HELP - My Washer Won't Spin or Agitate

10:45 AM

Readers of this blog already know that I have a love/hate relationship with most of the appliances in my home.  My washing machine is no different!  When we purchased this house 7 years ago all of the appliances were brand spanking new!  It was very exciting.  At year 5 everything went to pot!  Turns out the guy who fixed up the place did a crummy job and must have gotten these appliances on sale.  But alas, they're mine and I guess I'm stuck with them (for now). 

Truth be told, I don't have the money to run out and buy a new [insert name of broken appliance here] every time something breaks down.  PLUS I kind of like fixing things.  Even if my heart skips a beat in terror each time I hear something is broken.

The good news is that this particular problem has happened before so I'm hopeful that this is an easy fix.  About 10 months ago I did a post called Washing Machine Voo Doo.  At that time, here are the symptoms that I listed for the broken washer.

The Symptoms:The washer would come on and fill with water then stop.  It just sat there.  It acted as though it was going through the regular cycle, only it wouldn't agitate or spin.  At the end of the wash cycle the water would drain, the spin light would come on, but no spinning. Everything about the washer looked and sounded normal except that it wouldn't agitate or spin.
This is EXACTLY what's happening now.

The last time this happened, I did a little trouble shooting.

Troubleshooting:I removed the front panel and checked the belts and lid switch connection.  Everything looked fine.  I unplugged the washer, let it sit for a few minutes then plugged it back in.  The problem remained. 

On the Internet my regular go-to sites and didn't describe this problem at all. 
 This time, I cussed under my breath and tried to remember what I did last time to get this baby going again.

Thanks to Google I discovered that GE helpfully provides a video on how to reset your washing machine.  The last time this reset worked.  This time - not so much.  Here's the video!

Now, I was in a rush when I discovered that the washer was not working.  I quickly tried the reset steps and gave up.  I am hopeful that I will be able to take my time, try these steps and everything will be just fine.

Just in case, I called the good people over at 1-800-GE CARES to ask if there were any additional pointers.  The very helpful agent on the phone informed me that a washer reset video DID NOT EXIST!  She also informed me that the "proper" way to reset a washer was to unplug the machine, wait 30 minutes and plug it back it.  She completed the call by letting me know that the opening and closing of the washer as described in the video made no difference at all in the motor reset process.  Gotta love Customer Service!  Bless her (probably) under paid, over worked heart.  I'm determined to fix this baby one way or another. 

I'm going to take my time and try the reset again tonight. 

I REALLY hope this simple reset works, otherwise...I don't even want to think about it.

I'll keep you posted friends!


What a learning experience my adventures in washer repair have been! 

With guidance from an expert on the forum at  I was able to troubleshoot this troublesome machine. 

During this process I learned:
* Where the control board is located
* How to get the control board into service mode
* How to read error codes
* how to use a multi meter to test parts

I'd recount the details for you, but the entire dialogue is here.

Turns out that a washing machine stores error code like a car.  Who knew!?  The directions for how to get the washing machine to give up its secrets are stored right inside the machine.  In my case I removed the 4 screws from the top of the machine and tilted down the control panel.  Inside the control panel was a wiring schematic and directions on how to get the machine into service mode.  

For my GE washer you have to set the wash dial to the 9 o'close position.  Then hold down the start button, turn the dial  180 degrees (to the 3 o'clock position) then release the start button.  Just like that you're in service mode.  Next you move the dial over 2 clicks and see what lights illuminate.  If no lights come on there is no error code.  It gets kind of complicated after that.  You can read more of my conversation with the tech here.

The bottom line:
She's dead Jim!  My motor is shot.  I could spend $300 + dollars replacing the motor.  I opted to just buy a new machine.  HOPEFULLY that means I won't have to post about washer repair for a while.

In the meantime, if you're reading this because you're working on fixing your own washer I wish you all the luck in the world!  Here are a few resources:

GE offers warranty and non warranty service at:

GE Appliance Service
1-800-GECares (1-800-432-2737)
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET
Saturday – Sunday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET

It cost $99 (+ parts and labor) to get a tech out to your house to have a look at the machine. 

You can also buy "inexpensive extended warranties" through the site.

I'm wishing you the very best with your appliance repair!


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  2. Thanks for the tips! My GE he washer just did the same exact thing. I also watched the same video, but before ridiculously opening and closing my lid, I also read your blog. I just did the unplug, count to 30, plug back in fix. Cross your fingers. :)

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