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Maytag Centennial Washer Stuck on Sensing (This is How to FIX it)

Maytag Centennial Washer Stuck on Sensing (This is How to FIX it)

Maytag produces legendary products with impressive features, and their top-load centennial washer is the best you can get. One such amazing feature is the sensing mode which regulates the optimal amount of water necessary for your load.

You may have experienced a scenario where your Maytag Centennial washer stuck on sensing mode and given up on the machine. And really, seeing a washer stuck in sensing mode is quite frustrating. 

So, if you’re clueless about why, below are the reasons.

If your Maytag centennial washer spends more than three minutes in the sensing mode, it’s stuck. The reasons for this are sudden faults with certain parts, including the drive motor, water inlet valve, control board, or shift actuator. The problem could also result from washer imbalance, overload, or an open lid.

Sensing mode is a lifesaver, but it’s frustrating when it gets stuck, as it prevents washing from starting. Maytag centennial washer getting stuck on sensing? So, let’s examine the potential reasons for this issue and how to rectify them.

Why is the Maytag Centennial Washer Stuck on Sensing?

Maytag Centennial washer, being a top load washer, comes with the auto-sensing feature. This feature conserves water by sensing the load present and regulating water to an optimal level.

Before a wash cycle begins, the sensing mode loads for two to three minutes. Therefore, your laundering is put on hold if your Maytag washer doesn’t leave sensing mode.

So, in summary, here are the reasons your Maytag washer is stuck in sensing mode.

  • Washer Imbalance
  • Improperly shut lid
  • Overloading the washer
  • Bad drive motor
  • Damaged water inlet valve
  • Faulty control board
  • Shift actuator
  • Clogged drain pump
  • Motor issue

The first step to finding a solution is understanding the problem at hand. So, let’s delve into the possible reasons for your washer not progressing past sensing mode without further ado.

Washer Imbalance

If the load in your washer doesn’t have a proper balance, the washer won’t proceed past sensing mode. The reason for this is that the imbalance makes it difficult for the washer to sense the load amount and calculate the appropriate water level necessary for washing.

Imbalance also occurs if the washer lacks a level stance. So, you should check the positioning of your washer and the load if it gets stuck in sensing mode.

Improperly Shut Lid

Another thing that can cause your washer to remain stuck in sensing mode is the lid. After putting your clothes in the drum, you have to shut the lid properly. 

If you don’t close the lid properly, your Maytag Centennial washing machine will be stuck in sensing mode. That’s how these washers work.


Overloading the Washer

Overloading may cause your Maytag Centennial washer to remain stuck in sensing mode. It can even damage your machine over time. 

Most people are fond of overloading their washers, over 3/4 full. They believe the machine can handle it and may cite their tight schedules and need to finish the laundry in a specific time frame as an excuse. 

So, never intentionally put an excess load in your washer.

Bad Drive Motor

The function of your Centennial washer’s drive motor involves rotating and spinning the washer’s drum. This action enables the washer to sense the load and circulate a substantial quantity of water for the wash cycle.

Since the drive motor is constantly in motion, it’s easily susceptible to wear and tear. The possibility of wear and tear damage increases as the washer handles heavy loads and ages.

However, the washer can last up to ten years under proper conditions before giving in to wear and tear. So, you should consider the age of your washer before concluding that it’s suffering from wear and tear.

Alternatively, the motor may suffer damage from a power surge or other electrical issues. Hence, an issue with the drive motor will prevent the drums from turning and cause the washer to hang in sensing mode.

Damaged water inlet valve

Your water inlet valve is another component that can significantly impact the machine’s wash cycles. This valve connects hot and cold water hoses. It controls the flow of water into the machine. Thus, water will either take time to get full or overflow when it suffers any damage.

The Maytag’s water inlet valve can develop a fault over time. The issue could either be a blockage of the valve or complete damage. Additionally, the water inlet valve wears out over time. 

How to fix it:

You cannot repair a faulty water inlet valve. It’s not even advisable you do so. The best way to solve this problem is to change the water inlet valve for your washing machine to start functioning properly again. 

Faulty Control Board

Sometimes, an electrical surge can burn the capacitors on the control board. If the capacitor is burnt, there’s no way your washer will move past sensing mode.

The control board houses diverse components that are vital to the washer. Thus, your washer won’t function properly or may start malfunctioning if anything happens to the control board. 

