Whether it’s your bi-weekly or spring cleaning sessions, doing the laundry is one of the most tedious yet important tasks. However, writing it off your to-do list is difficult if your Whirlpool washer is stuck in sensing mode.
The million-dollar question now is how can your Whirlpool washer properly function again. The solution can be as easy as resetting your washer’s settings or replacing its damaged parts.
Get your tools out and put your protective gear on, let’s dive in!
What does sensing mean in your Whirlpool washer?
Sensing — also known as smart sensing or auto-sensing — is responsible for sensing the load size of your laundry. It also measures how much water and detergent are needed for the washer to complete the wash cycle.
There are also various types of sensors, though they vary depending on your washer’s model and brand. For starters, pressure sensors detect how heavy the wash load is and moisture sensors determine how much water your laundry absorbs.
More advanced versions adjust water levels and even tailor how many washes and rinse cycles your wash load needs.
Why is my Whirlpool washer stuck on sensing?
Your Whirlpool washer is stuck on sensing mode because of an unleveled washing tub, a damaged lid switch, or a malfunctioning control board.
Other mechanical problems such as broken machine parts that need immediate replacement can also cause sensing problems.
It’s also necessary to mention that smart features such as the child lock option may also be engaged.
What causes a Whirlpool washer to get stuck on sensing and how to solve it?
There’s a plethora of reasons why your Whirlpool washer is stuck in sensing mode. We’ve compiled a list of these problems and how you can easily fix them before calling in your technician.
|Overloaded Washing Tub||• Visually assess if the washing tub is full of clothes. Take out some of the clothes until two-thirds of the tub is filled.|
• Place your hand between the clothes and the tub. Take out some of the laundry if your hand can’t freely move, proceed to the next part if otherwise.
|Unleveled Washing Tub||• Get a leveling tool and place it on top of your washer.|
• The machine is leveled if the bubble on the tool is in the middle, but the machine needs to be leveled if the bubble is in the far right or left.
• If you’re using an electronic leveler, the tool should beep once if the machine is leveled and a few more times if it’s not.
• Adjust the washer’s legs if they can be altered. Move forward with the next machine part if they are not.
• Check if the shock absorbers are still functional by running the washer for a few minutes. The absorbers need replacement if there are loud banging sounds while running the washing unit.
• You can also visually check the absorbers’ functionality. They need immediate replacement if there are tears and obvious signs of wear on the part.
• Use a screwdriver to detach the faulty absorbers from their brackets and replace them with a new shock absorber one at a time.
• Move forward with checking other washer parts if the shock absorbers are still usable.
• Check the suspension rings. Serviceable rings are intact and straight, they need replacement if otherwise.
• Replace inoperable suspension rings by removing the top or side frames of your Whirlpool washer.
• Detangle any wires on them before installing new suspension rings one by one. Secure the new parts by screwing them into position.
|Corroded Water Inlet Valve||• Check for debris in the valve. If there is any, clean the inlet valve using a snake tool or a sponge soaked in a mixture of warm water, soap, and white vinegar.|
• Inspect if the valve is fully opened. If not, turn it counterclockwise to fully clear the valve.
• Next, assess the water inlet valve’s solenoids using a multimeter. Put the tool in OHM XI settings before using the prongs on the solenoids.
• Move forward to the other machine parts if the solenoid still has resistance. But, the inlet valve needs to be replaced if there is none.
• Disconnect the old valve from the water supply tube using pliers and a screwdriver. Install the new valve and connect it to the supply tube before properly screwing everything back together.
|Impaired Shift Actuator||• Use a multimeter to check the shift actuator’s electrical flow. Put the tool in its continuity setting.|
• Proceed to another washer part if there is continuity in the actuator.
• If there is not, unscrew the actuator and place a new one in its location. • Properly screw in the new shift actuator before putting everything back.
|Clogged Drain Pump||• Run the washer for a few minutes. The drain pump is damaged if there are screeching noises or if the machine is noisier than usual.|
• Locate the drainage system at the back of your Whirlpool washer.
• Inspect if the drain hose is kinked or has any other visible damages.
• If it has any impairment, disconnect the broken hose using pliers and a screwdriver. Move on to the next procedure if there is no visible issue with the hose.
• Clean the drain hose and other parts of the drainage system using a snake tool or a sponge and warm water mixed with soap and white vinegar.
|Busted Drive Motor||• Unplug your Whirlpool washer and lay it on its back. Access the motor by removing the bottom panels and the motor’s plastic shield.|
• Use a multimeter set in continuity to check for any resistance. Proceed with the other machine parts if there is still resistance, but the motor needs replacement if the multimeter isn’t reading any electrical flow.
