Why Is My Washing Machine Not Spinning?

There are a lot of reasons why your washing machine is not spinning as it should. The underlying causes include mechanical issues and factors that are not in your control. Not only is it annoying, it can also force you into an unplanned trip to the laundromat.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why your washing machine is not spinning, and how to troubleshoot this problem.

The reason why your washing machine is not working as it should is not always serious or indicate a mechanical issue with your unit. It may be through simple usage issues or certain uncontrollable circumstances that are causing the problem. Here are such reasons:

The lid was not properly shut

Fully automatic washing machines have a hidden switch at the back of the hinge of the lid that gets activated when the lid is closed properly. When not engaged (i.e. if your lid was not closed properly), it will prevent the agitator or the tub from spinning. This is to protect people (curious children in particular) from getting injured when they decide to place their hands inside the tub while it is spinning.

If you have something blocking the lid from closing all the way, the lid switch will not be activated, and thus your washing machine will not spin. To fix this, remove what ever is obstructing the lid from closing, and continue as usual.

Imbalanced drum

To prevent your washing machine from getting damaged, it will automatically shut off if it detects an unbalanced load inside the drum. Your washing machine may also flash an error code indicating such an occurrence. Check you operation manual to clarify.

Before the start of each cycle, the washing machine normally pulses your clothes a couple of times to help equally distribute the load inside the drum. However, there may be instances when this pulsing will not be enough. This usually happens when heavy items like blankets and towels are in the tub.

To fix this, open the lid and distribute the clothes evenly in the tub. This should fix your problem easily.

Items are stuck in the agitator

Clothes or other wayward objects like coins and clips can get lodged inside the agitator and will prevent it from spinning properly.

To fix this, drain the water and try to dislodge what ever is stuck inside the agitator. You may need to remove it with a screwdriver, but that’s easy enough to do on your own.

Your washing machine sits on uneven ground

Washing machines need to be perfectly leveled before they start spinning. If it sits on unlevel ground, the tub may tilt while it spins which can cause damage to the tub or the drive train. It can cause a lot of shaking, jumping, and “walking”.

Have a look at your washing machine’s feet if they are leveled. It could also be because the floor itself is uneven. To fix this, relocate your washing machine to a more level place.

Some washing machines have a built-in spirit level tool to help you with repositioning the unit (if not, you can buy this one from Lazada). If the level is slightly off-center, then you should adjust your washer until the spirit level is centered.

If any of the above reasons are not probable in your case, the problem may be due to improper maintenance and/or factory defects.

Some of this causes have a relatively simple troubleshooting procedures that you can try on your own. You can always call a technician when things get too complicated.

Worn out belt

The tub or the agitator of a non-inverter washing machine is connected to the motor by a belt. Over time, this belt will wear out and can cause issues with the transfer of power from the motor to the tub or agitator.

Luckily, belt-driven washing machines are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. The belt itself is easy to come by and inexpensive as well. You can fix or replace it on your own if you know your way around the technical stuff of the washing machine. Otherwise, you can call a technician to fix it for you.

Damaged direct drive motor coupling

Instead of having a belt as a middleman, inverter washing machines get their power directly from the motor (hence direct drive).

While direct drive motors are in general longer lasting compared to the belt-driven system, problems may develop in the coupling of the DD motor over time.

Since the mechanism of a direct driven system is a lot more complex compared to a belt driven one, you may have no choice but to call in a technician to fix this for you.

Malfunctioning motor

If you turn on your washing machine but hear the ominous sound of silence, then it is likely that the motor itself is malfunctioning. It may be because there is a short circuit somewhere inside your washer, or your unit may have suffered from a power surge or a low voltage fluctuation.

Unfortunately, there is nothing much you can do on your own. Unplug your washing machine and call a technician ASAP!


As you’ve seen, there are a lot of reasons why your washing machine is not spinning properly. Always keep your washing machine in tip-top shape by following best practices while doing the laundry. You should also have your washing machine checked by a technician for preventive maintenance.

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