My GE Washer Has a Noisy Spin Cycle

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A GE washing machine must be balanced and in good repair to operate quietly.

A noisy spin cycle is one of the most frequent complaints with a GE washer. Spin cycle noise is almost always due to leveling or load balance problems in newer machines. In older GE washers, mechanical damage, like a worn clutch or spin bearing may be responsible for a loud spin cycle.


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Unbalanced Load

By far the most common cause of a noisy spin cycle in a GE washer is an unbalanced load of clothing. When clothing is not evenly distributed in the tub, the excess weight on one side gets even more pronounced when the fabric becomes waterlogged. Centrifugal force slams the heavy wad of wet clothing repeatedly against the side of the inner tub as it spins, unbalancing the entire machine and making a loud thumping noise.

Uneven Feet

A similar problem results when the machine itself is not sitting level on the floor. A GE washer has four feet. The two feet at the front of the machine can be adjusted manually by twisting them clockwise to lower that corner of the machine or counterclockwise to raise it. Once the front of the washer is level, you can set the self-leveling back feet by tipping the washer forward and slowly lowering it back to the floor.


Worn Clutch

Whereas most washing machines use a belt and pulley system to spin the inner tub during the spin cycle, GE washers use a clutch, similar to the clutch found in a car's transmission. Over time, clutches wear down to the point that they don't make good contact. The clutch squeals and doesn't spin the tub as fast as it's supposed to. Eventually, it doesn't spin at all, at which point the transmission assembly containing the clutch must be replaced.

Spin Bearing

Wherever something spins around an axle, there's a connection called a bearing. The bearing between the spinning tub in a GE washer and the transmission undergoes a huge amount of friction. Eventually, the bearing starts to wear out and lose its smooth, tight connection. When the bearing starts to go, the spin cycle begins to sound like a freight train bearing down on your laundry room, and the bearing will have to be replaced.



Rachel Steffan

Based in central Missouri, Rachel Steffan has been writing since 2005. She has contributed to several online publications, specializing in sustainable agriculture, food, health and nutrition. Steffan holds a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Truman State University.