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Is your Whirlpool washer malfunctioning? We’ve all been there – a pile of dirty clothes and no idea why the washer won’t cooperate.
That’s where this Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual comes in.
Yes, this comprehensive guide is your ticket to resolving any issues with your Whirlpool washer, from simple glitches to complex malfunctions.
So get your tools ready and let’s dive in!
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual
This being a complete Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual, we shall break it down into parts depending on how your washer is acting up.
Whirlpool washer not turning on
The first thing to check is if the washer is getting power.
Using a multimeter, check the outlet voltage – typically, you want a reading above 110v AC.
If no power is coming from the outlet, first confirm that the circuit breaker has not tripped – if it has, be sure to turn it on.
On the other hand, if the breaker has not tripped yet the outlet doesn’t have power, have an electrician come and look at it.
In the meantime, plug your washer into another working outlet.
Whirlpool washer not starting / Whirlpool washer won’t start
Start by inspecting for power supply issues as we have just seen above.
If power is not the problem, then, proceed with the below troubleshooting steps…
Test the lid/door switch
Here’s the thing…
Washers have a safety mechanism that prevents them from running when the lid/door is open.
This is regulated by the lid switch – if it is faulty, the control board won’t detect the lid/door as closed hence your washer won’t start.
That being so, use a multimeter to test the switch for continuity – it should have continuity when the lid is closed and no continuity when the lid is open.
Now, if your washer’s switch fails this test, then, it is faulty and you should consider getting a replacement lid switch.
Inspect and test the timer (and its knob)
Also, it could be that either the timer or its knob is to blame.
Having said that, first confirm that the knob is firmly held in place and that its shaft isn’t worn out.
To check the shaft, simply remove the knob from the control panel – if its shaft appears cracked or worn out, you just found your culprit.
Subsequently, you should consider getting a replacement timer knob.
On the other hand, if the knob appears to be fine, proceed to test the timer – a continuity test will suffice.
When performing this test, you can use the wiring diagram (in the tech sheet) to confirm which contacts to test.
If any of the contacts lacks continuity, then, your best is to get an OEM Whirlpool washer timer replacement.
Test the motor
If the motor is faulty, your washer might power on but won’t start a wash cycle.
Now, to pinpoint if the motor is faulty, first, use a multimeter to test if it is getting power.
Next, test its connections for continuity – you might want to have the wiring diagram nearby.
If the motor fails any of these tests, then, it is faulty and will most likely need to be replaced.
Alternatively, inspect the brushes on the motor – worn out brushes point to a faulty motor.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – how to fix Whirlpool washer lid lock problems
Other than a faulty lid switch, there are other problems that your washer’s lid lock might experience.
Each of these problems has its own unique solution as we are about to see.
Whirlpool washer won’t lock
Start by checking the basics – no obstructions are preventing the door latch from locking.
If there are, be sure to remove them.
And while at it, use a moist cloth to clean the latch assembly as there might be trapped lint preventing it from fully locking.
Whirlpool washer locked and won’t turn on / Whirlpool top load washer locked and won’t turn on
To fix this problem, open up the washer and access the lid switch wire harness.
Next, confirm that the harness is properly connected – remove and reconnect it well.
If the problem persists, chances are that the lid lock is faulty – to be sure, test it for continuity.
The switch should have continuity when the lid/door is closed and no continuity when the lid/door is open.
If the switch fails any of these tests, it might be time to get a replacement switch.
But before the switch arrives, you will still need to wash your clothes, right?
Now, the good thing is that you can bypass the lid lock mechanism and run a wash cycle.
Quick tip: the steps below apply to both top load and front washer models
Whirlpool washer lid lock bypass 4 wire
First, connect a jumper wire to the red and blue slots on the lid lock wire harness.
Just to be clear, the blue wire slot is for the lid switch whereas the red wire slot is for the lock switch.
Once you have the jumper wire in place, wrap it with an electric tape to hold it in place.
Whirlpool washer lid lock bypass 3 wire
Connect a jumper wire to the two wire harness slots (other than the green wire slot).
The reason we are avoiding the green wire is because it is used for grounding purposes.
