A common fault on washing machines is when one fails to complete the cycle. There are many different possible causes for this. When certain faults develop, an older washing machine might just get stuck in various places on the cycle. But modern washing machines should abort the programme mid cycle and produce an error code.
Stops With Error Code
If your washing machine is displaying an error code (such as F10 or E2) that’s something to go on. But error codes are often not much help. Contrary to what you might think, they are not likely to point you to exactly what is wrong with your washing machine.
Before investigating any error code further you should get a good understanding of the way error codes work and their possible pitfalls by reading my article appliance error codes what you need to know.
If lights are flashing, make a note of which LEDs are lit up or flashing. This is important information that can be reported to an engineer. You need to report them in a specific way though as described here – washing machine stops with lights flashing
Control knob clicking around
No Error Code or Flashing Lights
Your washing machine might not use error codes. Or the fault might not trigger an error code. Or maybe it is displaying an error code but you have no idea what it means. In these cases the only way to try and find the fault is to use common sense, logic and process of elimination..
Where on the Cycle does the Fault Occur?
The clue to what is wrong is in exactly where on the cycle it sticks. What was it trying to do at the time?
Is it stuck right at the beginning and not filling with water? Or stuck on the rinse section not filling with water? (Washing machine won’t fill with water). Has it filled with water but got stuck washing, and not moving on to rinses? (not heating up water).
If it has stuck mid-cycle full of water maybe it can’t pump the water out (won’t Drain Water)
Washing machine empties water and aborts programme just after starting, or mid-wash
Sometimes a washing machine will fill with water but instead of washing, it could just sit there for several minutes before draining out all the water and turning itself off.
Another possibility is that the washing machine could start out washing okay, but halfway through the cycle it may suddenly drain all the water and turn off.
If it aborts within the first 30 minutes or so of a wash it could be that the heater isn’t working and it has detected the water isn’t getting any warmer and timed out on heat (Washing machine isn’t heating up the water)
This could be caused by a faulty thermistor, which is a modern thermostat (How to test an NTC thermistor). It’s usually situated next to or pushed inside the heating element and is a type of resistor which changes its electrical resistance according to its temperature. Overheating is a tricky one to diy repair.
The heater relay on some Hotpoint and Indesit machines can sometimes stick inside the main pcb. Don’t tackle this unless you know exactly what you are doing, it could be connection faults or a main pcb issue. It should produce a specific error code.
Some washing machines will abort if they detect any one of its parts has a slight leak to earth. An insulation test meter would be needed to check for this and only engineers tend to have them. Insulation tests involve putting 500 v DC through the machine.
Some washing machines can stick for hours or indefinitely without triggering an error code, some can even get stuck on the last 1 minute remaining section.
This can be caused by various things such as a heater going open circuit mid-wash, or faulty connections on NTCs. So this type of fault has many causes and many potential complication. It’s probably best to get someone in if this happens Book appliance repair
Over the years, even experienced appliance repairmen have been seriously injured or killed. Don’t mess with electrical appliances unless competent to do so.