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Kenmore Washer won’t Drain or Spin


Model #110.92291100, I had my electrician neighbor show up at my door this past Sunday afternoon desperate for some assistance. It seems his wife started a wash load before leaving to run an errand and returned to find the tub full of water and it would not drain. Moving the timer to different settings would start it agitating and the water would turn on again, but the water remained. I put on some shoes, grabbed by tools and headed on down the road.

There are a few things that can prevent portions of the wash cycles from operating, and figuring out which one is causing the problem is simply a matter of elimination. But first, it is important to understand how the washers operate, and what can prevent their operation.

Most washers with mechanical timers, simply run through a series of steps from start to finish and activate the appropriate component along the way. As the timer motor rotates, through a gear reduction, it slowly turns a shaft with several cams, each capable of opening and closing a couple electrical contacts. These contacts will activate the electrical components such as the water valves, drive motor, drain pumps and even the buzzer at the end of the cycle. Once we know what the washer is doing and in what order, we can better understand when things stop working.

On my neighbors washer, each of the functions up to the point the motor was to reverse direction to begin the spin and pump out cycle seemed to work. I was able to get both valves to turn on and it would agitate without any problems. But at the point the motor would normally start the spin cycle, there was no noise to be heard. A quick look at the wiring diagram pointed me in the right direction.

OK, this is actually a rather common problem and I didn’t need to look any further than the lid switch to find the problem, but it is always go to walk through the troubleshooting process, even if it’s just in fun. As I mentioned above, knowing what the washer should and should not do and at what point in the cycle can be a great help. In older washers, when the lid is lifted during the spin cycle, the motor will stop to prevent accidental injury. This is a safety device that has evolved into preventing all motor operation on more recently built models. Because of this feature, that is where I usually start my search when these direct drive washers won’t begin their spin cycle.

The switch is located under the top of the cabinet and held in place with a couple screws. When closing the lid, if you don’t hear an audible click sound, check the switch for damage. I removed the switch from the cabinet and found the housing had come loose at the point the two halves were glued together. It has been hot around here this past week, but I didn’t expect anything like this would happen.

I removed the cabinet to get access to the harness, and installed a new lid switchicon in it’s place. With it all back together, I turned the timer to the spin position and pulled on the knob. The motor took off running, and the basket began to spin. My neighbor was able to get her laundry done, and I went back to watching some TV.

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