Why won't my washing machine start?

Jul 10, 2023, 17:35pm


Before knowing if a part is the cause of the failure, check if you have carried out the correct manipulations:

  • Check that the child lock is not activated.
  • Check if a delayed start is programmed.
  • Check if the demo mode is not active. If your washing machine has an analog display, it may display “dOM” or “dEM”. To deactivate it, force stop your machine or unplug it.


It is possible that the failure comes from the connection of the device. You must first make sure that it is correctly connected and that the current arrives in 230 volts to the socket.

  • Check that the socket is in good condition. You can plug another functional device into it, like a lamp or a phone charger. If the device works, the socket is in good condition.
  • Check that the socket is not wet or burnt.
  • Examine the end of the cable that you plug into the socket: make sure that there are no burn marks or black spots.

You can also electrically test the outlet with a multimeter:

  • Set your multimeter to the highest gauge in AC mode.
  • Then place the test probes in the socket. If you find a value close to 230 volts, then the outlet is not the cause of the fault.

Why won't my washing machine start?CHECK WATER FLOW

Make sure your faucet is open and the water flow is strong enough.

  • To test the flow in a simple way: close the tap, disconnect the hose then put a container under it and open it wide.
  • Also check that the filter located at the inlet of the water inlet pipe is not scaled or clogged with sandy deposits or metal deposits.


If your washing machine still does not start even though the outlet is functional, you need to check the noise suppression capacitor.

  • Once the washing machine has been disassembled, locate the noise filter: it is located just after the power cord entry.
  • Plug in the washing machine to perform a live test: wear gloves and do not touch any metal parts with your fingers.
  • Set your multimeter to 600 volts AC.
  • Put the two test probes of the multimeter on the connectors of the brown and blue wires at the input of the interference suppressor, then carry out the same test at the output.

You must measure a value around 230 volts at the input and output of the interference suppressor. Otherwise it will have to be replaced.

If you don’t see a noise suppressor on your device, it’s probably built into the power board.


  • The door lock which gives the authorization to start the program: if the door is not properly closed the program will not start.
  • On most models, when starting a program at the beginning of the cycle, a “click” is heard which means that the lock has been locked.

On a “top” top-loading washing machine, there is an intermediate door equipped with a safety switch. If this door is not closed or if the switch is defective, the program will not start and this part will have to be changed.

The lock will need to be tested with a multimeter set to continuity mode. The methods of the test differ according to the type of washing machine lock, the principle being to measure the continuity on the connectors of the part with the lock in the closed then open position. You should see a change in status on the multimeter.


The solenoid valve is an electric valve that allows water to enter the washing machine. If it is faulty, it is possible that the water does not arrive in the device. To check it, it will be necessary to test its ohmic value.

  • Make sure the washing machine is unplugged for this test.
  • Open your appliance and locate your solenoid valve by following the water inlet pipe: you will usually find it at the back of the washing machine. In some configurations, it will be necessary to undo the hoses of the solenoid valve using pliers to access the lugs.
  • Set your multimeter to 20 or 60 kilo ohms.
  • Position the test probes on the metal connectors of the solenoid valve. Some solenoid valves have two or three ways, you will have to test them all.
  • If you find a numerical value (often between 3 and 5 Kilo ohms) then your solenoid valve is functional. Otherwise, it will need to be changed.

You can also perform a live test to check if your solenoid valve is powered between 220 and 240 volts. For that :

  • Reconnect the valve connector then reconnect your appliance: wear insulated gloves or do not touch any metal part with your fingers.
  • Put the test probes of the multimeter on the metal parts of the connector.
  • You should read a value close to 230-240 volts: if you have zero, it is not powered and you have a problem with the electronic card or pressure switch.


If your drum does not turn by hand, you will need to check the condition of the transmission belt. If it is damaged, the drum will not turn correctly during the spin cycle and it will be necessary to change it.

  • The belt is used to drive the drum through the motor, it is placed on the pulleys of the motor and the drum. Check the belt visually, check that it is in place or that it is not worn, frayed or broken. There should be no cracks.
  • Also check the condition and tightness of the pulley. Over time and vibrations, it may loosen or break: tighten the screw in the center of the pulley or replace it with a torx screwdriver.


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.


On older washing machine models, you may have a condenser and not motor brushes. This cylindrical part will simply allow the engine to start.

  • Discharge the capacitor by bringing its two terminals into contact using an insulated screwdriver. Note the value of the capacitor which is written on it, in micro-farad.
  • Calibrate your multimeter to 100 mF, then put the test tips on the capacitor terminals. If you find a value close to the value indicated on the capacitor then it is functional, otherwise it must be changed.


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 won't my washing machine start?TEST THE POWER ELECTRONIC CARD

If none of your components is faulty, this may be due to information transmitted incorrectly by the electronic card. The electronic card must be replaced if it is powered, but your machine does not turn on.

Please note that washing machines are generally fitted with two electronic cards:

  • A control board (with buttons and screen)
  • A power card: it can be located in different places around the tank-drum assembly, but it can also be fixed or coupled to the control card. The control board is connected to larger wires than the display board.

This test is performed with power on, so you must reconnect your device. Wear insulated gloves if you have them and be careful not to touch any metal parts.

  • Set your multimeter to the largest range in AC voltmeter mode (usually 500 or 600 volts)
  • Locate the board’s power wires (often blue and brown) and measure the voltage between the two.
  • If you have a value close to 230-240 volts and your washing machine still does not start, the board is faulty and will need to be replaced. If you have no value, you will have to change the wiring.
“If you’re in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area and need your washing machine repair urgently, contact Shymon Appliance Repair, we know how to fix it!”