Thread Number: 89433  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
VMW washer and auto-sense
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 1140374   1/25/2022 at 21:32 (819 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan and Palm Springs, CA)        

jamiel's profile picture
The new condo we got which has the KA dishwasher has a newish Amana VMW washer which doesn't behave on autosense quite as I expected. Did a large load with the autosense (seems like it fills/senses until it determines the load is floating then off it goes). Worked fine. I did a small load (smalls/socks) which used a lot more water than I'd expected (so much so that I underdosed the detergent) filled to 2/3 or 3/4). It's right next to the water heater (25 years old cough cough) so I can get nice hot water into it; but am I expecting too much from auto sense (there's no water level control except for full fill/autosense).

Post# 1140375 , Reply# 1   1/25/2022 at 21:39 (819 days old) by quincyman (Oldsmar, FL)        

Could you enlighten me please? What does VMW stand for?

Post# 1140376 , Reply# 2   1/25/2022 at 21:41 (819 days old) by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

pierreandreply4's profile picture
check if your machine has a deep water wash i have a vmn maytag since july last year clothes floats on auto sense but if i set it to max fil deep wash its lie a regular washer

Post# 1140377 , Reply# 3   1/25/2022 at 21:54 (819 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
VMW = Vertical Modular Washer ... Whirlpool's name for the mechanical design introduced in 2010 that replaced direct-drive.

I haven't run across any technical information on how its water level auto-sensing works.

Post# 1140411 , Reply# 4   1/26/2022 at 11:56 (819 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture

Jamie, I believe that my Roper TL with auto sense is the sister ship to your Amana.   I’ve had this machine for over 2.5 years now and once or twice I’ve had this happen with a very small load.  I think what can cause this is if I’ve opened the lid during the sensing process or the washing portion of the cycle to add another item of two.  I’ve found that when ever the the lid is opened during this phase of the cycle when its closed again the machine will add a short burst of water then resume agitation.  I really like the Auto Sense and use it for almost every load, except large single item loads life a king blanket, comforter or spread.


My experience has been very favorable with this machine.  Most of my loads are full loads which is a full 1.5 bushel laundry basket.  The machine fills to cover the compressed load by about 1”, which is an adequate amount of water to thoroughly clean.  Another thing I’ve noticed about this machine is that there is NEVER any lint on the completed loads.  I’ve on occasion forgotten a Kleenex, paper napkin or paper towel and discovered it when I opened the lid.  But there has never been a bit of lint on the finished load, even on black tee shirts or dark towels.  I hope that you’ll be as happy with your Amana as I am with my Roper.


BTW, I’ve found that Gain Original Scent Flings are my favorite detergent for this machine, one for small loads and two for large.



Post# 1140417 , Reply# 5   1/26/2022 at 13:16 (818 days old) by murando531 (Augusta, Georgia - US)        

murando531's profile picture
This particular strain of VMW machines is interesting, because they actually work quite well, even on AutoSense, if you know the little quirks and tweaks of how it operates.

After using a Kenmore and Amana branded VMW machine in two apartments the past couple of years during our move to Augusta, (both identical machines aside from just the brand badge), these are a couple things I learned:

First, I assume your machine has two option selector knobs, a water level selector (Deep Fill/AutoSense, or whatever brand specific labelling they're using), plus two other positions that will add an extra rinse respectively. Then of course a temperature selector. I'm sure you've noticed by now that the Auto/Deep level differs between each cycle. The Normal/Regular cycle will obviously be the one that's more conservative, and the Deep setting technically won't do anything, except maybe add a few more seconds of water. Interestingly though, this doesn't seem to apply to the Normal-Heavy and Normal-Light cycles. Those cycles also do a much better job at accurately determining the water level than the Normal-Regular setting.

That said, because I'm a firm believer that soaking is much more effective at overall cleaning than adding agitation time, saving wear on fabrics and the machine alike, I would always set the machine to Normal-Light with AutoSense+Extra Rinse for a typical load of clothes, and after the fill was finished and a minute of agitation went by or so, I'd hit Pause and just set a timer for 15-20 minutes, and then come back and hit the Start button again and let it finish out. That would ultimately give about 10-12 minutes of agitation, then a spin and spray rinse, then a full rinse at the same water level, then another spray rinse, then final spin. That combo always did perfectly for getting out pesky deodorant/underarm stains from darks and colors among other soils from workout clothes, etc. than any additional, heavier agitation, plus didn't add any wear to the other laundry or the machine.

