yikes! front loader won't spin!!

posskatDecember 11, 2011

my new lg has a sleeping bag in it, and it went thru the wash cycle, but now refuses to spin. it is stuck on 5 minutes left, sort of cycles to the left and right, but can't get up to a spin. any ideas??? thanks!

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Probably it's having trouble balancing the single large item. You may have to do some manual rearrangement until it's happy.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:20PM
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it's very frustrating, as i only got the unbalanced error once, and i tried to realign, but then it just kept on for over 30 minutes, stuck on 5 minutes, and just barely rolling around. there is no 'drain and spin' cycle like the manual suggests, so if the error code doesn't show, you have to manually stop the machine, but you can't get it to just spin after that, it only has the wash cycles or the rinse and spin, and that only adds more water!! i finally hauled it out and hung it on the fence to freeze....not happy; i thought this machine should be able to handle it....i don't think it's possible to stop the machine, then to get it to spin only....am i missing something?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:08PM
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"...am i missing something?"

I suspect so. If that's a single item, balancing for spin-up should typically take a little longer but should make it in a few attempts regardless.

I'm suspecting that your suspension components are not working as they should. I'm suspecting that they're not able to bear firmly/equally on the machine's supporting feet and are signaling the machine to "try again" because of that. If that's it, it's common as nails and pretty easy to fix.

Do you know how to do this? Can you say what flooring your installation is on?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:16PM
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to reply, dadoes (i've tried 8x to reply, and my message keeps getting rejected), we have an older house and it is laminate flooring, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:41PM
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Suspended floor, then?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:44PM
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how can i tell?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:45PM
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If your flooring isn't concrete -- "slab" as they say -- it is likely "suspended" which is to say it has space underneath it.....like a basement, crawl space, etc.

What I'm fishing for is some indication of the firmness of the base your machine is able to bear on. For example, many people with machines installed on the second floor (a "suspended" floor) have complained about their laundry machines vibrating and shaking the structure. If you have firm flooring, I suspect your solution may be a simple one. If your flooring is "suspended", there may be other issues.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 6:07PM
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hubby says there's no concrete under the floor, and since it's an old house, i would guess it's wood. any suggestions?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 6:31PM
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OK, let's try it this way....when you jump up and down on it -- like really hard -- does stuff on the adjacent walls jiggle a little bit? If you put a glass of water on top of the machine and jump up and down, can you see the water-surface jiggle?

Is the machine-site in the middle of the house or next to a wall?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 7:18PM
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Before you go to work on your floor, why not remove the sleeping bag and try a different load or run the machine empty to see if it spins? Make sure the machine is level, with its leveling feet locked in place.

Even with perfect floors, most home machines will have trouble with a single large item - they are just inherently difficult to arrange to create a balanced load. You are better off taking it to a laudromat and using a commercial machine - they are not as picky about balanced loads because their suspension components are much heavier-duty than the home machines.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 7:32PM
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With respect...."leveling" is not the issue. Firm/equal bearing is the issue.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 7:41PM
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It might be the sleeping bag... I have one comforter, out of many, that my Miele has trouble spinning. Have to run the drain/spin cycle again and again until it finally works. I think it's because this comforter has a tightly woven casing that doesn't allow the water to drain out.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:28PM
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I suggest adding some other items in there to help with balancing for spinning. It's important so that you don't wear out the components.

As for getting it to spin only, without going through the entire rinse as well, try
1) pressing the power button,
2) then the spin speed button.
If you select a cycle, you can't do the spin only.

Learned this from one of the repair technicians that worked on my LG washer when the drain pump broke.

Another possible method, take the sleeping bag, hang it up to let it drip dry so that most of the water is removed, then spinning it down to remove the remaining water, then drying to fluff.

Hope this helps and good luck!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:29PM
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"With respect" balanced load is the issue. If the machine can't balance the load it won't matter how firm the floor is - it won't spin. The machine may be incapable of balancing a single sleeping bag. Firm/equal bearing won't come into play until the machine is spinning fast enough to make it an issue - her machine isn't spinning fast enough to make it an issue because the load isn't balance.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 9:38PM
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i did the water thing, and no, it doesn't jiggle the surface of the water; the floor seems really sturdy, and the machine backs up to an outside wall.

i did a different load and it did the spin cycle just fine; the sleeping bag was very heavy when it got wet. i w/try to get it to just spin, after it has dripped some (hopefully no male dogs come by, either).

it does move around a little bit when i have a heavy load it, just when it starts to spin, and then it's fine, but it has never refused to spin like it did today.....

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 9:48PM
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Yo, Alice....how dense are you going to be?

Neither of us nor the OP knows what the problem is. From my own experience I've suspected the machine's suspension components are likely capable of "digesting" the imbalance of a single item. Could be wrong. Don't know. However, firm/equal bearing comes into play AT ALL TIMES.

But, let's cut to the chase. Let's ask the source........

Yo, posskat.....can you be more detailed about the failure to spin? Does it begin -- like it's trying to spin up -- and then stop? Or does it just sit there and do nothing at all?

My suspicion -- assumption really -- has been that the machine begins to spin up but then stops and readjusts and tries again....because that's what they all do. If I've got that wrong, I'll have a whole different opinion.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:32PM
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this is the only time it's happened, and at the end of the cycle, it seemed to hand up with on 5 minutes left, but it would cycle slowly to the left, then the right, but not gain momentum. finally the unbalanced error came on, and i tried to rearrange the sleeping bag, and started the machine again, to no avail. this time, it rolled around slowly, as before, to the left , and the right, but gaining no momentum, and the time left stayed at 5 minutes, altho it really was close to half an hour; it's like it couldn't get a running start to get the spin cycle going....after removing the sleeping bag, i did a regular load and it was fine. it was a large, heavy sleeping bag, and when it got wet, it was really heavy, and no room left in the machine to add anything else to help w/the balance.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:37PM
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Yo, Alice.....must apologize.

