Washing Machine Stopping Mid-Cycle? (here’s what to do)

We all rely on our washing machines nowadays and very much take them for granted. Which makes it even worse when the washer develops a problem or stops working as it should.

If your washing machine has stopped mid-cycle it can be worrying and annoying. In this article I take a look at all of the possible reasons why your washing machine might stop working mid-cycle and offer solutions for these problems.

Keep reading to find out more.

Why Has The Washing Machine Stopped Mid-Cycle?

There are several reasons why a washing machine might stop mid-cycle which include;

Probable CauseSolution
There’s A Problem With The Power SupplyCheck the power cord, plug, socket and circuit breaker
Insufficient Water SupplyCheck the inlet hose, inlet tap, inlet valve and water pressure
You Have Selected The Wrong SettingDeactivate the incorrect setting or reset the appliance
Drain Hose Is Causing Automatic SyphoningAdjust the distance the drain hose is pushed into the standpipe
Problems With The Drainage SystemCheck the drain filter, drain hose and drain pump
Defective Heating ElementCheck and replace the heating element if necessary
Faulty Temperature SensorCheck and replace the temperature sensor if necessary
The Door Lock Is DefectiveCheck and replace the door lock if it proves to be faulty
Malfunctioning Control BoardPerform a reset, contact a technician

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

There’s A Problem With The Power Supply

Plug socket in UK

If your washing machine stops working mid-cycle, the first thing to check is whether it is receiving any power. It could be that the power cord has become damaged, the plug isn’t fully inserted into the socket, the socket has developed a fault, the circuit breaker has tripped or there has been a power cut or outage in your area.

Inspect the power cord for any signs of fraying or damage, ensure that the plug is fully inserted into the socket. Test the socket by plugging another electrical item into it and see if it works properly, inspect the circuit breaker to check that it hasn’t tripped.

If there has been a power cut or outage in your area, then nothing electrical will work at all until the power has been restored.

Insufficient Water Supply

tap water from kitchen sink

If your washer has stopped mid-cycle and you suspect it could be due to an insufficient water supply, you should start by checking that the inlet hose isn’t twisted or kinked. Then check that the inlet tap hasn’t been accidentally turned off or is not fully opened.

Next, you’ll need to check the inlet valve for continuity using a multimeter and if it proves to be faulty, it will need to be replaced. If all of the above are OK, you will need to check the water pressure entering your home.

Washing machines need a water pressure of at least 20 psi and the easiest way to check this is to fill a 1 gallon (4.5 litre) bucket with water from the cold tap in your kitchen. If it takes 30 seconds or less to fill, the water pressure is adequate.

If it takes longer than 30 seconds, you’ll need to contact your local water authority.

You Have Selected The Wrong Setting

person changing the program on washing machine

Many washing machines have a “rinse hold” button which will stop the appliance when it is full of water to allow the laundry to soak. If you have accidentally caught this button it could explain why your washer has stopped mid-cycle.

To solve this all you need to do is deselect the “rinse hold” button or reset the washer by disconnecting the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes to discharge any residual power.

Drain Hose Is Causing Automatic Syphoning

washing machine drain hose

If your washing machine’s drain hose is pushed too far into the standpipe it can cause a syphoning action to take place. When this occurs, the washing machine takes in water and immediately forces it out again through the drain hose.

It will continue to do this until it enters an error mode. You need to ensure that the U-shaped bracket is positioned at least 65 cm above the ground and that the drain hose isn’t inserted more than 15 cm into the standpipe.

Problems With The Drainage System

Another reason that the washer might stop mid-cycle is if it detects a problem somewhere within the drainage system. You will need to check;

  • The Drain Hose For Any Twists, Kinks Or Blockages
    If there are any twists or kinks in the drain hose it can restrict or even prevent any wastewater from leaving the washer. Often all that’s needed is to straighten the drain hose to solve this issue. If you suspect the hose is clogged, you may need to run a plumber’s snake through the hose to clear any clogs.
  • The Filter For Any Blockages
    If the filter becomes clogged or even partially blocked, it can cause the washer to stop mid-cycle. Carefully remove the filter (take care as there may be lots of water present, I advise placing a container in front of the filter housing before unscrewing it) and wash it under a fast running tap.
  • The Drain Pump For Any Blockages Or Defects
    If the drain pump has become clogged or has developed a fault, it could also be the cause of the machine stopping mid-cycle. As accessing the drain pump involves dismantling parts of the appliance, I recommend contacting a technician to do this for you.

