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This could be a faulty on / off switch. A dead washing machine is often caused by the door interlock not being activated properly by the door catch or failing (unless the fuse has gone) but if switching the washer on and off sometimes gets it going for a second, there could be a dodgy connection inside the on/off switch.

It should be a double pole switch. This means it turns off the live and the neutral. With the washing machine unplugged, have a look to see if there is any evidence of melting on the switch or any of the wires that connect to it. This would indicate a faulty connection inside and a new switch would be required although it's possible for these signs to be present but the switch is not yet faulty. To properly diagnose a faulty on off switch you need to test it with a continuity test meter.

More - washing machine is dead or won't start

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