Whirlpool Washer Stuck On Sensing? (Here's a Quick Fix!) (2023)

The other day I was washing my clothes and noticed that my Whirlpool Washer was stuck on sensing. This was frustrating and made me wonder what exactly was causing this issue.

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Typically, the sensing part of the washing process is meant to obtain the proper washing settings and apply them to the load. When your Whirlpool washer gets stuck in this function, you will find that you cannot move forward in the wash process due to this error.

If your Whirlpool Washer is not working, try resetting your machine or changing the cycle settings. Also, check if your washer is overheated or not draining properly. Finally, check if something is blocking to drainage of your washer. If nothing works, disassemble your washer and inspect the internal components for damage.

The process for these fixes and other solutions to common problems that could cause this issue will be detailed in the guide below. You can use this information to properly identify the issue that is causing your Whirlpool washer to become stuck on sensing and apply the proper troubleshooting methods.

Whirlpool Washer Stuck On Sensing? (Here's a Quick Fix!) (1)
(Video) Fixing A Kenmore/Whirlpool HE Washing Machine Stuck In Sensing Mode!

Why Is My Washing Machine Stuck On Sensing?

Your Whirlpool Washer might have been accidentally set to standby mode, which will keep it from completing any normal functions until you exit this mode. Since the process for entering standby mode involves pressing buttons on the machine, it is easy to accidentally activate the standby mode.

Washer Machine Is In Standby Mode

While in standby mode, your washer will not respond to any of the commands that you issue using the buttons or knobs on your machine. You will need to exit the standby mode of your machine before you will be able to use it properly. Turning a

You can tell if your washer is in standby mode by checking for any visible indicator lights that are currently illuminated.

If you can see these indicators lights, that means that your washer is not currently in standby mode. If there are no lights visible, then you will need to exit standby mode.

If you have determined that your machine is not in standby mode and you still cannot move past the sensing stage, then you should consider altering your cycle settings. The way that your cycle settings affect your washer will be detailed in the section below.

Cycle Settings Are Malfunctioning

ÂIt is possible that your cycle settings on your machine could be malfunctioning and causing your washer to get stuck in the sensing process.

Because your Whirlpool washer depends on an internal computer to carry out the main functions of the machine, a bug or a glitch in the software could be the cause.

If your cycle settings are malfunctioning, this can indicate a software glitch that could cause your washer to get stuck in the sensing stage because it cannot properly determine the cycle you have chosen. You should consider changing the cycle to another and seeing if that helps resolve your issue.

If changing the cycle setting does not help resolve your issue, then the root of your problem likely stems from a hardware problem rather than a software issue. These hardware issues will be discussed next in the section below.

Water Level Sensor Might Be Malfunctioning

If your water level sensor malfunctions, your washer will not be able to detect the proper water amounts during the sensing stage of the wash. This will cause your washer to stay in the sensing stage until the proper water level is reached inside of the machine.

(Video) Washing Machine Stuck on Sensing or Not Washing Don't Throw It Away Try This Cheap Fix!

The water level sensor depends on a pressure switch that is triggered when air is pushed against the switch as the water level rises in the machine. If this component of your washer has been damaged or is not properly installed, this can cause your machine to become stuck in the sensing cycle.

This is not the only hardware issue that could cause these problems. Another hardware component of your washer that you should inspect will be detailed in the section below.

Motor Could Be Overheated And Jammed Because Of Faulty Thermostat

If the motor in your washer has become overheated due to a faulty thermostat, this will cause your washer to not be able to properly carry out the washing process and become stuck in the sensing stage. When your motor overheats, it will likely not function properly until it has had time to cool down.

In the meantime, your washer will be stuck in the sensing stage while it waits for the motor to cool down so it can resume regular functions. You will need to address any issues with your washer’s thermostat or motor as soon as possible.

Now that you have more information regarding the common causes of this issue, you can move on to better understand what the sensing lights are meant to indicate.

What Does Blinking Sensing Light Indicate?

A blinking sensing light on your Whirlpool washer indicates the beginning of the wash cycle. During the sensing stage, your washing machine will determine the user settings that have been selected and start working towards applying them to the current load.

If functioning properly, this process should only take a few seconds. Once it has completed the sensing stage, your machine will be set to the appropriate cycle settings and start to fill with the right amount of water automatically.

Now that you understand more about the sensing light indicator on your washer and the common causes of malfunctions, you can begin to consider some of the troubleshooting methods that could help resolve your issue.

How To Fix Whirlpool Washer Stuck In Sensing Mode

Reset Whirlpool Washer

Resetting your Whirlpool Washer will take around 5 minutes The process to do this is simple and will be detailed below.

Whirlpool Washer Stuck On Sensing? (Here's a Quick Fix!) (2)

1. Disconnect the power from your Whirlpool washer by removing the plug from the outlet.

2. Once you have unplugged your Whirlpool Washer from the power source, leave it unplugged for at least 5 minutes. For better results, you can leave it unplugged for up to 15 minutes if you choose.