Defective Heating Element

The heating element in a washing machine is responsible for heating the water to required temperature for each wash cycle. If the heating element develops a fault, the machine could stop mid-cycle.

You will need to inspect the heating element and look for any signs of visible damage. Then check the element for continuity using a multimeter.

If it fails the continuity test, the element will need to be replaced.

Faulty Temperature Sensor

The NTC temperature sensor will typically be located close to the heating element. The NTC sensor notifies the control board when the correct temperature has been achieved.

If the NTC sensor fails or becomes defective the washer could take longer to wash the laundry or it might stop working altogether. Look for an error code to indicate that there is a fault detected with the NTC sensor.

You can check the NTC sensor for continuity using a multimeter and if it proves to be faulty, it will need to be replaced.

The Door Lock Is Defective

The door lock on a washing machine is a safety feature designed to prevent the washer from working if the lock isn’t fully in place. However, in some cases, these locking mechanisms can become defective and fail to work properly after the washer has started its cycle.

In such cases, the washer will stop mid-cycle and it will not work again until the door lock has been replaced. This is another part that can be tested using a multimeter.

If it proves to be faulty, it will need to be replaced before the washer will function properly again.

Malfunctioning Control Board

Every function performed by your washing machine is governed by the control board or PCB (printed circuit board). If the PCB develops a fault, the programme could stop mid-cycle.

In some cases this can be caused by an electrical or software glitch. Which can often be solved by performing a reset. This is done by disconnecting the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes to allow any residual power to dissipate.

Once the power has been restored, the fault has often been cleared. However, if the PCB does have an actual fault, it will not clear by resetting the appliance.

PCBs are expensive parts and are also easily damaged. Which is why I recommend contacting a technician to investigate the PCB for you.

How To Detect Where The Fault Lies

laundry room with pile of clothes

Most modern washing machines will display an error code to indicate where a particular fault is located. If your washer stops mid-cycle, the first thing you should do is check for any error codes.

If your washer doesn’t have a LED display it might signal an error code via a series of flashing lights. However, if there’s no indication at all of where the problem might lie, don’t give up just yet.

You might need to do a bit of detective work but you can often identify where the problem is coming from depending on when the cycle stops.

Washer Stops Soon After Filling With Water

If the washer fills with water and then stops shortly afterwards it typically indicates that the heating element or NTC sensor might be the cause of the issue.

Washer Stops During The Wash Cycle

If the washer fills with water and starts washing and then stops it could be due to the NTC sensor developing a fault and the water is overheating.

Washer Stops After Filling And Then Immediately Drains

This would indicate a syphoning issue and is typically caused by the drain hose not being secured high enough (65 cm or more). Or the drain hose has been pushed too far into the standpipe.

The drain hose should never be more than 15 cm into the standpipe to prevent syphoning.

Washer Fills With Water & Stops Before Draining

This would typically indicate a problem detected within the drainage system. It could be something as simple as a twisted or kinked drain hose or a clogged filter.

Or the drain pump might have failed which is more serious but not the end of the world. A competent technician can replace a drain pump in under 60 minutes.

Washer Stops Before The Rinse Cycle

Washing machines stop ahead of the rinse cycle to allow the tub to fill with water. If the inlet valve or inlet hose are blocked or defective or the inlet tap isn’t fully open or your home has low water pressure the washer will stop at this point.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Not Stopping? (try doing this)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has my washing machine stopped mid-cycle?

If your washing machine stops mid-cycle it could be due to; a power cut or outage or a faulty electrical socket etc, a problem with the water supply like a clogged inlet hose, faulty inlet valve, the inlet tap not open enough or insufficient water pressure, the wrong cycle has been selected, the drain hose has been pushed too far into the standpipe and is causing syphoning, the drainage system has a problem, the filter is blocked, the heating element or NTC sensor are defective, the door lock is faulty or the control board is malfunctioning.

Can a blocked filter stop a washing machine?

Yes, a blocked filter can stop a washing machine. Once the filter becomes blocked, the washer cannot drain wastewater from the tub and the machine will stop working until this is resolved.

How do I know if my washing machine filter is blocked?

You can tell if your washing machine filter is blocked if the water takes an extra long time to drain, the machine has a bad smell or if there are soap suds remaining on your laundry after the cycle has completed.

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