A faulty control board isn’t an issue you may often encounter with the Maytag washer. But when it does happen, the impact is always massive. Your washer may remain hooked in sensing mode. 

Other than this, it’s possible for the control board to fail, thus inhibiting functions like auto-sensing.

How to fix it:

To fix this problem, you’ll need a multimeter. Use it to test the control board to ascertain if it has a fault or not. If it does, please consider getting a new control board for your washer. 

Also, you can use the multimeter to test other components’ continuity. These include components like the motor and connecting wires

Shift Actuator

The shift actuator, which maintains the position of the splutch and monitors the washer’s transmission, may have a mechanical or electrical fault. The damage may result from a broken part, short circuit, or leak from the tub seal.

Check the shift actuator if your Maytag washer is stuck on sensing mode. There’s a chance that it’s faulty. 

This shift actuator is responsible for the washer’s action, such as switching between the wash and spin washing cycles. So, if it develops a fault, your machine may malfunction. 

Examine the actuator’s connections and confirm that the slider is in motion to decipher the problem.

Clogged drain pump

How would the water exit the tub if the drain pump has a fault or it’s blocked? This isn’t possible in any way. And keep in mind that a blocked or damaged drain pump can cause your Maytag Centennial washer to linger in sensing mode. 

How to fix it:

You can fix the drain pump problem by simply loosening the drain pump from the washing machine’s rear. Then put a snake into the pipe to see if there would be any resistance. If there is, then the drain pump has a fault. Use the snake to manually remove the debris so that your machine can now start functioning properly. 

Motor issue

Another component to focus on if your washer gets stuck on sensing is the motor. It is possible that your motor is being obstructed, and consequently, it can’t make the tub rotate. In this scenario, you’ll see the sensing light flashing repeatedly, but it won’t move past the sensing mode. 

How to fix it:

To fix this problem, inspect the motor and try to remove any material that’s blocking and preventing it from rotating. After removing the object causing the blockage, restart the washing machine, and it will start working correctly. 

Fixes for a Maytag Centennial Washer Stuck on Sensing Mode

Now that we’ve gone through why your Maytag centennial washer may be stuck in sensing mode, let’s move on to fixes. Don’t be agitated, there’s no need to call a professional, as these are easy DIY fixes you can handle.

Depending on where the issue lies, you can then predict the appropriate troubleshooting measure to apply.

Level Your Washer

If the problem results from an imbalance, this is the appropriate fix for you. Try repositioning and moving the load in your washer.

The first thing you need to do is observe the washer to see if it is appropriately leveled. If not, try to jack the machine’s legs up until it levels properly and starts functioning well again.

A Handy Tip: In most cases, the floor, or where you mounted the washer could be the culprit. In this case, you may have to relocate the washer to another position. 

You also need to do the same thing for your Maytag top-loading washers. Make sure your washer is on a leveled floor.

And if your washer is not in the proper position, you can level it by jacking up the legs.

Read: Amana washer stuck in sending fill

Check the Lid

You must ensure the washer’s lid is properly shut and the lock is closed. So, take a quick look at the lid to confirm that there’s no form of obstruction preventing it from closing.

You can fix the lid problem by checking if the lid has been damaged or if something is probably preventing it from closing properly. There’s a chance an item from the clothes you’re washing is blocking the lid. Furthermore, if the lid is faulty, you must fix it or get a new one. 

Ensure your washer’s door is closing correctly, and you can lock it. If you can’t, try every means possible to fix it. 

Adjust the Load

You don’t need a tool to fix the overloading problem. Just stop the machine and remove the clothes, one after the other. Continue until the drum is 3/4 full. 

If overloading were the reason your machine has been stuck on sensing mode, it would pick up and start working well again when you reduce the load in the drum. 

A Handy Tip: The easiest way to avoid overloading your Maytag or any washer, for that matter, is to put the clothes into the washer one after the other. Don’t throw a bunch of clothes into the machine all at once. 

Read: Rheem tankless water heater error code 12

Replace or Replace Damaged Parts

Your Maytag centennial washer will not move past sensing mode if there is a fault with certain parts. These include the drive motor, water inlet valve, control board, and shift actuator.

Upon confirming the exact washer part experiencing issues, you should proceed to resolve the issues. Let’s take a look at each part and how to give it a fix.

Drive Motor

Unfortunately, damage to your washer’s drive motor is irreparable. Hence, if this occurs, you must replace the drive motor with a new one.

