Maytag Centennial Washer Stuck On Sensing: 5 Easy Fixes

Does it seem like your Maytag Centennial washer is stuck on sensing for too long before starting a wash cycle? Or does it never get past the sensing mode after you load the washer?

Numerous washer issues, mainly of technical and mechanical nature, could cause your Maytag washing machine to remain on sensing.

While the sensing phase has a specific role that shouldn’t take too long, the washer remains stuck in it mainly because it cannot perform the wash cycle and transition to the next phase.

Why is your Maytag Centennial washer stuck on sensing?

Your Maytag Bravo washer and most modern washing machines use the sensing technology for two main reasons: to determine the load amount and the necessary water level for this load amount.

The sensing phase will begin with a few waterless spins, allowing the machine to determine the weight of the load you put into the washer drum.

Once the load has been determined, the sensing feature will prompt water elements in the washer, such as the water valve, to provide the necessary water to start the wash cycle.

However, if your Maytag washer seems stuck on sensing, here are some of the most common problems you might encounter.

Faulty capacitor

Your Maytag washer machine may have a malfunctioning capacitor, causing it to stay in the sensing phase instead of starting the wash cycle.

The role of the capacitor in your washer is to shift between current and voltage.

This means that the machine cannot transition from one cycle to another or even start any of the cycles if the capacitor is damaged.

If you’re dealing with a faulty capacitor, you will often hear a buzzing sound coming from the washer, indicating that the washing or the drying motor is having trouble starting.

Even if the motor rotation starts, you will notice that the rotation is relatively slow and weak.

Faulty washer actuator

Another common issue in a Maytag washer is a faulty washer actuator, whether it be a mechanical or an electrical problem.

The primary role of the actuator is to manage the transition between the different cycles of your washer.

The actuator’s role is equally important in the Maytag Top Load washer, Maytag Performa, Maytag Centennial, and all the other models.

A faulty washer actuator will make it rather difficult, or even impossible, for the washing machine to switch between the sensing and wash cycles.

Clogged drain pump

Even the tiniest clog in your drain pump could cause the Maytag washer to remain on sensing, as the washer cannot drain the water from the washer drum.

The drain pump is usually clogged with built-up gunk, dirt, sand, dried suds, or product buildup.

The washer unable to drain the water and start the drying cycle could have the system stuck in the sensing fill phase.

Luckily, the drain pump usually comes with a relatively easy filter to clean or replace if needed.

Faulty lid switch

A faulty lid switch is the main reason the washer door cannot close completely, which also prevents the wash cycle from starting after the sensing phase.

Keep in mind that it can be rather dangerous letting the machine start the cycle with a broken lid lock switch since you risk the door opening mid-cycle and the water leaking all over the floor.

Faulty water inlet valve

The washer will never achieve the necessary water level with a failed water inlet valve.

Worst case scenario, a failed water inlet valve could even lead to leaks, especially if you’re not around at the moment to turn off the water supply.

The water inlet valve is the main element responsible for controlling the water flow to the washer drum and adjusting it depending on whether it is a wash or a rinse cycle.

How to fix a Maytag Centennial washer stuck on sensing

What is the best way to prevent your Maytag washer from remaining stuck on sensing? It depends on the core issue, but let’s discuss the most effective methods of solving this problem.

1. Replace the faulty capacitor

When it comes to a faulty capacitor, having it repaired will often cost as much as investing in a new one.

Regarding important Maytag washer parts such as this one, we recommend replacing them as soon as possible.

However, you may want to compare the costs of a new capacitor to the price of a brand-new washer, as investing in a new appliance may be a wiser choice.

2. Replace the faulty actuator

Once again, the best approach to dealing with faulty Maytag washer parts is to compare the costs and decide if the investment is worth it.

In case you’re not confident that the actuator is the issue, it is better to consult a professional before you make your final decision – whether to replace the actuator or invest in a new washing machine

3. Clean the clogged drain pump

The first step would be to locate the filter access door on your washer, usually positioned in the bottom right corner of the appliance.

Open the filter access door as instructed in the manual (you may need a screwdriver for this step). Behind the filter access door, you should see a rubber drain hose and a round dial.

Disconnect the drain hose from its position, then empty it using a bowl and a towel to prevent making a mess in your bathroom or laundry room.

Once you remove the cap from the drain hose, the water will come rushing out, so you want to have that bowl prepared and a towel laid underneath it.

The drain pump filter you’re looking for is the round dial you noticed next to the drain hose. All you need to do to unlock it from its position and remove it is to rotate it counterclockwise.

Once you’ve removed the filter, rinse it and remove as much gunk and accumulated dirt as possible. You may also need a small brush to get into the nooks and crevices and clean the filter.

Once you’ve cleaned the filter, make sure to wipe the filter compartment in the washer clean, as well. 

To reinstall the filter into the washer, turn it clockwise to secure it back into its position. Mount the hose back into place, making sure that the connection is tight.

If you notice any defects in these elements, make sure to replace them, as cleaning a damaged filter or hose won’t make a difference when solving the sensing issue.

You also want to ensure that the filter access door is closed correctly. If you had to unscrew the door, put the screws back in and secure the door. 

4. Replace the lid switch

In case there is mineral buildup or accumulated dirt on the lid switch, you may be able to clean it with hot water and a small brush that will allow you to get into all hard-to-reach areas.

However, if the lid switch is corroded or broken, it must be replaced. If your Maytag washer is still under warranty, you should be able to have it replaced at their service shop.

5. Install a new water inlet valve

The water valve is one element that requires a quick replacement the moment you realize something is wrong.

The water inlet valve, also known as the water fill valve, can be replaced in case you have some experience in this area. Otherwise, we suggest hiring a technician for this task.

You will find the water inlet valve on the back of your Maytag washer, connected to two water-fill hoses (the cold water and the hot water hoses).

Luckily, the water valve can be reached from the top of the washer, so there’s no need to open and remove any of the panels, which makes the job much easier.

The first step is to turn off the washer and unplug it from the power source, then position the washer in a way that allows you to access the valve easily.

Place some towels on the floor since residue water will come out of the hoses once you unplug them. You may also label the hoses to know precisely where to reinstall them later.

You will need channel pliers to rotate the hoses counterclockwise and disconnect them from the washer.

Use a putty knife to reach into the corner seams, which connect the top and the front portion of the washer; now position the knife up to disconnect the spring clips holding the top of the washer.

Remove the top, then use a small (¼ inch) nut driver to disconnect the two hex head mounting screws while connecting the fill valve to the back part of the washer.

You should be able to see the faulty water valve now. Move it to the side, but do not disconnect the outlet hose or the four electrical spade connectors.

Install the new fill valve and secure it with the screws you removed earlier. Make sure to reconnect everything as you found it, and in case you get confused along the way, you can always take a look at the user manual. 

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