Washing machine trouble

This is a little off-topic for me but given how hard it was to piece this together I figured I would compile it all into one place for the next person to find.


NOTE – I am NOT an appliance repair technician. This information is presented as-is-follow-at-your-own-risk. I am NOT responsible for any loss you incur. You have been warned.


My Whirlpool washing machine recently began having a problem. Occasionally it would reach the end of the spin cycle and then start to fill with water again. This was mildly annoying, but could be fixed for a while by unplugging the washer for a couple of minutes then plugging it back in. It then began to have an additional symptom – it would agitate before filling. In figuring out what was wrong I ran into the following information.

I will walk through each of four troubleshooting/repair steps. These are in order of skill, and amazingly price as well.

Step 1 – check the water lines. It is possible, particularly with hard water, to have the hoses from the wall connectors to the connectors on the washer clog with deposits. Cut off the water, disconnect power, and disconnect the hoses. Check them for flow by either blowing air or (better) hooking them up to a garden hose and blowing water through. Reconnect the hoses and then power and turn on the water. If your washer runs fine at this point great. Otherwise go to step 2.

Step 2 – check the ATC hose. You will need some mechanical ability for this, along with one or more tools. In my case I needed a small socket wrench.

1] Unplug the washer from power.

2] Remove the control panel from the washer top. This varies from washer model to washer model. In my case there were two screws at the top on the back and two metal retaining clips accessible by reaching between the drum and the top. I was able to find instructional videos on Youtube made by repair techs that show how to do this properly. FIND AND WATCH THEM! If your washer is like mine you could accidentally break the door closed sensor if you don’t know what to look for.

3] Once you have the control panel loose look for a plastic hose. On my washer this hose was connected to the fabric softener yes/no switch. GENTLY pull this hose free of the control. If the washer has water in it good, if not fill it several inches full. Blow into this hose.

You should hear bubbles. If not, fill the tub a bit further and try again. If you still don’t hear bubbles, or if it feels like you are blowing against a solid object then this hose is clogged. You will need to find out how to get to the other end of it for your model. If you hear bubbles go on to the next step.

Step 3 – Replace the ATC control. This is where you start spending money unfortunately. If this is a Whirlpool or Kenmore brand machine check the control that the plastic ATC hose goes into. I found that my control, OEM part number W10177795, had been replaced with a new version, part W10292584. If you have the W10177795 part order this new W10292584 part. I was able to find this part from several online dealers for 45-60 dollars and got mine via Amazon for just under $49.

1] Unplug the washer.

2] If you put the control panel back on in the previous step take it off again.

3] Unplug the hose from the ATC control

4] Unplug any wiring harnesses. BE CAREFULL – before just pulling on the harness check to see if it is a locking harness. Mine had a blue harness with two wires and not lock and a 7-wire white harness that had a squeeze lock.

5] Remove the knob from the front. This knob most likely will just be a keyed push-on knob that will pull straight off (mine was).

6] Locate the retaining tab on the control and gently lift it up. Mine was located opposite of the wiring harnesses. The control will need to be rotated slightly and then should pull out the back.

7] Put the new control by reversing the steps. FOLLOW MURPHY’S LAW OF REPAIR – do NOT put the control panel back onto the washer completely. Murphy will come along and make you remove it again.

Plug the washer back in and try it. If it functions properly fantastic. If not proceed to step 4.

Step 4 – Replace the timer control. This is a far more expensive part in comparison to the ATC control but cheaper than a repair tech or a new washer. I was able to find his part on the internet from 130-160 dollars.

1] Unplug power from the washer.

2] If you put the control panel back on in step 3 pull it off again (Remember Murphy’s law of repair).

3] Locate the timer control. Again there are instructional videos on Youtube for specific machines – I am only going over the basic Whirlpool/Kenmore instructions.

4] READ THIS STEP FULLY. Remove the top knob. The knob is a locking knob. There is a push pin on the underside of the timer control which you must pull down in order to free the top knob.

5] READ THIS STEP FULLY. Remove the lower knob/cover. This is most likely keyed so be sure to pay attention to how it comes off so you can match it on the new control. I found using a PLASTIC paint remover was best for this as it prevented the control panel from being scratched and provided sufficient lift.

6] Remove the attached wiring harnesses. Again CHECK FOR LOCKING HARNESSES before just yanking on the wire. On most of these there will be two wiring harnesses, one small and one big.

7] Lift the retaining tab and slide the control. On mine the tab was located on the same side as the large wiring harness and the control slid to that direction.

8] Lift the control out and replace it.

9] Reconnect the wiring harnesses.

10] Put the lower and upper knobs back on and plug the power cord back in

At this point test. If you’ve done it right you should have a fully working washer and can reassemble the control panel back onto the washer top.

If the washer still does not work correctly, call a repair technician in – you have much more serious trouble that is beyond this guide.

Hope this helps any one who has stumbled across it! Good luck!


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