Resetting Washing Machine Timer (Step by step guide)

Washing machines, an indispensable part of modern households, often come with complex timers ensuring our laundry cycles run smoothly.

However, sometimes these timers can go crazy, necessitating a reset.

Whether you’ve experienced a power outage or noticed your washing machine digital timer stuck, understanding the complexities of your machine’s timer can be crucial.

In this guide we will deep dive into the why, how, and what of resetting washing machine timers, covering both mechanical washing machine timer and electronic washing machine timer systems.

Why would you need to reset your washing machine timer?

The washing machine timer is the brain behind your laundry cycle, guiding the machine through each step, from water intake to spinning.

But like any appliance, issues can arise that necessitate a reset.

Here are some common reasons why resetting the washing machine timer becomes necessary:

Interruptions in Power Supply

Power outages or surges can disrupt the washing machine cycle.

Post such events, you might notice your washing machine’s digital timer stuck.

Resetting helps the machine resume operations smoothly.

Timer Stalling

It’s frustrating when the washing machine timer is not advancing, causing the machine to stall mid-cycle.

This can happen due to minor glitches or malfunctions, and resetting can often remedy it.

Unresponsive Controls

Sometimes, buttons or knobs don’t respond as expected, in cases where you’re unable to start a cycle or make selections, resetting the timer can help address these electronic hitches.

Cycle Customization

You might want to manually control or adjust your laundry cycle based on the load or fabric type.

To do this, resetting allows you to stop the current cycle and select a new one, whether it’s to reset the washing machine timer mid-cycle or at the beginning.

Preventive Maintenance

Periodically resetting your timer can serve as a simple maintenance step, ensuring that the electronic systems are refreshed and reducing the chances of future hitches.

Accidental Cycle Selection

Mistakenly chosen the wrong cycle? Instead of waiting for it to finish, a quick reset allows you to correct your selection and save time.

Resetting the timer, therefore, isn’t always about fixing problems.

It’s also about taking control of your laundry, ensuring the best care for your clothes, and optimizing the use of your washing machine.

How to reset your washing machine timer?

Resetting a washing machine timer may seem challenging, but with the right knowledge and procedures, it becomes fairly straightforward.

Here’s how you can reset different types of washing machine timers:

Reset Mechanical timers

Mechanical timers are typically found in older washing machines and utilize a knob for cycle control.

To reset the mechanical timer in a washing machine:

Locate the Timer Knob: On the washing machine’s control panel, you’ll find a prominent knob, usually labeled with different cycle names or numbers.

Turn Clockwise: Gently rotate the knob clockwise until it comes to a stop, this action ensures you’ve reached the cycle’s endpoint.

Select Desired Cycle: Now, turn the knob counterclockwise to your desired laundry cycle.

Initiate the Cycle: Once set, press the start button to begin your selected cycle.

Reset Electronic timers

Modern washing machines predominantly feature electronic timers with digital displays and buttons.

Here’s how you can reset the electronic timers in the washing machine:

Disconnect Power: Safety first, unplug the washing machine from its power source. Consider shutting off the circuit breaker or unplugging the washer for 2 minutes. This action often helps in cases where the washing machine’s digital timer is stuck.

Use the Reset Button: Some electronic washing machines come equipped with a specific reset button on the control panel. If yours does, pressing this button should reset the timer.

Button Combination: For some models, you might need to press a combination of buttons to reset the timer. This combination varies across brands and models.

Consult the Manual: Due to the diverse range of electronic timers in the market, the best advice is to refer to your washing machine’s owner’s manual. This document provides specific reset instructions tailored to your machine. If you’ve misplaced your physical manual, manufacturer websites usually offer digital versions.

Benefits of resetting your washing machine timer

Resetting a washing machine timer isn’t just about addressing a glitch, it can offer a host of advantages that can enhance the efficiency and longevity of your appliance:

Resolve Timer Malfunctions

Just like how a computer occasionally needs a restart, washing machines might face timer issues.

For instance, if you find your washing machine timer not advancing, a quick reset can solve such malfunctions, ensuring your machine runs smoothly.

Optimize Cycle Times

Whether it’s a set of curtains or daily wear, not all laundry requires the same cycle duration.

Resetting allows you to tailor your washing machine cycle settings, permitting shorter times for lighter loads and longer ones for dirtier laundry.

Address Unresponsive Controls

Electronic glitches happen, should your washing machine’s controls become unresponsive, a timer reset can act as a system reboot, reinstating the machine’s proper function.

Reset After Interruption

Unexpected events, like power outages, can interrupt a cycle mid-way.

Instead of starting from scratch, resetting the timer helps the machine pick up from where it was halted, ensuring efficiency and saving both time and resources.

What to do if the washing machine timer is not getting reset?

A washing machine timer that refuses to reset can be a dilemma, especially when you’re in the middle of a laundry day.

Before you resort to professional help, here are some steps you can take to potentially address the issue the timer related issue:

Power Check

Begin by ensuring that the washing machine is correctly plugged in and powered on.

