laundry basket filled with freshly dried clothes in front of a dryer with an opened door

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Washing machines have various cycles, all of which are controlled by a timer. The timer’s job is to tell the washing machine how long to stay on each part of the wash cycle and when to advance to the next step in the cycle. When the timer is broken, the washing machine may fail to cycle properly, resulting in clothes that are not clean or too wet. 

How do you know if your washer’s timer is broken or if there is a different problem with your washing machine? It can be difficult to narrow down the culprit, but here’s what to look for if the timer is at fault. 

Signs of a Faulty Washing Machine Timer

The following signs indicate that your washer’s timer may be broken: 

  • Cycle not advancing. If you’ve started a load of laundry, and the cycle seems to be longer than usual, the timer may be at fault. It may be stuck on the wash cycle or spin cycle and keep repeating itself until you manually turn the timer knob to the next step in the cycle. Even turning the knob may not advance your washing cycle. 
  • The lid or door is locked shut. Another sign of a timer issue is when the lid or door stays locked shut. During certain parts of the cycle the door locks to prevent water from leaking out. This indicates that the washer is not advancing past one of the cycles that locks the door. 
  • Washer stops completely. Timer issues could cause the washer to stop mid cycle. You may open the lid to find water still in the machine, indicating that it is not done, but it isn’t running either. 

What Causes Washer Timer Problems?

Washer timer issues can be caused by a few different things. The primary cause is that the electrical contacts within the timer are not meeting together, which prevents the washer from moving to the next part of the cycle. It could also be that the motor itself that is supposed to turn the timer knob is broken.

Other Potential Problems

In some cases the problem may not be with the timer. The lid or door locking mechanism is another possible cause. If the locking mechanism is broken, the signal to the timer that it is safe to proceed to the next part of the cycle will not go through. The timer will not move on if it cannot sense that the door/lid is effectively locked shut. 

How to Troubleshoot the Washer Timer 

If you have the mechanical or technical knowledge to attempt to fix your washing machine timer, here are the steps to take: 

  1. Unplug your washer from the outlet. 
  2. Inspect the timer mechanism for any corrosion or other causes of malfunction. 
  3. Check the door or lid lock switch to make sure it is latching correctly and that nothing is in the way to prevent it from locking. 
  4. Inspect the motor for the timer to see if anything looks broken or loose. 
  5. Check over the rest of the machine overall for anything that looks off. 

If you can’t find any obvious reason for the problem, or if you need assistance from this point forward, contact an appliance repair service. 

What To Do If You Suspect The Timer is Broken

If you believe the timer or some other part of your washer is broken, call a professional appliance repair service. Appliance Repair 512 serves Austin and the surrounding area, providing reliable household appliance diagnostics and repair. Our technicians have experience with all makes and models of washing machines and we keep a wide variety of parts on hand to provide fast service. 

Call (512) 351-7624 or contact us today to learn more and schedule a service appointment.

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