The Master Reset on Washing Machines

Our washing machine stopped spinning. It would reach the spin cycle and just stop, until the spin cycle ended. I went to the phone for answers. I thought the YouTube videos on the subject would instruct me on the “simple task” of tearing the machine down to the bolts and building it back up again. I also thought they might instruct me to “simply” remove a belt that is almost impossible for someone like me to remove. I pictured an afternoon of frustration and uselessness, as I attempted to fix something above my pay grade.
The first internet page I pulled up, instructed me that my first step was to perform what is called a Master Reset. It sounded complicated. I read the instructions of the Master Reset, “To perform a Master Reset, carefully unplug the washing machine from the power outlet and leave it unplugged for one minute. After one minute is up, plug the washer cord back into the wall. Next, open and close the door of the washing machine 6 times within 12 seconds to send a “reset” signal to all the components.” I read through those steps a couple of times. It seemed too simple, and I knew that a remedy this simple would not work for someone like me. My cynicism led me to believe that corporations build machines like these to keep people like me from fixing them, and to keep the whole industry that surrounds washing machines, and repairmen afloat. I also thought this sounded like one of those “home remedies” that people spread via word of mouth, but no one uses, because they don’t work for “me”, and such solutions only leave those of us who are not able to fix anything with this inept feeling of being one of the few for whom miracle cures don’t work.
In my mind, I was already at the furniture store writing the check for a new washing machine, but I considered the idea of trying this step-by-step process on a ‘what the heck’ basis. I thought this option might have a better chance of working than stabbing myself in the eye, so I tried it, and it … it worked. It worked so well that we did it twice just to convince ourselves that it actually worked.
I went back to the website that said, “This is a common fix that many appliance repair mechanics use – it works on about 50% of all washing machines.” The question I now have is how many times has an appliance repairman removed the back panel on our washing machine to perform a diagnostic check on our machine while we are in the room? How many of them fiddled with the particulars of that machine, until we left that room? How many of them then executed the steps of this master reset and called us back into the room to show us their prowess, and a bill of $130 for parts and labor?

“You just needed a new flux capacitor, and well, I happened to have one on me,” they say to our amazement.

How many of us were so relieved that our old washing machine now works, and that we do not have to pay $300 for a new one, that we didn’t question it? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars have passed from desperate customers to appliance repair mechanics over the years and decades in which this master reset option has been available to all? How many new washing machines have desperate customers purchased to replace a washing machine that most people, salesmen or not, will tell you are cheaper to replace than fix? How many of those same washing machines just needed a master reset? This led me to two conclusions, I could either become an appliance repairman that specializes in fixing washing machines, and fix 50% of them, or I could spread the word and hopefully prevent others from being duped by repairmen and salespeople who tell their customers it is in their best interests, over the long haul, to just buy a new one.

[Update: Needless to say, our washing machine was on its last legs. The method described above did not fix this washing machine, or save it long-term, but it did extend the life of the machine by about a year and a half-to-two years. So, read this article for what it is and nothing more.] 


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