3. After the time period has elapsed, plug the machine back up to complete the reset process.

If this has not solved your issue, it can be helpful to use the built-in diagnostics to help pinpoint the root of your problem. Details on the diagnostic functions of your machine will be detailed in the section below.

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Use Diagnostics To Find Error Code

Diagnostics mode will help you identify any specific errors that your machine is experiencing by producing a code on the display of your machine.

These error codes are generally documented in the manual of your machine or posted someone on the outside of the washer.

The process to enter diagnostics mode will be detailed in the section below.

1. First, you will need to turn the dial all the way around once. This means a full 360-degree rotation.

2. Once you have done this, perform the following combination of knob turns: Left, Right, Right, Right, Left, Right.

3. If you have performed this series of knob turns correctly, the dials will all begin to flash.

4. As soon as the dials begin to flash, turn the knob again until it reaches the spin cycle.

5. Once you have reached the spin cycle, press the start button.

Your washer will not be in diagnostics mode. It will automatically scan for any errors present and display the appropriate code.

You can the above video for a visual representation of this process. Once you have done this, you can replace parts based on the error codes that you have received.

This process will be detailed more in the next section of this guide.

Replace Faulty Parts Based On Error Codes

Once you have used the diagnostic tool to determine any error codes that are present on your washer, you can use that information to replace the components causing your issue. For example, the dL error code indicates an issue with the door lock on your machine.

(Video) Whirpol duet stuck in sensing mode lite flashes. Whirlpool

If you are receiving the dL error code on your machine, this is an indicator to you that you need to repair or replace the door locking mechanism on your washer. This is one of the biggest benefits of using diagnostic tools to get error codes for your machine.

You can use the table below to help you determine the part you should replace when receiving some of the most common error codes. You should consult your user manual for a full list of all of the applicable error codes for your model of Whirlpool Washer.

Whirlpool Error CodeWasher Part To Replace
dUDoor Lock
dLDoor Lock

If the diagnostic tool does not return any useful error codes, then you should explore some of the other common fixes for this issue detailed below.

Try Drain And Spin Functions

You should attempt to use the drain and spin function of your Whirlpool washer if you cannot get the standard cycles to move past sensing. The drain and spin cycle do not consider any cycle settings beyond what is automatically applied when using the drain and spin functions.

Whirlpool Washer Stuck On Sensing? (Here's a Quick Fix!) (3)

Using the drain and spin functions will often clear any clogs in the machine that could be causing your sensing issues. If that does not work, you will need to manually check for any blockages as detailed in the next section of this guide.

Look For Blockages in Drain Hose, Pump, Impeller

You should inspect all of your drain hoses, the pump, and the impeller of your washer when trying to address sensing stage issues. Oftentimes, when these components become clogged, they can cause your machine to become stuck in the sensing cycle due to improper water levels.

Whirlpool Washer Stuck On Sensing? (Here's a Quick Fix!) (4)

Because of this, it is important to routinely inspect these components of your washer to ensure they are clear and functioning properly. If your drain and spin function is not working properly, consult the section below for more details regarding these issues.

Possible Reasons For Faulty Drain/Spin Functions

Unbalanced Load

An unbalanced load caused by jammed clothes in the machine can cause issues with your drain and spin function. When this happens, not only will your machine shake more intensely than it should but you will also experience issues with the drain function if the clothes are too compacted.

Unlevel Washer

An unlevel washer will also frequently experience issues with the drain and spin functions. If the washer is not on a level surface, this will cause the drain function to not function properly, as the water will struggle to reach the proper tubes and reservoirs in the machine.

Washer Is Overloaded

If your washer is overloaded, this will cause issues with both the drain and spin functions of the machine. When your washer is overloaded, the water will have trouble draining to the proper channels due to the mass of clothing.

Final Thoughts

This guide has provided you with all of the information that you need to determine why you are experiencing issues with your Whirlpool washer getting stuck in the sensing stage. As this guide indicates, there are several causes and solutions to this issue that you can consider.

This guide can be used to ensure that you can address these issues quickly and easily while avoiding them in the future.

Pro Tip

Don’t wait for your smoke alarm to beep. Do routine maintenance and change out your smoke detector’s batteries.

(Video) My washer stays in the sensing mode. Whirlpool WTW5000DW1


Why does my Whirlpool washer stay on sensing? ›

If the water level seems too low, or if the washer does not fill completely, auto-sensing helps stabilize the amount of water used. The washer senses the size of the load and adds the correct amount of water for the load size. You may notice during a cycle that the wash load is not completely submerged in water.

How do I reset my Whirlpool auto sensing washing machine? ›

Rotate your dial until you have the following three lights illuminated: RINSE, WASH, and STOP. Then turn off your washer and unplug it for ten seconds. When you turn it back on it should be reset.

Why is my washer machine stuck on sensing fill? ›

There are several possible reasons why your washing machine may be stuck on sensing fill. The most common reasons include overloading of the drum, a clogged inlet screen, a faulty inlet valve, or a failure of the main control board.