• Unscrew the old motor and put the new one in its position.
• Screw the motor parts back in properly.
|Broken Lid Switch||• Unplug the washer and remove the bottom or side panels of your washer, depending if the machine is a top load or a front load washer. |
• Access the switch’s tube and disconnect it from the retainers to unscrew the whole switch from its position.
• Use a multimeter to check the resistance of the switch. Proceed with another washer part if it still has electrical flow.
• However, the switch needs immediate replacement if there is no electrical flow. Place a new switch in position and reconnect it by reattaching the switch to the retainers.
• Once everything is in the proper position, screw the parts in accordingly.
|Malfunctioning Control Board||• Check if the washer is properly plugged in. An unstable electrical flow will cancel any input and will put the machine in sensing mode.|
• If your washing unit has a child lock feature, inspect if it’s enabled. The child lock feature is in use if the button or the indicator is lit up.
• Simply disengage the feature by pressing the child lock button. Check if there are other smart features in use and adjust if necessary.
• Ensure that the control board isn’t wet or has any condensation inside its frames.
• Try resetting your Whirlpool washer by turning it off and unplugging it. • Wait for at least two minutes before plugging it back in.
• This should reset any commands and enabled features in the washer.
• Check the washing machine’s manual or contact a technician if the problem persists.
|Failing Motor Coupling||• Unplug your Whirlpool washer and lay the machine on its back. |
• Remove the bottom panel and assess the motor coupling.
• If the coupling has any visible damage or missing parts, it needs to be replaced immediately. Proceed to the other components if there is no visible damage.
• Manually check the coupling by turning it clockwise and counterclockwise. It should budge with little to no resistance.
• Move to the other component if it’s still functional.
• However, if the coupling is hard to turn and emits grinding noises, then it needs immediate replacement.
• Assess if the coupling’s rubber bushings are still intact and have no tears. If they appear to be in mint condition, then proceed with another motor part.
• The coupling needs to be switched to a new one if the rubber bushings are worn out or are visibly damaged.
• Lastly, check if the motor coupling’s transmission shaft is properly connected to the motor itself and adjust accordingly. Remove the coupling from its place if the washer is still in sensing mode after assessing its connection.
• To remove the coupling, detach the motor pump to have full access to the motor. Unscrew the coupling from its place using pliers and a screwdriver, be careful as the process may require some physical force.
• When installing the new motor coupling, push the cog into the gear case driveshaft one at a time. Next, put the new isolator into the motor shaft.
• Double-check the motor coupling’s alignment before screwing it in position.
Overloaded Washing Tub
Your Whirlpool washer may be stuck in sensing mode due to an overloaded wash load. While the accommodated laundry size depends on your washer’s model and brand, it’s highly recommended to only fill up to two-thirds of your washer’s tub.
Solution: Visually assess if the washing tub is full of laundry. If it is, take some of the laundry out until two-thirds are remaining.
You can also place your hand between the tub and the laundry. If your hand can’t freely move, you need to take out a few garments.
Move forward with the other components if your Whirlpool washer is still in sensing mode after taking out some of the laundry.
Unleveled Washing Tub
An unleveled washing tub can put your washer into sensing mode because it can’t accurately tell the weight of your laundry size.
Solution: Get a leveling tool and place it on top of your washer.
Your machine is leveled if the tool’s bubble is in the middle. If it’s not leveled if the bubble is in the far right or left of the leveling tool.
Digital leveling tool users, on the other hand, should read 0.0 degrees in their devices to identify if the washer is leveled. If the degree is lower or higher than 0.0, then the washer is unleveled.
Check if the feet of the machine can be adjusted and alter them accordingly by twisting them one by one.
If your washer’s tub is still unleveled, inspect its shock absorbers. Faulty shock absorbers may have unleveled the tub since they failed to absorb the vibrations they’re supposed to take during wash cycles.
You can find your Whirlpool washer’s shock absorbers between the tub’s exterior and base frame.
To check the functionality of these parts, run your washer for a few minutes. The shock absorbers need immediate replacement if there are loud banging sounds while you run the cycle.
You can also visually check if the shock absorbers appear damaged by removing the front frame of your Whirlpool washer.
If the shock absorbers are indeed damaged, use the designated screwdrivers to detach the deformed absorber from its bracket and replace it with a new one. Remember to replace the shocks one by one to avoid the tub from being detached.
Broken suspension rings can also unlevel your washing tub.
