As with virtually all washing machines made today, most of them have unique problems all their own. Having said that, GE top load washers come to mind. For the most part, GE top load washers are as dependable as other models, so don’t be discouraged if yours happens to experience difficulties. In many cases these machines aren’t too difficult to repair but cost will always be a concern.
The GE top load machines with the motor inverter configuration, which is used in the majority of their later models experience problems with the mode shifter. This device isn’t a transmission but rather a shifting mechanism that engages a shaft for spin, or disengages for agitation. The usual problem with the mode shifter is a loss of communication between it and the motor. This will create an alarm on the motor inverter via a blinking LED which is defined by the number of times it blinks. In this case, 4 rapid flashes in a row indicate a problem with the mode shifter.
In some instances the mode shifter alarm is erroneous and resetting the alarm is all that is needed. To reset this alarm follow these steps:
- 1. Turn power off and unplug the power cord for at least 15 seconds.
- 2. Plug machine power cord back into socket, and within 15 seconds proceed with this sequence:
- a. Lift up the lid about 6 inches then close the lid flat.
- b. Repeat this motion 5 times in a row in rapid succession, but make sure lid is open at least 6 inches in one direction and the lid is flat in the other direction.
- 3. After 5 repetitions, the alarm should clear. If everything is OK, the machine will respond as expected. If the mode shifter is faulty, the washer will act peculiar when a wash cycle is started.
Bear in mind that resetting the alarm won’t work if the mode shifter is defective. If it is, the repair requires a new mode shifter and spin bearing for good measure.
Scraping noise during wash
Another issue that seems to be isolated to certain GE top load washers is a scraping noise in any cycle with an average size load. The most likely cause is a sagging apron support in the front of the machine directly behind the front panel. Over time the heavy weight of water and clothes combine to put stress on this support, causing the entire tub assembly to sag with the bottom of the assembly scraping the bottom of the machine, creating the noise. The sound goes away with light loads or if the washer is run empty. GE offers a kit that eliminates this problem.