How to Fix Washer That's Timer Won't Advance | Washing Machine Repair

How to Fix A Washer That's Timer Won't Advance

About this repair:

  • Rated as EASY
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Lid Switch

The lid switch is a safety feature found on most top loading washing machines. The lid switch is normally located beneath the main top with a projection on the lid or a pin attached to the lid that will actuate the switch when the lid is closed. The lid switch supplies power to the timer and motor circuits. Verify that the switch is being activated mechanically and that any levers or actuators are not damaged or sticking. If the switch is being activated but there is no power being supplied to the timer circuit then the switch may be defective. Disconnect power from the appliance and remove the wires from the switch. You can then check the switch for continuity with a multi-meter. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT bypass a lid switch as it is an important safety feature and serious injury could result.

Timer & Timer Motor

The timer is used to control all of the functions of the washer. The timer will have a series of electrical contacts that are operated by a cam assembly which is advanced by a timer motor. Some of the contacts in the timer are used to control the timer motor. If the timer on your washer will not advance, the timer or timer motor may be at fault. You can test the timer contacts for continuity with a multi-meter but you will require the electrical schematic to determine the correct terminals to check. You can also check the timer motor for continuity with the multi-meter as well. On most brands of washing machines, the timer motor is not available separately. Remove power from the appliance before attempting this test.

Water Level Control

The water level control on washing machines is used to turn the water valve on and off at the selected levels, as well as to supply power to the timer motor when the correct water level is reached. If your washer fills but the timer does not advance you may have a defective water level switch. When the water inlet valve shuts off you can then check the water level switch for continuity with a multi-meter. Remove power from the appliance first and then remove the appropriate wires from the control before performing the test. Verify the proper contacts to check with the schematic diagram.

Timer Knob & Dial & Skirt

The timer knob or dial is attached to the timer shaft and will turn as the timer advances through a cycle. The timer knob may also be used to start the cycle by pulling out on the knob which activates a switch inside the timer. The timer knob is normally made of plastic, strengthened with a keyed metal insert where it attaches to the timer shaft. Normal use can cause the knob to crack or wear and no longer turn with the timer shaft. This will make it difficult to turn the timer to the desired cycle, and will also cause the dial to not turn with the timer shaft as the cycle advances. Before replacing the timer knob or dial you should first remove power to the appliance so that you do not inadvertently start the washer. Most timer knobs will have a separate dial or skirt that is engaged by pushing in on the knob when you turn it. To remove the knob you may have to push in and turn counter clockwise to unthread the knob. Some models require that you remove a cap in the center of the knob to access a retaining clip to separate the knob and dial, while others require you to access the back of the timer body to disengage a retaining shaft that secures the knob in place. Always make sure that you remove any metal retaining clip that may be left on the timer shaft.

Drain Pump

The drain pump removes water from the washing machine tub at the end of the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. If the drain pump fails then the washer will not sense that the tub is empty and may not advance into the next portion of the cycle. If your washer stalls at the end of the wash or rinse portions of the cycle, you should check to see if the drain pump is functioning properly. Some electronic controlled models may display a fault code if this condition occurs. If your machine is flashing a fault code, you can refer to our list of common appliance fault codes to determine the source.

Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve is used to supply both hot and cold water to the washer during the fill portions of the cycle. The valve will have at least two electric solenoids that open the valve when required. If your washer does not advance through the cycle or stalls at a wash or rinse fill portion, then the water inlet valve may be at fault. You should first verify that the inlet hoses do not have any kinks or restrictions and that the inlet screens are clean. If these are ok, then you can check the continuity of the solenoids with a multi-meter. You will need to remove power from the appliance before attempting this test. If either of the solenoids is open circuit then you will have to replace the valve. If the solenoids appear to be normal, then you can check for the proper voltage to the solenoids during the fill portions of the cycle. This is a live voltage test and should only be performed by a qualified person. If no voltage is detected, then you will need to check the fill circuit components including the timer, water level switch, cycle selector switch and the lid switch.

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