A washer that won’t wash, spin, and drain are useless. However, some washer owners will find that their GE appliance just hums without doing anything else. Most of the time, you can resolve this problem yourself by doing some deep cleaning on some of the internal areas of your washer.
There could be several why a GE washer won’t drain just hums. It could be a clogged or kinked drain hose, a dirty pump filter, a faulty lid switch, or a blocked drain pump. You will need to listen closely to the sound and do some deducing to determine exactly where the problem lies.
Read the article below to figure out how to diagnose and fix your GE washer.
Figuring Out the Problem
The problem of a humming sound with no washing action can be several things so you will need to narrow down the solutions. You do that by listening to the sound and identifying when it starts.
A humming sound that is constant without it being run on a cycle could indicate a bad motor. Most of the time, this isn’t going to fall into that category because that’s rare. The sound likely begins when you press start.
To narrow it down further, determine exactly where the sound is coming from. Is it coming from the back of the machine? Does it sound like it’s coming from lower in the washer, like near the bottom of the tub?
A humming coming from behind the machine indicates the problem could be a drain hose. A hum from near the bottom of the machine is probably a drain pump issue.
Notice if the washer fills up before it hums or if the washer drains properly. These also lead to a drain pump issue.
Looking at the Drain Pump
The hum you hear is the drain pump trying its best to run. The machine won’t agitate or go through a clean cycle if the water won’t drain, so it won’t move the laundry or spin.
The good news is the drain pump likely hasn’t failed. It is probably just clogged so much it can’t run. The bad news is you will need to clean it. It’s a messy, gross job.
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Drain the Water
You will need to drain the water out of the tub before you work on cleaning the drain pump. Unplug the washer from the wall. Get a bucket and some towels. Move the washer away from the wall so you can get to the drain hose.
Take the drain hose out of the standing drain and lower it into the bucket. Gravity will make the water flow. You may need to pause to empty the bucket. To do that, just put the drain hose back into the standing drain. Empty the bucket and repeat the process.
Free-flowing water means the drain hose isn’t clogged. However, if you are having trouble getting water to come out, you may have a clogged hose.
Cleaning the Drain Pump
You will first need to remove the washer’s front panel. It is located near the bottom of the washer and has a tab or groove to open and remove it. You will need to use a putty knife to push on two metal spring clips that are hidden. These hold the top panel.
The clips are in the crease between the front and top panel. You will need to push both clips back so the front panel will pull forward and down. You can then remove it.
You should see the drain pump now. It’s mounted to the washer floor below the tub. Disconnect the hose between the tub and the pump. Look for anything that could be blocking flow in the hose and the pump. Remove any items blocking either.
A clean hose and pump mean the pump likely needs to be replaced. The washer won’t run if the drain pump can’t pump the water out.
How did my drain pump get blocked?
Small things, like a piece of clothing, can get into the drain pump. Debris can also cause a blockage over time. This prevents your drain pump from functioning and that results in the washer not draining.
That also prevents the washer from running and it just hums.
How much does it cost to replace a drain pump?
The average cost to replace a drain pump in a washer of any brand is between $300 and $400. That includes the part and labor. This is the first thing a technician will do when you report a tub that won’t drain or a leak out of the tub.
However, it isn’t the pump that is the most expensive part of the job. It’s the labor. A drain pump could cost as low as $35 but some do cost up to $200.
How do you know if your drain pump is faulty?
The two signs of a faulty drain pump are the washer won’t drain or there is a leak around the bottom f the washer. Cleaning the pump out should resolve the problem with drainage. A machine that still doesn’t work likely has a faulty drain pump.
It wouldn’t hurt to check other parts of your machine before you call a service technician and order a new drain pump.
Clogged Drain Hose
You should look at your drain hose when you pulled your machine out to see if there were any kinks or damage. You can check it for clogs by using it to drain the tub. If there appears to be a clog because water isn’t flowing, detach the hose from the washer and look inside to see where the clog is.
You can use a tool called a “snake” to clear the clog. It’s a long cable you run through the hose to loosen the clog. Once you get the clog loose, reattach it to the washer and try to drain the tub.
The Pump Filter
Most washers have a pump filer, also called a coin trap, that prevents debris from getting to the drain pump. A clog there could also cause the machine to stop working. The coin filter is typically near or in the front panel of the washer. It is a small round part that comes out.
Get rid of any trash in the filter, clean and rinse it, wipe dry it and replace it.
Faulty Lid Switch
This is more of a problem in top load washers but it can happen in any washer. The lid switch messages the control panel when the lid is closed. This is a safety feature so the cycle doesn’t start until the lid is closed.
A faulty switch means your washer won’t drain or spin. You will need to check the switch for continuity with a multimeter to determine if it needs replacing.
How much does a new lid switch cost?
A washer lid switch is one of the less expensive repairs. Parts and labor run between $85 and $160. Preventing Drainage Issues
You can do several things to prevent drainage problems with your GE washer. This includes:
- Look in clothing pockets before putting them in the washer.
- Clean the washer monthly with a commercial tub cleaner.
- Empty the coin trap regularly
- Use HE detergent for HE machines.
A regular detergent in an HE washer will create extra suds and the residue from the suds will likely cause clogs.
Resetting a GE Washer
A GE washer can be reset but it’s a little different than resetting other washers. With the GE washer, unplug the machine from the outlet for one minute. Plug it back in and then immediately lift the lid six times in 12 seconds.
You have 30 seconds to do this after you plug it back in but the actual lifting and lowering must be done in 12 seconds. Also, the lid must be lifted at least two inches each time. This resets the motor and you can now start a cycle.