A broken washer can mess up a household within a couple days. But before calling a service person, try a few troubleshooting tips. Washing machines are designed to last for a minimum of 10 years, so chances are good that your machine is experiencing a minor hiccup rather than a major problem. The most common reasons a washing machine will stop running are because of problems with the water source, unbalanced loads or excessive detergent.
Close the lid or door. Washing machines automatically stop when the lid or door is open. Lift the clothing and move it slightly. If the washing machine is overloaded with towels or heavy garments, it might become unbalanced. The washer won't run until the items are adjusted.
High-efficiency machines might stop running when regular detergent is used or too much high-efficiency laundry soap is poured in. If you suspect that the laundry soap is the problem, cancel the cycle and press the "Spin" or "Drain" cycles. Restart the cycle, but do not add more detergent.
Inspect the water outlets. Turn faucets to the left to ensure that both the hot and cold water hoses are open. Tug on the hoses to make sure they are attached and inspect the hoses for thin spots that might be causing leaks. Make sure the hoses aren't kinked. Detach the hoses and run clean water through them to remove clogs.
Is the washer's cord plugged into a grounded outlet? Never use extension cords to power washing machines. Check the circuit box for blown fuses.