Why is my Whirlpool washer sensing but not filling with water? ›

One common reason for a Whirlpool washer not filling with water is that the water inlet valve is not open or is clogged. The water inlet valve supplies water to the washer, and if it's not open or does not supply enough water, your Whirlpool washer will not fill up.

How do I bypass the automatic sensing on my washing machine? ›

Here is a simple way to do this:
  1. Let us say you have 2 lbs of clothes.
  2. Add the 2 lbs of clothes in the washtub.
  3. Before commencing the wash cycle, pour 4 lbs of water over the clothes and let water to soak into the fabric.
  4. Start the wash cycle. ...
  5. You have successfully bypassed water level sensor.
Nov 5, 2020

Why won't my Whirlpool washer start the wash cycle? ›

The following power issues can prevent a washer from starting: Washer is unplugged: Make sure the power cord is plugged in to a functioning outlet. Tripped circuit breaker: Check for tripped breakers in your home's circuit breaker box, resetting any as needed.

What are the most common problems on a Whirlpool washing machine? ›

Here are seven of the most common problems on a Whirlpool washing machine and potential fixes for them.
  • Washer Making Unusual Noises. ...
  • Washer Won't Start. ...
  • Washer Lid Won't Lock. ...
  • LD Error Code Appears. ...
  • Washer Leaves Deposits on Dark Clothes. ...
  • Washer Has a Burned Plastic Odor. ...
  • Rust Spots Appear on Washer Lid.
Jun 14, 2022

How do I run Whirlpool diagnostic mode? ›

This is how you get into the washer's diagnostic mode.
  1. Washer lid should lock ="done" + "lock"
  2. Washer cold valve should open ="spin" + "lock"
  3. Washer hot valve should open ="spin" + "done" + "lock"
  4. Pause 5 seconds ="rinse" + "lock"
  5. Pause 5 seconds ="rinse" + "done" + "lock"
  6. Pause 5 seconds ="rinse" + "spin"+ "lock"

Why sensor of washing machine is not working? ›

Inspect the tube for kinks and/or holes. Correct any problems by straightening or replacing the tube. Clean and clear the tube if you find gunk in it. A good cleaning may be all that's needed to correct a malfunctioning switch, but continue troubleshooting with the next step.

How do you reset a computerized washing machine? ›

To reset the electronic controls on your washer, shut off the circuit breaker or fuse to the washer or unplug the washer for 2 minutes. For models that have a timer control knob, turn the knob around and back to any position other than final spin for the interrupted cycle. Then, restore power.

Can you manually unlock a washing machine? ›

Turning off the machine at the mains should allow the door lock to cool down, and after a few minutes, you'll be able to open the washing machine door. The interlocks can take some time to release at the end of the cycle, so be patient. The most common cause is water left in the machine. Try running a spin/drain cycle.

What buttons do you press to reset a Whirlpool dishwasher? ›

Some models require you to shut off the power to the dishwasher either by unplugging it or shutting off the circuit breaker. Others are reset by pressing and holding the Start/Reset button on the control panel, then waiting a few moments before attempting to start a wash cycle.

How do I reset my top load washer? ›

Motor Reset Procedure:
  1. Unplug the washer for 1 minute from the electrical outlet.
  2. Plug the washer back in and lift and lower the lid 6 times within a 12 second period. You have 30 seconds to start lifting and lowering the lid. ...
  3. The motor has now been reset and is ready for you to start a cycle.

Does my washer have a reset button? ›

Reset your washing machine

There really isn't a way to reset the washing machine. What you can do instead is power cycle it: Unplug it (or turn off power at the circuit breaker), wait some time for the electrical charge to clear out of the washer (usually 1 to 5 minutes at most), and then power it up again.

Why is the sensing fill light flashing? ›

As soon as the light starts to flash, the washer will initiate a 4 minute lock-out period. The washer controls won't respond/change during this time. After the 4 minutes, you can begin your cycle again. If you try to bypass the lock-out period by unplugging the washer, the 4 minute timer will start over again.

Will unplugging a washing machine reset it? ›

Reset your washing machine

What you can do instead is power cycle it: Unplug it (or turn off power at the circuit breaker), wait some time for the electrical charge to clear out of the washer (usually 1 to 5 minutes at most), and then power it up again. This is the closest you can get to a "reset" of the washer.

Why is my washing machine not starting the cycle? ›

Make sure the machine is tightly plugged in. Next, check for a tripped circuit breaker. Reset the breaker and try to start the washer. If neither is at fault, you may have a damaged power cord.

How long does a washer stay on sensing? ›

These sensing spins may take 2 to 3 minutes before water is added to the load. The washer will then move the load briefly, pause to allow water to soak into the load, and resume adding water. This process may repeat until the correct amount of water has been added to the load.

Why is my sensor light flashing on and off? ›

Flickering lights (lights that produce unsteady, rapid changes in brightness) are usually caused by one of 3 things: A bad bulb. Bad connection between the bulb and the light fixture. Problems within the circuit.


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