When your clothes just sit in a washer without spinning, you won’t get any of the dirt and grime that sits on the surface of your dirty clothes. Fixing your Whirlpool washer that won’t spin will keep your water bill low and your washer efficient, but how exactly do you do that?

To fix a Whirlpool Washer you will need to unplug the machine, unhinge the control panel, and test the current of the lid switch. If the test is negative, you will need to replace the lid switch and install a new one.

Ready to fix your washer and get it spinning again? Let’s dive in.

What You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Ohmmeter
  • New Lid Switch

The lid switch is the most common issue when your Whirlpool won’t spin but there could be other issues with your washer. Other issues that may need different materials are the motor coupling, clutch, timer, water control level, and transmission.

Step 1: Turn Off All Electricity

When plugged in, the wires in your Whirlpool washer have currents of electricity running through them at all times. Some of the work you’ll be doing involves steel tools and running them into live wires will get you electrocuted.

Turn off and unplug your machine to be completely safe. This will kill all electricity problems but will still allow you to test your lid switch later in the process.

Step 2: Unscrew the Control Panel

You won’t be able to test out your lid switch unless you take off the control panel.

The problem is the control panel rests across the entire front of your washer. You can remove it by taking off two screws that rest on either side of the machine.

After removing the screws, you will pull the panel straight off your washer. It may take a little more effort if this is your first time. Manufacturers will try to make the panel as tight fitting as possible to avoid any future problems.

Backside of a Whirlpool dryer with red arrows pointing to screws
To access and remove a Whirlpool washer’s control board, you will need to remove the console from the top of the washer.

Step 3: Unplug the Lid Switch

Once the control panel is up, you’ll see the lid switch attached to the base of the washer. The part that plugs into your lid switch will come from the control panel and will have three wires coming out of one side.

The lid switch is the piece that is connected to the base of the washer. You might only see a small piece of it sticking out or the entire piece exposed. It will depend on which model you have.

Unplug the lid switch from the washer so you can test its status.

Most newer Whirlpool washing machines come equipped with Lid Lock technology that prevents them from being opened while in use.

Step 4: Test Your Lid Switch

The three wires that come from your lid switch will have different colors. There is always a green color included in the three. Avoid the green color when testing because this color plugs into the washer and not the actual lid switch.

Take your ohmmeter and plug the red and black ends into the appropriate ends of the lid switch. If you hear a buzzing sound then you have a closed circuit. This means the lid switch is in good condition.

No sound means your lid switch needs replacing because it doesn’t recognize when your Whirlpool washing lid is locked and secure.

Step 5: Replace your Lid Switch

Removing your lid switch from the Whirlpool is going to need some more effort. You want to open the lid and begin to unscrew the top panel that goes around the base of the washer.

Again, make sure your washer is unplugged.

Your lid switch wires should be wound in between the crevice of the top panel and base. Now, take the lid switch out of the base of the washer completely so you can replace it.

Remove the old switch and replace it with your new one. Reverse the order of steps you used to uninstall the piece to put everything back together again.

How Does a Lid Switch Work?

When the lid is fully closed, the lid switch’s current changes from open to closed, allowing your machine to run its cycle.

Your Whirlpool will stop working if the lid is ever opened for any reason. Most modern washers have a lock on the lid that doesn’t allow it to open while the machine is running.

Older models used to have a hole in the top panel right below the lid. When you lowered the lid, there would be a small protruding piece that would hit the switch. This is how the older models knew when the lid was closed.

New models moved the lid switch back underneath the control panel so you couldn’t possibly damage it from clothing or other items.

For such a small part, the lid switch gets a ton of use on your washer. Over time, it will break down and you’ll need to replace it. It’s the most common problem with Whirlpool washers when they won’t spin.

FAQ

What Causes a Whirlpool Washer to Not Spin?

The most common cause for a Whirlpool washer to not spin is a broken lid switch. Other common issues are a failed motor coupling, bad clutch, spin belt, transmission, and timer.

Your washer could be jammed as well or it might just need to be reset. If you experience a storm or high energy output, you may want to try a reset.

How Do You Reset a Whirlpool Washer?

Unplug the washer from the outlet and wait about one minute before plugging it back in. Now, your machine will give you 30 seconds to lift the lid at least once to start the reset process.

Once you lift the lid once though, you only have 12 seconds to finish lifting and closing the lid 6 total times to start the reset process.

Some machines have a clicking sound when closing and opening it giving you a clear sign when you’re doing it right. Once you’ve reset the motor, start another load and your Whirlpool should work like normal.

How Long Do Whirlpool Washers Last?

Your Whirlpool washer should last anywhere from 12-14 years if you take care of it properly. This will depend on your use and the type of load.

If you have a large family and need to wash several times a week, then your machine won’t last as long as someone who is single and only needs to wash once a week.

Also, how many clothes you put in your washer at one time will put more or less stress on the machine. Keep to small loads for a longer life span for your Whirlpool washer.

Can You Bypass the Lid Switch?

It’s not recommended to bypass the lid switch because your washer won’t know if the lid is securely locked in place. If someone were to open the lid, there could be an accident or the machine could be damaged.

That being said, it is possible to bypass a lid switch if you have extra wire and have some experience with open and closed currents.

Using Your Whirlpool Again

You can find out what’s causing your Whirlpool washer to stop spinning, but most likely it’s the lid switch. With a new lid switch, you’ll be able to agitate the dirt and grease off your clothes and make your washer more efficient.

Thanks for taking some time to read through these helpful tips on fixing your Whirlpool washer. If you want to learn more DIY tips, check out our other articles below.