General Electric, or GE, top-loading washing machines have a lid switch located on the door jamb of the top of the cabinet. The switch is compressed by the lid when the lid is closed and decompresses when the lid is open. This switch allows the washing machine's control board to detect whether the lid is open or closed. Certain portions of the wash cycle, such as the spin cycle, will not initiate as a safety precaution when the lid is open. If the lid switch is damaged, the washer will detect that the lid is open, even if it is not. To determine if your lid switch has no longer functional, you must remove it and test it for continuity using a multimeter.
Unplug the washer from the wall outlet.
Insert a putty knife between the front cabinet and top of the washing machine, approximately 6 inches from each side to release the spring clips.
Lift up the top and locate the lid switch on the underside of the top.
Pull the two wires off of the two lid switch terminals. Note which wire was connected to which terminal.
Set your multimeter to the lowest setting for ohms of resistance. For specific instructions pertaining to your multimeter, refer to the owner's manual.
Touch the two multimeter probes together and adjust the needle to "0," to calibrate the multimeter. Refer to the manual for specific calibration instructions.
Touch one terminal with one of the probes and touch the other terminal with the other probe.
Press the lid switch button down to test the continuity of the switch. If the multimeter shows 0 ohms of resistance, the switch is properly functioning. However, if the multimeter does not move significantly, the switch is not properly functioning and must be replaced.