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What Would Cause My Whirlpool Washer to Trip the Breaker?

Paul Bright

As with any other electrical appliances, damage or compromise to a Whirlpool washing machine's electrical system could cause your circuit breaker to trip. By examining the power supply and all powered parts in your Whirlpool washer, you can locate the source of the power surge.

Power Plug

Shorted electrical parts in your washer can trip the circuit breaker.

Most Whirlpool washer models use a 6-foot long, 110-volt power cord for electrical operation. Any compromise to this power cord could cause a surge that may trip your circuit breaker. Ensure your Whirlpool washer is close enough so that the cord can snugly fit into the receptacle. If not, water could get between the prongs and the receptacle, and cause a short. Also try to keep the cord from bending and crimping sharply when it’s plugged in. This could damage the inner wiring over time.


Your Whirlpool Washer may be tripping the circuit breaker if the circuit line isn’t rated to handle its electrical load. The electrical supply must be an AC line with 120 volts, 60 Hertz and with a 15 or 20-amp fuse. Anything that doesn’t meet these requirements could cause the circuit breaker to trip because the washer’s load is too strong. The circuit should also be separate from any other electrical supply lines to prevent overloads from other appliances.

Whirlpool Wiring Harnesses

Inspect the wiring harnesses for any general damage. You may have to remove the washer’s shell or back panel to do a thorough inspection. Look for loose wires, exposed wiring or crimping. Pay particular attention to negative leads and grounding wires because they are responsible for keeping the current within the wires. If they are not properly connected, electricity could escape and cause a surge, which trips the circuit breaker.

Faulty Parts

If your Whirlpool washer is tripping your circuit breaker at specific cycle changes, the electricity problem could be limited to a specific part. If the circuit breaker trips during the spin cycles, a problem could exist with the clutch or transmission parts. Inspect them for damage to the wiring. If the trip occurs once your washer stops filling and starts agitation, the electrical short could be in the motor. If tripping occurs when you manually select cycles through the control panel, the wiring inside it may be the problem.