Whirlpool Washer Turns on but Won’t Start

by Mary Ann Briones
Whirlpool washer with power but won't start: troubleshooting guide

Is your Whirlpool washer turning on but failing to start? This common issue can be frustrating, but it’s important to address it promptly to avoid further damage. In this article, we will explore the most common causes of this problem and provide troubleshooting steps, DIY solutions, and guidance on seeking professional assistance. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to resolve the issue and keep your washer in good working condition.

When a Whirlpool washer turns on but won’t start, it can be attributed to various factors such as a faulty lid switch or a malfunctioning motor. Understanding these potential causes is crucial for effectively troubleshooting and addressing the issue. Whether you’re dealing with a minor glitch or a more serious mechanical problem, taking prompt action is key to preventing further damage and costly repairs.

In the following sections, we will delve into the common causes of a Whirlpool washer not starting, provide step-by-step troubleshooting guidelines, offer DIY solutions for common problems, discuss when it’s best to seek professional help, and provide tips on preventative maintenance. Whether you’re an experienced DIY enthusiast or someone who prefers leaving appliance repairs to the professionals, this article has valuable information to help you resolve the issue with your Whirlpool washer.

Common Causes

When a Whirlpool washer turns on but won’t start, there are several common causes that could be at the root of the problem. Understanding these potential issues can help homeowners troubleshoot and address the issue promptly to avoid further damage to their appliance.

Faulty Lid Switch

One of the most common reasons for a Whirlpool washer to not start is a faulty lid switch. The lid switch is designed to prevent the washer from spinning or agitating when the lid is open, for safety reasons. If this switch malfunctions, the washer may not start at all. To troubleshoot this issue, check the lid switch for any visible signs of damage or wear, and consider using a multimeter to test its functionality.

Malfunctioning Motor

Another potential cause for a Whirlpool washer that turns on but won’t start is a malfunctioning motor. If the motor has failed or is experiencing issues, it may prevent the washer from starting altogether. This can be a more complex issue to diagnose and repair, as it may require professional assistance to ensure proper installation and function of a new motor if needed.

Defective Start Capacitor

A defective start capacitor can also be to blame for a Whirlpool washer’s failure to start despite turning on. The start capacitor provides an extra electrical boost to get the motor running, and if it fails, the motor may not receive the necessary power to initiate operation. Troubleshooting this issue typically involves inspecting and testing the capacitor for any signs of damage or malfunction.

By understanding these common causes of a Whirlpool washer turning on but not starting, homeowners can effectively troubleshoot and potentially resolve the issue themselves or know when it’s time to seek professional assistance.

Troubleshooting Steps

When a Whirlpool washer turns on but won’t start, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps that you can take to identify the underlying issue and potentially resolve the problem. By following these steps, you may be able to avoid the need for professional repair and get your washer up and running again.

Here are some troubleshooting steps to consider:

1. Check the power supply: Ensure that the washer is properly plugged in and that the outlet is functioning. If there are any issues with the power supply, address them before proceeding with further troubleshooting.

2. Inspect the lid switch: The lid switch is a common culprit for washers that won’t start. If the switch is faulty or not making proper contact, it can prevent the washer from starting. Check the lid switch for any visible damage or signs of wear. Consider testing it for continuity using a multimeter.

3. Examine the motor: A malfunctioning motor can also cause a Whirlpool washer to not start. Listen for any unusual sounds coming from the motor when you attempt to start the washer. If there are any strange noises or if the motor does not engage, it may be a sign of a problem that requires attention.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can begin to narrow down potential causes for why your Whirlpool washer won’t start. Keep in mind that safety should always be a priority when working with appliances, so exercise caution and consider seeking professional help if you’re unsure about performing any troubleshooting steps yourself.

DIY Solutions

If your Whirlpool washer turns on but won’t start, there are a few DIY solutions that may help address the issue before seeking professional assistance. Here are some common problems and potential fixes:

  • Faulty Lid Switch: The lid switch is a safety feature that prevents the washer from starting when the lid is open. If the switch is malfunctioning, it may prevent the washer from starting even when the lid is closed. To troubleshoot this issue, you can perform a simple test to check if the lid switch is working properly. If it’s faulty, you can replace it with a new one.
  • Malfunctioning Motor: A malfunctioning motor can also cause the washer to not start. This could be due to a number of issues such as overheating or electrical problems. One way to troubleshoot this is by checking for any obstructions in the motor or testing the motor’s continuity with a multimeter. Depending on the specific issue, you may need to repair or replace the motor.
  • Clogged Drain Pump: A clogged drain pump can prevent the washer from starting as well. Over time, debris and lint can build up in the drain pump, causing it to become clogged and unable to function properly. To address this issue, you can clean out the drain pump and remove any blockages that may be preventing it from operating correctly.

