What Should You Do When a GE Washer Will Not Start?


GE Appliances is a division of the General Electric Company, and it sells consumer appliances like washing machines. While these washers generally operate with no problem, your washer may occasionally not start. Troubleshoot this issue, and see if you can locate the source of the problem. Repairing the issue yourself saves you money on repair fees.

Power Source

  • Check your home power if your GE washer isn't starting. Verify that the power cord is completely pushed into the outlet. Never use an extension cord or adapter, or your washer may not get enough power to start. Test the outlet with another appliance, and check that it's actually live. Close the lid of the washer, and press "Power" to awaken the control panel. See if you have blown a fuse, and replace it. Reset any tripped circuit breakers. Turn the water supply on. See if you have adequate water pressure by testing the line with a water pressure gauge. Never install the washer in an area that is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or it may not turn on. Reset the electronics by disconnecting the washing machine from the power source for two minutes.

Lid Switch/Clutch

  • Your washer won't start if the lid switch is bad. This component lets the washer know that the lid is closed. Disconnect the washer from the power source, and take off the main access panel. Use a multimeter, and see if the part has continuity. If not, you need a new one since you normally can't fix this part. Older GE washers have clutches, which are responsible for getting the washer up to speed. If the clutch is no longer attached to the motor, replace the attachment clip. If the clutch is broken, replace it.


  • The belt actually spins a GE washer. Check the belt, and see if it's broken or slipped off. If it's worn out, you need a new one. If it has slipped off and greasy, you have a leak in the transmission. You usually have to get a new belt and transmission since it's hard to repair these parts. The timer sends power to components. See if any of the timer wires are loose, and reconnect them. Use a multimeter, and see if you receive a zero reading. If not, get a new timer.


  • While not common, your motor and transmission can wear out over time. Listen to the motor. If it creates a humming noise, it's probably wearing out. If it is worn, corroded or has no continuity, it is also bad. Check the transmission. See if you can rotate the pulley on the transmission. If it's stuck or if the transmission is leaking, it's defective. Get new parts from a GE parts dealer since it's difficult to repair these components.

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