GE HydroWave...agitator makes thumping sound

by Glenn
(Fairport, NY)

Hello, I have a GE HydroWave washer,model WHDRR418G/WW that is a little more than 2 years old. It works fine except for... rather than a smooth back and forth agitation, it is agitating back and forth with a thumping sound as it shifts directions. After the water drains the spin cycle works fine until it has to fill up and agitate again. I have a feeling this symptom will only get worse although it has not as of yet.

With the washer off , I can manually move the agitator back and forth with a small amount of slop. I could feel and hear the thumping that occurs during the agitation cycle. I went to Home Depot and compared to a new one and it is firm with no slop. I pulled the agitator off and inspected both the agitator and the bell coupler . No missing spines or anything like that. I then put my socket wrench on the 7/16 screw head and turned the main shaft back and forth. I could feel the slop again, so it's something down below. Any suggestions? Loose brackets? If it's a transmission problem, are they repairable inside or just replaceable ? Thanks, Glenn

Find your part:


Hi Glenn,

Replacement parts in General Electric WHDRR418G0WW Washer

More than likely it is a bad mode sifter. Remove the front of the washer and watch it during wash. If the entire spin basket turns droning wash the mode sifter is bad. This will cause the bracket on the motor to hit each time it changes directions.
This page should help. HydroWave Ge Washer Noisy

Also if you want to replace the mode sifter this page will help

GE washer Disassembly

As for the play you are getting in the agitator it is fairly normal the get some loose play in the shaft and when you shake the agitator back and forth you will hear a bump/clank noise. But when it is agitating you shouldn’t hear it. I think the mode sifter is the problem and if not post a comment and we will go from there.

Also no, the transmission/mode sifter isn’t serviceable you will have to replace the entire assembly.

Thank you,

Comments for GE HydroWave...agitator makes thumping sound

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Video of problem
by: Glenn

Here is a video of the poor agitation and thumping sound

Watched Video
by: Shawn/admin

I watched your video and it isn’t the problem I thought it was but I think you will have to replace the same part to repair this problem.

But before you change any parts check the big pulley on the bottom of the mode sifter that the belt connects to. Make sure the nut that holds the pulley isn’t loose and if so tighten it. Also check for any loose bolts or screws.

I hope this helps!!

Looks like it is the mode shifter
by: Glenn

Thanks for your help, I ordered and received a new mode shifter. I noticed that there is no deactivation of the lower clutch from the main drive wheel when it agitates which explains the spinning basket. I read no resistance on pins one and two going to the coil on the old mode shifter assembly. The new one I'm reading around 68 ohms of resistance. So it's a no brainier at this point.

But before I install the new one, I was wondering if I should be concerned of the voltage going to it from the control module located on top of the motor. Do you know what the voltage is suppose to be? The wiring diagram does not say & I would not want to burn out the new one if that was the case.

Thanks, Glenn

Sifter Voltage
by: Shawn/admin

I don’t think you should be concerned because I haven’t known for the inverter to cause the coil to go bad. But that doesn’t mean it cannot happen. I believe the problem is an internal fuse that is inside the sifter, which cannot be replaced. I have nothing to back that up because I haven’t cut open a coil to see the fuse. It is just what I have been told.

In any case for the first few seconds of the wash cycle (I believe 18 seconds) the coil receives 135 V DC. This is very high voltage considering it is DC V and most voltage testers will not read over 50 V DC if that much. So it is likely if you attempt to check voltage during this time you will burn your tester up. After the first seconds the coil receives 30 VDC for the duration of wash cycle. A lot of meters will read 30 VDC but then again a lot of them will not read over 24 VDC and if you attempt to check voltage you may damage the meter. It all depends on the meter, the one I use most of the time will not read over 12V DC so if I wanted to check voltage on the coil I would have to use another meter.

If you attempt to check voltage make sure you meter is capable of doing so and be sure not to get shocked!!!

With all that being said I don’t recommend trying to check voltage on the coils.

Job Complete!
by: Glenn

Just checking in one last time to tell you how I made out. It was a definite learning experience for a DYI like myself. But saving money in labor and getting a good price for the parts made it worth while.

I read a higher voltage but I believe it was because I had no load on the 2 terminals. I just plugged in the new mode shifter assembly (not yet installed) & it worked fine in the wash cycle as I watched the magnetic coil engage and disengage what I will call the clutch assembly

A word on that darn 1&11/16” nut!!! What a pain it was to get off! I wasn’t about to spend $50 bucks on a special tool from GE, but you really do need it unless you want to do what I did which is a lot cheaper. I had a good quality large mouth open ended wrench that I pounded on in a clock wise fashion (reverse threaded) but that sucker was not budging. I tried penetrating oil, heat, you name it. I’m a stronger than average guy and with long arms I thought I could get it off. But after about two hours of trying I gave up. I went on the internet and ordered a new nut and as a safe guard, the split end washer which I hear breaks easily. I would recommend ordering those two parts when you order the mode shifter. So I got my Dremel tool out and gridded down one side of the nut and then broke it off with a hammer and chisel. You don’t have to worry about the threads of the shaft as your replacing the whole mode shifter assembly. You do have to be careful you don’t ding the base underneath the nut. It's allot cheaper than ordering a 50 dollar GE wrench, that’s for sure.

Everything else was straight forward thanks to your helpful disassembly instructions. Thanks again for all you help.


Good Job!!
by: Shawn/admin

I could see where you are coming from I wouldn’t want to buy a $50 tool for a one time job either. I am glad you posted this because I wouldn’t have known how to tell anyone how to remove the nut without the tool. As a repair man I have never had to try, I have just always had the tool.

I toyed with the idea of buying on just to rent out. Maybe set it up to where you (my visitors) would send me $50 dollars and I would ship them the tool then when I get the tool back I would send them $40 back. I am not quite sure if that would work out or not.
In any case I am glad you got it going.

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