What to Do When Your Washer Won’t Spin

By Lyle Weischwill | Jan. 12, 2024 2:34 pm PST

Image of homeowner experiencing a washer spin problem

When you begin pulling sopping wet clothes out of the washer, don’t panic. Fixing the problem can sometimes be as simple as rearranging the clothes in the washer drum and running a short Drain & Spin cycle. If the washer is overloaded, you can remove half the load and run Drain & Spin cycles on the half-loads separately.

Here are some additional issues that can prevent the washer from spinning.

Washing an Extremely Small Load

Many washers won’t spin a load that is too small because the machine can’t balance a load with too few garments. Adding a few garments or towels to the load may fix the problem.

Using Too Much Detergent

If you see excessive suds covering the clothes and water in the tub, using too much detergent (or using non-HE detergent) could have prevented the washer from draining out water and spinning properly. Run the Drain & Spin cycle to drain the washer and spin the clothes dry. Use less detergent or the right type of detergent to prevent excessive suds. You’ll only need about 1 tablespoon of detergent for most washer loads.

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Follow the Tips in the User Manual to Troubleshoot the Spin Failure

When the initial tips described above don’t help you find and fix the spin problem, follow the troubleshooting steps described in the washer’s user manual to cure the issue and spin out the clothes.

If your washer still won’t spin after following the advice in the user manual, a more complicated problem or washing machine failure could be apparent.

Follow these expert tips to solve common problems that prevent washers from spinning.

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Check for Drain Problems

Many washers won’t initiate the spin routine when the control senses that water still remains in the washer after the drain routine finishes.

When you see water inside the drum, follow these steps to check the drain system.

  1. Look for clogs in the drain hose and house drain. Pull the drain hose out of the standpipe and check for a clog at the end of the hose. Sometimes lint or debris can build up in this area and prevent draining. Then, lower the drain hose into a shallow bucket or container close to the floor and see if the water drains out of the tub using nothing more than gravity. If water flows freely, then check your house drain for a clog. Get out that plumber’s snake and try clearing your house drain pipe. Clearing the house drain may allow the washer to drain properly.
  2. Check the washer’s drain system. If you didn’t see any water coming out of the drain hose, drain water out of washer by using a wet/dry shop vac to suck the clog and the water out of the washer. If you’re able to get the water out of the washer using a shop vac, then a clog in the drain hose or drain pump may have been causing the drain problem. See if the washer drains and spins properly.
  3. Clear the drain pump filter. Front-load washers typically have a drain pump filter. A clogged drain pump filter can prevent the washer from draining. Bail some water out through the tub opening and then use a wet/dry shop vac to suck out the rest of the water from the tub. Once you get the water out, remove the drain pump filter and check for debris clogging the filter. Removing a clog from the pump filter may allow the washer to drain properly.
  4. Schedule repair service. When the above tips don’t help you find and fix the problem that’s preventing the washer from draining, schedule service to have a Sears Home Services Technician examine and repair your washer.

Look for Lid or Door Problems

Most washers won’t spin if the lid or door isn’t shut. Make sure the lid or door is shut all the way. If it is, then you may need to have a service technician replace the lid or door switch.

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Check for Error Codes

Many washers will display an error code when a failure prevents the machine from spinning. Check the control panel display for a code or series of flashing lights. Look up the error code on our Washer Error Code Charts and follow the troubleshooting tips to fix the problem.

If you’re unable to fix the washer yourself, schedule service to have a technician repair the washer.

Sears Home Services Technicians are experts at washer repair. We can get your washer going again in no time so laundry doesn’t pile up.

Schedule Washer Maintenance to Help Prevent Washer Spin Problems

To help prevent spin problems, have your washer professionally cleaned and maintained yearly. Annual professional maintenance will help keep your washing machine in top shape and lasting longer.

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Sears Home Services can also help keep all your appliances in top shape when you choose our Kitchen and Laundry Cleaning & Maintenance Service Bundle. Our technician will visit your home to clean and maintain all your home appliances in one convenient visit.

You can trust Sears Home Services to help you keep all your home appliances working more efficiently and lasting longer.

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