Hey there, my GE WSSH300G front loader washing machine will not start. Four of the five lights on the right (Wash, Rinse, Final Spin, and Control Lock) come on, and when I push Start, the Door Lock light remains off, and the Control Lock light blinks. I don’t think the door latch mechanism is the problem. Following other links, I’ve taken the mechanism out, taken it apart, inspected it, and even jumped the wires that would close the switch loop, and still nothing.
Any help you can give would be appreciated, as I’m about to pull my hair out.
The control panel can inadvertently get locked from wiping the panel down or from little kids playing “beep-beep” with the buttons. To unlock it, press the OPTIONS and SELECT keys at the same time until the Control (Control Lock) indicator turns off.
Careful with that hair-pulling or you could end up like this cat:
To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.
Why would anyone contemplate such an invasive repair? Usually because the water tube broke inside the door and now every time you use the dispenser, water dribbles on your floor from the bottom of the freezer door. Less than impressive.
The tubing kit is all one piece and replaces the entire run of tubing up through the freezer door and into the dispenser right up to and including the nozzle that squirts the water into your glass. It comes with complete instructions for replacing the tubing inside the freezer door. But the instructions are light on details for how to disassemble the dispenser and replace the nozzle. That’s why the Samurai, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, is providing this instructional supplement on disassembling the dispenser so you may complete your repair odyssey.
When diagnosing a water leak from your dishwasher door, you need to determine if the water is coming from inside the door liner, from underneath the door, or out the door gasket. Here a few things to check before pulling out your tool box.
Dishwasher Installation is Critical!
The dishwasher has to be level, with all four legs firmly on the ground, and square. Check the level front to back and side to side. Level is especially critical if your dishwasher has a plastic tub because these can be warped by cruddy installation jobs.
Gawd, I can’t even count how many service calls I’ve been on for leaking dishwashers only to find that the problem was either 1) using too much soap or 2) someone (usually hubby) put in liquid dishwashing soap instead of dishwashing detergent. In either case, the dishwasher will whip up more suds than an overcharged keg in a brewpub and you’ll end up with soapy water all over your floor.
The water level should come up to the bottom edge of the heating element. To check this, open the door after the dishwasher fills with water and starts spraying. If the dishwasher is not level front to back and is pitched forward, the water level will be above the heating element in front but below the element in back.
The door liner needs to be centered in the door gasket. If it ain’t…you guessed it, LEAK!
Cracks, tears, and shrinkage can all cause a door gasket to leak. Sometimes, on older dishwashers, the gasket can look ok, but the rubber has become age-hardened and so doesn’t make a good seal with the cabinet anymore. This is especially true with Kitchenaids.
Lid Latch Grommet
This is the little gasket that seals the latch on the detergent compartment door. A common source of leaks with Maytag dishwashers is that this grommet will tear and cause leaks. Easy $2 fix.
Sometimes, plastic wash arms will split at the seams. This pushes high pressure water directly at the door and out through the gasket. To check the spray arm for splits, run the dishwasher to heat the arm then grab both ends and gently twist, looking for splits. Also, gookus caught inside the spray arm can stick in the spray arm holes during wash and make high pressure water jets inside– like holding your thumb over a garden hose– that the door gaskets aren’t designed to withstand. Remove and clean out the spray arm.
Front Tub Flange
Sometimes the front tub flange on plastic basins can warp and pucker outward, causing leaks. Use a heat gun to warm up the plastic and bend it back into place.
Still confoosed, grasshoppah? For more pearls of wisdom about your dishwasher, click here.
So the ol’ Sport is showing poor sportsmanship by refusing to make the drum tumble or spin? On these front loaders, like all of ’em, the motor is controlled by its own control board that tells it when to turn on and how fast to run. So, if the drum’s not moving, how do you know whether the problem is the motor or the control board or even something altogether different like the door switch?
Well, one method is the process we professional appliantologists call, “dee-ductive reasoning.” Oh yeah, see, in appliance repair school we learned about reasoning and logic an’ stuff ‘cuz we studied all the great philosophizers who wore bed sheets all the time and spoke furrin’ languages like Greek, or something.