Now, hold the jumper wire in place by wrapping it with an electric tape.
Whirlpool washer lid lock clicking
There are high chances that the lid lock is out of position hence the clicking.
That being so, jiggle the lid and latch a little to try and click them back into place.
If the clicking persists, hold down the lid lock until you hear a second click before letting go.
Still, if the problem persists, it is likely that the lid lock assembly is faulty.
But, before we crucify it, use a multimeter to test the resistance in the wire connectors.
To test the lid lock assembly, refer to the washer’s tech sheet – there’s a section dedicated to testing the lid lock assembly.
The reason for this is that different Whirlpool washer models have different lid lock assembly resistance readings.
Whirlpool lid lock flashing
Several factors can lead to this – from water flow issues to a faulty lid switch to a faulty actuator motor.
Having said that, our previous (and comprehensive) article will guide you on how to fix this:
Quick tip: the above steps apply both to top and front load models.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – Whirlpool washer won’t unlock
Press and hold the Control Lock button – for three seconds – and see if that does the trick.
Other than that, you can try running a Drain & Spin cycle to unlock the washer.
This works since the washer won’t unlock if it still has some water left inside.
However, if the Drain & Spin cycle does not completely drain the washer, it is likely that the washer is experiencing drainage problems.
To check and fix these problems, skip below to the section Whirlpool washer not draining.
How to unlock whirlpool washer without power
Figuring out how to unlock your washer when there is a power blackout can be important.
After all, you do not want to leave your clothes trapped inside the washer for hours as this might lead to mold growth or worse still, the fabric might get damaged.
With that in mind, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how you can unlock any Whirlpool washer (front load, top load or stacked) without power.
So read how to unlock Whirlpool washer without power for the exact procedure.
Whirlpool washer lid lock reset
If the lid lock problems persist even after trying the above fixes, a lid lock reset might do the trick.
The best way to reset the lid lock is by resetting the whole machine (many Whirlpool washers do not have a dedicated reset button).
To do this, simply unplug the washer from the power outlet for five minutes.
Alternatively, trip the circuit breaker to the washer line for the same amount of time.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – more solutions to try
Whirlpool washer not filling with water / Whirlpool washer won’t fill with water / Whirlpool washer won’t fill
Start by checking the basics – both water faucets are fully open.
Next, inspect the water hose for kinks (straighten them out if there are any).
If any of the hoses are leaking, you can either seal the damaged part or get replacement water hoses.
Also, inspect the filter screens for clogs – the filters are located behind the washer where the hoses connect to the inlet valve.
If the screens are clogged, use pliers to pull them out and scrub them using a toothbrush under running water.
Still, if the washer does not fill, confirm that the water pressure to the washer is between 20 and 120 psi.
The inlet valves have likely gone bad – testing them for continuity will help determine if they are to blame.
Now, if any of the valves lacks continuity, then, it has gone bad and will require to be replaced.
For this, we recommend getting a good quality Whirlpool washer inlet valve replacement.
Whirlpool washer not draining / Whirlpool washer not draining water / Whirlpool washer won’t drain
First, confirm that you are using the right wash cycle – cycles with slower speeds tend to remove less water from your clothes.
Also, make sure that you are not overloading the washer as this would leave some clothes overly wet.
Other than that, is the drain hose properly installed? – it should not be installed higher than 96”.
Quick tip: the minimum recommended installation height is 39”.
While at it, also confirm that there are no kinks along the drain hose – if there are any, be sure to straighten them out.
Next, remove the drain hose and carefully inspect it for clogs (accumulated lint, pet hairs, stuck socks and so on).
So, if the hose has clogs, be sure to remove them – here, you will find that a vac comes in handy.
Is the washer excessively sudsy?
If yes, chances are that you have used excess detergent or the wrong detergent.
To fix this, first run a rinse cycle to get rid of the extra suds.
Once done, be sure to measure the right amount of the recommended detergent – you can find the recommended detergent inside the owner’s manual that came with your washer.
If yours is a front load model, inspect the drain pump filter as it could be full of clogs.
