Maytag Washer Won’t Start – Troubleshooting Guide

When your Maytag washer won’t start, the first thing that will probably cross your mind is to call a repair technician and get it fixed as soon as possible. But what if you don’t have to wait for a technician and save both money and time by fixing the problem yourself? In this article, you’ll learn how to get your washing machine working in no time.

Maytag Washer Won’t Turn On

When customers tell me their Maytag washer won’t start, there are two interpretations of this problem. One is the machine won’t start due to there not being any power. Or the actual wash program won’t start. So let’s begin by dealing with the ‘no power’ problem.

Check for A Power Problem

Does your Maytag washer turn on at all? If not, it’s due to a power problem. There are three steps you should take to identify why your washing machine won’t power on. Let’s start with the easiest method.

Is Your Washer Plugged In

It’s not unusual for many people to unplug their washer when it’s not in use. In fact, it’s recommended that you do this to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home and it can in fact save power as opposed to keeping the machine on standby. It’s also not beyond impossible for someone else to have accidentally or temporarily switched off the washer.

check the circuit breaker
Check the Circuit Breaker

Has the Circuit Breaker Tripped

The circuit breaker will trip whenever the electrical system is overwhelmed in your home. It’s common to lose track of just how many appliances you use at the same time. If the breaker has tripped, you will need to do the following:

  1. Locate your circuit breaker box and find the individual switch for the washer circuit. You may have a single switch or a loop containing several appliances on one switch.
  2. You will notice the switch has an On and Off location. If the switch is positioned in the center, this is the ‘tripped’ position.
  3. Move the switch to the Off position, then into the On position.
  4. If the switch automatically trips back to the central location, there is either an overload problem or the switch is faulty.
  5. You can test the switch using a multimeter. Watch the short video below to see how to perform this test.
Checking Testing Bad Circuit Breaker

Tripped Thermal Fuse?

Without the thermal fuse, there would be nothing preventing your washing machine from starting a fire when it gets overheated. Thankfully, this small device immediately stops it from running when it senses that your washer is overheating. However, after the fuse trips, you won’t be able to start your machine until you replace this small device.

Maytag Washer Won’t Start Washing

If your washer is receiving power from the mains, and your issue is related to the washer program not starting, then here are the most common causes. They are in order of the most likely causes and accompanied by simple troubleshooting steps to fix the problem. 

1. Check the Washing Machine Settings

Before you inspect any part of your washer, first check whether you chose the wrong settings by accident. You may have not even realized that you pushed a button you didn’t mean to and delayed the start of the wash cycle. To fix this issue, simply open and close the washer door and start another cycle.

2. Perform A Maytag Washer Reset

Any electronic appliance or device can suffer from glitches and washing machines are no different. Just as you would reboot your home computer it the screen freezes, you can reset your washer:

  1. Unplug the washer at the main power outlet
  2. Leave the washer for at least 15 minutes
  3. Plug the washer back in and try to run a wash program to see if this has fixed the problem

3. Faulty Washer Start Button 

The motor in your washing machine will start running only after it receives the appropriate signal from the start button. If this button is defective, the signal won’t reach the motor. Over time all components wear through regular use, and the start button is used more than any other button on the control panel. This can lead to loose connectors or stiff actuation, or a failure in the circuit board.

To ensure that the start button is causing the issue, you should test it for electrical continuity with a multimeter.

How to Test a Faulty Start Button

  1. You should start by removing the control panel on your washer.
  2. Disconnect the wires that connect to the start button.
  3. Have your multimeter set to the lowest resistance setting.
  4. Remove the start switch from the machine and connect the leads of the multimeter to the terminals of the switch.
  5. If you get a reading of infinity or a high number, you’ll have to replace the start button.
Maytag Washer Won't Start
Maytag control lock button Maytag Canada

4. Control Lock is Turned ON

If the control lock is switched on it will prevent a wash cycle from starting. This safety mechanism is designed to stop children from initiating a wash or spin cycle and potentially getting injured. To turn off the control lock, simply press and hold the button designated for this feature for three seconds. If that doesn’t work, you can try unplugging your washer for 15 minutes, then plugging it back to reset the control panel.

Make sure you check out the video below demonstrating how to check if the control lock is on.

