Washing Machine Will Not Wash

A washing machine has an agitator that moves your clothes up and down.


Fix your washing machine yourself, and save money.Fix your washing machine yourself, and save money.
The tub fills with water, which dissolves the detergent. These processes combine to clean your clothes. If your washer won't start, troubleshoot the issue, and see if you can determine which component is causing the issue. Fixing the problem yourself eliminates expensive technician fees.

If your washing machine won't start washing your clothes, see if you are experiencing a power outage. Wait for the power to come back on. Check your home fuses, and replace any blown fuses. If you have circuit breakers, reset a tripped one. Push the washing machine power cord firmly into the outlet. Test the outlet with another appliance, and see if it's live. Examine the power cord, and repair or replace it if any wires are exposed.

Water Level/Lid Switch

The water level switch senses the amount of water in the washing machine. If this switch is defective, your washing machine won't think it has enough water to start the washing cycle. The lid switch lets the washing machine know that the lid is closed. Your washer won't start washing with the lid open. Test both of these switches with a multimeter. Disconnect the washing machine from the power source, and remove the main access panel. See if the switches have continuity. If they don't, you will need to replace the defective switch. It's hard to repair switches.

Water Supply

If your washer isn't filling up with water, it won't start washing your clothes. Verify that both inlet valves are turned on. See if the water supply valve is working properly. If it's leaking or won't turn, you must replace this component, since it's difficult to repair. Straighten the inlet hoses if they are bent, and clean the inlet screens. Inspect the inlet hose, and see if it's clogged with debris. Scoop out the debris with a plastic utensil. Test your home water pressure, using a water pressure gauge. If the pressure is below 30 psi, turn off water in the other parts of your home. Wait for the pressure to return to normal before trying to wash your clothes.


Your motor can burn out or get stuck, preventing your washing machine from starting. Disconnect the washing machine from the main power source, and try turning the motor. If it doesn't turn after a few minutes, use a multimeter, and see if it has continuity. If it doesn't, you need a new motor. The timer controls the wash cycles. If the timer is defective, your washer won't start. See if the timer has continuity, and replace it if necessary.

About the Author

Misty Faucheux became a freelance writer in 1998 and has been an editor since 2004. She has written for a variety of websites and blogs, specializing in topics ranging from digital photography to computer systems to digital media. Faucheux received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Loyola University New Orleans.