Each Whirlpool washers has its own unique features and benefits, but all Whirlpool washers have one thing in common — they can sometimes lock up and stop functioning. This problem can be caused by a clogged pump, a problem with the door latch, or a number of other reasons. In this blog post, we discuss the different types of Whirlpool washers on the market and what can cause them to stop working. We will also provide a checklist of what to do if your Whirlpool washer isn’t working properly, and provide a number of step-by-step Whirlpool reset guides suitable for various washing machine models.
Common Problems That Lock Up a Whirlpool Washer
Even though the front-loading and top-loading machines look very different, they have some common issues that can cause your Whirlpool washer to lock up:
- A problem with the door latch
- Overloading the machine
- A clogged pump
- Failure to properly engage the washing cycle by repeatedly opening and closing the door during the washing cycle
- An electrical problem in the control panel
Problem With the Door Latch
One of the most common problems that can cause your Whirlpool washer to lock up is a problem with the door latch. The door latch keeps the door closed during the washing cycle. If the door latch is not closing properly, the machine’s safety sensor will not allow the washer to start.
A second common problem is a faulty door latch sensor. This sensor tells the machine if the door is open or closed. If the door latch sensor is not working properly, the washer will not start.
Overloading the Machine
Many people do not know that overloading the washer can do severe damage to the machine. When you overload your laundry, you are putting excessive strain on the bearings of your appliance. Depending on the extra weight, your washer can trigger a protective switch sensor. At that point, it will shut down, and you won’t be able to restart the machine until you empty all the wet laundry.
If you repeatedly overload your Whirlpool washer, you may discover the laundry drum becoming off-balanced and making loud noises during the washing cycle. Eventually, the damage will cause a premature system failure.
A Clogged Pump
Another common problem that can cause your Whirlpool washer to lock up is a clogged pump. The pump helps circulate the water throughout the machine. If the pump becomes clogged, it will not be able to distribute the water properly. In this case, two scenarios can happen.
If you have a newer model with a sensor to detect faulty pump functioning, your Whirlpool will refuse to begin the washing cycle. Depending on the model, the control panel will either turn on the drain clog light or display an “ERROR” message. If you get the error message, you will need to troubleshoot the machine to find out the cause of the problem. But if you have the drain clog sensor light, you can immediately deal with the clog.
However, if you have an older Whirlpool model with no faulty pump functioning sensor, your machine will begin the washing process but quickly stop when it cannot drain the excess water.
Failure to Properly Engage the Washing Cycle
We have all done it before: found extra laundry and added it to the load. Unfortunately, if you open and close the door too many times during the washing cycle, it can cause your Whirlpool washer to lock up. When this happens, you will need to reset the machine for it to continue functioning.
Electrical Problem in the Control Panel
An electrical problem in the control panel can cause your Whirlpool washer to lock up. Sometimes, if your home power goes out, it can trigger an electrical lockup in the control panel system. While this is not a common problem and tends to happen only to newer Whirlpool models, it is one of the more difficult problems to reset.
Other times, your machine button may become stuck. As a result, your machine won’t start until you go through a hard reset procedure.
What to Do When Your Whirlpool Washer Will Not Start
If your Whirlpool washer won’t start, here are the steps to follow so that you can resolve the problem:
- Turn off your washer.
- Unplug the machine from the power outlet.
- Wait for at least 60 seconds and plug it back in.
- Open and close the door to ensure the door latch is not loose or broken.
- Make sure the door latch does not have any lint, dust, or debris that can prevent the latch sensorfrom working properly.
- Check that there is no laundry blocking the door from closing.
- Check that you are not overloading the machine.
- Consult your Whirlpool washer manual and read the section about how to reset a washer.
- Go through the troubleshooting error checklist in the manual.
- When all else fails and your Whirlpool washer still will not start, you can try doing a hard reset on the machine.
How to Do a Reset on Your Whirlpool Washer
If you decide that resetting your Whirlpool washing machine is the solution, the best way is to check the owner’s manual. But if you have difficulty understanding the directions you may wish to learn more about the steps. Here are the general guidelines on how to reset Whirlpool washers.
Option 1: Whirlpool Washers With Reset Button
Some Whirlpool washer and dryer models have a reset button. If you own a model that comes with a Whirlpool washers reset button, you can quickly reset your appliance by pushing that button. But before you do, it is always a safe practice to first check your owner’s manual to ensure no extra steps are required for resetting your washing machine.
Option 2: General Reset for Machines With Dial Control
This method is often useful for older Whirlpool machines that use the dial control pad instead of the new digital control pad:
- Turn off the washing machine.
- Switch the mode option to “Normal.”
- Turn the mode dial one click to the left counterclockwise.
- Turn the mode dial three clicks to the right clockwise.
- Turn the mode dial one click to the left counterclockwise.
- Give the dial a final click once to the right clockwise.
- Wait for five minutes before plugging the power back in.
- Choose a washing mode, and see if the washing continues through the end of the cycle.
Option 3: General Reset for Machines With Digital Panel
The easiest way to reset washers and dryers is to disconnect the power source. By unplugging the outlet, you allow the extra electrical charge to dissipate from the appliance and give it time to reset. If you are choosing this option, please follow these steps:
- Turn off the washing machine, and allow the control panel display to go into sleep mode.
- Unplug the washer power source.
- Wait three to five minutes.
- Plug the machine back in.
- Wait one minute before turning on the washing machine.
Option 4: Top-Loading Washers
This option has proven to be most successful for Whirlpool top-loading washing machines:
- Press any button on the washer control panel to clear the error code.
- Wait five minutes for the machine to cool down.
- Pick any cycle and press “Start.”
- Unplug the washer and wait five minutes.
- Plug the machine in, and see if the error code appears again.
- If the error code does not show up, pick a random cycle and press “Start.”
- Observe if the test load will continue until the end of the washing cycle.
Option 5: Top-Loading Washer Lid Reset
Some older Whirlpool top-loading washers have limited panel options and require the use of the lid to reset the machine:
- Unplug the power source of your washer.
- Wait 60 seconds.
- Plug in the power source.
- Within 12 seconds, open the washing machine lid six times.
- You may see your Whirlpool machine make a long beeping sound or a series of flashing lights during the reset process.
Option 6: Hard Reset From Electrical Panel
If you cannot unplug the washing machine or your control panel is being unresponsive, you can try this reset method with the circuit breaker:
- Flip the circuit breaker switch to disconnect electricity from the appliance.
- Wait three to five minutes.
- Reconnect the electricity by switching the circuit breaker back to its original position.
- Wait one minute.
- Choose a random cycle and see if the machine starts and continues until the end of the washing cycle.
Option 7: Button Reset Method
If your Whirlpool machine has simpler panel settings, you may need to use your “Pause/Cancel” button and “Power” button to set the washer:
- Press the “Pause” or “Cancel” button twice.
- Press the “Power” button once.
- Your machine will play a beeping sound or flash its display panel light to alert you that the reset process is successful.
Option 8: Water Level Button Reset
If the previous options do not work for you, this final reset choice may do the trick if you have a water level option button:
- Turn off the washing machine but keep it plugged into the electrical outlet.
- Press and hold onto the “Program” button while pressing the “Water Level” option button twice.
- When you have done the previous step successfully, the lights on the control panel should light up.
- Open the washing machine lid. If all the steps are done correctly, you will hear a beeping sound.
- Once you close the washer lid, the process should trigger the reset cycle.
How Do You Know if the Reset Works?
Depending on which reset option you choose, it may take a few minutes or as much as an hour before the reset cycle is complete. Although the machine can still turn on and make a series of beeping sounds, how do you know if the reset truly works? The only way to ensure the reset process is a success is to do a trial wash and wait for the machine to complete its cycle.
If none of the options can reset your Whirlpool washer, it may indicate a problem with the control panel circuit or your appliance suffers from a bigger malfunctioning issue. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to contact Whirlpool customer service for further assistance. They may give you Whirlpool reset tips and valuable solutions on your specific washer model. There is also the option of getting a local trained technician to take a look and diagnose the problem for you. Having serviced many Whirlpool washers and dryers in their careers, the technicians often know some unique techniques to reset Whirlpool washers.
Types of Whirlpool Washers on the Market
There are three main types of Whirlpool washers on the market:
Top-loading washers are the most common type of washer. They are typically less expensive than front-loading or compact front-loading washers. Top-loading washers usually have a higher capacity than front-loading or compact front-loading washers. Unfortunately, these washing machines often have problems with uneven and oversized laundry loads. Often, a reset is necessary to resume the washing cycle.
Front-loading washers are the second most common type of washer. They typically have a lower capacity than top-loading washers. Front-loading washers are more energy-efficient than top-loading washers.
Compact Washers and Dryers Combo
Compact washers/dryers combo used to be the least common type of washer in the American household. They are typically smaller and have a lower capacity than top-loading or front-loading washers. However, the Whirlpool washer and dryer combos have become a popular choice for the modern household because they are perfect for small apartments or homes where space is limited.
Unsure which model is best for you? Check out our Whirlpool WTW8127LW Top Load Washer Review.