Washer Won't Agitate or Spin


Washer Repair

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Washer is 3 years old, recently had an issue with water under the washer, so I pulled it out, checked

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Old 01-05-2012, 06:01 PM
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Default Washer Won't Agitate or Spin
Model Number: WJRE5500G1WW   Brand: GE   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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Washer is 3 years old, recently had an issue with water under the washer, so I pulled it out, checked hose connections, cleaned out drain pipe, and removed the front panel and detached the top (except for the lid switch).

I determined the leak to just have been from splashing through cycles with too much water for too little clothes, as water was coming out of the flood drain pipe during agitation (no leaking when filled for super load).

Relieved, I put the top panel back on and did another test -- now it does everything it's supposed to except it no longer will agitate or spin. It will go through a whole cycle (fill & drain through each part of the cycle), but it won't move.

I found suggestions to try unplugging to reset the washer, I checked the lid switch which was pulled out slightly from my removing/reattaching the top and I read that if the lid switch was a problem, it wouldn't drain properly.

The green light blinks when it should be agitating during the wash cycle -- 4 brief blinks in a row, then about 6 or 7 seconds off, and this repeats.

I'm not real inclined with this stuff, but it seems like it must be simple since it was just working earlier today. Is it possible I accidentally cut or detached a wire from the control panel when re-attaching the top? I did hear a kind of popping noise when putting it back on, but figured it was the lid switch.

--- EDIT: Now that I look closer at the lid switch piece that has wires running to the motor, it looks like the small silver wire may have snapped apart in the middle (I'm not sure if this was one piece to begin with). Could this be the root cause for the motor never agitating/spinning? How do I bypass the lid switch to test this?

--- EDIT 2: Pretty sure it's the lid switch -- I didn't realize there is actually a tiny glass tube that's supposed to be around the silver wire in the lid switch assembly, and this tube is busted with the wire actually sticking out. Any quick fix remedy for this, or will I have to replace the whole lid switch assembly?

Any help/ideas appreciated!


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Last edited by jeffnett1009 : 01-05-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:46 PM
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Well, I resolved my own issue -- knowing the lid switch was busted, I cut it out by snipping both wires leading to it, then cut some of the casing off of both wires, twisted them together, and wrapped in electrical tape. Runs fine now with the magnetic lid switch bypassed until I can get and install a replacement lid switch assembly.

My problem was removing and replacing the top cover without first removing the lid switch assembly. It ended up pulling the hard gel casing out of the assembly and eventually busted the inside of it (the glass in the lid switch assembly breaking was probably the loud popping noise I heard).

Hope this might help anyone else with the same problem!
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:28 AM
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Scratch that... it worked once (maybe 1 1/2 times). Now it won't agitate or spin again. I found the second load I did hadn't spun and the clothes were still soaked (the 1st load had spun fine). Tried running just a drain and spin and then a quick rinse, and neither worked.

Now I'm at a loss about what to try... Please help!!!
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:41 AM
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I found what the 4 flash code means:

HydroWave GE Washer Repair Guide

4 flashes - Mode shifter circuit failed. If this error code comes up the motor will still operate but if the mode shifter circuit has failed the washer will not agitate properly. To check the mode shifter, first start the washer. Then when the washer starts agitating, look at the tub from the outside. If the whole inside tub is turning back and forth while in agitate, the mode shifter is bad. If the mode shifter is not bad then clear the code as described below and if the code reoccurs replace the motor. See the section on how to check the sifter coil below for more on this.

To clear the error code, turn the washer off. Then disconnect power for about 20 seconds. Next, reconnect power then open and close the lid five or more times within 12 seconds in the first 30 seconds of power-up.

Since I've removed the magnetic lid switch and spliced the wires to complete the circuit, how can I clear the error code? Only way without replacing the part that I can think is if I expose the 2 lid switch wires and touch them together 5+ times after plugging in... Which doesn't seem like the safest idea.

Since it's supposed to still operate, even with this error code, it seems it may actually be a shifter coil or motor issue... from that same page:

Note that on the early models the motor can cause the shifter coil to fail under the right conditions. The short version of this is that there is two 30-second time frames during a cycle that if you opened the lid of the washer and left it opened for more than a few minutes the shifter would fail. This is was an algorithm problem in the motor control board (located on top of the motor). This only applies to motors with the following part numbers on the motor 175d516g014, 175d516g015, 175d516g016, 175d516g026, 175d516g027, 175d516g028, 175d516g029, 175d516g030, 175d516g031.If your mode shifter has failed and your motor has one of these part numbers, you will need to replace the motor and the shifter to correct the problem.

Will have to try more on this tonight. In the meantime if anyone knows how I might clear the error code, I'm all ears.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:56 PM
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I guess this is just a big conversation with myself... well, maybe it can help others...

I got the replacement lid switch, installed it, reset the inverter board by opening/closing lid 10 times within a 12-second span on startup, and the washer ran like a charm.

I checked the light after the load was complete, and it was back to the 4-blink error code. I've since done two more loads by first unplugging then doing the reset -- I haven't tested to see if it will be OK on a 2nd load without doing a reset first.

I did find that it goes from a "waiting" status while filling with water (light goes on for 1 second, off for 1 second) to the 4-blink error exactly when it changes modes between initial fill into agitate. I think I may have one of the faulty motors listed that has the algorithm problem, and I wonder if it's something that has always existed without causing the washer to not run.

I will try another load without doing a reset and hope for the best -- if that doesn't work, it sounds like my only option is to replace the whole motor or get a new washer...
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:14 PM
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Default My washer has this problem.

I wanted to thank you for posting all this on here. I actually service appliances and i own a washer just like this, but i couldnt figure out what was wrong until i came across your posts.

My inner tub is turning when it agitates so obviously my Mode Shift has went out. I checked my motor and it isnt one of those listed, so thats good. Apparently it has been doing that for a while because over the last year the rubber straps that secure the tub have broken twice and it was due to the jerking of the tub along with the agitator. I reset the error code anyways, and its running right now, even in spin cycle. Looks like ill have to reset it before each load until I decide whether to buy the mode shift/shaft assembly or invest in a new washer.

Thanks for helping out.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:47 AM
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Default Thanks Jeff!

After being without a washer for a week, the parts came to fix it. After the fix, it still had the same problem of not agitating or spinning. I read your post and now all is well. My husband is a tad miffed since he thinks your fix may have worked initially!

I do have one question...where did you find the lights you keep referring to?

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