain hoses if twisted or pinched. Loosen the hose clamps and check the hoses for obstructions. If a hose is damaged or will not straighten, replace the hose. After removing a hose, add a new rubber washer when reattaching it.
- Check the drain pump for obstructions. Test the drain pump motor with a multimeter and replace it if lacks continuity.
- Check the door latch or lid switch, which may not allow the washer to drain if faulty.
The Whirlpool Washer Won't Spin
- A faulty drive belt is one of the most common reasons why a Whirlpool washer is not spinning the clothes dry. If the washer has a belt drive, inspect the belt and replace it if damaged or out of place.
- If the washer has a transmission, check the motor coupling that connects it to the motor. Replace the coupling if broken.
- Check the stator windings and rotor magnets of the motor stator assembly for damage and replace as needed.
- Check for drainage issues such as a clogged drain filter, twisted drain hose or faulty drain pump. These can prevent a washer from spinning.
- Inspect the motor control board for burned or shorted-out components. Replace the board if you find them.
- Check the drive motor for power. If the motor has power and hums but doesn’t run or turn freely, replace it.
- Washers frequently stop spinning when the drum becomes unbalanced. Make sure the unit is level by raising or lowing the adjustable feet.
Pro Tip: Use a washer’s automatic or manual diagnostic cycles to test such functions as the door locks, drain pump, drum rotation and the hot and cold water valves.
The Washer Won't Agitate
- While troubleshooting a Whirlpool top load washer, check the washer tub’s agitator by turning on the washer, opening the lid and seeing if it moves. Remove a faulty agitator and inspect for damage. Replace damaged components with parts from an agitator repair kit.
- If the washer has a belt drive, inspect the drive belt. Replace a damaged belt with a new one.
- If the washer has a transmission, check to see if the drive block is stripped, worn or damaged and replace it.
- Check the motor coupler for signs of damage and replace as needed. If the motor turns the transmission but the washer won’t spin or agitate, replace the transmission.
- Check the stator windings and rotor magnets for damage, as they can prevent a washer from agitating. If either is damaged, replace them.
The Washer Leaks or Overflows
- Check the washer’s hot and cold water supply hoses and make sure they’re securely fastened and undamaged.
- Inspect the internal hoses for wear and replace damaged ones. Tighten any loose clamps.
- Check the drain pump for signs of leaks and replace if needed.
- Check the tub cover gasket to make sure it provides a seal between the outer tub and the tub cover. If you see visible damage or signs of leakage, such as moisture or soapy residue, replace it.
- If the pressure switch to the water inlet valve fails, the washer may overflow. Clear the air tube to the water inlet valve’s pressure switch and replace the tube if it leaks.
- Check the pressure switch with a multimeter and replace as needed.
- Test the water inlet valve by shutting off power to the washer while filling with water. If the washer continues to fill, replace the inlet valve.
- Check the water inlet valve’s solenoid coils with a multimeter. Replace the inlet valve if the coils test negative.
- Check the water level switch behind the control panel. Test with a multimeter and replace as needed.
The Washer Fills Slowly or Not at All
- Check that the pressure of the washer’s water supply is at least 20 psi. Run the washer water supply lines into a sink or bucket to confirm a strong water flow. Make sure the exterior water supply has no problems.
- Check the water inlet valve. If the solenoid coils inside the valve have failed, the washer tub will not fill. Test the coils with a multimeter. If either one tests negative, replace the valve.
- The washer’s water level switch controls the amount of water in the tub. Use the multimeter to test the switch and replace it if it has no continuity.
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Troubleshooting common Whirlpool washer problems can reveal why washers won’t start or spin clothes dry, as well as why they may leak, overflow or make loud noises. In many cases maintenance techs can fix Whirlpool washers by replacing small parts and making simple repairs.
Pro Tip: If a replacement part costs 50% or more of the cost of a new washer, consider buying a new unit instead.
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