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Washing Machine Timer Stops During Cycle – How To Test Washer Timer

My washer stops at the rinse cycle. I suspect that the timer is bad and I would like to know how to test it. Is this difficult to troubleshoot? The washing machine timer sticks and stops at or before the normal rinse cycle. It is a Whirlpool top load washer. A new timer for my top load washer is $150.00 dollars so I want to be sure it is bad before I replace it. Thank you for your assistance. Any kind of help to test the washer timer for proper operation is appreciated.

washer timer troubleshooting and repairWashing Machine Timer Stuck On Spin Or Rinse – How To Fix

On many top load washers, the timer controls the washers operation through all wash cycles. (The timer is what you turn to set your washer on a specific wash cycle.) The timer contains parts such as contacts, gears, and a motor which can become faulty. These parts, if defective, can keep the washing machine from operating properly. The electrical contacts can burn and stick in the open position. This makes it so the washer cannot go through its cycles properly. On some defective washing machine timers the motor can go bad. This makes it so the washer timer cannot advance therefore preventing it from going into the wash or rinse cycle.

The Washer Timer Sticks At Spin or Rinse Cycle

You will have to remove power from the washer before proceeding. We will be testing the timer for continuity with a digital multimeter to be sure it is working properly. You will need to remove the top portion of your washer to get to the timer. Once you access the timer, pull off the wiring harness. Leave the timer attached to the washer panel, no need to completely remove it. It can be tested in place as long as the wiring harness is removed. Now, to test the timer with your meter, the timer should be set to any setting except off. To be sure that the issue is a bad timer and not a bad wire harness, we need to check the timer for continuity. Turn your digital meter to Continuity Test Mode. Using your digital multimeter, check the timer for continuity through the contacts. There may be an electrical diagram on the back of your washer. This should inform you which number on the timer socket will relate to which set of contacts in the timer. If one of the contacts are bad or there is a defective motor winding, your meter will indicate an OL on your multimeter display. This means there is an issue with the timer and should be replaced.

contacts on washer timerContacts On A Washer Timer

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How To Test For Continuity Using A Meter

What is Continuity?

Continuity is the presence of a complete path for current flow. A circuit is complete when its switch is “closed”. An “open” circuit will have no continuity as there is no path for current flow.

continuity symbolContinuity Symbol

To say it in an easier way… Continuity makes sure that two points are connected electrically. If “open”, it is not connected, if “closed”, it is connected. Open means the 2 points are not connecting, Closed means the 2 points are connecting. Here is an explanation of a Continuity Test.


It is not recommended to rebuild your faulty timer. It will require special tools and takes much time. The best thing to do when you have a bad part of the timer is to replace the complete timer assembly. This will guarantee that all parts are in working order on your new timer and your WASHER STUCK ON RINSE OR WASH CYCLE will be resolved.

If you have any other suggestions or methods for testing a washer timer that sticks, please leave a comment below to assist our other readers seeking help.

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