Whirlpool Washer Stops Mid-Cycle? (How to Troubleshoot and Fix)

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

It’s a frustrating situation. A washer load of clothes and a tub full of water and the Whirlpool washer decides to quit. Everything seems to be normal, yet the washer will not restart. Why do Whirlpool washers stop in the middle of a cycle?

Inspect the circuit breaker that the washing machine is one and make sure that the load didn’t trip it. Flip the switch off and back on to restore power to your washing machine. Remove and replace the water inlet valve if the unit stops pumping water during a cycle.

If you have experienced a problem with your Whirlpool washer, check a few things before calling the appliance repair technician. Working through some simple steps may save you some money. Often, a homeowner can easily remedy the issues with a Whirlpool washer that stops mid-cycle.

Step 1 – Check the Power

Check the circuit breaker on the electrical circuit that serves your Whirlpool washer. If the washing machine is heavily loaded, the circuit may have tripped. If you find the circuit breaker in the tripped position, push it to the fully off position and then flip it back to the on position.

If the circuit breaker immediately trips, you have a more serious problem with the Whirlpool washing machine or the electrical circuit in your home. At this point, your best option is to call the appliance service technician to diagnosis the problem.

Newer Whirlpool washing machines have larger motors that require more electricity. In some older homes, the circuit supplying the electricity to the Whirlpool washer may not be adequate.

If there is nothing wrong with the washing machine, you should call a licensed electrician. An electrician can test your circuit and determine if it is adequate to serve the washing machine.

Step 2 – Check the Power Plug

An unplugged Whirlpool washing machine is a more common problem than you might think. The electrical plug on many washers gets plugged in during the installation. No one thinks to check the plug or clean it occasionally.

Things call fall behind the washer and dislodge the plug. The washing machine, particularly top loaders, can vibrate and walk if the washer tub becomes unbalanced. Some machines can move enough to unplug themselves.

Make sure that your Whirlpool washer electrical plug is secure in the proper outlet. Unplug the washer and check the plug for damage or corrosion. If the plug shows signs of damage or corrosion, replace the power cord on the Whirlpool washer.

If the outlet is discolored or looks blackened, there may be a problem with the outlet. You may need to contact a qualified electrician to check and repair problems with the outlet.

Step 3 – Make Sure the Whirlpool Washers Door Shuts Tightly

If your Whirlpool washer is a front loading type, it has a door lock and motor switch. This feature prevents anyone from inadvertently opening the door on the washing machine while it is in operation. Open and reclose the door and make sure the latch engages.

Try restarting the Whirlpool clothes washer after re-shutting the door. If the washing machine restarts, the door latch was not secure. If the problem persists, you may have a defective door lock and motor switch. In this case, the switch may have broken or may have an electrical problem.

If you are comfortable using a multi-meter and dealing with electrical circuits, you can test the door latch and motor switch yourself. However, it may be in your best interest to call a qualified Whirlpool technician to determine the cause of the problem and make any needed repairs.

Step 4 – Check The Lid Switch

On Whirlpool clothes washers, the washing machine has a separate switch that prevents the washer from starting the spin cycle if the lid is not fully closed. This switch is under the lid and is usually easily found by looking for a small round or square hole.

Opposite the hole on the washing machine, you should find a pin on the lid. This pin closes the switch under the hole. Closing the switch tells the washing machine the lid is completely closed.

Check that the pin that operates the switch is not broken or missing. If you find a broken pin, it may not be long enough to close the switch fully. A short pin can cause the switch to open and close as the machine vibrates. Replacing the pin on the lid of the Whirlpool washer quick and easy

It is easy to test the switch. Using a plastic probe or even a cotton swab, carefully press down on the switch beneath the hole in the rim of the washer lid. If the washing machine begins to operate with the switch depressed, you should suspect a problem with the pin that depressed the switch.

Several problems can occur with this switch. The switch itself can break or develop an electrical issue. You can diagnosis this issue with a multi-meter and a little persistence.

Step 5 – Test The Water Inlet Valve

Your Whirlpool washing machine has a water inlet valve that controls the water the enters the washtub. If the inlet valve fails to open, the Whirlpool washer control will wait for the water to enter before continuing to the next part of the cycle.

The water inlet valve can fail in several ways. It can fail mechanically and not open even if it is getting electricity. The power supply to the water inlet valve may fail and the valve will not open. In either case, it is necessary to access the water inlet control valve to test with a multi-meter.

In many cases, this is a job best left to a trained Whirlpool service technician. A trained technician will know how to access the water inlet valve and how best to take the test. IF the water inlet valve is defective, the technician will have the parts and experience to repair the washer.

Step 6 – Make Sure the Washer Drains Freely

Many Whirlpool washers have a sensor in the drain system. If the drain does not run freely or becomes plugged completely, the sensor will shut down the Whirlpool washer. Some models of Whirlpool washer have a drain filter that can be accessed easily. Check your user’s manual for the proper method to clean the drain filter on your Whirlpool washer.

Step 7 – Check the Timer

If your Whirlpool washer has a manual timer, the timer may be defective. You can diagnosis a bad timer by accessing the connections on the back of the timer. Use a multi-meter to determine if there is continuity in the timer during the different phases of the washer cycle. A bad timer diagnosis is common. Check every other possibility before changing the timer.

Step 8 – Check the Thermal Fuse

If the motor on the washer overheats, the thermal fuse that protects it has probably blown. You must first locate the thermal fuse. This fuse location is usually close to the drive motor. Getting to this area may involve removing the back panel of the Whirlpool washer to gain access.

Before opening the Whirlpool washer, unplug the power cord from the outlet. Only when you are sure that there is no power inside the washing machine should you proceed. Once you locate the thermal fuse, you can use a multi-meter to check the fuse.

If the fuse is bad, replace the blown fuse with the exact same fuse. Don’t be tempted to use a larger fuse or wrap the blown fuse in aluminum foil. Anything that bypasses the safety provided by the thermal fuse can be a dangerous step. An electrical short, fire, or an electrical shock to someone using the Whirlpool washer could result.

Step 8 – Main Control Board Issues

If all these possible problems prove to be false, the problem may be in the main control board on your Whirlpool washing machine. A faulty main control board is a rare problem but can occur. Issues with the main control board are generally beyond a homeowner’s scope. Contact a trained service technician with the proper equipment.

Whirlpool Washer Error Codes – Help in Diagnosing Whirlpool Washer Problems

Many new Whirlpool appliances, including top and front loading washing machines, will show error codes. These error codes can aid in diagnosing problems with your Whirlpool clothes washer.

The error codes are shown on the LED screen if your Whirlpool washer is so equipped. The codes are also displayed on some Whirlpool machines using the indicator lights that show the current cycle.

Each machine may have a different set of error codes. Your user manual will have instructions for accessing and interpreting the error codes. If the information on reading the error codes is not in your user manual, do a search on the internet for your make and Whirlpool washer model.

Keeping Your Whirlpool Washer Operating

The best advice to keep your Whirlpool washing machine operating at peak efficiency is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations that came with the washer. If you experience problems with your Whirlpool washer stopping in mid-cycle, follow our tips to diagnose the problem. We hope that these tips can help get your washer up and running again.

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Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

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