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How to fix a washer that won't start

Person touching start button on washer that suddenly stopped working

Washer won't start? We've all been there. Don't worry—while some washing machine repairs require professional help, there are some easy fixes you can handle on your own.

Asurion Experts are trained and experienced with all major home appliances, and can help you keep your washer running at its best. Here's their guide to fixing a washing machine that won't start.

Why won't my washing machine start?

The causes can vary for a washing machine being on but not starting, but we'll walk you through each possible one and offer some simple solutions that may help. If you try these tips and your washer won't start or you identify a problem that you're not comfortable fixing yourself, book a repair with an appliance expert.

There's no power running to your washing machine

This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised by how many people don't realize their washing machine isn't getting power. As washing machines clean clothes, they sometimes manage to unplug themselves. So if yours won't turn on, check to make sure that it is plugged in. Make sure you test the outlet using another device. That will help you determine whether a fuse is blown or there's an issue with the circuit breaker.

Your washing machine has overheated

If you've been using your washing machine a lot, your device may have overheated and simply needs to cool down. Give it a few hours, then try again.

You accidentally hit the wrong settings

Sometimes, when using the machine, people accidentally hit the control lock or delay start button. Try opening and closing the washing machine door, and then try another cycle. If that doesn't work, you may want to completely restart and reset the wash cycle.

The door switch isn't locking

Many washing machines will only work when the lid is closed. First, check to make sure that the door is closing and locking properly.

If something is wrong with the lid switch, your washing machine may not turn on, even when the lid has been closed properly. If you have electrical experience, you can use a multimeter to test it (see our guide on how to use a multimeter). If the test is negative or your door switch isn't engaging properly, you should replace the switch. Instructions and parts will vary per washer model, so refer to your owner's manual or manufacturer's website for instructions on lid switch replacement—or just reach out to a local washing machine repair pro.

The washing machine fuse is blown

Washing machines often have a fuse that controls power to the working parts of the machine. Before you attempt to replace this component, you should first unplug your washer. Then, remove the necessary screws to access the machine's fuse panel. You'll usually be able to tell immediately if you've blown a fuse and need to replace it (it will be black). But, depending on your washer, this may be a more advanced repair, so unless you have some electrical experience, it's best to book a repair with a washing machine technician for help.

The control knob isn't working properly

Wear and tear can cause the washer's control knobs to stop engaging properly with the shaft so that you won't be able to set time or other functions on your washing machine. You can inspect the back of the control knob to see if this is the case. It may also be that the control knob itself is malfunctioning; you can check for issues visually and test it with a multimeter. Replace your control knob if it isn't working properly.

The control board is malfunctioning

This component controls your washing machine. If something's wrong with your control board, your appliance likely won't start. To check for issues, unplug your washing machine and look at the back of the control board.

If you see damaged or burned components on the board, you'll need to purchase a new one. Replacing the control board can be challenging, so we recommend contacting an Asurion appliance repair tech in your area for help.

The washer motor is broken

If the motor is broken, it's not likely that your washing machine will not start at all—instead, the more likely scenario is that the wash cycle will start, and then fail at some point during it. Another sign of a broken motor is buzzing or whining sounds coming from the machine. If you do determine the motor to be the issue, book an appliance repair, as it will be a major fix that we don't recommend trying to tackle on your own.

There's debris in the drain

If your washing machine won't start and just clicks, there may be debris in the washer drain. Check the drain to see if there's any debris (particularly large items, like coins) that may be stuck inside.

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