You got the first draft before my intended modification to delete the first line and soften my verbiage before actually posting. Mea Culpa.

I do apologize for that. Inappropriate. However, the gist would be the same.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:41PM
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You said at the end of the cycle....meaning the VERY end of the cycle? Curious about that because the machine would have spun up at the end of the wash portion of the cycle, too. Were you around at that time to see if it did that or failed to do it?

Ah, well. Maybe getting too excited over single anomaly. On the other hand, I've done soooo many bulky/ridiculous loads over the years I'm still wondering about a possible weight-bearing issue on the feet. Those suspension components can handle an awful lot of imbalance. Certainly mine have. With those ridiculous bulky loads (sleeping bags, comforters, mattress pads, etc.) sometimes my machine begins to spin, fails to spin, tumbles to readjust and repeats until eventually it gets it. (Never had total failure to spin.) You seem to be saying yours doesn't do that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:54PM
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i wasn't really paying attention to the earlier part of the cycle; i just noticed at the end the timer had 5 minutes left, but about 10 minutes of trying to spin, and the unbalanced code came on. but yes, this was the end of the entire cycle that i noticed it. like i said, after readjusting the sleeping bag and starting the machine, it stayed on the 5 minutes for almost 30 minutes till i removed it....it just kept trying to spin, did some tumbling, trying to spin, etc.; it never did spin w/the heavy sleeping bag.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 11:02PM
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My Miele acts the same way with the hard-to-balance comforter. Modern front-loaders can detect an off-balance load without actually spinning it, thanks to a rotational position sensor that tells the controller how the drum rocks in response to a known force from the motor.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 11:02PM
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posskat, it is definitely a balancing issue. I have an LG front loader and have run into it a couple of times, usually when I wash my heavy flannel king size duvet cover. That thing weighs a ton when wet. The machine just sits there, tumbling slowly and repeatedly trying to balance and to start spinning but it will not go into a spin mode. You need to pause it, take out your item, try to squeeze as much of the water out as you can by hand to reduce its weight and put it back in (try to arrange it evenly). Next time you may need to take your sleeping bag to a commercial laundromat to wash it.
Also, laminate floors are a no no for front loaders. Again, ask me how I know ;-) I have laminate floors in my kitchen, mudroom and laundry area. My husband had to take the laminate out from the laundry closet and install tile on a concrete backerboard in order for the machines to work properly.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:51AM
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thanks for that, izeve; how do you go about pausing yours? i can't figure out how to pause it without shutting it off entirely and starting over w/out a wash cycle, altho earlier in this post, someone gave instructions how to, and i w/try that as soon as my sleeping bag thaws a bit and i can squish it back into the machine. will be great if i can get it to just spin on command w/out getting more water in it.

this one incident has been the only problem i've had, but yes, i can see how i may have to get some floor work done if i have any more problems. thanks so much to everyone for the input; i love this site!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:17AM
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posskat, if you press the Start/Pause button once, the machine will pause without shutting down and interrupting the cycle. You should hear two clicks within a few seconds and you will be able to open the door. Once you close the door back, press the start/pause again and the machine should resume the cycle where it left it off. Don't press the ON/OFF button since that will force you to restart your cycle.

Which model do you have?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:27AM
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beauty! thanks for that!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Also, try this in order to just do "Drain & Spin".

Press the Power on button. Do not turn the cycle selector knob but instead press the Spin Speed button and then press the Start/Pause button. That should start the drain and spin cycle and not add any water.

Let us know if that works for you.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:14AM
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yes it does work! yippee!! now, as soon as the sleeping bag thaws out, i'll try stuffing it in and spinning, as it managed to lose some water hanging on the fence yesterday. great to get all these tips!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 1:13PM
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I also have a LG FL and this has happened to me twice.

Usually the reason(s) could be the drain hose isn't in the proper position (might be higher than your owner manual suggests) or you haven't drained the hose in the drain pump filter area, and also washing a bulky large load which may vibrate the machine a little more than usual. In my case the drain hose in back of the machine sometimes lifts higher than recommended during a wash, this happens slowly over time so I have to keep an eye on it, and I was washing a bulky large load. My drain hose drains into a pipe under the kitchen sink through a dishwasher plumbing connection so there isn't anything I could tie the hose to where it doesn't move.

Once I adjust the hose then drain the hose from the drain pump filter area the machine will go back to a full spin then finish the countdown. No harm to the machine and no need for a service call.

This is another reason I love my LG machine, it didn't just cut off while this happened. Although the first time I almost went into a full panic picturing having to spend $$$ for a service call I was glad there was a simple solution.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 7:56AM
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Looks like it's been the better part of 3 years since this conversation took place, but I'll add what I learned today, since I had this problem and found this page via a google search for the fix, yet did not find the fix explicitly stated on this page.

The reason the machine won't spin with a sleeping bag or big quilt in it is because it's trying to spin at Medium spin speed (or faster). At Low spin speed, it'll go! The key is to use the Large/Bulky setting on the control knob. It automatically uses Low spin speed at that setting. You can raise the spin speed up to Medium manually in this mode, but only if you choose Cold wash. I wouldn't risk this with a real bulky load, though.

If you've already got to the point of a stalled spin cycle and don't want to start over, turn the machine off, then on again, don't touch the cycle knob but just set the spin speed on Low and then press the Play/Pause button once. It'll spin at Low now.

If the spin is stalled even at Low speed, then some of the suggestions above about stablizing the machine, or about the drain tube, may help you. Otherwise you may just need to start the cycle over, or drag the soaking mess to a commercial machine and use that one.

Good luck, all!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:32PM
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