Anyway, in the dee-ductive method, we use the process of elimination to show what the problem ain’t. Well, if you rack up enough ain’ts, pretty soon you’re left with the ’tis. And one of the ain’ts that’s easy to check is the motor. If the motor checks good, then you know the problem ’tis something else. See? I know, it’s real complicated an’ all but that’s why we professional appliantologists makes the big money!
Testing the Motor:
– unplug the washer
– remove the front, bottom quarter panel from the washer
– unplug the five-wire connector from the motor
– set your ohm meter to the Rx1 scale and zero your meter
– touch your meter leads to the following pins, should get about 6 ohms for each reading: pins 1 and 2, pins 2 and 3, pins 1 and 3.
To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.
Next time your beer box is warming up, use this handy flowchart to quickly figure out what’s wrong and get on the right track for fixing it. Also makes a great gift for that special someone who already has it all. Go ahead and download it now so you’ll have it handy in case your beer starts warming up.
We’ve all been there: you drag yourself out of bed and shuffle to your GE refrigerator for your morning brewski before heading out job hunting. You open the door and right away notice sumpin’ ain’t raht. As you reach in for that 40-ounce can of Old Milwaukee, your worst nightmare is confirmed: WARM BEER! Red alert! Deflector shields up, arm photon torpedos!
In a blind panic, your hands starting to tremble slightly from fear of sobriety and early DTs, you snatch open the freezer door to find that the temperature inside seems normal. In a rare moment of clarity, you place several cans of Old Milwaukee in the freezer to start ’em chilling. As you’re shoving the last can in place, you notice the back wall inside the freezer is coated with fuzzy ice. Suddenly, like a light shining through the rapidly-dissipating fog from last night’s beers, you realize what’s happened: your GE refrigerator has had a defrost system failure.
With your bowels rumbling and your hands now fully shaking, you choke down the bile searing the back of your throat and race to your computer where you frantically pull up the one and only website that has always helped you in the past and that you know you can rely on in dark times like these: Fixitnow.com Samurai Appliance Repair Man. A quick search at the Samurai’s site pulls up this very post that you’re now reading on The Samurai Test for the Defrost Circuit in a GE Refrigerator with a Muthaboard… and the Quick Fix. Holy guacamole– it’s like looking in a mirror with another mirror behind you! But instead of seeing yourself, you see this:
The Samurai Test for the Defrost Circuit in a GE Refrigerator with a Muthaboard (click for larger view)
Here’s a simple way of determining whether spin or agitate problem is with your washer’s transmission (also called a gearcase) or some other part like a clutch or a drive coupler.
First off, if the washer agitates okay but does not spin, even though you hear the motor running, you may have a bad lid switch or the lid switch plunger on the washer lid is broken off. Usually, if the lid switch is bad, it won’t make a “click” sound when you press in the lid switch slot with a key or screwdriver. Here’s the most common replacement lid switch for most direct drive models but you should use your model number make sure you’re getting the exact one for your model. Regardless of the particular variation of lid switch in your model, they’re replaced the same way on all direct drive washers and the technique is shown in this video:
If the lid switch is okay, your next step is to remove the cabinet and jumper the lid switch harness (tan to gray). Put the unit in spin and watch the shiny metal clutch disc that is on top of the transmission where the shaft comes out. If the machine starts and runs in spin, check to see if the disc is spinning. If it is, then the problem is not in the gearcase— look for trouble in the clutch (see the “Clutch” section below), basket drive or the tub drive block (see the “Drive Block” section below).
If, on the other hand, the disc is NOT spinning, check for a problem with the motor drive coupler or one of its retainers. This washer doesn’t have a belt. Instead, the motor is directly coupled to the gearcase by a drive coupler; that’s why it’s called a direct drive washer. BTW, replacing the motor coupler is probably the single most common repair on this washer.