It might seem rudimentary, but occasionally, power cords can get inadvertently unplugged or switches might not be in the ‘on’ position.

Attempt a Timer Reset Again

Sometimes, all it takes is a little persistence, try resetting the timer once more using the appropriate steps for your machine type, whether it’s mechanical or electronic.

If your washer has a mechanical timer, turn the knob and decrease the timer to zero and then turn off the washer.

Wait for a minute or two and then restart the washer followed by setting the timer according to the requirements.

Do a hard reset

Turn off the washer and unplug the power cord from the power socket.

Wait for about 5 minutes, plug the power cord back into the power socket, and start the washer.

Next, try performing the regular tasks and see if the washer works as usual.

Refer to the Owner’s Manual

If the timer remains unresponsive, your washing machine’s owner’s manual can be an invaluable resource.

It will likely contain troubleshooting steps specific to your model and provide insights into potential issues and solutions.

Washing machine timer stuck? Fixing a timer that won’t advance

When your washing machine timer refuses to move forward, it can disrupt the entire washing cycle.

Here are some checks and solutions to consider:

Check Lid Switch

Most washing machines are designed with a safety mechanism that prevents them from operating when the lid or door is open.

If the lid switch is faulty, it could mistakenly keep the timer from advancing, therefore, ensure that the switch is in working order and replace it if needed.

Check the Timer Knob & Dial

It might be a simple matter of a worn-out knob or dial that’s not engaging the timer mechanism properly.

Inspect for any physical damages or misalignments and consider replacing them if they look worn or damaged.

Water Level Control Switch

If the water level control switch malfunctions, it could confuse the timer, thinking the tub hasn’t filled or drained when it has.

Examine the switch for any faults and rectify them as necessary.

Check the Washer Timer Switch

Recognizable signs of a faulty timer switch include missing cycles, stalling mid-cycle, or the timer not advancing.

Here’s a step-by-step process to examine the timer switch in the washing machine:

  • Disconnect and Expose: For safety, disconnect the washer from the wall outlet and remove the control console to gain access to the timer.
  • Inspect Timer Contacts: Carefully inspect the timer contacts, burnt or damaged contacts can indicate a faulty timer.
  • Use a Volt-Ohm Meter: Set the meter to RX1 and test the timer contacts for continuity by referring to the cycle sequence chart either from your owner’s manual or inside the washer control console.

Also Read: How to replace the washing machine timer switch?

Inspect the Drain Pump

If your washing machine’s rinse cycle is problematic, it could be because of issues within the drain pump.

So, ensure it’s functioning optimally and that it’s not clogged.

Check the Water Inlet Valve

A malfunctioning water inlet valve can hamper the rinse cycle, therefore, it’s extremely important to ensure that the valve is allowing water to flow correctly.

Also, check for any clogs or damages and consider replacement if required.

Seek Professional Assistance

If the above steps fail and the washing machine timer reset button or method doesn’t work, it might be time to call in the experts.

Contact a qualified technician who can diagnose the issue and offer appropriate solutions.

Can the Washing Machine Timer be repaired?

Yes, a washing machine timer can be repaired, though the feasibility often depends on the severity of the damage and the model of your machine.

Timers, being essential components of the washing process, play a crucial role in controlling various cycles.

Thus, when they malfunction, the repercussions can affect the overall functionality of the washing machine.

When considering a repair, one crucial aspect that must be considered is the “washing machine timer repair cost”.

While costs can vary depending on your geographic location, the brand, and the model of your machine, a general estimate is that the cost for the part itself can start at around $60.

However, if the repair is more extensive, the costs might escalate to $500 or even more.

This upper range typically accounts for labor charges, especially if you’re employing the expertise of a seasoned technician and the nature of damage to the timer.

If you’re unsure about whether to proceed with a repair or replacement, it’s always a good idea to get a clear picture of potential expenses.

In order to do so, reach out to local repair professionals who can inspect the timer and provide you with a precise cost assessment.

This way, you can make an informed decision on whether a repair is cost-effective or if a replacement might be a more economical long-term solution.

Average Washing Machine Timer Replacement Cost

The average washing machine timer replacement cost can vary depending on the brand, size of the washer, geographic location, and the type of washer, but on average, for a new timer, prices tend to start at about $60.

Depending on the specific model and brand of your machine be it Whirlpool, Samsung, LG Electronics, or others, the timer cost can rise to $100 or more.

Always ensure that the replacement part is compatible with your washing machine model.

Furthermore, when budgeting for a replacement, factor in potential labor costs if you’re not going the DIY route.

Final Thoughts

Understanding and maintaining your washing machine’s timer is crucial for efficient laundry cycles.

Whether you’re resetting, troubleshooting, or weighing the washing machine timer repair cost, being well-informed aids in timely and cost-effective decisions.

Ensuring proactive care and timely interventions will prolong your machine’s lifespan and make laundry days hassle-free.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)