Washing Machine Vibration Problems With GE Front Load Washers

If you are having washing machine vibration problems with your GE front-loading washer this page will help. It is a known fact that front load washers vibrate and shake more than top load washers. Also, they shake and vibrate in a totally different way. So it is normal for a front load washer to vibrate and shake more than your older top loader, however front-loading washing machines are notorious for excessive vibration and shaking problems.



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Off Balance Load

If you are experiencing excessive washing machine vibration and shaking with your GE front loader washer, the first thing you need to rule out is the possibility that you simply had an off balance load. If you have an off balance load, the washer will stop and try to readjust itself by tumbling for several seconds then it will start to spin again. If it is too far out of balance then the tumbling trick will not work and the washer will be out of balance for the duration of the cycle causing it to vibrate excessively. Also be sure that you don’t overload the washer. A reasonable load for most front loader washers is up to 16 pounds of dry clothes, which is about a full laundry basket. It is also recommended to wash similar fabric together to help balance the load. For example, you wouldn’t want to have a heavy pair of jeans at the back of the washer and a silk shirt at the front because this is going to throw the washer out of balance.



Pulley

On the back of the washer there is a large pulley. Sometimes this pulley will become loose and cause a vibration. Make sure the pulley is secure on the spin basket shaft with no play and if there is any play or the pulley is loose, replace the pulley.



Excessive Vibration Test

If you are experiencing excessive washing machine vibration and shaking with your GE front loader washer you may want to consider performing this test to help determine the cause for the problem.

Follow these steps to enter the service mode.

1. Close the door.

2. Clear current cycles by pressing the power button. Make sure the screen is blank before attempting to enter the service mode.

3. Disconnect power to washer for at least 30 seconds.

4. Reconnect the power and within 30 seconds of reconnecting power complete the next step.

5. Press signal-delay start-signal- delay start.



Note: Entering the service mode is a little different on models GFWN1000, GFAN1000,GFWN1100, and GFAN1100. To enter the service mode on these models press signal, extra rinse, signal and extra rinse. Press the same button sequence to exit the service mode.

If you successfully enter the washer into the service mode, t01 will be displayed and the door will lock.



Never disconnect the power to the washer while it is in the service mode. Doing so may result in a damaged control board.


To exit the service mode press signal-delay start-signal- delay start.



Next, run the spin test mode. To enter the spin test, rotate the control knob until t11 is displayed then press start/pause to enter the test mode. Once the test mode is entered the tub will start to spin and the rpm will be displayed in the control panel. When you first enter the test mode the spin basket will ramp up to 400 rpm. If you press start/pause a second time the spin basket will ramp up to 1000 rpm. Since some displays can only display three digits you may see 999 or 0 in the display when the tub reaches 1000 rpm.



During this first test, the washer should be empty. Monitor the washer movement. The washer shouldn’t move more than ¼ inch during this test. If it does the first thing to do is the check to see if pressing down on each corner of the washer one by one decreases the amount of moving of the washer. If pressing down on a corner of the washer decreases the amount of washing machine vibration then one of the feet is not set solid on the floor. See section titled “four on the floor” below for more. Now exit the service mode by pressing signal-delay start-signal- delay start. If the washer didn’t vibrate during this test, move on to the next test.

Next you are going to do a very controlled load test (only run this test if you don’t get vibration on the first test). What I mean by controlled is that we are going to take out human error so that you know there is no chance of an off balance load due to loading the machine incorrectly.

Take two bath towels and roll them tightly together then tape them to keep them tightly wound. Now tape them to one of the baffles in the spin basket.

Now reenter the service mode and run the t011 spin test again. If the washer doesn’t vibrate this time then the washer is either getting overloaded or it is getting loaded off balance. If you do get excessive washing machine vibration during this test you have a mechanical problem with the machine.



Tub and Spin Basket (worse case scenarios)

If you are experiencing excessive washing machine vibration and shaking with your GE front loader washer, you may have a tub or basket issue.



Tub

There are four balance weights on the tub and if one is loose then the washer will vibrate excessively. Ideally you can simply tighten the weight and all will be good; however, if the weight has fallen off then you more than likely are looking at a bad tub, which is the worse case scenario.

Built into the rear of the tub is the spin bearing. If this spin bearing fails it can cause excessive vibration. This will be another worse case scenario situation because the whole outer shell of the tub will have to be replaced. One tale tale sign that the spin bearing has failed is there will be metal shavings at or around the large pulley on the back of the washer.



Spin Basket

At times the spin basket will warp out of shape causing excessive washing machine vibration on GE front loader washers. To test this, open the door and spin the spin basket by hand. The spin basket shouldn’t wobble up and down or in and out more than ¼ inch. It is best if you place something in front of the spin basket to judge how far the spin basket is moving.



Dampers

On these GE front loader washers there are four dampers (shocks) and if one or more of these dampers fails you will experience increased washing machine vibration. It can be hard to tell if the dampers are bad or not so as a last ditch effort to rid your washer of excessive vibration, replace the dampers. The only thing you can actually check for is to see if the metal part of the damper is rusty and if so, you know for sure it is bad. Other than that it is more or less a judgment call as to if you need to replace the dampers or not.


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