Washing machines are a wonderful convenience when they are functioning properly. But what happens when they act up by adding more time to your wash cycles?
There are a few reasons why this may be happening to you. Thankfully, you can try a few helpful tips to see if they restore your washing machine to its normal function.
From excessive suds in the drum to a damaged water level switch, a lot can go wrong and cause your washing machine to keep adding more time on the timer. Start with the easiest solution and work your way up as you attempt to resolve this anomaly.
Why Washing Machine Keeps Adding Time
Excessive Suds in the Drum
What is it: Soap suds are a normal part of your washing machine’s wash cycles. However, too many suds aren’t normal and often means there’s another problem that needs to be remedied.
If your washing machine is leaving behind an excess amount of suds, it can leave your clothes improperly washed.
As such, you are likely going to have to wash your clothes all over again.
Excessive suds actually prevent your clothes from getting a thorough wash by preventing your clothes from scrubbing against each other.
This action is what gets your clothes cleaned during the wash cycle.
If you own an up-to-date washing machine, it is likely to have sensors in it that serve to monitor the amount of suds within the unit’s drum.
If your washing machine’s sensors detect that there are too many suds inside after a wash, it will kick in more rinses until the suds are completely washed away.
While this is a great feature to have, it ultimately uses more water than what’s needed.
This is why you want to make doubly sure that your washing machine isn’t leaving behind too many suds.
Why it fails: Oftentimes, using too much detergent is the cause of excessive suds in your washing machine’s drum.
It can also happen when you use a cheap detergent that doesn’t break down properly during the wash cycle.
More serious reasons related to excessive suds could be due to a blockage somewhere in your system.
This is indeed a rarity, though, as the clog would need to be small enough to allow water to flow through it but big enough to keep water from exiting the drum.
How to fix: Try using only the recommended amount of detergent to see if this solves your excessive suds issue.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to move on to more in-depth tests.
You should check your water’s hardness properties to ensure that it isn’t softer than that you think it is. This can result in you getting more suds than expected.
If you are using anti-lime-scale solutions in your wash, you should cease doing so.
This can cause your water to become softer than necessary and make your suds more excessive than expected.
Uneven Load in the Drum
What is it: When your washing machine’s drum is loaded with clothes, it should spin properly, complete its wash cycle without issue, and rinse and drain all of the suds.
If the clothes aren’t loaded evenly, however, your washing machine will attempt to distribute what it thinks is sufficient washing by refilling the drum with water again and again.
Why it fails: Loading your washing machine with too many items on one side of the drum will often result in your wash cycles taking longer than necessary.
This cycle can continue, each time adding more time than it usually takes to wash your clothes.
Not only does this cause you great inconvenience, but it also increases your water and energy bills.
How to fix: Try loading your clothes evenly the next time you do a wash. You want to make sure that all “sides” of the drum have equal weight.
An improperly balanced drum can cause your washing machine to rock violently throughout its wash cycles.
Not only will it take longer to wash your clothes and increase your utility expenses, but it can cause a lot of damage to your washing machine, as well.
Water Level Switch Hose Damaged
What is it: The water level switch is responsible for sending power from your washing machine’s timer control to its water inlet valve and temperature switch when the tub needs to be filled with water for a wash cycle.
The water level switch hose is responsible for removing the water from the drum after a wash cycle is complete. This wastewater is then sent to the drain hose for removal in the waste stack.
A faulty or damaged water level switch hose can wreak all kinds of havoc in your washing machine, namely, extended or endless wash cycles.
Why it fails: Any abrasions on the water level switch hose can cause the washing machine to get improper information regarding how much water is left remaining in the drum.
As such, it will think that more wash cycles are needed since it isn’t clear how much water is left in the drum.
As you can imagine, can quickly lead to excessive use of water and power. Plus, it’s putting unnecessary strain on your washing machine that could shorten its lifespan.
How to fix: Locate your water level switch hose and closely inspect it for damage. If there is nothing readily visible by the naked eye, take the hose to a sink and run water through it.
Do you see any water dripping out of the length of the hose? If so, you have a faulty water level switch hose and need to replace it.
You could potentially patch it, but this isn’t likely to last. Your best bet is getting a replacement and calling it a day.
Suspension Rods Are Worn Out
What is it: The suspension rods within a washing machine help to dampen the drum’s movement. This also helps to keep your washing machine balanced while it’s in action.
Why it fails: If any of your washing machine’s suspension rods become broken, your unit will unnecessarily vibrate or shake.
This isn’t good for your washing machine for several reasons. One, it often results in additional wash cycles.
As we’ve discussed, this means paying out more expenses than needed in the form of your utility bills.
Another big problem is that if the suspension rods aren’t doing their job, your washing machine can become damaged after prolonged shaking.
If your suspension rods become an issue, it’s important to fix or replace them right away so as to avoid further damage and cost.
How to fix: Lay down the washer on its face or side. On the bottom of the unit, you will see the springs that make up the suspension rods.
A great trick you can try is to take a garden hose and cut 8 small pieces that measure about 2 inches long.
When you have all of the pieces ready, cut them down the side so that they open.
Next, you want to wrap 2 of the pieces around each of the 4 suspension rods. Finally, use small zip-ties to secure the garden hose around the rods.
This should resolve the excessive cycling issue and re-stabilize your washing machine. If you’d rather not mess with this, you can always buy replacement suspension rods.
Vibration Sensor (RPS sensor) Malfunction
What is it: A wash error can occur when the RPS sensor malfunctions. This helps keep your washing machine stabilized during its wash cycles.
Why it fails: Oftentimes, a problem with the wire harness can cause this sensor to act up and keep your washing machine thinking it needs to complete unfinished wash cycles.
How to fix: Before attempting any examinations, unplug your washing machine from the power outlet.
Wait a few minutes and plug it back in to see if this reset your timing issue.
If not, examine the wiring and lower wiring harness from the board to where it plugs into the RPS sensor.
You want to make sure that the wires look healthy and that none are physically damaged.
Whenever an RPS sensor goes bad, your best bet is to replace it altogether. You can use a multimeter to run a diagnostic on the sensor and main control board.
But again, any time there is a faulty RPS sensor, you should have it replaced with a new one. A wiring issue may be able to be resolved with the proper wiring diagram.
You may need to contact your washing machine’s manufacturer or check online for a wiring diagram that corresponds to your washing machine model.
Once you have located the wiring diagram, you may be able to fix your RSP sensor’s wiring and wiring harness.
Washing machines are great when they work but can be quite troubling when sensors and other components start acting up.
Take the time to go through each of the steps outlined above as you attempt to resolve your timing issue.
If your washing machine continues to add time to your wash cycles after you have exhausted the above tips, contact the manufacturer of your washing machine to see if it can be repaired.