6 Reasons Your Washing Machine is Tripping Power

washing machine tripping power

Last updated: December 19, 2021 at 18:40 pm

If you’ve ever experienced a washing machine tripping power, then you know it can be inconvenient and down right frustrating when trying to do washing. You may wonder why your machine keeps tripping power, and if this could lead to any permanent damage.

You may also be wondering why circuits trip in the first place. If you’ve got any of these questions in your mind, then read on.

In this article:

We’ll explore why power and trips, and the six main reasons why your washing machine is tripping power.

Why Does Power Trip?

You may be wondering why power trips in the first place. Well, there are three reasons why your circuit breakers will trip. These are overloads, short circuits, and ground fault surges. Let’s look at each one a little more closely.


Overloads are probably the most common reason as to why your power is tripping. This will occur when you put too much electrical demand onto the appliance that you’re using, or if you’ve got too many appliances running at the same time.

This increases in demand will overheat the circuit, which puts every appliance in the circuit at risk of damage.

Circuit Breaker Problem

A circuit breaker has the same capacity as the wires in the circuit. This means that if you put too much power into an appliance, then the circuit breaker will trip, to protect the wires from overheating, which would cause your appliances to break, or even catch fire.

If you find that your circuit breakers are constantly tripping, then there’s a good chance that you’re putting too much power into the circuit. To fix this problem, rearrange your appliances or upgrade your setup to accommodate for this demand in power.

a washing machine heating element

Short Circuits

Short circuits are dangerous. They happen when a live wire meets a neutral wire in your electrical outlet. Alternatively, a short circuit may occur if there is a fault in the wiring of the appliance or the plug that connects it to the mains.

When a short circuit occurs, resistance will be overridden, causing too much current to flow through the circuit. This overheats the circuit, which causes the breaker to trip, to stop a fire from breaking out. If you think you’ve had a short circuit, then check the breaker. If there’s a burning smell, or any discolouration, then this is a good indicator that there has been a short circuit.

Ground Fault Surges

If a live wire touches a copper ground wire, then this will cause an excess flow of electricity. This sudden surge in electricity will overload the circuit, causing the power to trip. This can also occur if a part of the metal outlet box touches the copper wire. Ground fault surges can be very dangerous and will often occur frequently.

If you’re having problems with ground fault surges, then call a professional immediately. They’ll have the equipment and the experience to deal with the problem in the safest way possible. If you try to deal with the issue without the correct equipment, you could be seriously hurt.

So, there are three main reasons why your power is tripping. If any of these are occurring in your home, then don’t hesitate to call a professional. Electricity is dangerous, and you don’t want to be putting your life at risk. Having a professional solve the problem will save you a lot of time and hassle down the line.

6 Reasons Your Washing Machine is Tripping Power

There are seven main reasons why your washing machine is tripping power. These are: The motor is wet or has gone out of commission, leaks, the timer is broken, the safety locks have failed, the control switch malfunctioned, and the drain pump is damaged.

1. Motor Is Wet or Out of Commission

If your washing machine’s motor ever becomes damaged or broke, then you’re going to notice a lot of problems, primarily a circuit break. There are many reasons why your motor may become damaged.

For example, your washing machine could be old. This could cause your washing machine to be unable to draw appropriate power, which means the motor will have to spin at a faster rate to compensate for the lack of power.

Ultimately, this means that there will be too much heat on the coils, potentially causing motor damage and a circuit trip. There’s also a big possibility that your motor could get wet. If your washing machine is damaged, or a low-quality build, then water could make its way to the motor, thus causing a trip.

2. Leaks

Where there is water, there are bound to be leaks. Unfortunately, your washing machine is not immune from this annoying occurrence, and it may be the reason why your washing machine is tripping power. Leaks may occur because of clogged drain holes or loose drain holes and/or drain pumps.

If your washing machine’s hoses have been damaged, then you can expect a leak, and in turn a power trip. However, this is a very long-term problem. So, if you can address it in reasonable time, your washing machine will be fixable, and you won’t have to go to the trouble of sorting out your washing machine and the power issues it will bring.

Washing machines can also leak electricity, via the heating element. This can cause power trips just as easily as water leaks, so you should keep an eye on your heating element too.

washing machine wires

3. The Timer is Broken

A washing machine’s timer is a vital part of the machine. It coordinates all of the machine’s functions, so if it breaks or malfunctions, you can expect some pretty serious problems. One possible outcome of a faulty timer is that the timer could prolong cycles, which could trigger a trip, as the motor will draw too much power.

Some washing machines may also face the issue of the timer’s wiring melting, thus causing a short circuit. This will only happen in some brands, and is very rare, but you can’t rule it out as a possibility when determining why your washing machine is tripping power. If the timer malfunctions, your whole washing machine could break.

For instance, the motors could become overloaded, and melting and leaks could occur as a result. As such, it’s important that you check your washing machine’s timer is working on a regular basis, in order to prevent these issues happening.

4. The Safety Locks Have Failed

If the safety locks fail, then they’re likely to cause a short circuit. But why would your safety locks fail in the first place? Well, the main reason would be if your local electricity has been cut off. If this happens, your safety lock could get stuck.

This state of being stuck will either cause a short circuit or allow your soap or detergent to get to the electrics. You may also find that poor wiring within the door assembly can cause short circuits. This is down to the loose connections within the door.

5. The Control Switch Malfunctioned

This is one of the more uncommon reasons why your washing machine may be tripping power. Control switches that measure water levels are found in almost every washing machine and can cause short circuits.

This is because the switches have the job of directing power to any mechanism that needs it. If the control switches suddenly malfunction, your washing machine may draw too much power, or even try to send electricity to send current to multiple parts of the machine at once. Both actions will cause the breaker to trip.

You can get your control switch’s fixed by a mechanic, and it should be cheaper than getting a new washing machine, provided that no other parts are damaged.

6. The Drain Pump is Damaged

The drain pump, as its name suggests, is what is responsible for removing any excess water from the washing machine. If the drain pump gets damaged, then it may become unable to fulfil these tasks. This will lead to leaks, which as we’ve previously discussed, can cause all kinds of havoc on your washing machine.

Alternatively, your drain pump may just be blocked, which can cause similar issues with leaks. Luckily, this is much easier to fix than actual damage to the drainpipes.


Overall, there are several reasons why power trips. The most common reason when it comes to washing machines is short circuiting. Your washing machine will short circuit for several reasons, but the overriding cause is when too much power is sent to your washing machine.

If you find that your washing machine is tripping power, it’s best to call a professional to help. Unless you’re comfortable and experienced in dealing with electricity, it’s best to leave the repairs in the hands of someone who’ll be able to fix the issue without putting anyone’s safety at risk.

About the Author: AJ

Ever since the birth of my son (also called AJ!), doing the washing has become a big part of my life. WashingHelp.co.uk was created to provide tips, guides and recommendations to make life that little bit easier.