Troubleshoot your top- or front-loading Whirlpool washer with this simple guide

If your Whirlpool washing machine isn’t turning on, don’t worry—the odds are extremely high you just pressed the wrong button on accident, or there’s some minor power issue. Start by turning the power on and off to clear any settings preventing the machine from turning on. If you can’t reset the machine or the drum still won’t start, begin with the simplest explanations first—like the outlet and the machine’s door. We’ll help break all of this down and more.

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Check the power.

  1. If the washing machine isn’t turning on, start by confirming the machine’s plug is actually inserted into the outlet. If the plug is inserted properly, it’s possible the outlet itself is actually to blame.
    • Unplug the machine and test the outlet by plugging in a phone charger or another device you know works. If the outlet is fine, contact a pro to inspect your washing machine.
    • If the outlet isn’t responsive, check your fuse box. Find the circuit for the washing machine. If the fuse is flipped in the off position, you simply had a power surge that popped the breaker. Flip the fuse back on and re-run your wash cycle.[1]
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Clean the door lock.

  1. If a Whirlpool washing machine door isn’t closed or locked, the machine will refuse to turn on.
    • This is 100% the problem if you see “LD” or “LDL” on the screen (these are the error codes for unlocked lids on Whirlpool machines).
    • Pop the lid open and grab a damp washcloth. Gently wipe down the latch mechanism on the machine and the little lock arm on the lid. Then, try closing the lid and running your cycle.
    • If you’re still getting error codes for the lid or your lid won’t lock, contact an appliance repair company to inspect the machine. You may need a new lid.[2]

Unlock the controls.

  1. Do you have a button on your Whirlpool washer that says “control lock” or “lock?” If so, your machine has a lock function to prevent the door from opening, mainly to keep kids from opening the drum when you aren’t around.
    • If you accidentally locked the door, hold the lock button down for 3 seconds to unlock it.
    • If the lock button is still illuminated or the door won’t open, try resetting the machine by turning it off (or unplugging it) and waiting at least 1 minute. Then, turn it back on—the lock setting should clear.[4]

Inspect the drive belt.

  1. If washer powers on and everything is in working order, but the drum won’t spin, the drive belt is likely to blame.
    • If you want to repair this one yourself, remove the back panel of the machine. Then, tilt the machine to access the bottom if you have a top loader (the belt will be on the back for front loaders).
    • Look for the rubber strip that runs around the motor and various pulleys. This is the drive belt. If it’s taut and secure, the drive belt is fine, and the motor is likely to blame. If the belt is loose or broken, replace it or contact a professional to do it for you.[6]

About This Article

Homer Flores
Co-authored by:
Appliance Repair Specialist
This article was co-authored by Homer Flores and by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure. Homer Flores is an Appliance Repair Specialist and Training Manager at PreFix, a home maintenance company out of Austin, Texas. With over 15 years of experience, Homer specializes in home improvement, remodeling, and construction. Homer’s dedication to the PreFix mission of providing hassle-free one-stop-shop service for home care, in addition to their completion of the Capital Factory and Techstars Accelerators, has contributed to their growth of service to over 50 zip codes throughout the greater Austin area.
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Co-authors: 2
Updated: December 14, 2023
Views: 799