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disconnect power first. In approx. 1995 GE stopped making the metal drum washer and came out with a new plastic drum washer and plastic outer tank. To access the washer there are a couple clips between the top of the washer and the front panel that holds the panel on. There is one on each side at about where the pictures show. The clips are mounted on the cabinet and push down into slots on the front panel. Press in on these clips with a putty knife ( you will be pushing inward on the clip) and pull the top of the panel away from the cabinet when the clips are released. The bottom of the panel sits on a couple clips on the bottom of the washer. Pull out on the panel and lift off the clips at the bottom. You now have access to the operating components of this washer. To remove the top panel, remove the bleach from the top panel and remove the two 1/4" drive screws from the top front of the washer and lift up and forward on the top panel. You will have to unclip the wire harness ( male-female wire connector ) for the lid switch.
I found your website useful today to repair my GE washer. When the machine entered the drain/spin cycle there was a loud buzzing noise and the machine would not drain. I am the type of person who likes to at least try to make repairs before calling in the professional, and your site was just what I needed to complete the repair in less than an hour.
The pictures on your site were very helpful to help me get the front off and access to the working parts. Your advice about the turning the pump motor to see if it was stuck was excellent because it had very little play and I could tell something was jamming it ( newer pumps no longer have a fan blade we can manually turn like the original one did ). I expected to find one of my young daughter's socks but it was actually a straightened out paper clip that I had probably left in my pants pocket some time ago after using it to unlock a bathroom door. I would suggest the following additional advice in that section if you agree.
The most common problems with this washer has been the leaking problems. If you access the washer and see water stains on the back left of the base or you actually see water coming out of the over flow tube you have a transmission problem. What happens is the brake does not hold the tub still during the agitation mode and the tub spins and agitates at the same time. The transmission ( #320 in the picture ) will have to be replaced, there is a kit available to repair the brake in the transmission but I have found this to be much less reliable than replacing the whole transmission. If you see water leaking down the middle of the washer you will probably need a new tub seal ( # 311 ) and possibly a new transmission as the leaking water damages the spin bearing in the transmission. The bleach applicator hose has also been known the rub through and leaking water as well.
If you see water leaking out the over flow pipe, often the transmission is spinning and agitating at the same time, check for this by watching the agitation cycle to see if the inner basket is taking off and spinning = need a new transmission. You can use a pop cycle stick to activate the lid switch to run the washer with the lid open/up ( for testing only!! ) A step by step room on "how to" change the transmission.
If you see water here.... you will need to see the links above for repair aid.
Some leaking problems have been over filling problems. Some can be traced to a bad water level control, pinched or perforated water level control hose. How a water level control works. A few of these water level control air domes have been getting gummed up with soap/calcium and clogging the holes in the tub. Using a Q-tip like cleaner, the holes can be cleaned out if they are getting plugged up. This is what needs to be cleaned out. There is a hole that can be reached through the inner basket holes, and with the pressure tube hose removed, the top hole must be cleaned out as well. With the use of plastic drain hoses on many washing machines today, this has become a common leak trouble maker. The drain hose can rub the wall or a pipe and this will rub a hole in the drain hose.
Another common problem was with the bleach dispenser leaking bleach on the motor wires, the dispenser is now replaced with a new tank cover and bleach applicator, the motor wires can also be repair with a wire kit.
Not pumping the water out usually is something stuck in the pump, ( # 855 ) see "how to access" this washer, remove power and check the pump to see if you can turn the pump by hand. If it is stiff or will not turn at all, the pump will have to be taken apart or the hoses taken off to see what is jamming the pump. The pump is bolted to the base on the bottom right of the washer. It is a separate electric motor and pump assembly.
Will fill with water, but won't run, first thing to check is the lid switch, ( # 388 ) ohm the switch for continuity to see if it works and also check to make sure the pad for the lid switch ( # 215 ) has not broken off. The timer and motor wires might be the next things to check for. I have made a new picture to show you the lid switch and wires.
The washer outer tank bangs into the cabinet when the machine runs, look for broken suspension straps ( # 370 - there are 4 of them ) that run between the outer tank cover and the top brace of the washer. I have new picture to show you the four suspension straps.
The washer runs but will not spin, sometimes the hub, hub nut, split ring and washer ( #'s 325,323,313,315 ) wear out, the agitator might spin but the inner tub stays still ( often a grinding noise is also noticed ). The hub and split ring and washer are found under the inner basket, the nut is under the agitator. The nut holds these pieces together and tight, sometimes it loosens off and the parts wear out = you loose the spinning in the machine. To access these parts you will need to remove the inner basket and assembly from the washer.
In January 2000, I noticed a new lid switch on the GE washer. It has no lid probe ( plastic tab clipped to the lid ) and also has no micro switch or arm under the top panel = less moving parts. The new lid switch is a magnetic switch under the top panel and a magnet screwed to the lid. See the picture. The magnetic switch under the top panel works a relay inside the console, this relay will shut the washer main motor off and turn it on when the lid is opened or closed. See newest wire diagram for this relay.
If the washer fills will water ok and the motor starts up and runs but the agitator will not go back and forth, check the air bell housing which is under the agitator. The air bell housing may have stripped out. The agitator comes off first and the air bell housing has a bolt holding it to the transmission shaft.
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