To check the drive coupler, you need to actually remove the motor to do this properly– you can’t always tell it’s bad by just eyeballing it from underneath.
If all that looks good, then you may need a new gearcase. If the machine tries to agitate and spin at the same time, this is always a bad gearcase.
(click it to git it)
Here’s how to replace the gearcase:
Weak or No Agitation
The agitator output shaft is the only thing bolted through the center of the machine. The agitator shaft is nested inside of the brake/spin/drive-tube shaft. The spin-tube is nested inside of the outer tub. As the motor spins the gear case the basket drive turns the clutch drum, which turns the clutch ring. The clutch ring applies force to a small cam-lever on the bottom of the spin-tube that releases the spring tension that holds the brake pads against the brake drum. That release allows the torque to then be transferred fully to the top of the spin tube, where the basket attaches.
The agitator is made of much weaker plastics and is designed to take the majority of the punishment. When the agitator dogs fail, you replace them and usually a strong wash cycle is restored. It’s possible for the gears to be worn in addition to the agitator dogs if the items being washed are larger than a bath towel, e.g. bed sheets, bed spreads, pillows, rugs etc. These type of top load machines are just not good at handling these items.
One common sign that the agitator needs to be rebuilt is if the bottom part of a dual-action agitator moves properly but the top part just wallows around lazily in the tub.
The agitator dog kit is easy to replace. The only tools you need are a flathead screwdriver and a 7/16th socket. Here’s the agitator repair kit and a how-to video to get you going:
The clutch will usually wear prematurely due to improper loading habits or the agitator clutch dogs being worn. The agitator clutch makes the top part of the agitator circulate the load and actually helps to balance the load. Running the machine with an unbalanced load causes the tub to oscillate erratically during spin and creates an imbalanced load on the clutch.
A quick eyeball test for the clutch is to lean it back and inspect the area around the gearcase and clutch for oil. If you find a lot of oil, you’ll need to replace the gearcase.
The Hand Test for the Clutch
If no hammering sound has ever been heard out of this machine, one of the unofficial tests we professional appliantologists will do in the field is called the Hand Test.
WARNING: This test is not sanctioned by Whirlpool Corporation; it involves bypassing safety equipment and then putting your hand on and near rotating machinery which could result in injury, dismemberment, disfigurement, disembowelment, mangling, hideous screaming, and a bloody death. Proceed at your own risk! Have a nice day.
– put the timer on a spin cycle and open the lid
– grab the inner basket with maybe 30% to 40% of your hand strength with your left hand
– turn on the machine and bypass the lid switch by depressing the lid switch with a key until the machine begins to spin
– if the clutch is engaging properly, the basket should immediately begin to spin and slip through your hand
– if it takes very little force to stop the tub from spinning, the clutch needs to be replaced.
The Clutch Eyeball Test
The Eyeball Test is less risky than the Hand Test but requires lots more time and mechanical fiddling. It’s not as comprehensive as the Hand Test because it only checks for one particular defect with the clutch. But it’s included here for your edification.
Use a pair of pliers to compress the spring of the clutch ring and remove it from the drum. Inspect the rivet holes that hold the pads to the ring. If these holes are packed with debris, then change the clutch. When a clutch is slipping, as well as any other frictional surface, it will develop a glazed look to it which will reflect light and look glossy, just like a lawnmower belt or washer drive belt that has been slipping. This can cause for a burnt rubber or plastic smell.
You don’t need to remove the outer tub to inspect the clutch drum and ring; all you need to do is remove just the gear case. This saves lots of time and headache and keeps the water seals intact and undisturbed.
The blue spring is for large capacity washers; black for compacts.
Tools needed: flathead screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver, pliers, putty knife, 7/16th socket, and a hex socket.
The basket is only coupled to the spin-tube through a cast-aluminum drive block. There are two tabs on the top of the spin-tube that interlock with 2 slots molded in the inner circumference of the drive block. When the drive block nut is tightened, it forces the basket down, which compresses the wedge shaped sides of the drive block into the face of the spin-tube, much like a compression fitting for a copper water line.