These rings keep the washing tub in place during its cycle. Usable suspension rings are intact and straight, but they need replacement if they’re too bent and broken.
To replace these rings, remove the top or the side frames of the washer and unscrew the rings.
If you have a top load Whirlpool washer, then the suspension rings will be located at the top of the washer. On the other hand, the rings can be accessed at the washer’s sides if you own a front load washing machine.
Then, take out the parts from their sockets and replace them with new ones. Remember to do this one at a time to prevent the tub from caving in.
Carefully remove any wirings that may have tangled on them in the process. Screw everything back into place once finished.
Corroded Water Inlet Valve
Your Whirlpool washer’s water inlet valve is responsible for how much or how little water the tub uses for every wash cycle. Though there are two valves your machine can use, the hot and cold water valves, recent models only utilize the cold water valve.
Your washing unit may be stuck in sensing mode if its water valve is broken or has gunk buildup. The washing tub will not be properly filled up with water, or not at all, because of the dirt.
Some occasions may even lead to inaccurate water temperature for the wash cycles.
Solution: Check if the water inlet valve is still usable. You can typically find it at the back of your Whirlpool washer.
Firstly, inspect if the valve has debris, and if it does, immediately clean it using a sponge dipped in soap and warm water. You can also add a small amount of white vinegar.
Next, check if it’s fully open. A partially opened valve limits the machine’s water flow.
Fully open the water inlet valve by turning it counterclockwise.
Moreover, check your washer’s inlet valve solenoids. These can be accessed by removing the front or back frames of the unit and detaching the wiring connections from the solenoids.
Grab your multimeter and put it into OHM XI settings. Check if the solenoid still has resistance or not by putting the multimeter’s prongs inside the solenoids.
The solenoid is deemed usable if its resistance is between zero and two ohms in the multimeter reading. However, any lower reading than zero to two ohms indicates that the water inlet valve needs to be replaced.
Start this process by unplugging your Whirlpool washer and turning the water supply off.
Disconnect the inlet valve from the water supply tube using pliers and a screwdriver. Finally, install the new water inlet valve and connect it to the water tubes before screwing everything back in place.
Impaired Shift Actuator
The shift actuator is responsible for the transmission of your washer from agitating the clothes to spinning them, and vice versa.
A broken shift actuator will put your Whirlpool washer in sensing mode because it will not agitate or spin, but will just leave your laundry soaked in the tub.
Solution: Unplug your Whirlpool washer and lay the machine on its back to access the bottom frame. After removing the frame, detach the plastic cover of the motor where you can find the actuator nearby.
Use a multimeter in its continuity setting to check if the shift actuator is still usable. An actuator is still in good condition if the multimeter reads OL or near zero and is accompanied by an audible beep.
However, the actuator needs replacement if otherwise.
To replace the shift actuator, gently remove the screws from the equator before placing a new one in its position. Make sure to properly screw the new actuator in place before putting the cover and the frames back.
Clogged Drain Pump
A clogged drain pump can make your sensors detect inaccurate representations like an overloaded tub, which will keep your washer in sensing mode.
Solution: Inspect the drain pump by running the washer for a few minutes. The pump is broken if there are screeching noises while the machine is running or the draining process is noisier than usual.
Unplug your Whirlpool washing unit and access its drainage system, which is typically located at the back. Assess if the drain hose is broken.
If there are visible cracks and tears on the hose or if it’s kinked, immediately disconnect the hose using a pair of pliers and replace it with a new one.
You can also clean the hose using a snake tool or a sponge and warm water mixed with soap and white vinegar.
Clean the rest of the drainage from any buildup and debris using the same cleaning tools before reconnecting it to the drainage system, granted that the hose isn’t kinked or damaged.
Busted Driver Motor
One of the most common reasons why your Whirlpool washer is in sensing mode is a faulty driver motor.
The driver motor is usually broken if your washer suddenly stops its wash cycle, and is suddenly turned off before being briefly turned back on.
Solution: Unplug your Whirlpool washer and lay it on its back. Remove the bottom frame and the driver motor’s plastic shield.
Use your multimeter and put it in the continuity setting. Put the prongs on the motor’s axle bearings.
The driver motor still has continuity flow if the multimeter reads OL or near zero, paired with a clear beep. If the multimeter can get a continuity flow during its reading, then you can move forward to the other machine parts.
However, the motor needs to be replaced with a new one if there is no continuity flow registering on the multimeter. Use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the driver motor from its position.
Put the new motor in its intended position and secure it with the corresponding screws. Finally, put the motor’s shield and the bottom frame back to its positions.