Maytag dryer control lock solutions

5. Check Door Is Properly Latched

The washer door needs to be fully shut in order for a wash cycle to begin. If you don’t hear that clicking sound when you close the door, it’s probably not latched fully. An open door will send a signal to the main control board identifying potential flood risk, and this will override the start function.

Make sure you open the door and close it again with a bit more force, until you hear it click shut, and then see if the wash cycle will begin.

6. Faulty Door Switch – Front Load Washer

The door switch in a front-loading Maytag washer is prone to failing, and this will result in problems opening or closing the door. This triggers a safety warning to the washer’s control board preventing the machine from starting. Unfortunately diagnosing a failed switch can be difficult, without removing the component.

  1. First check to see if the door latch and therefore switch aligns on the door and the washer body, allowing the two sections to close and connect fully.
  2. If they do not align, attempt to align them by adjusting the screw mounting, repositioning the two connecting pieces, and retightening the screws.
  3. You can remove the door switch using the instruction video below, to guide you through the process. Then test the continuity of the switch using a multimeter. If this fails you will need to replace the door switch.
  4. If you do not have a multimeter, door switches are inexpensive, so go ahead and fit a new switch.

In this case, your best bet is to replace the door lock.

How to Replace a Faulty Door Switch

  1. Unplugged the washer from the main power outlet
  2. Open the door and use a screwdriver to remove the screws that secure the door lock assembly
  3. Detach the cable connector
  4. Remove the washer’s top lid so that you can pull out the assembly
  5. Attach the new switch cable connector and screw the switch housing into the mounted position
  6. Replace the washer lid and see if it has solved the problem

Here’s a quick video on how to replace a door lock assembly on a front-loading washing machine.

Replacing the Door Lock Assembly on a Front-Load Washer

7. Faulty Lid Switch – Top Load Washer 

The lid switch is a component found only in top-loading washing machines, and it effectively performs the same safety function as the door switch on front-loading machines. It prevents wash cycles from starting if the lid is not fully closed. If the switch fails it can prevent your machine from starting regardless of whether the lid is closed or not.

How to Replace a Faulty Lid Switch

You don’t need a lot of experience with fixing appliances to replace a faulty lid switch. In fact, an inexperienced person can replace this component in 15 minutes or less. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Unplug your washing machine and start removing the screws and bolts on the top lid.
  2. Remove the top lid and you’ll spot the lid switch, which looks like a small plastic box.
  3. Disconnect the wires connected to the switch and remove them from the machine.
  4. Install the new switch in the same place where the old one was and reassemble your washer.

Here’s a short video on how to test and replace a lid switch in a Maytag washer.

Maytag Washing Machine Not Starting - Check The Door Safety Switch

8. Faulty Timer

The timer is a very important component, it sequences each function and informs the washer when to commence each stage of the wash. If the timer is faulty, it can render it impossible for the washer to start a cycle. To establish if the timer is at fault, you will need to test it for continuity.

How to Test a Faulty Timer

  1. Unplug your washer from the main power outlet
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws securing the control console
  3. The timer will be located right behind the timer knob
  4. Remove the timer from the washer and connect the multimeter’s leads to its terminals
  5. You should get a reading of 0 ohms if it’s working. If not then it will need to be replaced

You should check out this video on how to repair a faulty timer.

Washer Timer Repair - Maytag Whirlpool Washing Machine - W10243947

9. Defective Control Board

The control board is tasked with performing a number of operations in your washing machine, you could think of it as the computer or brain of the washer. It receives vital signals from different components and controls everything from the pressure switch to the motor. If all other options have been exhausted, you will need to test it with a multimeter.

How to Test a Faulty Control Board

You should grab a screwdriver and a multimeter to perform this test.

  1. Your first step should be to unplug your washing machine.
  2. Now remove the screws that secure the control panel. You will find the control board behind the panel.
  3. Disconnect the wires that are connected to the board.
  4. Connect the multimeter’s leads to the terminals of the board.
  5. If you get a reading of a high number or infinity, the control board is faulty and should be replaced.

Maytag Washer Not Starting – SOLVED

With the tips from this article, you can easily diagnose what’s wrong with your washing machine and follow the corrective action to get it fixed as quickly as possible. It’s important to initially check whether your machine has power or not. After you do that, you work through the troubleshooting steps to determine exactly why your Maytag washer won’t start.


Maytag Product Help – Washer Won’t Start

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and