Why Is My Washing Machine Drum Not Turning?

Jul 10, 2023, 18:26pm

The drum of your washing machine rotates thanks to the electronic card which sends information to the motor. If everything works, the drum will be able to rotate at a very high speed during the spin cycle.

However, if your drum is no longer spinning then the problem could be either mechanical or electronic. There are several checks to be made on the elements related to the rotation of the drum: you can

  • see if your drum turns by hand,
  • check the pulley and the belt,
  • check the motor brushes,
  • examine bearings and shock absorbers,
  • the capacitor,
  • engine
  • or the electronic card.

Discovering that your washing machine drum is not turning can be a frustrating experience, as it prevents your laundry from getting properly cleaned. The drum rotation is essential for agitating the clothes and allowing the detergent and water to penetrate the fabric. When the drum fails to turn, there are several potential reasons for this issue, ranging from mechanical problems to electrical malfunctions. In this article, we will explore the common causes why a washing machine drum may not be turning and provide possible solutions to address the problem.

Why Is My Washing Machine Drum Not Turning?

1. Power Supply Issues

The first step in troubleshooting a non-turning drum is to ensure that the washing machine is receiving power. Check if the machine is plugged in properly and if the circuit breaker or fuse is in the correct position. If there is a power outage or a tripped circuit breaker, reset it and see if the drum starts turning again.

2. Door Interlock Failure

Most modern washing machines have a door interlock mechanism that prevents the drum from turning when the door is open. If the interlock is faulty or not engaging properly, it can prevent the drum from rotating. Check if the door is securely closed and latched. If the interlock is malfunctioning, it may need to be replaced by a professional technician.

3. Broken or Worn Drive Belt

A broken or worn drive belt is a common cause of a non-turning drum. The drive belt connects the motor to the drum, transferring the rotational force. Over time, the belt can become loose, damaged, or broken, preventing the drum from turning. Inspect the drive belt for any signs of wear or damage, such as fraying or stretching. If necessary, replace the drive belt with a new one according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Faulty Motor or Motor Control Board

If the drive belt is intact, but the drum is still not turning, it’s possible that the motor or motor control board is faulty. The motor provides the power to rotate the drum, and a malfunction in the motor or control board can disrupt its operation. In such cases, it is recommended to contact a professional technician to diagnose and repair the motor or control board.

5. Obstruction or Jammed Drum

An obstruction or a jammed object inside the drum can also prevent it from turning. Check for any foreign objects, such as clothing items or small articles, that may be stuck in the drum or caught between the drum and the tub. Remove any obstructions and ensure that the drum can rotate freely.

6. Malfunctioning Drum Bearings

Worn or damaged drum bearings can cause the drum to become misaligned, leading to difficulty in rotating. If you notice any unusual noise coming from the machine, it may indicate a problem with the drum bearings. In such cases, it is best to contact a professional technician to diagnose and repair the issue.


It is possible that the failure comes from the motor brushes. They are used to transmit electrical energy to the motor rotor and are located on each side of the motor. They must be replaced if they are deformed, broken or if they measure less than one centimeter.

  • Remove the side panels or the rear panel of the washing machine depending on the type of model. The motor is located under the tank, unplug it and remove the power cables
  • Check the coals visually: if they are less than a centimeter, change them in pairs. If you see uneven wear, it is possible that the engine manifold is damaged and that the complete engine needs to be changed.


  • The shock absorbers are on the sides of the tank. Over time, its parts may deteriorate and the drum will make noise, so the shock absorbers will have to be changed.
  • The bearings are located behind the pulley and when they are worn it is possible to hear a rubbing noise. For a top washing machine, there is a second free bearing on one side of the washing machine. Check if the bearings are not oxidized.


To test the motor of your washing machine, the principle is to test the motor windings in pairs:

  • Set the multimeter to 200 ohms
  • Disconnect the motor connector
  • Put the test probes of the multimeter on two terminals of the connector. You can go up the two tips to test the two above: as long as the multimeter displays a value, even a very low one, the engine is in good condition.

There are three types of engine, the test details differ a bit:

  • For the universal motor, you must place the keys of the multimeter on the lugs of the windings, the motor brushes and on those of the tachometer. If a value is displayed, then the motor is functional. Otherwise, either the motor or the tachometer, which measures the drum rotation speed, will have to be replaced.
  • For the induction type motor, if you find a value of 5 ohms across the terminals of both windings, then the motor is functional.
  • For the asynchronous motor equipped with a capacitor, measure each winding on the motor terminals. If a value is displayed, the motor is functional.

Why Is My Washing Machine Drum Not Turning?Troubleshooting Steps

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to address a washing machine drum that is not turning:

  1. Check the power supply and ensure the machine is properly plugged in.
  2. Verify that the door is securely closed and the door interlock mechanism is functioning correctly.
  3. Inspect the drive belt for any signs of wear or damage and replace it if necessary.
  4. Contact a professional technician to diagnose and repair any motor or motor control board issues.
  5. Check for any obstructions or foreign objects inside the drum and remove them.
  6. If necessary, seek professional assistance to diagnose and repair drum bearing problems.

Always exercise caution when working with a washing machine’s internal components. If you are unsure about any repairs or if the problem persists, it is advisable to consult a professional technician.

In conclusion, a washing machine drum that is not turning can be caused by various factors, including power supply issues, a faulty door interlock, a broken or worn drive belt, a malfunctioning motor or control board, obstructions or foreign objects, or malfunctioning drum bearings. By understanding these common causes and following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you can often identify and address the issue effectively. If the problem persists or if you are unsure about any repairs, it is recommended to consult a professional technician to diagnose and repair the specific problem with your washing machine’s drum.


“If you’re in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area and need your Toronto washing machine repair service urgently, contact Shymon Appliance Repair, we know how to fix it!”