Washing Machine Tripping/Fusing Electrics? (here’s why & what to do)

If your washing machine keeps fusing or tripping the electrics in your home there are a number of possible causes. From a leak in the appliance, damaged wiring, damaged motor, faulty start switch or a defective heating element.

In this article I look at all of the reasons why your washing machine is likely to trip or fuse your home’s electrics and offer solutions to these issues.

Why Is My Washing Machine Tripping Or Fusing The Electrics?

There are several reasons why your washing machine might keep tripping or fusing your electrics which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Washing Machine Has A LeakLocate and repair the leak
Door Safety Lock Is StuckCheck and replace the door lock if necessary
Defective Start SwitchCheck and replace the start switch if necessary
Defective Water Inlet ValveCheck and replace the water inlet valve if needed
Defective SuppressorCheck and replace the suppressor if needed
Defective Heating ElementInspect and replace the heating element if necessary
Defective Drain PumpCheck and replace the drain pump if needed
Defective MotorCheck and replace the motor if required
Wiring FaultContact a technician

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Washing Machine Has A Leak

laundry room with pile of clothes

If your washer develops a leak, it’s likely to cause the circuit breaker to trip or the home to fuse at some point. To detect where the leak is coming from will involve some detective work.

Look for traces of water or limescale buildup after removing the panelling from your appliance. If there are no visible signs of a leak, you’ll need to check each individual part, one piece at a time.

Door Safety Lock Is Stuck

This is likely to happen if you use too much or the wrong type of detergent which causes soap suds to overflow into the lock mechanism. Or it could be caused by a short circuit in the door lock connector (terminal block).

You should allow the washer to dry out for around 24-48 hours before trying to use it again. If the problem persists, it’s likely to be a short circuit and the door lock connector will probably need to be replaced.

Defective Start Switch

Control panel of washing machine

The electric start switch on your washer can become damaged due to an electrical overload. This will lead to a short circuit and the switch will no longer work at all.

The start switch will need to be replaced before you can get the washer working again.

Defective Water Inlet Valve

It is possible that the water inlet valve has developed a fault which could cause the power to trip once the washer starts to fill with water. 

You can check the inlet valve solenoid for continuity using a multimeter and replace it if it proves to be faulty.

Defective Suppressor

The suppressor (or EMI filter) on a washing machine is a safety feature designed to prevent electrical signals from interfering with the way the appliance runs.

You can check the suppressor for continuity using a multimeter and if it fails the test, it will need to be replaced.

Defective Heating Element

open washing machine door

The heating element heats the water in the washing machine to the required temperature. If the heating element is leaking electricity, it will trip the power.

You can check the heating element using a multimeter and if it fails the continuity test, it will need to be replaced.

Defective Drain Pump

The drain pump is responsible for draining the wastewater from your appliance. It will cause the circuit breaker to trip or the fuse to blow if it has a short circuit, the pump is leaking or there’s water leaking onto the coil of the drain pump.

You can test the drain pump by disconnecting it from the appliance and then turning the appliance back on. If the circuit doesn’t trip, you can be sure that it’s the drain pump at fault and will need replacing.

Defective Motor

The motor causes the drum to spin at high speeds. If it develops a fault it can cause the internal coils to overheat which could trip the power.

It is also possible for water to leak onto the motor and that would cause the power to trip. You can check the motor for continuity using a multimeter and replace it if it proves to be faulty.

Wiring Fault

Any one of the wires or connectors that are part of your washing machine could develop a fault. If they receive too much power the wires or connectors could overheat.

Added to which is the possibility of a water leak causing a wire or connector to short out. As there are so many wires and connectors in a washing machine, I recommend contacting a technician to investigate further.

Other Possible Causes For A Washer To Trip The Power

person holding a grey sweater

So far I’ve looked at the most common reasons why your washer could have tripped the power supply. There are other possible reasons which include;

Damp Conditions

Cold and damp weather conditions can cause washing machines used in damper, unheated areas like sheds and garages to trip the power supply. As we all know, electricity and water don’t mix and the damp air can get into any components that have sensitive low voltages.

Damp air could cause control modules and the motor of the washer to short which would cause the power to trip. All modern washing machines are designed for use at normal room temperature and humidity.

Using a washer in a cold, damp environment can cause it to trip the power and void your manufacturer’s warranty as well.

Damaged Power Cord, Plug Or Socket

If the power cord on your washer is frayed or damaged, it could cause the power to trip. This is also true if the plug is damaged or wired incorrectly.

The socket could also be the cause of the power tripping. You should inspect the power cord, plug and socket before use and replace any problems that you find.

SEE ALSO: 10 Washing Machine Fires Happen Every Week – Is Yours Next?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my washing machine fuse?

Your washing machine is likely to fuse because of one of the following; the washing machine has a leak, the door safety lock is stuck, the start switch is defective, the water inlet valve is defective, the suppressor is defective, the heating element is faulty, the drain pump has a fault, the motor is defective or there is a wiring fault.

Why would a washing machine trip the fuse box?

There are several reasons why a washing machine might trip the fuse box which include; faults with the motor, the heating element, the suppressor, a wiring fault or water leaking onto an electrical component.

Could a frayed power cord cause my washer to trip the power?

Yes, a frayed power cord on your washing machine could cause the power to trip. This is a safety feature designed to prevent electrocution and fires.

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