Fixing Whirlpool Top Load Washer

Fixing Whirlpool Top Load Washer

Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

If Whirlpool top loading washer model WTW4850HW or WTW4955HW stops working, there are a handful of reasons for a malfunction. This tech tip covers troubleshooting for when the unit appears to be dead — there is no noise when trying to start a load and nothing happens. Possible causes of the problem include:

  • Not plugged in securely
  • Current not reaching the outlet
  • Water supply valve not turned on properly
  • Filter screens filled with debris
  • Door lock switch not functioning
  • Washer motor not working

Check Plug

The easiest fix is to make sure the unit’s electrical cord is securely plugged in before starting the washing cycle.

Test Current

Use a voltage tester to ensure the electrical outlet is getting the correct voltage. If it is not receiving voltage, ensure that it is not controlled by a switch that may be accidentally turned off.  Other possible reasons that an outlet may not receive voltage are that the fuse has blown or the circuit breaker has tripped. Try resetting the circuit breaker to see if this fixes the problem. Another issue could be a ground fault circuit interrupt, which can cause an outlet to be tripped. (These are commonly found in bathrooms or near water.) Press the reset button to see if this fixes the voltage problem.  If you suspect loose wiring, check the outlet box where wiring typically wears down first.

Check Filter Screens

The water inlet valve for both hot and cold water is located at the back of the washer. The supply hoses should have a filter screen to catch debris from damaging the washer. If it’s clogged, the water pressure may be too low for the unit to properly function.

To check this, unplug the washer from the outlet and then turn off the water supply at the wall. Be sure to have a bucket on hand to catch any water spills. Next, disconnect the two water hoses connected to the rear of the washer and put them into the bucket. It is unlikely that the filter screen is damaged; it likely just needs to be cleared of debris. Clean off any buildup, but be careful not to damage the screens. (If screens are damaged, the entire water valve will need to be replaced.) Connect the water hoses again and check the functionality.

Door Lock

If the door lock is not shut all the way or defective, the unit will not work. The lid lock latch assembly can be replaced with part number W11307244. This is one of the more common reasons these models malfunction, but replacement is very easy.

To replace, unplug the washer and remove the back panel with a screwdriver. Then, detach the wire harness from the door latch assembly and reconnect the new door lock assembly.

Washer Motor

If nothing else works to get the unit working again, the cause could be a bad motor, or it may have just worn out over years of usage.

Replacing a washer motor can be expensive and a little more time consuming than some of the other fixes. Before replacing, be sure to have the correct part number and tools. While not required, a magnetic screw catcher can be helpful when working with appliances to keep them together while performing the repair.

Tools needed:

  • Large set of pliers
  • Electrical tape
  • 5/16th” socket
  • 1/2″ socket
  • Magnetic screw catcher (optional)
  • Towels for any water spillage

Unplug the power cord and shut off the water supply before beginning. Remove the washer away from the wall to easily access. Remove the hot and water supply lines from the inlet valve on the back of the unit using pliers, then twisting by hand. Water will likely spill out.

At the bottom of the washer, remove the drain hose by releasing the hose clamp with the pliers. Use a piece of electrical tape to secure the washer lid, and tip the washer on its back.

Use a socket or nut driver to remove the plastic belt guard, and disconnect the drive motor wire connector and the drive belt. This can be done manually without tools. Be careful not to stretch the belt. This is an ideal time to replace the belt if needed with part #W11239857.

With the ½” socket, remove the mounting screws and the motor. Next, install the new drive motor part #W10832724 by positioning it on the gearcase and tightening the screws to secure. Replace the belt if needed to the belt gears or use the existing one. Twist the larger gear several times to make sure the belt is lined up. The motor should be moving simultaneously.

Replace all other components that were removed. Connect the wire connector, and put the belt guard back on with the screws. Once the washer is upright, attach each of the three hoses on the back, making sure to connect the hot and cold water correctly. Turn on the water and plug in the washer and it should be good to go.


Visit Fred’s Appliance Academy to learn more about the training provided in appliance repair.

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!



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