The thing to remember about these machines as well is that the only cycles that are restricted to a spray rinse only are the Normal-Regular/Heavy/Light and Quick cycles. The other cycles; Jeans/Towels, Bulky, Delicates, Casuals, should get a normal rinse when set to AutoSense, otherwise if you add the extra rinse option, you will get TWO complete full rinses. On Normal or Quick, your extra rinse will always be a final spray rinse before the spin, after a normally filled rinse.

Adding on to all this is that Auto water levels for Bulky, Jeans, and even Delicates are, from my experience, very much overkill, because if I'm remembering correctly, they all filled to a minimum of 4/5 of the tub full (and also didn't seem to change regardless of the load size, even a full drum of towels), with Deep Fill filling all the way to the top. Because of that, setting to Normal-Light was always the most versatile and regularly used cycle, paired with Auto+Extra Rinse. It would always fill to what I considered accurate levels per the wash load; to the top or near top for a full load of mixed clothes like jeans, shirts, underwear, etc, as well as just enough for a good flowing rollover for sheets. I did use the Towels cycle for actual towel loads though, with Deep Fill, because I'm always only going to wash a full load anyway and wanted a standard fill-to-the-top operation just like machines of the old days. My only complaint there is that the final spin was always the low speed, at least on those machines, so I'd have to come back and set to a Drain/Spin again before taking them out.

So anyway, feel free to experiment on your machines and keep in mind that there may be variations but so far in my experience with now at least 10 of these machines across family and friends that now have them, plus their abundance in apartments and starter homes, they all share the same programming regardless of brand, and in my opinion the Normal-Light, AutoSense+Extra Rinse setting actually gives the most reliable and traditional operation, if you're willing to pause the machine about 10 minutes in to let it soak depending on how soiled the load is and what it needs. Or if you'd rather it just agitate a lot longer (over 30 minutes worth), just select Normal-Heavy and get the same AutoSense performance.

***A note about soaking in any of Whirlpool's electronically controlled washers so far, top or front load: Pausing the cycle will only work so long as the lid or door is *NOT* disturbed after hitting that pause button. So long as the latch is not disturbed, it will sit for eternity until hitting resume and restarting, unless there's a limit longer than over an hour that I've never cared to investigate. IF the door/lid is opened or disturbed for even a second, the machine will start a 2-5 minute timer and then emergency drain out, unless the Start button is pressed to resume. If you do have to open the lid before you're ready for the machine to resume, you'll have to hit start and allow the machine to resume for a few seconds before hitting pause again. I believe this is the case for other brands as well, GE being one, but I only know for sure that this is how Whirlpool built VMW, VMAX, Oasis, and Duet/Alpha front loads handle pausing.

Post# 1140419 , Reply# 6   1/26/2022 at 13:30 (818 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture

Great explanation of these machines Andrew.  It’s nice to hear from someone else that likes these machines.


 I almost always use the regular/normal cycle, hot water and auto sense w/out an extra rinse.  This cycle finishes in 34 mins flat and cleans  and rinses wonderfully, despite the rinse cycle only being spray rinse.  I just did three loads this morning and they all came out beautiful, no leftover stains, no residual detergent, no wrinkles, no lint, no tangling.  


The only thing I would change is for them to have a higher RPM spin than 700 RPM.  Other than that I think my washer is perfect!



Post# 1140438 , Reply# 7   1/26/2022 at 18:49 (818 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

The washer during sensing mode determines the amount of amps required to spin the tub. More amps-heavier load- more water.

You can try and recalibrate the washer so it can zero itself out.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Lorainfurniture's LINK

Post# 1140827 , Reply# 8   1/31/2022 at 19:15 (813 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan and Palm Springs, CA)        

jamiel's profile picture
Thanks for this! The model is NTW4516FW3 with a serial CX1805329...presuming it toddled down the line in Clyde, Ohio 6 or 7 years ago. It does have the deep fill/single or double rinse and autosense/single or double rinse. Did a few more loads today--full sheets/towels I did on bulky and seemed to do a nice job as it filled quite full, then a smallish load of synthetics/socks etc which seemed to be much more like what I'd expect an autosense load to be (fully saturated and soppy but not a lot of water...actually I probably over-sudsed this one (I'm using some leftover Free and Gentle pods from Safeway; but also am using hard desert water). Will probably try a single-rinse autosense to see how that works. Thanks for the idea on re-calibrating...the machine was used by a bunch of home-health aides so gawd knows how it was set up.

