Washing machine appears to be broken

I turn to you for some home repair help. My washing machine will fill normally, and will drain partially but it will not agitate while washing or spin while draining. Yesterday we tried to wash my winter coat as per the instructions with the coat and the machine got very off-center and started making some very loud banging noises and walked across the floor about 2 feet in a very short period of time.

The unit is a roughly 9 year old GE top loader. Anything I can try and get this operational again?

I appreciate any feedback.


Need to know the exact model for a diagnosis.
GE’s of that age often have a “Mode Shifter” that can go bad. It’s replaceable, but hard to do.
Depending on the model, there may be diagnostic lights on the motor control board.

I am not sure I understand.

Up until yesterday, your washing machine worked just fine. Then, you decided to wash a winter coat in in and everything was OK until it his the spin cycle, when it began to go “BANG!-BANG!-BANG!” and began to walk across the floor. Now it no longer does anything but fill and drain. Is that correct?

A conventional top loader will go BANG!-BANG!-BANG! when it is trying to spin an off-center load (like a single heavy winter coat). Because the load is not balanced, the basket begins to hit the inside of the machine (that’s what makes the bang). The thing to do is open the top and redistribute the load so that it is no longer off-center. If you can’t do that, you have to just wring or hang dry the coat.

Assuming what I have described, you might have broken the transmission, you may have broken the motor, or perhaps, just broken a v-belt that connects the motor to the transmission. The bad new is that it will probably cost more to fix than you can buy a used washing machine for (hit craig’s list). The good news is that used washing machines are fairly cheap, about $100-150 around here.

For future reference, if your washing machine begins to make the BANG!-BANG!-BANG! noise again, run over to it and open the top. If you can, redistribute the load and close it and make sure it balances. In addition, send your winter coat to a cleaner for cleaning. It’s cheaper than a new washing machine.

Beowulf,the model is WHDSR209G8WW.

excavating, yes you have it correct. Fills and partially drains is all it will do. Been doing laundry for roughly 40 years and have heard that bang before and immediately knew what to do, however I was outside at a cookout so it took a few seconds in order to get the machine stopped.

Thanks for the replies. Really appreciate it

Could be the agitator coupler.
If it’s the transmission, you are SOL, because they are not available anymore.

Check out this page: https://www.appliancepartspros.com/repair-help/general-electric-washer-whdsr209g8ww-repair
It has a lot of symptoms and possible causes.

In looking over this issue on the Internet, it seems to me likely that with all that banging you either loosened the motor so the belt is no longer tight, or got it to slip off altogether.

If you look at this video, you can see that it only takes a putty knife and less than 5 minutes to open the front of the machine and be able to check the motor and belt at the bottom of the machine. If you see broken metal or plastic pieces, I’d guess the machine is toast. If you can see that the belt is off the motor or is obviously loose, then that is probably the issue.

If the belt is merely loose or off the pulleys, it looks to be an easy fix, if you can operate a wrench or know someone who can. Even if it is just a lose belt, I would replace it (as opposed to merely re-tightening it), since they are cheap (<$10) and you don’t want to have to be doing this twice.

A few words of advice. One, use the same tools as shown in the video. Not necessarily the same brand, but same type. That is, it looks as if the putty knife is 1.5", so don’t try using a flat screwdriver (something I have done) since it can (and will) cause the enamel to flake off, dent the case, and perhaps result in the machine rusting in that location. For the wrench, use a box-end of the appropriate size; do not ues an adjustable wrench as it will only cause you grief.

Second, while you have the front off, look around inside and clean any accumulated dirt, lost socks, trash, or anything else you find in there. You don’t have to shine everything up, but get everything that might result in problems in the future. When you didn’t know that stuff was in there, it was fine, but once you know about it, it is certainly going to cause a problem.