Modern washing machines are loaded with features designed to save water and energy, helping you cut down your monthly utility bills.
However, no matter how cost-effective they may be, even these appliances can’t work without electricity.
So what happens if there is a power cut during a washing machine cycle?
Read on to find the answer to this question. You’ll also receive a few tips on what to do if this happens in your household.
What Happens to a Washer During a Power Cut?
The answer to this question mainly depends on the make and model of your washer.
Older washing machines use a mechanical timer, which means they’ll stop during the power outage and then resume where they were in the cycle when the power is restored.
Newer machines, on the other hand, are typically equipped with electronic controls that “remember” where they were when the power went out.
Depending upon their design, newer models may need to be restarted. Some machines have only a short time frame to remember the last wash cycle.
Others are designed to remain paused even after the power comes back to save energy and let you decide whether you want to continue the program or not.
This is especially true for long, hot cycles where a large amount of water and energy is used.
Is the Power Outage Related to the Washing Machine Itself?
The cause of the power cut also determines what you can do when your washer cycle is stopped due to the lack of electricity.
Most causes are not washing machine-related, which means that when the power comes back on, the rest depends on the make and model of your washer.
When you notice that your washing machine has stopped working, see if your other appliances in your home have lost power, too. If they did, the problem lies in your electrical system.
If the other devices didn’t stop, maybe the power cord of your machine wasn’t completely plugged in, and it came loose during the cycle.
However, some power cuts during washing may be caused by the machine itself. A faulty electrical line on the washer, a blown fuse on the main control board, or a blown noise filter may also cause your washing to lose power.
If the issue was with your machine, you probably won’t be able to restart it before repairing it.
Fortunately, most washing machines’ lock system disengages after losing power, so at least you’ll be able to remove the clothes and some of the water until it’s repaired.
However, you’ll need to wash them by hand or find somewhere else the wash them by machine as soon as possible.
Possible Solutions for Restarting Your Machine
As mentioned before, if you have a newer model, it probably has the Special Resume Function. This means that when the power comes back on, the machine starts working by itself where it left off without you having to do anything.
Older models and even some newer top-loaders may not be equipped with this feature, and in these, you’ll need to restart the machine by setting the program again.
You can do this by pressing the “Start/Pause” button, and then pressing the “Power” button to shut off the washer. Press the “Power” button to restart the washer and choose the program.
If you want to restart the machine, but it doesn’t show any signs of receiving power, even though it’s connected to a working outlet, pull the machine’s plug out from the outlet and put it back in.
Sometimes, this will be enough for the washer to renew its electrical supply and even remember where it was left off if it has that function.
If you have an older mechanical model or if the machine has a faulty electronic control unit, you may have trouble resetting the device. In this case, try choosing another program, such as the draining program to see if this allows you to reset the washer.
Refreshing the Machine and Clothes
If the power comes back on much later and your clothes have been soaking for a while, you may find they have a foul smell.
For this reason, if the power was off for a long time, you may want to restart the wash and send the clothes to a long deep washing cycle, whether your machine would’ve continued its cycle or not.
If it starts where it left off, send it to the drain cycle, and restart the wash after it has finished draining all the stale water.
If your washer was only at the beginning of the first soaking cycle and the program was long, you may avoid this issue. The smell should be eliminated through the subsequent soaking and rinse cycles.
Another solution is to simply rinse the clothes in a vinegar solution in hot water after the washing cycle is completed.
This also works for cleansing the washer or eliminating any odour, limescale, and pathogens accumulated when it was soaking with water.
The latter is recommended by repairmen as a regular practice for keeping your machine clean and prolonging its life. Even if your clothes don’t smell, you may still want to refresh your washer from time to time by starting it empty on a long, hot cycle with vinegar.
Avoiding Power Cuts
One power cut will only cause a nuisance, especially if you can’t restart the washer right away and need to rewash your clothes. However, several outages may damage your machine’s electrical system.
So, if you live in an area where power outages are frequent, whether due to harsh weather conditions or any other reason, you may want to consider getting a generator.
This will help you keep your washer and other electronic appliances running and in good condition for a long time.
What happens if there’s a power cut during a washing machine cycle depends on many factors.
The make and model of your washer plays a huge part in this, as some appliances have smart features, allowing them to simply continue the cycle after the power comes back on.
If yours does, you’ll need to manually reset your machine and restart the program.
If the power was off for a long period, you’ll probably need to rewash your clothes to eliminate the stale smell they’ve acquired from being soaked in water for too long.
All this is assuming that the power cut was caused by anything other than the machine itself.
Because if the washer’s faulty electrical circuit caused the power to be cut off, the defective part needs to be replaced before you can use the machine again.
I’m a mother of three who loves going on fun adventures with my family. With three little ones, I’ve learned the hard way how to keep a busy home clean! I want to share my tips and tricks to make your life as easy as possible.