A worn drive block will usually have a pounding sound, like hammering metal, during spin when it first starts. If there is enough interlocking tab left on the drive block, you’ll see it finally engage at top speed with an empty basket.
Things for which you would need to remove the drive block include:
– inspecting the surface of the spin tube
– inspecting brake pad life and surface contamination
– inspecting brake drum surface and contamination
– inspecting or replacing the drive block
– inspecting or replacing the “self cleaning” filter on the bottom of the basket
– cleaning and inspecting of the inside surface of the plastic outer tub
– removing foreign objects from between the tubs
– possibly removal and installation of a counterbalance weight ring
Here’s how to remove/replace the drive block:
Tools Needed: flathead screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver, pliers, putty knife, 7/16th socket, a hammer, and a spanner wrench.
The dishwashers being made today ain’t like yo mamma’s dishwasher. Dishwashers made as recently as seven to 10 years ago used big honkin’ motors that practically sandblasted your dishes clean and then reversed direction to pump the water out. They used a lot more energy and water than the delicate little dainties being made today. They also lasted much longer and weren’t as prone to having problems with mineral buildup inside of ’em… but don’t get me started on that rant. Prodded along by the Beltway Bandits wielding the Energy Star stick, all the manufacturers are making their dishwashers with dainty little wash motors that drizzle the water on the dishes and a separate drain pump motor. So, for better or for worser, we’re all stuck with these limp-wristed dishwashers.
One of the consequences of using these low-wattage pumps and motors is that they have to run longer to get your dishes as clean as the old war horses did. Whereas yo mamma’s dishwasher would run for less than an hour, it’s not unusual for a new dishwasher to run for two or three hours. Although it seems counterintuitive (that’s one of those big words that we professional appliantologists use– please don’t try it at home as I cannot be responsible for your safety), the newer dishwashers are still using less energy than the older ones even when they run two or three times longer. It’s madness, I tell you, unmitigated insanity!
But, like with everything, there’s a downside to all this feel-good, Energy Star madness. If you have hard water (like most folks who get their water out of a well), the reduced water use and longer run times means you’re gonna get more mineral deposit gookus on your dishes and in the guts of your new fancy-pants, Energy Star dishwasher. This can cause all kinda washability and cleaning problems for your dishes, damage to the dishwasher’s dainty little innards, and increased energy consumption.
(click for larger view)
Four Ways to Handle Hard Water in Your Dishwasher:
Numero Uno: Use rinse aid! It’s not an option with today’s dinky dishwashers. Rinse aid allows the dishwasher to use less water with the same amount of cleaning and drying effectiveness. It does this by creating what we professional appliantologists call “sheeting action” of the water. By making the water sheet along dishes, rather than cluster into beads, it evaporates faster and with less energy. Look at the difference:
(click for larger view)
Numero Duo: If a little doesn’t work, use MORE rinse aid!
(click for larger view)
Numero Trio: Regularly use a dishwasher cleaner (Affresh) and performance booster (Glass Magic) to clear out the gookus and keep the build-up down.
Numero Quattro: Install a household water softening system or buy a fancy-pants dishwasher with its own water softener built in, like a Miele.
To learn more about your dishwasher, or to order parts, click here.
Lots of folks today are struggling to save shekels in this broke-back economy and that’s ezzacly why the Samurai’s here. One budget item that many households don’t have a good handle on is the electric bill. With just a little information from the appliance name plate and some third-grade math using a calcumulator, the Samurai’s gonna show you how to quickly and easily figger out how much electricity each of your appliances, large and small, are using.
Just like in a budget, you usually can’t point to any one item and say, “Aha! There’s the big money drainer!” Instead, it’s usually a process of “death by a thousand cuts”– trimming a few pennies here and a few pennies there and, next thing you know, you’ve saved some real money.
Watts are the basic unit of power use and consumption. You can usually find the wattage of most appliances stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance, or on its nameplate. The wattage stamped on the appliance is the maximum power drawn by the appliance.
