Whirlpool Washer Won’t Start – Troubleshooting Guide

It might seem like a big deal when you have a pile of dirty clothes that you desperately want to wash as soon as possible but your Whirlpool washer won’t start. The good news is that you’ll likely be able to get your washing machine working again quickly if you follow the steps in this article.

Whirlpool 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 get started dealing with the ‘no power’ problem.

Incoming Power Problem

The reason your Whirlpool washer isn’t starting might be due to a power problem. To get to the root cause of the issue, you will need to do some basic investigating.

Is Your Washer Plugged In

The first thing that you need to inspect is whether your washing machine is plugged in. You might’ve left it unplugged after the previous wash cycle and forgotten about it. This happens more often than you think, and that’s good news since it means that if it happened to you there’s an easy way to get your washer up and running.

Is Your Circuit Breaker Off

If you put too much stress on your electrical system by using too many different appliances at the same time, it’ll result in your circuit breaker tripping. That’s why you need to check if your circuit breaker is off.

Has Your Thermal Fuse Tripped

The thermal fuse is a component found in your washing machine that’s designed to serve as a safety mechanism. If your washer ever starts overheating, the thermal fuse will trip and cause the machine to stop working. Without a thermal fuse, the washing machine would overheat up to the point of starting a fire. When the thermal fuse trips, you’ll need to replace it before the machine can start again.

Whirlpool Washer Won’t Start Washing

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

1. Check Washer Settings

Take a second look at the washer settings and see whether you accidentally pressed the wrong button. You may have pushed the delay start button without even realizing it, and that’s what is preventing your machine from working. Open and close the door of your Whirlpool washer and start a new cycle to see whether the machine is working now.

2. Control Lock is Turned ON

Another easy solution to your washer problem can be to check whether the control lock is on. Keeping it on when you’re not using the washing machine is a great way to prevent your kids from changing the settings or accidentally turning it on. But if you leave it on you won’t be able to start a wash cycle. Push and hold the control lock button for a few seconds to turn it off.

3. Washer Start Button Faulty

The start button has the very important task of sending signals to the motor of your washing machine. Once the motor receives the right signal, it will know that it should start running. Unfortunately, the start button can become faulty over time and stop sending signals. To check whether the start button in your washer is still working, you’ll need to test it with a multimeter.

Testing a Faulty Start Button

You only need a multimeter set to the lowest ohm setting and a screwdriver to test a faulty start button. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Take a screwdriver and remove the screws that secure the control panel on your washer.
  2. Remove the control panel and find the wires that connect to the start button.
  3. Disconnect the wires and remove the start switch from the machine.
  4. Connect the multimeter’s leads to the terminals of the switch.
  5. If you get a reading of 0 ohms, the start switch in your washer is working properly.

4. Front Load – Faulty Door Switch

If you notice that the door on your washing machine gets stuck occasionally, it’s only a matter of time before the door switch becomes defective. When this happens, you’ll have to replace it.

Replacing a Faulty Door Switch

To replace the door switch, first, make sure that your washer is not plugged in. Now remove the top lid from the washer and open the door. When you open the door, you should use a screwdriver to release the door assembly. Pull out the assembly from inside the machine by reaching down from where the top lid was. Install the new assembly and your washer will start working again as long as the other components are in good condition.

5. Top Load – Faulty Lid Switch

Top-loading washing machines have a lid switch that controls whether a wash cycle can start. The lid switch prevents a wash cycle from starting in the event that the lid is open. This was designed to help you avoid potential injuries. Like any other component in your Whirlpool washer, the lid switch may become faulty over time. When this happens, you’ll have to replace it with a new one.

Replacing a Faulty Lid Switch

The process of replacing a faulty lid switch in a top-loading washer is pretty straightforward. But before you do anything, first make sure that your washer is not plugged in. After you do that, you can begin the replacement process.

  1. Your first step should be to remove the bolts and screws securing the lid on your washer.
  2. Remove the top lid from your washing machine.
  3. You will notice a small plastic box after you remove the top lid. This is the lid switch.
  4. Remove the screws that secure the lid switch and then take out the component.
  5. Place a new lid switch where the old one was and put the top lid back on your washer.

Watch the video below if you’re looking for a visual guide on how to replace a faulty lid switch.

Washer Not Spinning? Replace Washer Lid Switch #3949238

6. Defective Timer

The timer may seem like an incredibly simple component, but it controls most of the operations within a washing machine. When it becomes defective, you likely won’t be able to start a wash cycle. If you want to know for sure whether the timer is defective, you should test it with a multimeter.

Testing a Defective Timer

Grab a screwdriver and set your multimeter to the lowest resistance setting. Make sure your washing machine is unplugged. After you’ve finished preparing to conduct the test, you can start removing the timer.

  1. Take your screwdriver and use it to unscrew the three screws that secure the control console.
  2. Take out the control console and you’ll see the timer, which is located right behind its knob.
  3. Grab your multimeter and connect its leads to the terminals of the timer.
  4. If you get a reading of 0 ohms or a number close to it, the timer is working fine.

7. Defective Motor

There are a few hints that your washer may give you in the event that the motor has become defective. For instance, you may begin to hear faint humming sounds coming from the machine. You may even notice a burning smell a few minutes after you push the start button. However, to be completely sure that the motor is faulty you will need to test it for continuity.

Testing a Faulty Motor

To test a faulty motor for continuity, you will need a pair of insulated work gloves, a screwdriver, and a multimeter set to the lowest ohm setting. Here’s how you can test this component.

  1. Your first step should be to unplug your washing machine.
  2. Take your screwdriver and use it to remove the screws securing the rear panel.
  3. After you remove the rear panel, you’ll immediately see the motor.
  4. There are screws that secure the motor, so make sure you remove them. You should also disconnect any wires that are attached to the motor.
  5. Remove the motor from the washer and connect the leads of your multimeter to its terminals.
  6. In case your motor is working, you’ll get a reading of 0 ohms. On the other hand, a reading of infinity means you’ll have to replace the motor.

Watch the awesome video below to find out how to diagnose problems with washer motors.

How to Diagnose Washing Machine Motor Problems

8. Defective Control Board

The control board represents a small electronic circuit board that receives and sends signals from different parts of the machine. When it stops working, your washer won’t be able to start a cycle.

Testing a Faulty Control Board

You can determine whether the control board in your washing machine is working properly by testing it for continuity. This board is located behind the control panel in your washing machine. Remove the board and connect the leads of the multimeter to its terminals. In case you get a reading of 0 ohms, you can rest assured that the control board is in good shape.

If you’d like to find out how to replace a defective control board in your washer, you should check out the video below.

Whirlpool Top Load Washer Control Board Replacement #W10711300

Whirlpool Washer Won’t Start – SOLVED

Now you know exactly what you should do in case your Whirlpool washer won’t start. It’s best to start with the easy steps, like checking if your washing machine is plugged in or whether the control lock is on. After you’ve completed the easy steps, only then should you move on to the more time-consuming tasks like inspecting a defective motor or a faulty lid switch.

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 Yahoo.com.