The Breaker Turns off When the Washing Machine Runs

Christie Gross

A washing machine runs off a circuit breaker that's generally located in your home's main circuit box. The circuit breaker regulates the flow of electricity to the washing machine, and also serves as the appliance's emergency power cutoff. If the washing machine repeatedly trips its circuit breaker and turns off the washer when it runs, assess what could be disrupting the washing machine's electricity supply. In most cases, the problem is probably related to a faulty electricity supply element connected to the washer, rather than the washer itself.

Power Cord

Ensure the washing machine's electrical socket provides enough voltages to operate the washer.

Ensure that the washing machine's power cord is plugged all the way into the electrical socket. A loose power cord can affect the washing machine's electrical connection and cause the washer's circuit breaker to trip. If the power cord isn't connected properly, remove it and plug it back into the socket so that each wire securely fits into the electrical socket's wire openings.

Electrical Socket

A washing machine requires a reliable wire connection to receive electricity to run. A loose or corroded wire inside the electrical socket could jeopardize the power supply to the washer, which may make the washer's circuit breaker trip after you start a wash cycle. Test the electrical socket for connectivity problems. Plug another electrical device into the electrical socket and turn it on or use a voltage tester to measure the socket's connectivity. If the electrical device's operation also causes the circuit breaker to trip, the socket's wiring is faulty. Additionally, if the voltage tester measures weak or no connectivity from the socket, the socket isn't working properly. Contact a skilled electrician to repair the washing machine's electrical socket.

Circuit Breaker

A defective circuit breaker may trip periodically as the breaker supplies power to a washing machine. Over time, a breaker can wear and prematurely trip during the transfer of power from the home's main power source to a device, such as a washer. Contact a skilled electrician to check the circuit breaker for issues. If the electrician determines that the circuit breaker is inoperative, replace it.

Washing Machine's Controls

A washing machine's controls send signals through wire connections to several components telling them to turn on and off based on the wash cycle setting you choose. Over time, the directives can cause a wire to contract and expand to the point that the wire becomes loose. To prevent the loose wire from starting a fire, the washing machine will sense the electrical fault and shut off power from the circuit breaker each time you run your washer until the loose wire is replaced.