Once a washing machine has filled with water, one might assume that the unit will then progress to the agitate cycle and begin to wash the items inside the wash basket. However, if the washer fills but then stops, there is something wrong with the washing machine that might be something you can find and fix before calling in a professional technician.
Before assuming that something serious is wrong with the washing machine, there are a few basic operational steps that should be investigated. For instance, see what cycle was selected, as some cycles like "Soak" will simply fill the basket but won't progress until the cycle time is finished, which may take between 15 and 30 minutes. You can cancel the cycle at any time by pressing or selecting "Pause" or "Cancel" and selecting a new cycle.
Many washing machines will fill with water while the lid is open, but the washing machine will not progress past this point until the lid is closed. If the lid is closed, check that the lid switch is not stuck into position or has not caught in place to close firmly. Wipe the switch or magnet with a clean, damp cloth to clean away anything that might interfere with the lid closing, and then dry with a towel.
Tub Is Stuck
The washing machine cannot progress to the agitation cycle if there is something caught in the pump or in between the tub and the housing. See if there is something lodged in the pump or between the edges if the washer cycle is correct. If an object is visible, disconnect power to the washing machine before trying to remove it, but do not hesitate to contact a service professional if the item cannot be reached or removed.
Other reasons can account for why a service professional will need to be contacted, such as a failed motor coupler, clutch, belt(s), drive motor or pulleys or even the transmission. If you cannot see any visible reason for the washing machine to be stuck, and other possibilities with the wash cycle and operation have been eliminated as a cause, contact the washer manufacturer or other qualified professional for help.
Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.