Washing Machine Drum Not Turning: Reasons and Solutions

Wednesday 29th June 2022
by Homeforce

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Wed 29th June 2022

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Washing machines can get considerable wear and tear over time, those niggling faults that can be so frustrating when all you want to do is get the laundry done so you can carry on with your day. 

It’s a common problem to check on your recent load, and discover that the drum might be sitting in exactly the same place you left it, so if your drum looks stuck or that it’s not moving properly, our expert washing machine repair engineers here at Homeforce can help you! 

Join us to discover some of the most likely reasons and solutions if your washing machine drum isn’t working as it should be. 

Let’s hit the mini answer first before we get into a little more depth of causes and solutions. 

Some of the reasons your washing machine drum is not turning could be a blocked drain pump, an overloaded or uneven wash load, worn-out motor brushes, a drive belt worn loose, an issue with the suppressor filter, low water pressure if excessive foam has been detected and when washing woollens.

Blocked or broken drain pump 

One of the most common causes for a drum failing to rotate properly is that you may have a blocked or broken drain pump.

This can sometimes happen if an object, even a small one like a coin, has become stuck and restricts the water flow to the machine.

If this is the cause of the drum not spinning properly you might have noticed that the washer is taking longer than usual to drain, or might not even drain at all. 

What to do

If you are handy with DIY then you may like to try using a Multimeter which you can use to check if the drain pump motor is working properly. If it is, then it could be blocked. 

If a larger item is stuck then you will see it as usually the drain pump is in a see-through casing. After disconnecting the drain hose with a screwdriver you can remove the blockage. Smaller items can be harder to detect. 

Then unhook the pump from the machine depending on the model you may have to push in a tab or unscrew a few screws. Remove the pump and turn it upside down. At this point, the smaller items that are stuck should fall out.

Always make sure you turn off your appliance before attempting any kind of home repair job. 

If you aren’t a DIY guru then this job should be carried out by a trained washing machine repair engineer, who will be able to remove the blockage or replace the pump if it’s faulty. 

“Always make sure you turn off your appliance before attempting any kind of home repair job.”

Overloaded/underloaded or uneven wash 

With many of today’s washing machines having state-of-the-art software, the sensors in your machine can be very sensitive. 

So for instance if you have overloaded, underloaded your machine or you’ve got a wash that’s lying unevenly in the drum, the sensors may kick in and stop it from turning, amongst other issues.

Excess or underweight can also throw the sensors out of kilter and may stop the cycle from running correctly, so the drum doesn’t rotate as it should.

Washing Machine Drum Assembly
What to do 

Always check the weight of your load and that it doesn’t exceed or is too little for the recommended load sizes for your particular machine. Also, make sure you are not washing one or two items in a tiny load as this can also cause the machine’s drum to not spin properly. 

If you feel like some of your clothes have ‘clumped together,’ or even got wrapped up in each other such as sheets, then try re-arranging them and then re-run the spin cycle.

“Always check the weight of your load and that it doesn’t exceed or is too little for the recommended load sizes for your particular machine”

Worn out motor brushes 

The motor brushes connect the drum to the motor and over time the brushes can become worn. 

When this happens the machine is likely to fill and drain, but the drum won’t spin properly. 

What to do

A carbon brush is fairly simple to fit if you understand washing machines and are fairly inexpensive.

If you have an appliance plan these can likely be replaced within the plan at no extra cost. Otherwise, unless you are very adept at DIY, you will need to call a washing machine repair technician to replace the brushes for you. 

Check the drive belt 

If the drive belt which turns the drum is broken or has come off, the resistance is far less if you pop your hand in the drum and try to move it around. 

It might also make a different sound and spin round and round more freely. This is because it’s either broken or it’s become disconnected from the motor. 

Although it is fairly rare for the belt to come off, if you’ve noticed a lot of noise coming from your washing frequently then this could be the reason.

It can be tricky finding out if it’s become loose or broken as you will need to unplug the washer and remove the back panel where the belt is housed. 

What to do

If you are happy to perform the DIY yourself then you will need to make sure the washing machine is disconnected at the mains and look inside to see if the belt is still attached to the pulley system which connects to the drum. 

If it’s broken, check your manufacturer’s manual to make sure you buy the correct replacement.

Suppressor filter issue 

If you haven’t got an appliance plan and are trying to figure out why your washing machine drum isn’t rotating properly, it could be a problem with the suppressor filter.

Some of the most popular makes of washing machine brands such as: 

  • Hotpoint
  • Ariston
  • Creda
  • Indesit

These often work using software that may stop the functionality of your machine, such as the drum spinning if the suppressor filter has broken or is malfunctioning.

Unfortunately, you may not get an error message alerting you to this issue so it’s not the easiest to diagnose.

Washing Machine Display
What to do

If you suspect it’s the suppressor filter, then make sure you call an experienced and trained washing machine repair expert to take a look at your washing machine and find out for sure. 

Electrics can be very dangerous in washing machines as they will still retain an electrical charge sometimes even when switched off. 

Low water pressure

It could simply be a case of low water pressure stopping the drum from moving around properly. You can check it by following the tips below.

What to do

Place a large bucket under the cold water tap, then run the tap. Using a timer, in around 1 minute you should find there are approximately 10 litres of water. 

If the water pressure isn’t sufficient you will notice far less water coming from the tap. 

If this is the case, then call a plumber who will be able to advise and help. 

Poor quality detergent with too much foam 

If your drum is not spinning properly it could simply be the detergent you are using is creating too much foam. 

Modern washing machines are very sensitive with their electronic components and will detect too much foam and may stop the cycle. 

Washing Machine Detergent Tray

Many of the most common brands of washing machines require the use of detergents with high efficiency (known as HE detergents). This type of detergent creates far less foam than cheaper or less efficient types. 

The sensors will most likely be alerted if there is too much foam and will treat the issue as of the washer is too full, so may stop spinning.

What to do

Make sure you buy high-quality HE detergents which will have a lower foaming action and are less likely to affect the spin cycle and drum movement. 

And finally…

If your washing machine drum is still not turning even if you’re a DIY washing machine guru then you need to call out a reputable trained washing machine engineer to take an expert look and fix it for you. 

Don’t forget to head over to check out our appliance plans so issues with your washing machine can be sorted out quickly and efficiently without those unforeseen budget problems which can happen if you leave it to chance.

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