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Washer agitates for a time then sputters. Does not spin

My washer is a GE Model# WLE4000B1WW. It starts agitating in the wash cycle fine until 3 minutes left to go. Then it starts knocking and clicking and flipping out. In a 6 min wash, it runs fine for 3 mins, in a 9 min wash, it runs fine for 6 mins etc. It will continue to run very loudly until the cycle ends. My washer has speed settings and I thought it was either a switch or controller failing when changing speeds. Also, in the spin cycle, it starts spinning with a lot of knocking and clicking, then the motor shuts down. Clothes end up soaked. I?ve changed the control board and nothing changed. Something is causing the motor to draw a lot of current at the same time in the cycle. Questions that need answering?.does the motor change speed or direction in the last 3 minutes of the wash cycle? It seams like the spin direction is opposite the agitate direction?is that true? What checks can I do to diagnose this problem? Thanks for your help,

Posted by mcefaretti on

  • 2 more comments 
  • mcefaretti Sep 06, 2007

    So, was I correct in thinking that the motor changes speed or direction during the agitate cycle? What would cause it to try to run both speeds at the same time? That sounds like a control sending the wrong signal. That is what is confusing me. It definately sounds like the case because the lights dim with every click. Is there any voltmeter/ammeter check I can do to diagnose the problem. The motor kit is almost $200 and if it doesn't fix it, I'll be in deep do-do if you know what I mean. I can replace the washer for $400 and I'll be into it $300 if I replace the motor.

    Thanks for your input!

  • mcefaretti Sep 07, 2007

    Thanks for your help Jim. I'm going to think about it. I should just go and buy a new one but I hate that I put $100 into it already. I don't like throwing money away. If I could be positive the motor change would fix it, I would do it in a heartbeat. I'll think about it.

    Thanks for your quick response.

  • Anonymous Jan 04, 2008

    Agitator doesn't engage; makes a weird grinding sound instead. Spin cycle works

  • Anonymous Feb 14, 2009

    Hi, I have a Kenmore stackable. I was having a problem which I figured out with the lid switch at first. I realized for some reason my led looks warped or bowed, which explained why the little plastic piece was not going down far enough to connect with the lid switch. It would work if you stuck a pencil down in. Now the washer is not doing anything but agitating. It won't drain or spin and gives no sound. The lid seems to be even more bowed. But when I insert a pencil in the side nothing happens and no sound. Am I looking at a lid switch or timer or worse? Thx



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I have a Kenmore Elite Quiet Pak 111 top load washer that has recently been taken out of storage after 3 years. The water continues to fill even when on the off position and there is a leak from the bottom. It appears to originate from the inside rear between the water inlet values and the drain. I have to shut the water off in order to stop the leak and prevent it from filling. Solution?

Posted on Jul 14, 2009


James Greene

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In sounds to me like you have a motor issue. We have found that on these particuliar models, that the motor tries to run in both speeds at the same time. If you already replaced the control board, then you will have to get a new motor kit. This kit includes directions as well as a new wiring harness and start capacitor. You would have to remove the old motor and rewire the wiring harness (instructions included with the kit) and add the new start capacitor (instructions also included). Job is'nt really that hard to do. Front cover would be all you would need to remove to get to all the parts. Good luck and let me know how it turns out or if you need any additional help. Jim

Posted on Sep 06, 2007

  • James Greene
    James Greene Sep 07, 2007

    You are right. Either way, the cause would be costly. The control board is probably a little more than the motor (sorry). It has been our experience that one of these 2 issues causes the problem. Not sure if you can find the part number of the motor kit and control board, but a lot of times you might be able to find those parts new on Ebay for a lot less than your store parts houses (dont know how, dont think I want to know haha). Not quite sure what causes the issues, if its start winding error, or just a major fault in the motor (which you would see the flashing lights and probably a clicking from behind the dash as well). If you have already changed the control board, the problem would almost have to be the motor interior. Just had one do this myself last week, changed the control board, and still had the same problem, so swapped out the motor, added the new capacitor, and runs just great now. Once again, not sure what GE found in the motor itself, but they made changes and added that capacitor. I dont know of a way to check the motor for sure. I hope this helps you out a little better, and its all in how you want to proceed from here. You are right, you may be able to buy a new machine for what you will have in it. Its all in how you feel about. Good Luck and let me know how it comes out. Jim

  • James Greene
    James Greene Sep 07, 2007

    I would almost be sure that the motor would fix that problem, especially if you have already replaced the control board. But there could be a wiring problem etc. Its not that hard to replace the motor and kit, just remove the four nuts on the bottom, remove the belt, wiggle the motor out (watch your hands, sharp areas) then cut the wiring harness (instructions will tell you where), add the capacitor (there will already be a spot on the inside right panel, instructions will also tell you that as well), then hook the new harness with solderless connectors, and ready to go. Well, thanks a bunch, and if you decide to go with new motor and need help, you know where to come. Jim



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