The timers on washing machines offer only estimates. They are nowhere near as aware of everything going on in the washing machine as most people think. Unfortunately, when people look at timer estimates that seem off, they assume that there’s something wrong with their machine, and put in a call to a washing machine tech. It can help save money to know when these timer errors are normal.
The suds warning
People tend to be deathly afraid of using too little soap in their washers and not cleaning well enough. Their anxieties in this area drive them into using too much soap. Unless you have one of the newer suds-sensing washers that look for signs of soap and keep rinsing until everything’s clean, excess soap is going to make clothes look gray and filmed over.
If you do have a suds-sensing washer, in many cases, you won’t get a dynamic timer estimate. When the washer finds out at some point midcycle that there’s too much soap, it will throw in an extra couple of rinse cycles. Nevertheless the timer will go on, blissfully aware of the change. This can get washer owners confused and often lead them to believe that there’s something wrong with the timer. They will often call in the appliance tech to take a look.
Most washing machines with suds sensing have an indicator that lights up when there’s too much soap sensed, though. Looking out for such an indicator can help you know when you’re washing machine is going into overtime.
Poor balance is another possibility
If the wash load in your washing machine is poorly balanced, with some areas heavier with clothes than others, it will throw your washing machine’s drum off balance. Most modern machines have load-imbalanced sensors, and an internal computer that helps them run game balance at different speeds in an attempt to redistribute load and regain balance. If the machine’s busy doing this, it could take it longer to complete a cycle than the timer display mentions.
If it seems like the machine is running slower and erratically, you should simply let it be, and allow it time to get things rebalanced.
There is the matter of heat
Most modern detergent formulations do not need hot water. They use chemicals that respond well to cold water. For this reason, choosing a hot cycle isn’t usually necessary. If you do need hot water for any reason, though, it will make the washer take longer, and it won’t always reflect on the estimate shown on the display.
This is the point then
When a washer’s timer display seems unreliable, it’s important to give it the benefit of the doubt, and check the different possibilities, and correcting them if you can. You’ll save yourself the cost of calling in a tech.