Diagnosing and Fixing a Whirpool Top Load Washer

Fred's Appliance Academy
June 30, 2020

If your Whirlpool Washer model WTW4850HW or WTW4955HW is making no noise and is not working, there is a handful of reasons that it may be malfunctioning. While there are a variety of reasons you may need to troubleshoot your Whirlpool, such as the water not filling enough or overfilling, use this guide only when you are noticing that there is no noise or attempt at functioning from your washer. The reasons it may not be properly working include the following:

  • Not plugged in securely
  • Current not reaching the outlet 
  • The water supply valve not properly turned on
  • Filter screens filled with debris
  • The door lock switch not functioning
  • The motor of the washer not working

Plugged in

This is the simplest fix for a Whirlpool clothes washer not working. Make sure that your electrical cord is plugged in all the way before beginning the washing cycle. Don’t worry, we’ve all forgotten this before. 

Test the Current

To make sure that your electrical outlet is getting the correct voltage, use a voltage tester. If it is not receiving voltage, ensure that it is not controlled by a switch that is accidentally turned off.  Other possible reasons that an outlet may not receive voltage include that the fuse has blown, or the circuit breaker has tripped. Try resetting the circuit breaker to see if this fixes the voltage. Another issue includes 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 is where wiring typically wears down first. 

Filter Screens

At the back of the washer, you’ll notice the water inlet valve for both hot and cold water. The supply hoses should have a filter screen to catch debris from damaging the Whirpool top load washer. If it is clogged, the water pressure may be too low for the clothes washer to properly function. 

To check this, unplug the washer from the outlet, then turn off the water supply at the wall. At this point, you’ll need a bucket to make sure no extra water spills on to the floor. From there, you’ll see the two water hoses connect to the back of your Whirlpool. Disconnect each of them, and place the hoses into the bucket. It is unlikely that the filter screen is damaged, and likely just needs to be cleaned of any debris. Go ahead and clean off any build-up, but be careful to not damage the screens. Connect the water hoses again, and see if this helps remedy your Whirlpool issue. 

If the screens are damaged, the entire water valve will need to be replaced.

Door Lock 

The washing machine may not function if the door lock is defective, as a safety precaution. You can replace the lid lock latch assembly with the part number W11307244. This is one of the more common reasons these models malfunction, but thankfully the replacement is very easy.

To do this, unplug your washer, and remove the back panel with a screen driver. After this, detach the wire harness from the door latch assembly, and simply reconnect the new door lock assembly in either your WTW4850HW or WTW4955HW Whirpool model.

Washer Motor

If you’ve troubleshot every other potential reason that your WTW4850HW or WTW4955HW is not functioning, you may indeed have a bad motor, or it may have simply worn out over years of usage. 

Replacing a washer motor can be expensive and a little more time-consuming than some of these remedies, so make sure you have the correct part number and tools before beginning. While not required, a magnetic screw catcher can be helpful when working with appliances to make sure they are all in one safe spot as you move around. 

Tools you’ll need:

  • Large set of pliers
  • Electrical Tape
  • 5/16th in socket
  • 1/2 in socket
  • Magnetic screw catcher 

Unplug your power cord, and shut off the water supply before beginning. Once you’ve moved your washer away from the wall so you can easily access it, remove the hot and water supply lines from the inlet valve on the back your Whirlpool 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 to it’s back. If necessary, ask for help since it is heavy. 

Use your socket or nut driver to remove the plastic belt guard, and disconnect the drive motor wire connector and the drive belt. You can do this manually, without any tools. Be careful not to stretch the belt. If you need to replace the belt, this will be the ideal time to do so. You will need part #W11239857 for this.  

With your ½ inch socket, remove the mounting screws. Remove the old motor.

Next, you’ll simply install the new drive motor part #W10832724 by positioning it on the gearcase, and tightening the screws to secure, just as you had loosened them in the previous step. Now is the time to replace the belt as well, so go ahead and use the previous belt if it is in good condition, or slide on the new one to the belt gears. Twist the larger gear several times to make sure the belt is lined up. You’ll be able to see the motor moving simultaneously.  

Go ahead and repeat the process you took to remove everything, in reverse. Connect the wire connector, and put the belt guard back on with the screws. Once you have the washer upright, don’t forget to attach each of the 3 hoses on the back – making sure to connect the hot and cold water correctly, turn on the water, and plug in the washer to the electricity. 

Your washer should be as good as new, so go ahead and start all that laundry you’ve been waiting to do. 

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