TIP: If you’re having doubts about meddling with the motor of your Whirlpool washer, it’s best to consult with your technician regarding the problem.
Broken Lid Switch
It’s important to make sure that your Whirlpool washer’s door is properly shut because most washing units don’t start until the door is completely closed. But if the machine is still in sensing mode, then the lid switch must be faulty.
A broken lid switch is quite a common problem for washing machines because it may cause the washer to inaccurately register or cancel a command.
Solution: Unplug your Whirlpool washer.
To access the switch’s tube, remove the front frame (for front load washers) or the side frame (for top load units). Disconnect it from its retainers and unscrew the switch from its position.
Check the switch’s usability with a multimeter by putting its prongs inside the switch’s wiring cavity. Ensure that the multimeter is in the continuity settings.
The switch still has electrical flow if the multimeter reads OL or near zero and is accompanied by an audible beep. Move forward with the other parts if there is still an electrical flow from the switch.
But if the multimeter isn’t registering any electrical flow from the lid switch, then proceed with replacing it with a new one.
Place the new switch in its proper position by pressing both the switch and the corresponding retainers firmly, reconnecting the new switch successfully. Align every washer part properly before screwing everything back.
TIP: There are various types of lid switches. Make sure to know which one your Whirlpool washing machine uses by consulting its manual.
Malfunctioning Control Board
The Whirlpool washer’s smart features are very helpful to its users as it minimizes human error and accurately sets the fitting wash cycle option for every type of laundry you put in the appliance.
However, it can still fail over time because of the glitches it may experience. Luckily, most of these malfunctions are easy to fix.
Solution: First, verify if your Whirlpool washer is properly plugged in. A washer can experience glitches and cancel any existing processes if it’s not receiving its intended electricity rate.
If your unit has a child lock feature, check if it’s enabled. This may cause your machine to stay in sensing mode.
You can easily spot if the feature has been enabled if the buttons or its indicators light up.
Disengage this feature by pushing the child lock button. Check if there are other enabled features that may make your Whirlpool washer stay in sensing mode and adjust accordingly.
Also, ensure that the control board doesn’t have any condensation from the previous wash cycles. Trapped water can disrupt the overall system of your washing unit.
Resetting your washing machine’s control board can also release your washing machine from its sensing mode. To do this, turn off your machine by either pressing the power button or turning its dial to the “off” position.
Next, unplug the washer and wait for at least two minutes. This can ensure that all the electricity the washer received has been depleted.
Plug your Whirlpool washer back in and turn it back on. This should reset your washer’s system and disengage the sensing mode.
However, it’s important to note that not all Whirlpool models can be reset by such a method. Refer to your unit’s manual or contact a professional if the problem persists.
Failing Motor Coupling
Your Whirlpool washer’s motor coupling connects the motor and transmission, which would then enable the washer to spin and agitate. However, your washer may be stuck in sensing mode if the coupling can’t connect the two parts.
Solution: Unplug your Whirlpool washer and lay the machine on its back to access the bottom frame.
Check if the coupling has any visible wear and tear issues. It needs to be replaced if there are cracks and missing or broken pieces.
You can also check if you can manually turn the motor coupling clockwise or counterclockwise without any resistance or grinding noises. If your Whirlpool washer’s coupling is hard to turn either way or lets out grinding sounds, it’s damaged.
After checking the coupling, assess its rubber bushings for any visible damage and wear.
If there is damage to the bushings, then the coupling needs immediate replacement.
Another part of the coupling that needs assessment is its transmission shaft. It is responsible for connecting the motor and the coupling, thus their misalignment can put your Whirlpool washer in sensing mode.
Assess if the shaft is properly connected to the motor and adjust accordingly, The motor coupling must be replaced if there are no changes to the washer’s sensing mode.
Remove the motor pump to fully access the motor and the coupling. Then, remove the coupling using pliers and a screwdriver.
Handle the tools with caution as removing the coupling may need some physical force.
Install the new coupling by pushing its cog into the gear case driveshaft one at a time. Push the new isolator into the motor shaft and line everything to the motor into position.
Finally, put everything back in their places and screw everything back together.
Whirlpool washers are durable and high-quality appliances, so it’s understandable to worry about your washing unit being stuck in sensing mode.
These problems may range from an unbalanced washing tub to more complex matters such as faulty machine parts. But don’t fret as the issue can be easily resolved from the comfort of your home.
On the other hand, it’s important to note that you can contact your technician if you don’t think you can carry out the task properly.