The downside to this is that the motor is an expensive part to purchase. Therefore, if your washer is old and has other issues, you should consider buying a new washer.

Water Inlet Valve

You need to locate your washer’s water inlet valve to check its condition. Since the valve is an internal component, you’ll have to open up your washer from behind by removing the screws and disconnecting the wires.

When you find the valve, check to see if there’s dirt surrounding it. If there is, clean it with a cloth. Also, check for signs of corrosion.

The problem might ensue from an electrical fault disrupting the power supply and water flow.

Supposing this is the case, you’ll have to replace the water inlet valve. Click here for directions on how to conduct the replacement.

Control Board

You can replace the faulty part if a capacitor on the board burns or the issue is from a component. However, if the entire control board fails, you’ll have to get a new one.

Shift Actuator

To fix this problem, here’s what you need to do. Firstly, don’t assume your washer has a shift actuator problem. Put the machine in diagnostic mode and identify the error code it’s displaying.  

You’ll know if your Maytag washer has a shift actuator problem from the diagnostics. And when you find out, please replace the faulty component. 

If the shift actuator is faulty, you’ll have to buy a new one and conduct a replacement.

To reach the faulty shift actuator, loosen the belt guard first. Once it’s off, you can easily access the faulty shift actuator you want to replace. Now, loosen the screws, remove the bad shift actuator and install the new one. 

Note: It’s advisable to run a calibration cycle after replacing ant part of your Maytag centennial washer.

Here are alternative fixes if you can’t identify the source of your washer hanging in sensing mode.

Perform a Reset

You can follow the machine’s instructional manual to set it properly. You can also reset the washing machine if you don’t know how to set it. When you factory reset, your washer will return to factory reset. 

There are two ways to reset your washer. Here’s how to reset your washer using the first method:

  • Turn it off and unplug, then wait for a minute.
  • Replug it and wait thirty seconds, then rerun it.


  • Switch off the water supply and unplug your washer.
  • After some time, open the water supply and replug the washer.
  • Press the power button for 10 seconds, then release.

You could equally try resetting the sensors using these steps.

  • Turn the water supply off and disconnect the hoses.
  • After a minute, connect the hoses again and turn on the water supply.

Run a Diagnostic Test

You don’t have to exhaust your options before running a diagnostic test on your washer. This test could be the first thing you do as it could help you identify why your washer is stuck in sensing mode without any stress.

A diagnostic test will produce error codes to detect the fault. You should consult your owner’s manual if you can’t interpret the error codes.

Follow these instructions to conduct a diagnostic test on your Maytag centennial washer.

  • First, unplug the washer, wait for a minute, and replug it.
  • Next, after waiting for two to three minutes, rotate the dial to align with the 12:00 position.
  • Rotate the knob to the left in one turn.
  • Rotate the knob to the right in three turns.
  • Turn the knob to the left once more and then to the right.
  • Wait for the lights to flash, then rotate the knob to the right with one turn.
  • After this, press the start button and turn the knob to the right.
  • After a few seconds, the error code will be on display.

It’s left for you to interpret the error code and carry out the necessary repair or replacement.

Warranty and Support

If above-mentioned steps are not able to help you, it’s time to contact the Maytag washer support.

You can contact Maytag customer service at 1-800-344-1274.

Their Chat services are available from

Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST.

Saturday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST.

Maytag offers 10 years limited parts warranty on its products. Check this link to make sure that it is under warranty or not.


The Maytag centennial washer is an essential laundry must-have. However, you should prepare for the issues it might develop during usage, one of which is getting stuck in sensing mode.

Your Maytag washer is stuck on sensing mode due to one of several reasons, such as washer not leveled on the floor, overloading, faulty lid, faulty timer, water inlet valve, shift actuator problem, malfunctioning control board, clogged drain, wrong settings, and motor issue. 

If your Maytag Centennial washer gets stuck in sending mode, here are fixes to try.

  • Washer Imbalance
  • Improperly shut lid
  • Overloading the washer
  • Bad drive motor
  • Damaged water inlet valve
  • Faulty control board
  • Shift actuator
  • Clogged drain pump
  • Motor issue

So, try to identify the main issue preventing your washer from moving past sensing mode. Is it that the washer is not leveled, or it’s overloaded? Is the timer faulty? You can see that several factors could be responsible.

However, if you fix the main issues causing your Maytag washer to remain stuck in sensing mode and nothing changes, you should consider getting a new Maytag Centennial washer