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WTW4950XW3 stuck in 'Sensing' mode


Premium Member
Mar 12, 2023
Model Number
More than 10 years
This Whirlpool washer (WTW4950XW3) is just over 10 years old and has never given problems until now. It is stuck in 'Sensing' mode. Since developing the issue, it will typically hold in this mode, but will occasionally start a wash cycle with clothing and detergent loaded, fill with water and then stop mid cycle with the water still in it.

Today, this situation repeated and I was able to pull the washer out from the wall, disconnect the drain hose from the waste line (still connected to the washer), and the washer managed to enter a spin cycle such that I could drain the water into a container which was blue possibly indicating the presence of detergent.

Following this situation, I reconnected the drain line to the waste pipe inlet, pushed the washer back into place, and attempted to run a rinse and spin cycle, but the 'Sensing' light cont'd to flash at .5 second intervals. My attempts to enter the diagnostic phase have not worked.

Any help is appreciated!

Hi Steve,

Here's your tech. data sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1psVH4VJFVWLEFo_Kf8Dwp9OlD8vPDuVG/view?usp=sharing

On Page 2 of your tech. data sheet do: ACTIVATING THE SERVICE DIAGNOSTIC TEST MODES

Then do FAULT CODE DISPLAY MODE on Page 3--->Then you can see what fault code/codes you are getting on Page 6 and Page 7: FAULT/ERROR CODES

Try getting it into the diagnostics again, we need to see what error code you get.

Try several times, if your not able to get into diagnostics then it sounds like the main control board is the culprit.

Here's the main control board for your model:
Thanks for taking the time to help with my problem, Jake. I am in the process of trying a few things with the washer. Unfortunately, step 1 of the Activating the Service Diagnostic Test Modes is not true at this time - one of the lights is on. It has varied over the last day or so, most recently on Spin. I just got it to engage in a Quick Wash cycle, so we will see what happens. Maybe it will complete the cycle and fully enter standby mode so that I can try activating the diagnostic mode again. I will report back.

P.S. I know this post might not be relevant, but if others are in the same predicament, maybe it will prove helpful if we stumble across a solution or a helpful step in the process. To laypeople like myself some of this stuff might as well be voodoo. :) I am good with house repairs and some vehicle stuff, but appliances are outside my wheelhouse at the moment.

Ok Steve, sounds good, yes keep us posted.

Unplug the machine for 5 min. and try to get into diagnostics again.

If you want to see a video of how to do it, go to Youtube and search "whirlpool washer enter diagnostic mode"
We were able to run a couple of loads without a problem then the Sensing issue repeated itself. I have tried entering diagnostic mode many times, but without success. Diagnostic directions: revolve the dial to the Left then do the following: 1R (1/2 sec pause), 1R (1/2 sec pause), 1R (1/2 sec pause), 1L (1/2 sec pause), and 1R. I have tried it with no lights displayed (as instructed in the manual), and with lights displayed but always while plugged in of course :) .

Each time the sensing problem starts the tub has clothing and detergent in it. The Sensing issue starts after the tub has filled with water and prior to starting agitation.
Ok, when it does that sensing problem, on Page 2 of your tech. data sheet I posted above, you can check the control board DIAGNOSTIC LED to see if its ON or OFF.

A troubleshooting tool has been implemented onto the main control board—a diagnostic LED.
LED ON – The Control is detecting correct incoming line voltage and the processor is functioning.
LED OFF – Control malfunction. Perform TEST #1: Main Control, page 12, to verify main control functionality.

If the LED is ON, but since you can't get it into diagnostics, it sounds like the main control board is possibly the issue.

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