To access the filter, remove the washer’s back panel – you will see a part (the drain pump filter) that looks like the one below:
Put a bowl beneath this part and rotate it anti-clockwise to remove the drain pump filter.
Now, if the filter is full of clogs, be sure to discard them before re-inserting the filter.
To reinsert the filter, turn it clockwise till you hear a click indicating it has sat in place.
The next possible culprit is an acting up drain pump.
That being so, first confirm that there is nothing stuck inside the pump (if there is, be sure to remove it).
If this is not the case, it is highly likely that the pump has gone bad and might need to be replaced- Buy an ultra-durable Whirlpool washer drain pump replacement part on Amazon.
Whirlpool washer not spinning / Whirlpool washer stopped spinning / Whirlpool washer not agitating / Whirlpool washer won’t spin / Whirlpool washer won’t agitate
Start by confirming that the washer is filling with water – refer to the steps above under Whirlpool washer not filling with water.
And while at it, also refer to the above section on Whirlpool washer not draining – drainage issues are another likely suspect for your washer not spinning.
Next, confirm that you are not overloading the washer (utmost, fill it ¾ way).
Speaking of load size, confirm that you have selected the right cycle for your load.
This is because choosing a cycle with a slow spin speed (such as the delicates cycle) for heavy loads such as comforters will result in your washer not spinning.
Also read: Washer cycles explained (and what to wash)
Other than that, it is likely that the load is not well balanced.
So, press the pause button, wait for the water to drain and then re-arrange the load to balance it.
Something else: confirm that you are adhering to Whirlpool’s washer leveling instructions – refer to the leveling guide in the owner’s manual that came with the washer.
Using a multimeter, test the lid lock switch as it could be faulty – a faulty lid/door switch will prevent the washer from spinning.
With that in mind, you will be testing the switch for continuity – it should have continuity when the lid is closed and no continuity when the lid is open.
So, if the lid switch in your washer fails the continuity test, then, it is faulty and you will need to replace it – we recommend this Whirlpool washer lid switch on Amazon.
Other than that, it could be that the belt is loose or it has snapped.
That being so, open up the washer and inspect the belt.
If it appears loose, tighten it using the motor’s pulley.
However, if the belt has snapped, you should consider getting a replacement washer belt.
If your washer is a top load model, it could be that its suspension rods have snapped.
Now, to determine if this is the case, unplug the washer and remove the tub from its housing.
If you note that one or more of the rods have snapped, then you may have just found your culprit.
And yes, you should get new suspension rods.
It might be tempting to just replace the damaged rod but this is not the best option.
This is because the remaining rods are also more likely to snap off.
In any case, the rods come as a bunch of four hence no need to replace only one or two while you can replace them as a set.
The final suspect is a faulty motor.
Again, use a multimeter to test and confirm that the motor is indeed getting power.
And while at it, also test its connectors for continuity – the tech sheet that came with your washer will come in handy hear.
If the motor fails any of these tests, then it is probably faulty so you should consider swapping it out – you can get a compatible Whirlpool washer motor replacement on Amazon.
Whirlpool washer won’t spin or drain / Whirlpool washer not spinning or draining / Whirlpool washer stopped spinning and draining
The troubleshooting steps for this problem are similar to the ones we have just covered above.
So, refer to the above troubleshooting steps under Whirlpool washer won’t spin plus those under Whirlpool washer not draining as they will guide you along.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – other common problems and recommended fixes
Whirlpool washer not spinning fast
Start by checking the basics – you are not overloading your washer (utmost, it should be filled to ¾ way).
Additionally, confirm that you are using the correct spin cycle for your laundry – choosing a slower cycle will leave your clothes wet.
Also read: Washer cycles explained (and what to wash)
Next, inspect the drive belt – it might have worked itself loose hence it’s unable to keep a tight grip on the motor pulley or tub.
If the belt is indeed loose, simply tighten it – use the motor pulley to do this.
Other than that, check to see if it is worn out – a worn out belt has a poor hold on the tub and this might slow down the tub.
So if the belt has worn out, your don’t have many cards on the table: Get a Whirlpool washer belt replacement and install it.
It is likely that the clutch is worn to a point that it is not engaging all the way.
