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GE washer spinning and clicking

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Hello! My washer is messed up! My washer makes loud clunking noises and shuts itself off and dims the lights.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2012, 02:59 PM
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Default GE washer spinning and clicking
Model Number: WBSE3120B1WW   Brand: GE   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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Hello!

My washer is messed up! My washer makes loud clunking noises and shuts itself off and dims the lights. I first noticed it while agitating and then found that it would do it on the spin cycle if it made it that far. Here is a video. GE washer no spin/clicking - YouTube I've been researching a lot and a general concensus seems to be the transmission. But it starts to spin so I'm confused. Thank you for the help!

GE washer model wbse3120b1ww


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2012, 08:08 AM
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Sounds like maybe a bad motor switch. The part on the motor that the cable harness plugs into has switch contacts inside that are operated by a centrifugal mechanism in the motor. The motor always starts out on high speed and if low speed is selected, the centrifugal switch will change it to low speed when the motor comes up to speed. If the contacts for low speed are bad or the low speed winding is bad, it will continuously switch between high and low and may cause the motor overload to shut the motor down. Since low may not be working, when the motor slows it will go back to high, pick up speed, switch to low and repeat. If you have a multimeter and some skills in using it, you can check the switch contacts and motor windings out.

Eric
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:20 AM
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Thank you for the reply!

I do have a multimeter and do have some skills using it. Can you give me an idea of where the switch contacts are and what I should be looking for?

On a side note, I ran a load again yesterday to see if it'd work magically, but it got stuck on the spin cycle after the wash and shut down. Moved the dial a little to change it from medium to a heavy load and tried it again. This time it made it through wash, spin, rinse, and failed on the final spin. Then from there on I didn't have any luck.

Thank you!
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:14 AM
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Need more detailed information. What failed on final spin? Was it operating like in the video? or did it just stop? if it stopped, was the motor humming? or all quiet. You said, no luck after that, is it just the spin cycle that is problematic? as in fills, agitates, drains ok but spin problems? You said it did this in agitate at one point. Does this washer switch to lo speed agitate before draining in the wash cycle? If so, did the problem during agitate happen during the lo speed period of operation?

Eric

Last edited by fairbank56 : 12-28-2012 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
Need more detailed information. What failed on final spin? Was it operating like in the video? or did it just stop? if it stopped, was the motor humming? or all quiet. You said, no luck after that, is it just the spin cycle that is problematic? as in fills, agitates, drains ok but spin problems? You said it did this in agitate at one point. Does this washer switch to lo speed agitate before draining in the wash cycle? If so, did the problem during agitate happen during the lo speed period of operation?

Eric
On the final spin it worked as it did in the video. It sounds like something is humming but eventually the humming stops. It doesn't sound like it is the motor humming, but maybe it's the pump? I may have been mistaken when I said it did this on agitate at one point as I was not watching it fully, so it most likely happened when trying to spin. Every time I tried it yesterday it agitated without a problem on each try. Draining and filling work fine. The only problem seems to occur with the spin cycle. When I said "no luck" I meant that it did the same thing as it did in the video.

Thank you for your help!

James
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:38 PM
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OK, rather than try to explain back and forth about how to troubleshoot this problem with a multimeter, an easier way is to just wire the motor to only operate in high speed. Unplug the washer. About half way between the motor plug and the taped portion of the wire harness, cut the blue wire and the white wire in half. Strip about 1/2" insulation off both ends of the blue wire and off one end of the white wire (the end that goes up to the control panel). Twist these three stripped wires together and either put a wire nut on them or put some electrical tape around them. Put a piece of tape on the unused white wire as well. Plug it back in and try it out. This will cause the motor to only operate in high speed, eliminating the low speed switch contacts as the problem.

Eric
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:28 PM
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After doing this, it seems to be working normally. I put the dial on spin dry and it spun right up no problem. Tried opening the lid so it stopped and then started again. It'd make the clicking sound once and dim the light but then spin up to full speed. Thank you for this. Is it safe to run it like this or should the part be replaced? And if replaced, do you know the part number and how involved it'd be?

I very much appreciate all of your help Eric! I am in a unique situation where I'm renting a house but responsible for repairing broken appliances (long story short, they screwed me) but that is besides the point.

Thank you

James
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:53 PM
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Yes, it's perfectly safe to run it this way, but without low speed, you no longer have use of gentle cycle. Gentle cycle normally runs the agitate and spin in low speed. Also, in the normal wash cycle, the agitation cycle will switch to low speed a couple minutes before drain/spin which is used simply to allow any sudsing to reduce. Spin normally starts out in low speed as well for a couple minutes before switching to high speed. This just lessens the strain on the motor a little bit by spinning the saturated clothes in slow to spin some of the water out before going into high speed. Although this motor is normally not servceable, I have repaired them and can tell you how to remove it and take it apart to get to the switch contacts. Depending on how bad they are, you may be able to clean them and get it working again. This motor is no longer available. GE came up with a new clutchless design that does not have a centrifugal switch. It comes as a kit including new motor, wiring harness, relay and capacitor. It's relatively easy to install, the only tool you need is a crimping tool for the wire splicing crimp connectors that are included in the kit. The new motor is expensive though.

Eric
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