It’s important to note that performing these DIY solutions should only be done if you have experience with appliance repairs and feel comfortable doing so safely. If you’re unsure about how to proceed or if these fixes don’t resolve the issue, it’s best to seek professional help for your Whirlpool washer.

WHIRLPOOL washer not starting despite being turned on: troubleshooting tips

Seeking Professional Help

When troubleshooting a Whirlpool washer that turns on but won’t start, there may come a point where the issue is beyond your expertise. It is important to recognize when it’s time to seek professional help to avoid causing further damage to your washer. A qualified appliance repair technician will have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix the problem efficiently.

One of the most common causes of a Whirlpool washer not starting is a malfunctioning motor. This component is complex and requires specialized knowledge to repair or replace. Attempting to fix a faulty motor without the necessary expertise can lead to further issues with your washer. Therefore, if you suspect that the motor is the culprit behind your washer’s failure to start, it’s best to contact a professional for assistance.

Another reason why seeking professional help is crucial in this situation is the electrical components involved in the operation of a washing machine. If these components are not handled properly, there is a risk of electric shock or damage to the appliance. A trained technician will have the skills and tools needed to safely address any electrical issues causing your Whirlpool washer to turn on but not start.

It’s important to find a reputable appliance repair professional who specializes in Whirlpool appliances. Look for technicians who are certified and experienced in working with washers specifically. You can also check customer reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family who may have had similar issues with their appliances.

Common Causes Troubleshooting Steps
Faulty Motor Step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot
Electrical Components Issues Tips on identifying specific issue and potential solutions

Preventative Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to preventing issues that can cause a Whirlpool washer to turn on but not start. One of the most important maintenance tasks is keeping the washer clean and free of debris. This includes regularly cleaning the detergent dispenser, as well as the door seal to prevent clogs and buildup that can interfere with the washer’s operation.

In addition to cleanliness, it’s also essential to periodically inspect and tighten any loose connections or components within the washer. This includes checking hoses, electrical connections, and fasteners to ensure everything is secure and in good condition. Performing these checks on a regular basis can help prevent potential issues that may lead to the washer failing to start.

Another crucial aspect of preventative maintenance for a Whirlpool washer is making sure that it is level. An unbalanced washer can cause excessive vibration during operation, which can lead to damage and malfunctions over time. Using a level tool to check the washer’s position and adjusting as needed can help maintain its proper function and prevent issues like turning on but not starting.

Maintenance Task Frequency
Cleaning detergent dispenser and door seal Monthly
Inspecting and tightening connections Every 6 months
Checking and adjusting leveling Annually

Customer Support

If you find yourself dealing with a Whirlpool washer that turns on but won’t start, it can be a frustrating experience. In many cases, the issue may require professional assistance to resolve, but it’s always helpful to reach out to customer support for guidance and to explore potential warranty coverage options.

Contacting Whirlpool Customer Support

When faced with a malfunctioning washer, contacting Whirlpool customer support can provide valuable assistance. You can easily find contact information for customer support on the official Whirlpool website or in the appliance’s user manual. When reaching out for help, be prepared to provide specific details about the issue and any troubleshooting steps you have already taken.

Understanding Warranty Information

Before attempting any DIY solutions for your Whirlpool washer issue or seeking professional help, it’s important to understand if your appliance is still covered under warranty. Contacting customer support can help clarify what repairs may be covered and what steps need to be taken to make a warranty claim. This understanding can save you money on potential repairs and ensure that the issue is resolved correctly.

Exploring Alternative Solutions

In some cases, customer support may provide alternative solutions or temporary fixes for your washer’s issue. While seeking professional repair is often necessary for more serious problems, customer support may offer valuable advice that could potentially resolve the problem without the need for professional intervention. Always be sure to explore all of your options before making any decisions regarding repair or replacement of your Whirlpool washer.


In conclusion, a Whirlpool washer turning on but not starting is a common issue that can be caused by various factors such as a faulty lid switch, malfunctioning motor, or electrical issues. It is crucial to promptly address this issue to avoid further damage to the washer and prevent inconvenience in your daily routine.

By following the troubleshooting steps and DIY solutions provided in this article, you can identify the specific problem and potentially resolve it without the need for professional assistance.

However, if you are unable to fix the issue on your own or feel uncomfortable performing DIY fixes, it is advisable to seek professional help. A reputable appliance repair professional can accurately diagnose the problem and provide effective solutions to get your Whirlpool washer up and running again. Additionally, regular preventative maintenance tasks should be performed to keep the washer in good working condition and minimize the risk of encountering similar issues in the future.

Ultimately, addressing a Whirlpool washer that turns on but won’t start requires prompt attention and proper maintenance. By taking proactive measures and seeking assistance when necessary, you can ensure that your washer operates efficiently and reliably for years to come. If you encounter persistent issues or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Whirlpool customer support for assistance or consult warranty information for potential repairs.

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