Tip & How-To about Washing Machines

How to service a timer

Most washing machine timers are digital or mechanical. The timer controls most of the operations of the washer: water level, tub filling and emptying, length of cycles, and cycle setting sequences. For this reason, any repairs to the timer should be made by a professional service person. However, there are a couple of checks you can make when you suspect the timer is faulty.
- Unplug the washer. To access the timer, remove the control knobs and the panel that covers the controls. This may be a front panel, or access may be through a panel at the back of the unit. Carefully examine the wires that connect the timer to the other parts of the washer. If the wires are loose or disconnected, try pushing them into position; they usually fit into their terminals like plugs. Use long-nosed pliers to avoid breaking the wire connections -- never pull a wire by hand.

- To test the timer, use a VOM set to the RX1 scale. Disconnect the power leads to the timer and clip one probe of the VOM to each lead. The VOM should read zero if the timer is working. Since the timer is a multiple switch, turn it through its cycle and test each pair of terminals in turn. The meter should read zero at all of these points. If one or more readings are above zero, the timer is faulty and should be replaced.

- To replace the timer, unscrew and disconnect the old one. Install a new timer made specifically for the washing machine. If there are many wires on the timer, have a helper hold the new timer next to the old one as you work. Disconnect the old wires one at a time, connecting each corresponding new wire as you work, to make sure the connections are properly made. Or, draw a diagram showing the connections before removing the old timer. After all the wires are connected, check the connections again for correctness and screw the timer assembly into place.

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2 Answers

washing machine stops half way through the cycle


When the cycle doesn't advance, it's probably the timer or a cold-water supply problem:

  • It's the timer, if your washing machine fills with water and begins agitating, but the timer never advances--or if the washer is in a spin cycle and the timer won't advance. Then you need to replace the timer.


  • It may be a cold-water supply problem, if the washing machine fills with water, agitates, drains, and spins, but then doesn't fill with rinse water. See There's no cold water.

Aug 30, 2009 | Whirlpool AWM6100 Front Load Washer

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try replacing your water selenoid coming in. remember it isnt a mechanical timer it is a computerized timer, so if the selenoid isnt the problem, it might be the computerized timer. computers are very finicky, pain in the a- -!

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Whirlpool RSB21 possible power outage.


hi Most washing machine timers are digital or mechanical. The timer controls most of the operations of the washer: water level, tub filling and emptying, length of cycles, and cycle setting sequences. For this reason, any repairs to the timer should be made by a professional service person. 

Sep 13, 2008 | Whirlpool Gold White-on-White 21.9 cu. ft....

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the motor operates off the timer cams inside the timer. in the wash mode the agitator turns in one direction. when it calls for tub empty the motor reverses direction and actuates the pump. at this stage the tub should spin. sounds like the timer is bad for this one function. timers cost around $120. (mechanical timers)

Aug 22, 2007 | Frigidaire ATF6000ES Front Load Washer

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