When your washing machine stops in the middle of a load, that can be annoying. Luckily, there are a number of troubleshooting tips you can take. Try these ideas.
1. Make Sure the Load Is Balanced
In some cases, the machine stops spinning because the load is unbalanced. Open the lid, and see if everything has slipped to one side. If so, spread around the load so that it is more balanced, close the lid, and see if it works. This usually happens with blankets, pillows, or other bulky items.
2. Turn On and Off
Try turning the washing machine on and off. Turn the knob to the end of the cycle, and then, try restarting the cycle. Sometimes, if there are no serious issues, that's just enough to jog the machine back into action.
3. Check the Tab on the Lid
There is a small switch on both top and front-loading washing machines. If that switch is not engaged, the machine won't run. It's designed to be a safety mechanism. Usually, there is a small plastic tab on the lid or door of the washing machine that causes this switch to engage.
Look for that tab. If you can only find a broken nub or if the tab appears to be broken in another way, that may be the culprit. A washing machine repair professional can help you replace the tab and ensure the switch is working.
4. Pump Out the Water
If the above tips don't work, you may need to explore some more comprehensive repairs. Before you start this, however, you need to remove the laundry from the washing machine. Also, try to pump out the water.
If you don't have a pump, you can bale out the water with a small bucket. Alternatively, you may be able to siphon out the water with a hose. You just need a short length of rubber tubing and a bucket. Put one end of the tube in the washing machine. Then, suck gently on the other end of the tube. Quickly, before dirty washing machine water starts to run into your mouth, put that end of the tube into a bucket. Then, let the water flow out.
5. Check the Machine's Drive Belt
The drive belt on a washing machine works almost exactly like the belt on a vacuum cleaner. Basically, it wraps around part of your motor that spins and it also wraps around part of your washing machine to make it spin.
To check on the belt, start by unplugging your washing machine. Then, find the access panel. This may be on the bottom underneath the opening of a front loading machine or in the back of the machine. Put a towel on the floor to catch any drops of water that come out.
Then, open the panel, and look for the belt. It is usually a thick band of black rubber. If you can see both sides of the belt, that means it's broken. If it appears to be intact, do a visual examination of it. If you see ripped edges or holes, it probably needs to be replaced. Additionally, if it does not appear to be tight, it also needs to be replaced.
If you're unsure, you can take off the belt, order a new one, and replace it. If that improves the situation, you know that the belt was the issue. Otherwise, you can simply call a washing machine repair professional at this point.
A broken washing machine is a hassle, and paying to go to the laundromat can get really expensive. Instead, put that money toward a professional repair.