Post# 1140854 , Reply# 9   1/31/2022 at 21:36 (813 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
Yes it was built in Clyde the 18th week of 2020.

Post# 1140903 , Reply# 10   2/1/2022 at 15:59 (812 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan and Palm Springs, CA)        

jamiel's profile picture
wow--brand new, then.

Post# 1140940 , Reply# 11   2/1/2022 at 20:17 (812 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
Duet pause

Actually, my Duet would drain if I did not open the door. So, I would always crack the door and come back, hit start, and it would pick up where it left off. Lol.

Post# 1141065 , Reply# 12   2/3/2022 at 08:59 (811 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
These pooe excuse for

washers had a simple load sensing to match. A slow dry spin on start followed by a faster longer one before filing with barely any water. The load was supposed to "BLOOM" with agitation.
The Bravos X sales brochure claimed that it brought "High End Laundry" with a budget price. I may still have it.

Post# 1141066 , Reply# 13   2/3/2022 at 09:00 (811 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

Poe, pooe, poor! PooPoo.

Post# 1141134 , Reply# 14   2/3/2022 at 22:45 (810 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Nacogdoches, TX, USA)        
normal/regular with deep fill

What is the sequence on deep fill when the machine is set to normal/regular? Does it have a fabric softener option? How does it differ when added opposed to the spray rinse?

Post# 1141135 , Reply# 15   2/3/2022 at 22:58 (810 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture

You select extra rinse when using fabric softener, and you would need to either use a Downey Ball, add the FS manually or buy and install a agitator top FS dispenser, in which case the FS is dispensed during the spin before the rinse fill.  The Downey Ball actually works very well.


 If spray rinse is selected you can’t use fabric softener.  You would need to use dryer sheets instead.



Post# 1141375 , Reply# 16   2/6/2022 at 07:28 (808 days old) by Toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        
Auto-Sense water levels. GE example.

toggleswitch's profile picture
Hi all! *WAVES* Ladies, gentlemen, undecided....

My General Electric brand, top-loading, high-efficiency TOL agitator washer
GTW465ASN1WW has some excellent features:

The DEEP WASH option works even with "auto-sense".
The DEEP RINSE option is great.
2nd rinse (no softener option) provides a classic spray-rinse & a deep-rinse
2nd rinse (softener option) provides 2 deep rinses, no sprays.

Of course i have jury-rigged a small lid-bypass switch to watch with the lid open. Plunger, small block of wood and two nails does WONDERS! LOL

But here is how this machine is absolutely a shamless hussy/ coniving/manipulating/slick little beast:
If you open the lid after the locked auto-sense sequence of multiple fills and spins and pauses, IT WILL FILL TO A HIGHER LEVEL AND USE WARMER WATER. SNEAKY!!!!!

Hope this helps others with their auto-fill (GE and other brands).
Rumor has it that wetting part of the load before starting the machine gets you higher water levels. See various YouTube videos. (not GE specific!)

The red markings BTW are to assist a relative with dementia (who is in denial). This, plus bi-polar & Narcissitic Personalty Disorder makes for a huge shit-ton of fun. LOL This middle-aged adulthood thing is NOT all its cracked-up to be! HA HA

Stay safe, enjoy life and remember, daddy adores you....

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 5         View Full Size
Post# 1141381 , Reply# 17   2/6/2022 at 09:59 (808 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Fisher & Paykel auto-sensing water level has two factors, employed in a slightly different fashion on agitator vs. impeller models.

1) Basket float.  Agitator models typically fill to the next-highest of the five levels after basket float is detected.  Impeller models stop fill immediately at basket float ... except for specialty cycles that go to higher levels.  Impeller models also use the water level at basket float as a factor in calculating the agitation speed.

2) Load resistance.  Agitator models run a series of agitation strokes (resistance test, mix-up, 2nd resistance test) to determine the load, filling higher if needed (without agitation during the fills) and testing again until the algorithms are happy.  Impeller models agitate a couple/few mins at the float level to determine the load resistance, then fill higher if needed while agitating.  Load resistance is used to top-off the HE level if needed and also to calculate the conventional-mode level.

The load is wet/saturated when basket float occurs so wetting the load before starting has no effect.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy