Washing Machine Stuck On 1 Minute? (here’s why & what to do)

If your washing machine seems to be stuck with 1 minute remaining you’re not on your own. This is a fairly common fault and is not restricted to just one brand of washing machine.

There are a number of reasons why this could be happening and in this article I explain them all and offer solutions for this problem. Keep reading to find out more.

What Causes A Washing Machine To Be Stuck With One Minute Remaining?

There are several possible causes for this issue which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Anti-Crease Cycle Allow to run its course or press the start/pause button to escape this cycle
Unbalanced DrumEnsure the laundry is loaded evenly into the drum
Electrical GlitchPerform a reset
Insufficient Water SupplyCheck the water supply, inlet valve, inlet hose and repair or replace as necessary
Drainage IssuesCheck the drain filter and drain hose and remove any blockages
Defective TimerCheck and replace the timer if necessary
Defective Pressure SwitchCheck and replace the pressure switch if necessary
Defective ThermostatCheck and replace the thermostat if necessary
Defective Heating ElementCheck and replace the heating element if necessary

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

Anti-Crease Cycle 

washing machine control panel

If you have selected the easy care, permanent press or gentle cycle on your washing machine, it is normal for the display to read 1 minute. This is the anti-crease cycle which can last for up to 30 minutes.

During this time the display will show 1 minute and the off indicator light will light up. If you want to remove the laundry during the anti-crease cycle simply press the start/pause button. Or turn the cycle button to the off position or turn off the power supply.

Unbalanced Drum

If the laundry in the drum is unbalanced all of the weight will be concentrated on one area. The machine pauses the cycle whilst trying to level the load and the display shows 1 minute.

This is often caused by putting large items like bed sheets in with other smaller items. The bed sheet gets wrapped around the smaller items and creates a large ball of laundry that ends up on one side of the drum.

To prevent this from happening again, always separate larger items like sheets and towels and wash them with other large items and keep smaller items for another separate wash load.

Electrical Glitch

If there has been a power surge, or the power has been interrupted at all, it’s possible that the 1 minute display is caused by an electrical glitch or software error.

This can often be cleared by performing a reset. All you need to do is;

  1. Disconnect the power supply by unplugging the washer or flipping the circuit breaker to the off position.
  2. Allow 10 to 15 minutes to pass, this discharges any residual electricity.
  3. Reconnect the power supply after the time has passed and the appliance should have reset and will work properly again.

Insufficient Water Supply

tap water from kitchen sink

If the appliance detects that there’s not enough water in the drum to wash the laundry properly, it will stop the clock and display 1 minute. An insufficient amount of water can be caused by a number of things. 

You need to check;

The Inlet Hose

All of the water that enters the washing machine comes in through the inlet hose. If the inlet hose becomes twisted or kinked it will restrict the flow of water entering the washer.

This will lead to not enough water to wash the laundry. To prevent this ensure that the inlet hose isn’t twisted, kinked or restricted in any way.

The Inlet Tap

The inlet tap controls the flow of water into the inlet hose. If the inlet tap isn’t fully open it could be enough to prevent the washer working properly and cause the 1 minute display on the screen.

Ensure the inlet tap is fully turned in the open position to prevent this from happening again.

The Inlet Valve

The inlet valve controls the flow of water into the machine after receiving messages from the control board. If the inlet valve develops a fault, it could prevent sufficient water from entering the drum which could lead to the 1 minute display.

You will need to check the inlet valve for continuity using a multimeter or contact a technician to do it for you. If the inlet valve proves to be faulty, it will need replacing.

The Home’s Water Pressure

In some cases, the water pressure entering your home is too low. This can be checked by filling 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 fine. However, if it takes longer than 30 seconds to fill the bucket, you will need to contact your local water authority.

Drainage Issues

washing machine drain hose

Your washer might pause and display 1 minute on the screen if there is a problem with the drainage system. This could be caused by;

Clogged Drain Filter

If you suspect the problem is caused by a drainage issue, the first place to check is the drain filter. This is typically located on the front of your washer under a flap (consult your user manual for model specific location).

If there is water stuck in the drum, take care when opening the drain filter. You should place a bowl or tray beneath the filter housing and open the filter by turning it anti-clockwise. Don’t open it fully, open it just enough to allow water to flow out. 

Once your container is full, turn the filter clockwise to stop the water flow, empty the container and repeat until all of the water has drained. Then you can remove the filter and check it for any blockages or foreign objects.

Run the filter under a fast flowing tap and use a soft bristled brush to remove any stubborn stains. Check inside the housing for any coins, buttons, nails, screws, hair pins, etc that could be blocking the filter.

Blocked Drain Hose

If the filter is clear, the blockage could be in the drain hose. Remove the drain hose from the standpipe or unscrew it from the waste pipe under the sink. You might need to push a plumber’s snake through the hose to remove any blockage.

Blocked Waste Pipe

If your washing machine is connected to the sink’s waste pipe, it could this that’s blocked. You can free any blockage in the sink waste pipe by using a plunger, plumber’s snake or a commercial drain cleaner.

Defective Drain Pump

The drain pump inside the washer is responsible for pumping all of the wastewater from the machine. Over time the pump could become defective and develop a fault.

To reach the drain pump you will need to dismantle parts of the washer. I recommend contacting a technician to do this for you unless you know what you’re doing.

Defective Timer

person changing the program on washing machine

The timer could be defective or the control board could be sending an incorrect message due to an electrical fault. Either way, the result is the cycle is paused with one minute to go.

This is another fault best left to a technician to investigate and replace if needed.

Defective Pressure Switch

The pressure switch detects how much water is in the drum and sends messages to the control board. If the pressure switch is defective, it can send an incorrect message to the control board indicating that the washer is full of water when it’s actually not.

This would mean the washer would not finish the cycle and display 1 minute. Unless you are a competent DIYer, I recommend getting a technician to investigate and replace the pressure switch if necessary.

Defective Thermostat

The thermostat monitors the temperature of the water during the wash cycle. If the thermostat develops a fault, it could send a message to the control board that the water is too hot or not hot enough. 

Either way, it could cause the machine to pause and display the 1 minute message. This is another part best left to a technician to investigate and replace if necessary.

Defective Heating Element

If the thermostat is OK it could be the heating element that is faulty. The heating element’s job is to heat up to a set point (depending on which wash cycle and temperature setting has been selected). 

Once that point is reached the water gets heated and runs into the drum to wash the laundry. If the heating element develops a fault, it will almost certainly need replacing.

This is another job best left to a technician to do for you unless you are confident in your DIY skills.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Door Won’t Open? (here’s how to unlock it)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my washing machine stuck on one minute?

If your washing machine is stuck on one minute it could be because; you have selected the anti-crease cycle, the drum is unbalanced, there is an electrical glitch, there is a problem with the water supply or drainage, the timer is defective, the pressure switch is defective, the thermostat is defective or the heating element is defective.

Why won’t my washing machine end the cycle?

One of the most common reasons why a washing machine won’t finish its cycle is a faulty drain pump or blocked drainage system.

How do you force a washing machine to reset?

To force a washing machine to reset all you need to do is disconnect the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes to allow any remaining electricity to discharge. Then reconnect the power supply and the appliance should be reset.

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