Washing Machine Repair: Stuck on One Cycle?

Updated: Nov. 30, 2018

Fix the washer yourself and avoid an expensive service call

FH10NOV_ONECYC_01-2 whirlpool washer timerFamily Handyman
If your clothes washer is stuck on one cycle, replace the timer. It's expensive, but you'll save the cost of a service call or a new washer.

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Fix a washer stuck on one cycle

Photo 1: Access the controls

Unplug the washer. Then remove the screws that hold the control panel in place and tip the top of the panel forward.

Photo 2: Remove the washer timer

Use a nut driver to remove the screws that hold the timer to the front panel. Pull the timer back and out (we used a whirlpool washer timer).

whirlpool washer timer

Photo 3: Plug in a new washer timer

Press in on the plastic retainer clips on each side of the plug and pull the plug from the washer timer. Push the plug into the new timer and put everything back together in the reverse order.

If your washing machine is stuck on one cycle and doesn’t advance, the timer is broken. Replacing a timer is simple, but it’s not cheap. A new one will run about $120. Still, that’s less than a new washer.

Photos 1 and 2 show how to remove the old washer timer. To start, unplug the machine and remove the control knob. On this Maytag washer, you pry off the plastic disc in the center of the knob to reveal a clip that holds the knob. Arrange the parts in order as you take them off so reassembly will be easier. Photo 3 shows how to install the new timer. Contact the manufacturer of your washer or the local appliance repair parts store to find a new timer.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Nut driver

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • New timer