How To Fix A Washer Timer - Washing Machine Repair
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How To Repair A Washing Machine Timer

About this repair:

  • Rated as EASY
  • 2530 repair stories
  • 6 step by step videos

Lid Switch

When a washer’s top lid is open, the motor circuit will not operate. This safety feature is crucial to preventing serious injuries, and you ought not to bypass it. If your lid switch is broken, the timer won’t operate either, and repair is in order. Start by finding the lid switch, which is normally located beneath the main top. A pin or lever attached to the lid will activate the switch when the lid is closed. Unplug the washer and see if the switch is tripped by a lever or actuator when the lid shuts. Remove the wires from the switch and use your multi-meter to check for electrical continuity. If the switch is not supplying power to the timer circuits then you will want to replace it. If the switch has continuity after all, then you’ll need to check the timer, and the rest of the components in this section to pinpoint the problem.

Timer & Timer Motor

The timer and its motor are logical places to examine when the timer is stuck. The timer consists of an array of electrical contacts run by a cam assembly, itself in turn powered by a timer motor. Unplug the washer, use your model’s wiring schematic to find the terminals in the timer that control the timer motor, and use your multi-meter to check them. Then check the timer motor itself for electrical continuity. However, if you need a replacement timer motor, you will likely have to buy a whole timer, since the motor isn’t usually sold separately.

Water Level Control

The timer motor, which advances the timer, receives its signal to start up from the water level switch. That signal comes when the tub has filled enough to trip the water level switch. So if your washer is filling with water but the timer is not advancing, it would be logical to make sure the water level switch is sending the electric signal to the timer when the tub is full. You can observe the cycle of your machine, and when the tub’s filled and you hear the water inlet valve shut off, unplug the washer. Find the water level switch behind the main control console that has the dials, buttons, or knobs used for choosing a cycle. Then remove the correct wires and check the terminals of the water level switch for continuity, using a wiring schematic for your washer model to find the terminals that control the timer, and your multi-meter.

Timer Knob & Dial & Skirt

When the timer proceeds along a cycle, the dial or knob of the timer on the control panel turns because it’s connected to the timer’s shaft. On some models, you start a cycle by pulling the knob of the timer, since that starts a switch within the timer. Your plastic timer knob could be worn or cracked with age and use and then it may not turn with the timer shaft the way it ought to. When that happens the knob won’t turn easily to choose a cycle and it won’t rotate along with the timer shaft to show which part of the cycle the machine is engaged in. There are a few variables in removing the knob in order to replace it. If your timer knob has a skirt or dial surrounding it, push the timer knob in and unthread the knob by turning it counterclockwise. On some washers, there’s a plastic cap in the middle of the knob. You’ll need to pop the cap off to get to the fastener that holds the knob on. And there are some washer models that have a retaining shaft behind the timer itself that you’ll need to release to remove the knob. If there’s a retaining clip made of metal on the shaft of the timer, take that off too when replacing the knob.

Drain Pump

Water is taken out of your washing machine when the wash and rinse cycles are over by a drain pump. A failure in the drain pump would result in the failure of the machine to proceed to the next cycle, because the machine would not be getting the signal that the tub is empty. So if the problem is that your washer is not moving on at the end of wash time or rinse time, check if the pump is actually removing the water. If you have an electronically controlled washing machine, there may be a fault code displayed, which you can decode using our fault-code glossary.

Water Inlet Valve

Water comes into your washing machine for the wash and rinse cycles through the water inlet valve. So a stall at the wash or rinse cycle could be a result of a broken water inlet valve or an obstruction in the hoses that bring the water in. Unplug the washer, disconnect the inlet hoses, and check that they are clear and unkinked, and that their filtering screens aren’t gummed up. Then use a multi-meter to verify that the solenoids to open the valve don’t have open circuits. If your washer passes these tests then the next step is to call in a service technician to measure the voltage coming into the solenoids when the cycle of the washer is on fill. Perhaps there is no voltage coming into the valve, which means the electrical process is being halted somewhere else in the machine, like the water level switch, the timer, the lid switch, or the cycle selector switch.

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