Kilowatts are just watts x 1000. Your power meter actually measures kilowatts over a period of time, called kilowatt-hours (abbreviated kWh). This is simply the amount of kilowatts your home is sucking off the grid times the number of hours. This is the sum total of all electricity usage going in your home at any given time.
Since many appliances have a range of settings (for example, the speed of a washing machine spin or the heat setting on a dryer), the actual amount of power consumed depends on the actual setting used when you run the appliance.
All this will become clear when we work through some ezzamples so hang with me…
Special note for refrigerators: For older models, you can estimate the number of hours that a refrigerator actually operates at its maximum wattage by dividing the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Even though it’s “turned on” all the time, the refrigerator compressor actually cycles on and off as needed to maintain interior temperatures.
Newer refrigerators with the variable capacity compressors (VCC) are a little different. They’ll actually vary the speed at which the compressor runs which affects its power consumption. In theory, this reduces the power consumption so if you used the “divide by three” method, you’ll come up with a higher power consumption than it’s actually using.
One solution for finding the power consumption on these newer refrigerators is to use the Kitt-a-Watt meter (discussed below) to directly measure the refrigerator’s power usage.
Formula for Estimating Energy Consumption
Let’s start with some third-grade math. Here’s a simple way to estimate appliance energy consumption.
(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) / 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption
Now, multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption. You can then calculate the annual cost to run an appliance by multiplying the kWh per year by your local utility’s rate (on your power bill) per kWh consumed.
Now for those promised examples:
Suppose you have a window fan that has a watt rating of 200 watts stamped on its nameplate and you use it four hours/day about four months out of the year. And suppose your power rate is 8.5 cents/kWh (this is pretty cheap power, BTW– up here in Yankeeland, we pay over 18 cents/kWh! The rate will vary widely– check your power bill for your actual rate). Let’s see how much that sucker’s costing you:
Suppose the compooter on your desktop has a wattage rating of 120 watts stamped on its nameplate or somewhere in the manufacturer’s tech specs. Let’s also suppose the monitor you’re using to read this web page has a rating of 150 watts and you use your compooter about four hours per day, year ’round. Again, we’re just using the power rate of 8.5 cents/kWh for an example. So how much is that costing you?
Sometimes, the wattage isn’t stamped on the appliance and they might only give the amps instead. Amps is a measure of the electric current draw; it’s a measure of flow like gallons per minute from the BP oil gusher, same idea.
If the wattage is not listed on the appliance, you can still estimate it by finding the current draw (in amperes) and multiplying that by the voltage used by the appliance. Most appliances in the United States use 120 volts AC (vac). Larger appliances, such as electric clothes dryers and electric cooktops, use 240 vac (gas clothes dryers use 120 vac).
If the amps aren’t stamped on the appliance anywhere, you can easily measure it with a nifty and inexpensive gadget called a Kill-a-Watt meter. You just plug the Kill-a-Watt into the wall, then plug the appliance into the Kill-a-Watt meter and you’ll read the amps, watts, and volts right on the meter. No fuss, no muss! Come git you one:
(click it to git it, Hoss!)
Typical Wattages for Appliances
For rough estimate purposes, here are some typical wattages of various household appliances.
This range uses the finicky and temperamental Direct Spark Ignition (DSI) system. This is a different animal from the two most common gas oven ignition systems: standing pilot and hot surface ignition.
In the DSI system, when you turn on the oven, it makes a spark at the burner to ignite the gas and fire it up… except when it won’t. Hence this post.
– oven shuts off during the Bake cycle and the food ain’t cooked
– oven won’t light or, if it does, it shuts right off
– burner ignition is sporadic or intermittent– sometimes it works, sometimes, tough cookie (or raw cookie)
– oven may “lockout” after it reaches the set Bake temperature
– oven cools down after pre-heat
Most of the time, these problems are caused by the bake burner itself. Whirlpool added more holes to the gas burner tube to help it fire up more reliably. Check it out: