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Washer Stuck on a Step: Troubleshooting & How to Fix

For the most part, washers are able to get their assigned job done without too much fuss or interruption, but there are still times where these machines are going to encounter issues. IF you have a washer and it is stuck on a step, how can it be fixed?

If your washer is stuck on a step, troubleshooting methods to fix the machine include, canceling the cycle, pausing the cycle while it is draining for 20 minutes and seeing if the washer resets itself, and checking if the water inlet valve is the issue by pulling power and seeing if water rises.

Man fixing the washing machine

There are few moments as frustrating as walking into your laundry room and realizing that your washing machine hasn’t completed its cycle. Whether it has gotten stuck at the moment where the drum fills, or the water did not drain completely, or it has not finished its spin cycle to rid clothes of excess water, a solution has to be found quickly. If you are in need of troubleshooting methods for your washer, take a look below to find your problem and a solution to match.

Washer Stuck: How to Fix

Man fixing the washing machine

It is important to note that every washer is going to have a different system and build that could potentially separate the repair method from another brand. However, there are general troubleshooting methods that have been known to work across multiple brands, and this is what will be discussed within this article. Therefore, if your washer is stuck on a step, take a look below to find the most common and effective troubleshooting method to fix the machine.

If your washer is stuck on a step, the most common and effective troubleshooting method to fix the device is to simply cancel the cycle. This process will vary depending on the washer brand you own, but once the cycle is canceled, you can then try to restart it once again.

By canceling the cycle, the motor in your washer will be reset and if you are experiencing only a minor issue, this can cause the washer to get back on track as far as function goes. The only time to avoid this method is if you have a washer full of water that has not drained. If you cancel the cycle and it does not drain, the drum will fill with even more excess water which will cause the drum to overflow and will result in a flood within the area you are washing.

Washer Stuck on Drain

Man fixing the washing machine

Draining is essential when it comes to washing, as all the dirty water that your clothes have been washed in is taken away and your items are washed of any leftover residues. Without this draining step, your items would simply remain in their own washing water and they would be so drenched that they would have to be rung out by hand before attempting to dry in a dryer or hang on a line. If your washer is stuck on drain, what can be done to fix this issue?

If your washer is stuck on drain, pause the cycle when it is in the middle of drain mode and allow at least 20 minutes for it to exit out of the flood mode that the washer is likely stuck in. Once this time has passed, your washer should move forward with the next step on its own.

If the washer does not exit out of flood mode after 20 minutes and is still trying to drain with no water in the drum, a problem could exist within the control board. When a washer continually tries to drain after troubleshooting methods have been employed, this is an indication that the relay within the washer is stuck. If this is the case, the main relay control board might need to be replaced, which will require a professional to complete.

Washer Stuck on Fill

Man fixing the washing machine

When your washer won’t drain, you are dealing with a problem that seems mostly manageable. However, if you notice that your washer is stuck on fill, this is an issue that can bring on catastrophic results, especially if your washer fills to the point that it is overflowing. If your washer is stuck on fill and you notice that the water does not cut off at the point it has been set to cut off at, read on to see what might be the cause of this problem.

If your washer is stuck on fill, it could be the water inlet valve that is at fault. To see if this is the problem, when the washer is in the fill stage, unplug the washer from power and see if it continues to fill. If the water continues to rise, this means that the water inlet valve is the issue.

The water inlet valve is what is used to fill up your washer during each fill and rinse cycle and to moderate the level of water in your washer, it is controlled by a pressure switch that stops the water once it reaches a certain point. However, if you unplug your washer and the water stops rising, it is not a problem that exists with the water inlet valve. This is an indication that the issue exists within the electrical control circuit which moderates the inlet valve.

Washer Stuck on Lock

Man fixing the washing machine

Your washing machine may be able to get through a washing cycle without any problem, but when you go to unload the load it has washed, you may be met with a door that will not unlock. When washers are in the middle of a cycle, the door will lock and stay locked until the cycle has completed, which is when the door should automatically unlock. If your washer door is stuck on lock and you cannot get it to open, continue reading to see what can be done.

If your washer is stuck on lock, the lock mechanism could be the root of the issue. Before inspecting this part, unlock the door by finding the manual release on your washer. For most models, the release will either be right below the door lock or within the soap dispenser.

Once you find the manual release, you will then need to inspect the door lock. To do this, be sure to unplug the washer from power and find the door lock on your machine to which you will thoroughly clean the lock and inspect it for any damage. If you notice any cracks or warping on the lock, the lock will need to be replaced, as this locking issue will continue to occur until the piece has been replaced with one that is not defective.

Washer Stuck on Rinse

Man fixing the washing machine

There are a few different fill and rinse cycles for most washers, as this process is what helps to rid your items of dirt and debris, but also ensures that any leftover residue is rinsed and drained of your clothes before they need to dry. This sanitization step is essential, but rinsing the items in your washer is not something that needs to reoccur over and over during a cycle. If your washer is stuck on rinse, what can be done to get it out of this continual loop?

If your washer is stuck on rinse, this could be due to the washer being overloaded. If you have too large of a load in your washer, it will stay on the rinse cycle to prevent any damage that could potentially occur when the washer begins to rotate for the spinning cycle.

To resolve this problem, pause the cycle and unload a few items from the washer, then restart the cycle and see if the washer gets out of the rinse cycle and begins spinning your items. If this is not the problem, the drive belt could be the issue. Inspect the drive belt within the washer to see if it has any damage, is loose, or has completely broken and if it has, then the items need to be replaced so your washer can get out of the drain cycle.

Washer Stuck on Sensing

Man fixing the washing machine

A great feature to many washing machines is their ability to sense the contents within their drum and fill the drum accordingly. This helps to reduce water waste and also helps to keep the guessing out of how much water owners think should go with the load they have inserted into the machine. If your washer will not get out of this mode and will thus not begin to fill and start the washing cycle, what can be done to get the machine out of this standstill?

If your washer is stuck on sensing, it could be that the washer simply needs to be reset. To do this, unplug it from power and allow it to sit for at least one minute before plugging it back in. Once this is done, restart the cycle and see if your washer will progress past sensing.

If it will not, then the problem might exist within various parts. These may include the water inlet valve, as it is used to sense how much water to fill the washer with, it could be a malfunction in the motor shift actuator, or the inlet valve tap may be in the ‘Off’ position. These issues will require different troubleshooting methods, but can be determined by either using your machine’s user manual or calling a hired professional to inspect your machine.

Washer Stuck on Spin

Man fixing the washing machine

A washer that is filling continuously with water is a major issue, but just as big of a problem is a washer that will not stop spinning. This may not be a problem in the same way for your home that an overflowing washer might be, but a washer that will not stop spinning can be incredibly hard on the washer itself. If you have a washer that is stuck on spin, take a look below to see what you need to do to stop it and get it working again as it should.

If your washer is stuck on spin, you want to first unplug the machine so that the spinning will stop and your motor will be preserved. Once off, locate the control panel, disassemble it, then use a multimeter to test the timer within it. If it is not working, it needs to be replaced.

The most likely reason for a washer that is stuck on spin mode is that the timer has gone out, however, if you want to try to reset your washer, this may also help to get it out of this spinning mode. As previously noted, you can reset your washer generally by unplugging it for 60 seconds, but if you would like to have a more model-specific reset, consult the user manual to see what it suggests to complete a reset.

If your washer is stuck on a step, troubleshooting methods to fix the machine include, inspecting the door lock for any residue build-up or damage, confirming that the washer has not been overloaded with items, and using a multimeter to test if the timer within the control panel is working.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 24, 2021.

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