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Signs & Symptoms of a Faulty Washing Machine Timer

Amy Rodriguez
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If the timer on your washing machine isn't working, the appliance will not function properly. It's important to monitor your washing machine for signs that indicate a faulty timer.

Signs & Symptoms of a Faulty Washing Machine Timer

The timer on your washing machine acts as the appliance's brain, controlling all its functions. These functions, from pumping water to spinning, must have a control box for correct timing during the washing process. If the timer is faulty, the washing machine will show signs and symptoms in different ways.

Loose Camshaft

The timer on your washing machine contains a variety of small parts that can keep your appliance from operating properly, if problems occur. For instance, a rotating camshaft within the washer activates individual contacts; it opens and closes these contacts for powering the next washing cycle. But, a faulty timer can occur from the camshaft becoming loose over time due to the washer vibrations. The electrical contacts will not be activated normally by the camshaft, halting all washer functions.


If you open your washing machine's control panel at any point, always unplug the machine's power cord.

No Advancement

A washing machine can become stuck and refuse to advance to the next cycle. A washer can also fill with water and start agitating. However, a faulty timer will cause the washer to continue on in the agitation cycle. The washer can become stuck at any time during the washing process, even during the rapid spin cycle that dries the clothes partially. Observe the timer's movement on the washer's front panel. If the timer does not visibly move for a long duration of time, you will need to replace it.

Washer Stops Completely During Cycle

The washer may begin its cycle normally but stop midway through the washing process. A normal functioning timer requires a pause between cycles, such as switching from pumping to spinning action. A faulty timer can actually skip this pause time, causing the washer to shut down completely in response.

Missing Cycles

A washer that misses or skips cycles indicates a faulty timer. In fact, this problem may be intermittent. The timer's electrical contacts may have carbon build-up, causing poor contact with the camshaft. A large build-up of carbon requires timer replacement, rather than trying to clean the contacts.

Final Considerations

It's important to monitor your washing machine for signs that indicate your timer is not working properly. A washer that skips cycles or stops during cycles could be a sign of a faulty timer. In addition, if your appliance's camshaft has become loose over time, this could result in a defective timer. In this case, you may need to simply replace your timer. Be sure to contact a professional technician for any questions you may have during this process.