How To Best Use The Delay Function On Your Washing Machine

While washing machines have become smarter and smarter over the past couple of decades, we don't always take the time to use all the bells and whistles. There's one control that it really pays to learn about, however. By using the delay function built into your washing machine, you can throw a load of laundry in and have it ready to dry at your convenience while sleeping, driving home from work, or picking the kids up from school.

Depending on your lifestyle, you might find that it's not needed, but exploring a variety of scenarios where delay functions make sense can help you get your money's worth out of all those snazzy electronics built into your washing machine. For instance, throwing a load of laundry in before you go to bed and delaying the start so that it finishes up just as you're getting up lets you easily dry it while getting ready for work or prepping lunches for the kids.

Later in the day, when you have time to fold, you're ready to go. Using the delay function can also help keep pressure high during peak water usage periods in your home, like when your irrigation system or the dishwasher is running, or several family members are trying to bathe in succession. You can still get a load of laundry, that might have been forgotten, ready to wash without sacrificing pressure or running out of hot water.

How washer delay functions work

If you have a busy home that requires running the washer daily, being able to time a load to run so that it's done right as you're getting home from work or running errands can help a tedious task go more smoothly. The actual amount of time you can delay your load of wash varies from machine to machine, though.

For example, some top-loading models by GE Appliances allow you to delay the start anywhere from 1 to 9 hours. Other Samsung front-loading washers have a delay range of between 3 and 19 hours. Most models let you set the timer in one-hour increments regardless of the total delay range available, but exact details on how to set the delay feature vary from washer to washer. That said, you probably will have to pull out the trusty owner's manual or look up the instructions online to see exactly how to work your particular delay feature.

Other things to keep in mind when using a washing machine delay function

If you're the type of person who washes a load of clothes or linens and then forgets to dry them, delaying the start probably isn't going to solve all your laundry woes. Unfortunately, you're still going to have a load of sour wash from time to time even if you delay the start.

It's also wise to be cognizant of damage from water leaks that can occur while running your washing machine and the fire risks that come with operating a dryer. The risk is low, especially if you follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper installation and load sizes in washers and keep your lint trap and vents leading from the dryer clean. Nevertheless, timing delays for washing and subsequent drying to coincide with when you'll be at home is a sensible move.

Deciding when to use your delay feature is about more than avoiding mistakes and hazards, though. There are times when it might make sense to use power at night for tasks like this to conserve energy and even save money. This can be particularly true during summer heat waves, depending on where you live. With a little learning and planning, you can decide when it's best to use the delay function and get the most out of your washing machine.