Whirlpool Washer Not Turning On: Common Causes and Best Remedies

Whirlpool has been in the business of making washing machines and other appliances for more than a century. Their machines are popular all around the globe, and that’s why they make around $20 billion in sales every year.

There’s a good chance that your household, like many others, uses that brand. So what happens if the Whirpool washer’s not turning on? There are often 5 main causes that we check, starting with the plug, and moving on to the power cable, electricity outlet, circuit breaker, and control board.

In the coming sections, we’ll explain in more detail how to check each one of these possibilities, find out what’s causing the problem, and suggest ways to fix it.

A Troubleshooting Checklist

Troubleshooting any machine means checking all the possible causes of a problem. Then, finding the culprit and fixing it.

We often start with the common, the external, and the easy to repair. Next, we move on to the more challenging issues. Typically, the issue is resolved before we exhaust the whole list of causes. Still, it’s best to be prepared for anything, and just keep going till the machine starts responding again.

Here’s a simple checklist for troubleshooting Whirlpool Washer power-up problems.

  • Check the power plug
  • Check the power cable
  • Check the power outlets
  • Check the circuit breaker
  • Check the control board
  • Call the maintenance guys

1. The Power Plug Isn’t Secured Inside the Outlet

Most user manuals and troubleshooting guides would ask you to check if the machine is actually plugged in, and that really goes without saying. Most people skip that check and move on to the next one. But wait a bit before doing that!

The power plug could actually be attached to the electrical outlet, but it could be dislodged a little. Washing machines are notorious for creating micro-vibrations, and that could easily pull the plug just a few millimeters off the outlet.

Another reason could be loose prongs in a power plug or a power outlet that cracked and became too big for securing the prongs. Even the slightest clearance would keep the current from flowing to the power cord and into the washing machine.

The remedy is simply making sure that the power plug is secure inside the outlet.

2. The Power Cord Could Be Frayed or Damaged

power cord

A visual check of the power cord is necessary before moving on to anything else. If it’s frayed or broken, then it can’t transmit power. It’s also worth noting that the power cord might appear to be intact from the outside, but it’s the inside that we care about.

A simple connectivity check with a multimeter should tell whether or not the cord is working.

This problem often comes with age, and it’s an essential check in any routine maintenance call. After a specified period of time, you should change the power cord anyway, and replace it with a new one. This is a matter of safety, both for the users and the machine.

3. The Power Outlet Might Be Problematic

Power outlets are actually among the top three usual suspects in that kind of problem, so they’re worth a thorough check.

This starts with a visual check of the outlet, meaning, cracks, burns, and melted plastic. Then, using a multimeter to measure the voltage coming out of it. As an alternative, you can just plug in any device, if it turns on, then the power in the outlet is fine.

Otherwise, if the plug seems unresponsive, then you’d have to either fix it or replace it, depending on the kind of damage.

4. The Circuit Breaker Could Be Tripped After a Surge

Every room in the house and every cluster of electric appliances are connected to a circuit breaker. This is a form of protection for the devices if there’s a surge in the incoming mains power. Also, it protects the house’s network in case one of the devices has an overload or a short.

In both cases, the circuit breaker would be thrown off, so it’s important to pinpoint the actual reason behind the incident. A surge is an occasional event, and flipping back the circuit breaker solves the problem completely.

A short or overload coming from the washing machine is a different story. There’s often some kind of electric failure that causes that problem, and it needs to be addressed before proceeding further.

5. The Main Control Board Might be Damaged

This problem isn’t too common, but it’s a possibility and it needs to be checked. Control and display boards could go off in old or new machines, it’s not always associated with the washer’s age.

Sometimes you’d find clear signs that the board experienced a short. The tell-tale signs are little scorch marks around the board and maybe the smell of melted plastic. The damages might also be more subtle if a single component blew up, and in that case, a deeper investigation is needed.

The control board is the brain of the machine, and if it goes off, nothing will turn on. You can check whether or not the board is receiving electricity. If there’s a signal going in and nothing coming out, then it needs to be replaced.



Q1: Does a Whirlpool washer have a reset button?

Having powered the washer back up, you might still find that the machine isn’t responding to new settings. In that case, you’d need to reset the washer.

Instead of a specific button, there’s a little sequence you can do to reset the functions of the washer. Turning the washer off and unplugging it for half a minute often does the trick. You might also need to press and hold the start button for 3 seconds. After that, the new cycle should engage normally.

Q2: How do I run a diagnostic on my Whirlpool washer?

These checks are necessary on a routine basis, but especially important after facing problems with powering up the washer.

Accessing the diagnostics menu is often a sequence of press and release of specific buttons. It would depend largely on the exact model that you have, but in all cases, you can read it off the manual. You will also need the manual to understand what each error code is referring to.

Q3: How do I fix a Whirlpool washer error?

Each error code is associated with a function or a component of the washing machine. Usually, the machine displays two or three of them in succession. Typically, you should refer to the user’s manual, read out the meaning of each code, and take action accordingly.

Sometimes, the issues displayed are easy to fix, so don’t hesitate to address these. At other times, you might need to call in a specialized technician. Especially if spare parts are needed.


It’s rather frustrating to try to do the laundry, only to find that your Whirlpool washing machine isn’t turning on. No need to despair though, as this could be resolved in a few minutes.

If you’re lucky, the problem would be fixed by pushing the power plug securely in the electrical outlet or flipping back a circuit breaker. Otherwise, you might need to replace the power cable, outlet, or power board.

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