Whirlpool washer stuck on sensing. Reasons and ways of repair

Many modern Whirlpool washing machines have a built-in laundry weighing function. When you start a new wash cycle, the appliance detects the load on the drum. Depending on this, the system understands how much water is needed for a certain mass of things. This feature saves resources when the drum is not fully loaded.

The reading phase lasts 2-3 minutes. If the process takes longer than expected, this indicates one of the following problems with:

  • inlet valve;
  • gear change drive;
  • drive motor;
  • main control board.

Diagnosing this problem is difficult if you do not have elementary ideas about the design of a washing machine. This guide will help you understand the topic a bit: understand what parts are involved, why they fail, and how you can fix the washing machine.

Whirlpool washer repair

Inlet valve for water

What it does: Controls the flow of clean water into the washing machine. It is a mechanical element with moving parts. The valve opens when it receives power. As soon as there is enough water in the drum, the washing machine will signal the inlet valve to close, and the flow of liquid will be blocked. This mechanism prevents the washing machine from overflowing and flooding the floor.

What happens in case of malfunction: The drum takes too long to fill with water. It is likely that the process is suspended at the stage of touch reading and determining the load level, so the selected washing program does not start.

What can be problems with the intake valve:

  • Dirt has accumulated around mechanical parts or corrosion has appeared on their surface. This prevents the moving parts from opening fully and slows down the filling process.
  • Sufficient voltage is not applied to the part. This is due to a wiring problem. With constant voltage drops, the valve fails.

How to solve the problem: Unfortunately, the part cannot be repaired. If the valve is rusty, too dirty, or stops working altogether, it needs to be replaced. The part is located inside the washing machine on the back side. First, unscrew the screws that hold the valve, then disconnect the electrical wires and water supply hoses. Install a new part in the same place and repeat the above steps in reverse order.

Gear change drive (actuator)

What it does: Helps the machine move to the next stage of the wash. This part is equipped with a small electric motor, which is responsible for switching modes. The actuator also has an optical sensor that controls the position and speed of the transfer in the Whirlpool washing machine.

What happens when the shifter fails: Your wash stops at the stage of determining the load level. This can happen due to a mechanical or electrical problem.

Types of breakdowns:

  • broken mechanical moving parts;
  • the part is out of order as a result of a short circuit or power surge;
  • The actuator has broken due to contact with water that has leaked out of the drum due to leakage.

How to fix: in all the described cases of breakdowns, a complete replacement of the actuator will be required.

Gear change drive

Drive motor

What it does: This is the main part of the washing machine, which drives all parts of the appliance. The motor uses electricity to generate the energy needed to rotate the drum in both directions.

While the Whirlpool washing machine is in load level scan mode, the drive motor rotates the drum from time to time. This helps the appliance determine the weight of the laundry and adjust the wash cycle.

Why there are problems during the reading stage: the engine has suffered a power surge or has worn out over time. The faulty part is preventing the washing machine from completing the load scan and proceeding to the next steps.

Most often, problems arise when the power supply is unstable. A short circuit or power surge damages the engine components and prevents it from working properly.

Consider the age of the washing machine when assessing the situation. Also, the likelihood of problems with the motor increases if you have constantly overloaded the drum with too many things for several years.

Drive motor

How to fix: The drive motor is another part that is not repairable, but requires a complete replacement. But this is an expensive element of the washing machine, so it’s better to carefully examine the device again and make sure that the problem is in the motor.

The service life of washing machines and their motors is on average 10 years. If your equipment is about the same, and the motor has broken, it may be worth buying a new, more modern model, rather than trying to repair the old one.

Main control panel

What it does: The control panel is the brain of home appliances. It is a small board on which a large number of micro-details are installed. Each of them controls different functions of your washing machine.

If you have diagnosed all the parts (inlet valve, actuator, motor), but the reading problem still remains, most likely there is a problem with the control board.

How to fix it: In general, it is technically possible to repair damaged elements on the main control board. But this process requires highly specialized knowledge, and not all masters undertake this. If you are sure that the main control board is the cause of the problem, you’d better replace it with a new one.

The item is located inside the washing machine and has a separate housing. Remove it and disconnect all electrical wires. Then install the new board in place and return the electrical contacts to the same places where they were before.

Main control panel

Frequently Asked Questions

Users often voice the following questions regarding problems with Whirlpool washing machines.

How to reset the Whirlpool Cabrio washing machine?
The easiest and fastest way to reset this model is to turn off the power. First unplug the power plug, then leave the washing machine at rest for 5 minutes. After this time, reconnect the appliance to the mains.


Why do I need to reset the washing machine?
Resetting the settings eliminates all possible electronic failures that have already happened. They are observed when power surges occur or electricity periodically disappears. If a wash cycle was started at this point, your Whirlpool washing machine may behave unusually. Resetting the settings restores normal operation.


What does “Sensing” mean on my washing machine?
Some models start the wash cycle with a touch step. Its purpose is to find out how much laundry is loaded into the drum, and depending on this, determine the duration of the wash. The system calculates how much water will be spent on a certain cycle, and this directly determines the consumption of electricity. Usually reading is completed in 2-3 minutes.
There are different mechanisms for determining the weight of laundry. In standard machines, this function is performed by a pressure switch, roughly estimating how long water is absorbed into a specific amount of things.
In modern models, the motor, which is located on the axis of the drum, is responsible for determining the weight. It accurately weighs dry laundry and, based on the received number, suggests a specific mode to save water and energy consumption. If you have downloaded too many things, the scanning process will take longer, and further steps may not start due to overweight.


How long does it take for a Whirlpool washing machine to read (weigh)?
The scanning stage usually takes about 2-3 minutes. In some cases, the weighing process takes longer, so wait a little more before starting the diagnosis.


How does the washing machine detect the water level?
The pressure switch (pressure switch) is responsible for this function. This is a mechanical switch connected to an air tube inside the machine. When water fills the drum, the air in the tube enters the pressure switch and expands it. After that, the control panel receives a signal to stop the water supply. When the liquid is drained, the pressure drops, and the pressure switch again signals the end of the wash.