A GE washer will last for a long time but they do have one regular problem, according to appliance service repair people. That one problem is that the machine can get stuck on the sensing feature.
A GE washer stuck on sensing can be one of three problems depending on the exact model. It is either a clog in the drain pump, a failed drain pump, or faulty transmission. The first problem is an easy DIY fix, the last two issues will require the help of a service tech.
Read further about this problem and how to correct it before calling a service technician.
There is more than one complaint about the sensing issue. One GE owner said her GE Profile washer stopped through a cycle, paused while it was full of water, and now shows it was stuck on sensing. She attempted to reset it but that didn’t do anything.
Another GE Profile owner said it happened suddenly to her washer but it wouldn’t cancel when she tried to end the cycle. It wouldn’t spin or drain at all, leaving the tub full of water and clothes.
While both of these are GE Profiles, each has different symptoms and could be the result of different problems.
The first incident could be because of a clog.
Dealing with Clogs
The error on this washer means the tub isn’t draining water. That doesn’t tell you why. The first and obvious reason could be because of a clog in the drain pump. You will have to look and see if the drain pump is dirty.
The drain pump is behind the back panel on the washer. Before you deal with the drain pump, it’s good to check other easy-fix items.
Move the washer out and unplug it from the power outlet. Remove the back panel to get to the drain pump. Disconnect the drain hose and inlet hoses to see if they are clogged first.
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Then, look at the drain pump to see if anything is clogging it. Remove any clogs, put it back together, plug it back in and restart it to see if it drains. If it fails to drain, you probably need a new drain pump.
The second problem is likely the result of a bad transmission. Most repair techs say GE machines are known to have bad transmission and they tend to go out in older machines.
You can have the transmission replaced but the cost is a little high at between $340 and $400. Depending on the age of your machine, it may be more cost-effective to buy a new machine.
Another possible problem could be a bad belt. It could be the transmission isn’t failing but isn’t properly shifting.
A Washing Machine Transmission
The transmission in a washing machine is one of the more complicated elements of the appliance. It’s pulleys and gears that function along with the motor as it runs. That means it is connected to many functions in the washer that will fail or act strangely when the transmission is going out.
How can I tell if the transmission in my GE washer is bad?
There are symptoms of a transmission going out in a washer similar to signs a transmission is going out in a car.
The first major indicator your washing machine transmission is going is noise. It could be a loud noise coming from the tub. This noise is different than the noise that it produces when you have a load that’s too big or an imbalanced load.
This noise is a whining, more high-pitched noise like a belt is about to go.
Your washer will emit a burning odor when it runs. That could either be from the pulley belt or from bearings that failed. Bad bearings cause the motor and drum to create more friction and that means more heat, resulting in the burning smell.
Your agitator may not work when the motor is working. The agitator is the part in the tub’s center that moves clothes during cycles. Your agitator should move if the motor is running.
The biggest indication that you have a transmission problem, which brings up the stuck on sensing issue, is that water won’t drain in the spin cycle. This is when many of the washers get stuck on sensing error.
You will know this is a problem when you hear the motor but don’t hear the tub spin as it typically does during this cycle. The water doesn’t drain and the clothes aren’t spinning. This proves the problem is a transmission issue.
What does it mean when a GE washer says sensing?
GE has washers with a Precise Fill feature. These are also sometimes called Adaptive Filler Auto Load Sensing. These are on the top load washers that also have an agitator. This feature means the washer decides what the perfect amount of water is to clean the laundry in the tub.
This is based on your load and other selections made on the control panel. However, the sensor isn’t directly related to the stuck on sensing error code except that something is stopping the sensor from completing the task.
The sensing error doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the sensor. That is another error code.
Why is the fill light flashing?
A flashing fill light or scrolling H2O supply message on the display means the washer will lockdown for up to four minutes. This depends on the model and is most associated with washers that are 2015 or newer.
A lock-out means none of the control can be changed. It will unlock after four minutes and then you can choose your control settings. Press start to begin a cycle.
Check the Warranty
Call the support team and look at your warranty before you toss your machine. Service technicians say the GE warranty tends to cover repairs like this and, sometimes, will even cover the cost of a new machine when the transmission is bad.
In that case, the technician delivers a new machine and hauls the old one away to be destroyed. It’s best to deal with the warranty issue before attempting to fix it or calling a service tech to repair your washer. A repair made without notifying the warranty department could invalidate the warranty.
Resetting a GE Washer
There are two ways to reset a GE washer with one being for a GE Hydrowave Washer and the other way working for all other GE washing machine models.
Resetting a GE Hydrowave Washer
There are a few gymnastics involved in resetting this washer because you have certain time limits to do things that will reset the motor.
First, unplug the washer for one minute before plugging it back into the outlet. You now have 30 seconds to start opening and closing the lid. This must be done six times within 12 seconds. Also, you must make sure you raise the lid more than two inches each time before closing it.
Doing this will reset the motor. It will need a test run.
Resetting Other GE Washers
It is a little easier to reset other GE washer models. You still unplug it from the wall outlet for at least 30 seconds. While it remains unplugged, turn the knob for the timer around one complete turn and then put it on any cycle setting except the final spin.
Plug the machine back in. This reset can resolve many issues.
Completing a Test Run
To complete a test run on a washer, run a cycle without any laundry. You can put in the laundry after you see the machine is running normally through a complete cycle. Machines that continue to act up or end up with the same problem soon after the reset will need to be inspected by a service technician.