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Why Are Washing Machine Timers Always Wrong? (Let’s See)

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:27 pm

It’s always an annoying experience when machines disappoint. For example, you load the washing machine during laundry, and the timer displays 50 minutes to complete the washing cycle.

And you come, and it’s not complete, so why does the washing machine timer always give the wrong time?

The washing machine timer will be wrong when it’s faulty and for some reason. These reasons can be load rebalancing, excessive drums’ suds, a bad water level switch hose, or uneven washer loading. These reasons will cause the timer to add more time to the cycle.

Do Washing Machines Have Timers?

Washing machines have timers,  but some old model washing machines don’t. New washers manufactured these days, install a timer to help the user time their laundry.

Most newer washing machines, if not all, today use an electronic timer, which is more standard than others like the mechanical timer.

If you have an electronic washing machine, they always have a timer, which can be replaced when faulty.

When making the washer’s control circuit, these manufacturing companies include a timer to it.

A timer is like the brain of the washing machine, which controls the working system of the washer.

The washing machine timer is a device with a motor, contacts, and gears to help the washing machine carry out laundry efficiently. It helps to determine a specific wash cycle,

Why Do Washing Machine Timers Lie?

Machines are not conscious; they won’t lie consciously. They don’t have a mind of their own like humans; they are just machines.

The timer may lie to you by giving wrong information because of a malfunction in the timer.

When the timer displays a time, It’s just an estimate to complete the washing cycle. However, they indeed lie when the time for a wash is exceeded.

But sometimes you might cause this issue and some faulty parts or even a lousy timer.

Why do they malfunction? Timers are electronic devices that work under harsh conditions.

Conditions such as moisture, corrosive vapors, and heat can affect its system with time.

However, there are reasons why your timers lie to you; below are some of these reasons;

#1. Load Rebalancing

This is one primary reason the washer will lie to you; the type of load the set to wash is a significant concern here.

A load rebalancing is when your washer refills up with water to try to rewash your laundry to get it clean or even.

It’s also a way for the washer to prevent your washer from excessive shaking, but this process is time and water consumption.

The washer spins as fast as possible to complete the cycle when the timer is set to a specific time.

But when you have mixed material types inside, the load sensor might activate when your cloth is still wet.

This will cause the process to continue adding more time to it.

#2. Uneven Load in The Drum

This is more like load rebalancing, but balance and add more water to the machine.

But this is quite different when you overload your laundry on one side of the drum leaving the load uneven. 

The timer tends to extend the washing cycle when water is added. To avoid this, always try to make the clothes even to create a balance.

Not only will this go beyond the time for a complete cycle, but it will cause the machine to shake inappropriately, which could damage it.

#3. Excessive Suds in The Drum

Too much soap suds in the washer will make the washer use more time to complete the cycle.

The type of soap you use can also contribute to your timer giving you wrong information.

Using a cheap detergent that doesn’t break down fast or more detergents than laundry will mean more time to wash. 

Also, if it’s not the detergent, it’s probably a blockage that won’t allow the water to exit after the wash.

With the help of the load sensor in your washing machine timer senses excess suds and brings in more water to rinse it more. 

#4. Bad Water Level Switch Hose

This depends on the sensor and how the water level switch is communicated from the timer to the washing machine.

For example, when the wash cycle needs water in the tub, it sends power to the washing machine timer-knob dial to the water inlet valve. 

When the water level switch hose is faulty, there will be confusion in the system.

For example, the water level switch might send the wrong info to the washing machine concerning the water level in the drum.

When this occurs, the washing machine will add more wash cycles, which is also wrong information for you.

#5. Bad Suspension Rods

The suspension rods help the balance of the washing machine.

However, when they are broken, it causes excessive shaking, and when the machine shakes too much, it gradually damages your washing machine.

In addition, the vibration won’t allow the washer to wash as it should, so the time meant to complete the wash will take longer.

How Do Washing Machine Timers Work?

The Timer consists of a motor, gears, and a contact that helps control the washer’s operations.

For example, the motor rotates the camshaft that activates the many switches on the timer to open and close.

When a switch closes, a specific component starts to carry out its operation timely. 

A washer’s timer is responsible for all the functions of the washing machine, more like the machine’s brain.

For example, the washing machine timer allows the filling in of the washer with water when the lid is open.

The timer on many top load washing machines controls all its wash cycles.

How Do I Know If My Washing Machine Timer Is Bad?

Indications that your washer’s timer is faulty are in the machine’s malfunctioning. It can be a missing washing cycle or any other irregularities with the device.

Also, you will have to check the cycle sequence chart for your timer model number.

Although there are many ways to know if your washing machine timer is damaged, below are some signs that your timer is faulty.

#1. Timer Works in Some Cycles

When the washer misses some cycles or does not work in some processes, it means your Timer is faulty.

A damaged timer will only work in some cycles, basically because of a contact stuck in an open position.

So when not all cycles work, your timer is bad. You can also check for continuity with your multimeter to confirm the problem.

#2. No Advancement Through its Cycles

A lousy timer will cause the washing machine to get stuck in a certain circle. You can observe the timer in front of the panel to check if it’s moving.

If you notice that the timer stays longer than the user before moving or doesn’t move, then your timer is bad.

#3. Timer Stops During a Cycle

When your washer stops mid-cycle, it’s another sign that your washing machine timer is faulty. 

Also, a worn-out camshaft contributes to a bad timer. If you can check the camshaft, it will be of more advantage.

But I will advise not using any part of the machine as it is delicate.

How Do You Reset the Timer on a Washing Machine?

To reset the timer on your washing machine, turn the washing machine off from the circuit break or the power source. Then, wait for about two minutes and turn it on again.

However, for models with a timer knob dial control, turn the knob around and back to any position and turn it back on. 

You can also do a master reset, technicians are expert and accurate in it, but you can still give it a try too.

Within 12 seconds, open and close the washing machine door six times to complete the reset.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Timer on a Washer?

Fixing a washer’s timer is quite expensive but quite affordable; an average timer fix will cost you between $100 and $300.

A new timer will cost $50-$150; repairing the timer requires experience that a normal do-it-yourself won’t work and consumes much time.

If you wish to fix it yourself, replacing it is the best option to avoid more damage from you, even technicians do the same.

However, a timer can be repaired by you since it just requires disassembling the machine to fix a new timer but not recommended. 

Repairing requires tools that only a technician typically has and can be expensive.

Because fixing requires expertise, why would you always want to buy a device you are not familiar with and won’t use.


The washing machine is reliable when it comes to delivering clean laundry. Nevertheless, see the time given by the timer as an estimate.

You can also help maintain your washer to avoid malfunctioning by washing similar items together.

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