With that in mind, inspect the clutch to see if it is worn out.
If it is worn out, you likely need a clutch replacement kit – they are not a hassle to replace and they’re pretty inexpensive.
Other than that…
The shift actuator sensor might be covered in dirt and this will result in the control board not getting the correct signal of what is happening with the tub.
With that in mind, open up the washer to access the shift actuator.
The actuator’s sensor is the plastic prong(s) on the surface of the shift actuator.
If the sensor is dirty, gently wipe off the dirt.
On the other hand, if the actuator is not dirty, perform a continuity test to see if it might have gone bad.
To perform the continuity test, insert the multimeter probes into each pair of wire harness slots in the actuator.
If any of the slots lacks continuity, then, the shift actuator is bad and will need to be replaced – you can order a new shift actuator on Amazon.
Finally, inspect the motor coupler to see if it has worn out.
Here’s the thing; a worn out motor coupler will not have a firm grip on the tub hence the motor won’t be able to spin the wash tub as fast as it should.
Subsequently, if your coupler is gone, a motor coupler replacement will have your washer spinning as fast as a new one.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – Whirlpool washer stopped after filling with water
The troubleshooting steps to this step are similar to the ones we have just seen above under Whirlpool washer not spinning.
So, refer to the above steps as they will guide you in fixing your washer.
Whirlpool washer stopped in middle of cycle / Whirlpool washer stops mid cycle / Whirlpool washer stopped working mid cycle
Several factors will result in this problem – from using the wrong detergent to a faulty lid switch to an acting up drain pump.
Ultimately, all these factors have their own troubleshooting steps.
Having said that, our other (comprehensive) article will guide you in fixing this.
Whirlpool washer stopped working full of water / Whirlpool washer stopped full of water
Here, start by checking the basics – the load is well balanced and the washer is not overfilled.
Is the washer sudsy?
If yes, it could be that you have used too much detergent or the wrong detergent entirely.
If this is so, run a rinse cycle to get rid of the excess detergent – you can run a new wash cycle after this.
Other than that, it could be that your washer is experiencing drainage problems.
That being so, follow the steps above – Whirlpool washer not draining – to see if poor drainage is the culprit.
Also, it is likely that the washer is experiencing spinning problems.
With that in mind, refer to the troubleshooting steps above – Whirlpool washer not spinning.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – final fault and suggested solutions
Whirlpool washer stops at rinse cycle
To start with, it could be that the washer is having problems re-balancing the laundry.
This can be caused by a broken suspension spring.
As such, inspect all the balance springs.
If the springs are broken, getting balance springs replacement will possibly help you fix the issue.
Other than that, it is likely that the washer is experiencing drainage problems – refer to the Whirlpool washer not draining section above.
Additionally, it is likely that there is a logic/communication error with the control board.
You can fix this by resetting the washer – unplug it for five minutes.
If the problem persists, chances are that the timer has gone bad.
Subsequently, it will need replacing – you can order an OEM Whirlpool washer timer on Amazon.
Whirlpool washer stopped working burning smell
For the most part, this is caused by a worn out belt.
That being so, remove the belt and check to see if there are signs of wearing out such as missing chunks.
Maintenance tip: avoid overloading your washer because this puts the belt under stress making it wear out faster.
Note that some models have two sets of belts – one for spinning the wash tub and the other for spinning the drain pump.
So, be sure to check if your model has one or both of these belts.
Now if the belt appears worn out, getting a replacement belt should fix the burning smell.
Additionally, you will want to replace the motor pulley as it might be worn out thereby creating the excess friction that burns the belt.
If the smell is more prominent during or after the spin cycle, chances are that you have a stuck drain pump.
In turn, this will result in the pump motor not turning hence the burning smell.
To fix this, remove any clogs that might be in the drain pump.
Finally, make sure that your washer is not part of an octopus wiring as this would lead to an electrical short circuit (electrical overload) hence the burnt smell.
Therefore, make sure that you connect your washer to its own power outlet.
Whirlpool washer troubleshooting manual – final words
As we conclude, remember to calibrate the washer once you replace an electronic component such as the timer or motor.