Why is GE top load washer not draining or spinning?

Is your GE top load washer not draining or spinning?

If yes, worry no more. In this troubleshooting guide, I will tell you what might cause this and how you can fix your washing machine.

GE top load washer not draining or spinning – what causes it and possible solutions

The control board might be acting up – GE top load washing machine reset

At times, the washer is acting up due to the presence of static charges on the control board.

In this case, start by resetting your washer – disconnect it from the power outlet and let it sit for five minutes.

Alternatively, trip the circuit breaker and again, let it sit for five minutes.

Once done, reconnect your washer and run a test cycle… If the problem persists, try the other possible solutions below.

You might be overloading your washer

And, this could be exerting excess pressure on the motor making it hard for the motor to spin the drum.

So, confirm that you are not loading your washing machine past ¾ way.

Water might not be flowing into the washer

To fix this, start by making sure that both water faucets are fully open.

Next, straighten out any kinks that might be along the water inlet hose.

And, if your inlet hose is leaking, be sure to patch it up. Alternatively, you can purchase a durable replacement hose and swap out the bad one.

Next, clean the mesh filters (at the back of the washer) using a soft brush and water.

This is because deposits might have collected in there thereby preventing water from flowing into the washer.

Finally, it could be that the inlet valve is bad and isn’t opening to let water in.

To see if the inlet valve is to blame, use a multimeter to test it for continuity.

If your valve lacks continuity, it means it’s bad and requires replacing – see how much a replacement valve costs.

You might have used the wrong detergent (or too much detergent)

This is usually characterized by your washer being overly sudsy – the excess suds interfere with the washer’s sensors hence why it’s acting up.

So, peep inside your washer to see if there are excess suds in there.

If it has excess suds, run two consecutive Deep Rinse cycles to get rid of the extra suds.

Remember, use the right detergent for your washer type. For instance, use HE detergent for HE washers only.

Also, make sure you are adhering to the manufacturer’s measurements – recall that detergents come in different concentrations (1X, 2X, 3X, and so on) hence require varying amounts.

Clean the waste pipe (drain hose)

Other times, the drain hose might have clogs or kinks which might be preventing it from draining the washer.

So, be sure to clean the drain hose – remove all foreign objects that might be inside it.

And while at it, straighten out any kinks that it might have.

Confirm that the drain hose installation is good

Pro tip: This is usually a common problem for brand-new washers (or if you have recently installed the washer).

For GE washers to drain, GE recommends you ensure the following:

  • The tip-to-tip length of the drain hose should not exceed 60”.
  • The minimum inside diameter of the standpipe/wall drain should be 1 ½” and open to the atmosphere.
  • Discharge height should be no more than 8 ft. above the base of your washer.

Failure to adhere to these installation instructions might make it hard for your washer to drain. So, be sure that you are adhering to them.

GE washer not draining or spinning reset – more possible solutions you can try

The belt might be loose, worn out, or broken

As a result, the washer basket won’t spin.

To see if the belt is to blame, lay your washer on its back and remove the bottom panel.

If the belt is loose, be sure to tighten it – use the motor pulley to do so.

However, if you note that it’s worn out (has lost its grip on the washer basket) or it’s broken, your best bet will be a new belt.

The drain pump might be faulty or clogged – so, check it

With the washer still on its back, remove the drain pump and remove any clogs that might be in there.

Next, using a multimeter, test for continuity between the pump terminals… No continuity means that the pump motor is bad.

On the other hand, if the motor assembly has continuity, proceed to insert the probes into the connectors that go into the pump terminals.

Next, start your washer and run a drain cycle. If all is good, you should be getting a reading that ranges between 110 and 120v AC.

Otherwise, it’s a sign that the pump motor is bad.

The best remedy for a faulty drain pump is to swap it out – it’s on Amazon.

Test the capacitor to see if it is to blame

Before testing this part, first disconnect your washer from the power outlet and short the capacitor.

To short the capacitor, connect its terminals using a screwdriver or other electric conductor.

Pro tip: Shorting the capacitor helps to discharge it. Otherwise, it might zap you.

Using a multimeter, measure the capacitance of the capacitor and compare it to the nameplate values.

If the reading you are getting does not match the nameplate values, it means your capacitor is bad.

Luckily, the capacitor is a replaceable part – get a brand new GE washer capacitor.

The motor might be worn out

Of course, when the motor fails, it will not run and as such, your GE washer won’t spin.

To troubleshoot this part, begin by removing any foreign objects that might have found their way into the motor assembly.

Next, confirm that there are no broken motor wire connections – patch/replace any wires that might be broken.

While at it, properly reinsert any loose connections and replace any connectors that might be burnt out.

Next, check if the carbon brushes have worn out – worn-out carbon brushes might disrupt current flow to and from the motor.

If your motor carbon brushes are worn out, get replacement brushes and change out the worn ones.

Moving on…

With the washer running, confirm that the motor is getting around 110-120v AC at its terminals.

If not, confirm that the wiring is good… If the wiring checks out, it means the control board is gone and should be replaced – shop for a GE washer main control board on Amazon.

Otherwise, if the motor is getting around 110-120v AC and still won’t run, chances are that it’s bad.

Subsequently, your best bet is to get out the faulty motor – we recommend an OEM GE washer replacement motor

GE washer drains but does not spin

It is not always the case for your washing machine not to drain and not spin at the same time.

At times, you might note that the washer drains well but it won’t spin.

In such scenarios, here’s what might be causing it:

  • You might be overloading the washer.
  • Loose or broken belt.
  • Too much (or the wrong) detergent.
  • A bad capacitor.
  • A faulty motor.

A word on GE top load washer drain filter location

Most top-load GE washers made after the year 2000 do not have the drain filter.

The only models that stand out are the GE Spacemaker washer series. Washers in this series have a disc-shaped drain filter (magic filter) inside the wash basket.

Something else: GE Spacemakers made before June 2018 have an extra drain filter at the bottom back of the washer. This drain filter is similar to that of front load washers.

For GE washers made between ’94 and 2000, they have a non-removable mesh filter below the agitator.

Finally, in models made prior to 1994, you will find the drain filter on top of the agitator.

Pro tip: Unlike front load washers, the drain filter in top load washers does not affect draining or spinning.

Something else: Not all top load washers have the drain filter.

GE top load washer not draining or spinning – parting words (calibrating the washer)

If you replace the control board, remember to calibrate your GE top-load washer – also known as setting the right personality.

To do so, do the following:

  1. With the washer in an idle state (all indicators are off), press and hold the Start button while rotating the cycle selection knob 180⁰ (7 clicks) within 10 seconds.

The washer will chime and the indicator lights will blink to indicate the washer is now in diagnostics mode.

  1. Rotate the knob till your washer displays the binary code 17 – second and last indicator lights will flash. In most GE washers, this will be the Sensing Fill and Spin
  2. Press the start button to begin the personality test. Your washer will now display the current personality in binary code.
  3. Press the start button continuously till your washer displays the personality you want to set.
  4. Press and hold the start button for at least three seconds to set this as the personality. Your control board should now go into idle state – all LEDs will turn off.

You have now calibrated your washer – proceed to run any wash cycle.


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