How To Repair If Your Washer Won’t Start

What to check and fix for a washing machine not starting up

When your washing machine isn’t starting or turning on, there are many possible causes including faulty parts and components that may need to be replaced.

Lid Switch Replacement

For top load washing machines, the lid switch detects if the washer lid is closed for safety purposes. Depending on the model of the washing machine, with the lid open the washer will not start. With a defective lid switch the washer doesn’t start even if the washer lid is closed. Before the basket starts spinning the lid must be closed, while for other top load washer models the washer drive motor doesn’t run until the lid is closed. The washer will also not fill if the lid is open. The lid switch must be replaced if it isn’t detecting whether the lid is closed.

Washer Door Lock Assembly Replacement

For front load washers, the door lock assembly is the safety switch that is supposed to detect when the washing machine door is closed. It includes a latch plus a locking mechanism. Failure of any of the components when the door is open means that the door won’t lock and similarly if the failure occurs with the door closed it doesn’t open. The solution if any of the components fails is to replace the entire door lock assembly.

Main Control Board Replacement

The main electronic control board which is also known as the motherboard acts like the “brains” of the washing machine and is responsible for governing the timing and the execution of the washing machine’s component functions. It starts and stops different components of the washer. It is responsible for controlling the washer fill valves, the washer drive motor and the washer drain pump. When the display on the control board of a front-load washer isn’t lighting up, or the washing machine isn’t starting, filling, spinning or draining, the problem could be with the electronic control board. But that’s not easy to diagnose, so it is strongly recommended to have an appliance repair expert to check your washer.

The Motor Control Board Replacement

When your front load washer is not starting, the problem could be with its motor control board. The motor control board problem can make the washer not to spin and even if it does may be spinning at the wrong speed. The motor control board is basically a circuit control board located at the bottom side of the front load washer which is close to the drive motor. It is for monitoring and controlling the drive motor speed and direction responsible for the tumbling and spinning actions associated with the cycle.

Timer Replacement

The timer is also known as the cycle selector and it controls the washer component functions. When a top load washer isn’t advancing through the cycles or is getting stuck in one cycle, most likely the timer is failing. The timer uses a motor for advancing internal cams inside its body. A user selects cycles through a knob linked to the stem of the timer.  When the motor fails to advance or the contacts in the timer become defective, you have to replace the timer.

User Interface Board Replacement

When one or more buttons on the user interface board are not working, your washer machine may not be able to start. The user interface board allows you to set up the cycle and you have to replace it if the buttons are not working.

Inlet Valve Assembly Replacement

A bad water inlet valve assembly can make a direct drive top load washer not to start. The electrically operated water valves are used for controlling the filling function of the washing machine. If the washer won’t fill, the wash cycle won’t start. You have to replace the water inlet valve assembly if the washing machine isn’t filling because of a valve that isn’t opening or is the washer is overfilling as a result of a valve that is not closing.

Water Level Pressure Switch Replacement

A faulty water level pressure switch also prevents a direct drive top load washer from starting because the switch won’t detect if the water fills the wash tub. The washer doesn’t fill or can overfill and even overflow if the water level pressure switch isn’t controlling the water level in the washer. In that case the switch would need replacement.

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