If your GE washing machine is stuck on sensing, this can be a big problem for you – especially if it fails to move on to the next phase, which is the wash cycle.
The sensing stage has a rather important role in the functioning of your GE washer, especially when it comes to determining the optimal water level.
However, once the weight of the load has been estimated, the sensing fill shouldn’t take long. What could have gone wrong, and what are the best ways to fix this issue? Let’s find out.
Why is your GE washer stuck on sensing?
Before we get into the most common causes for your GE washer being stuck on sensing fill, let’s talk a bit about the importance of this phase in the functioning of your washer.
The GE washer must perform a few “waterless” spins to determine the load amount to determine the necessary water level. Depending on the load, the washer will add the required water.
If the sensing phase was skipped, the water level could get dangerously low or high, which is not an optimal situation for the washer or the load.
It would also affect the rinse cycle, and you would probably end up with wet clothes or a completely dry load that hasn’t been properly washed.
That being said, we certainly don’t want the washing machine to spend too much time in the sensing cycle, and in case it won’t move on to the washing phase, there is probably something blocking this function.
Clogged drain pump
A clogged drain pump is one of the most frequent reasons for your GE washing machine being stuck on sensing.
The drain pump could be blocked with accumulated gunk, dirt, mineral buildup, or sand.
Due to this blockage, the washer won’t drain the water, compromising not only the draining function but all the other processes of your washing machine.
In some cases, the drain pump filter is clogged, and by cleaning or replacing it, you can quickly solve this issue.
A common issue with a GE washing machine is a faulty transmission. The transmission’s role in your washer is to turn the washer drum and help the washer move from one cycle to another.
Therefore, if you have the washing machine stuck on sensing, a malfunctioning transmission may be why the wash cycle isn’t starting.
A faulty transmission is relatively easy to detect, as it often produces a burning smell from the drum, making the washer rather noisy – especially when switching between different cycles.
The sound will usually be a high-pitch whining as if the belt is struggling and about to snap.
Faulty water inlet valve
The role of the water inlet valve in your washing machine is to release the necessary amount of water into the washer drum after the sensing spins have determined the load amount.
However, suppose the water inlet valve is clogged. In that case, whether it be mineral buildup, gunk, or simply dirt that accumulated over the years, the water won’t be able to pass through (or at least not the necessary amount).
It is also possible that the water inlet valve is corroded or damaged in some other way – hence your GE washer ends up stuck on sensing.
A malfunctioning main control board
The main control board controls all the washer processes, including sensing, washing, and draining cycles.
A malfunctioning control board will prevent the washer from switching from the sensing mode to the washing cycle, which is one of the main reasons behind a stuck washing machine.
Faulty lid switch
Finally, if the washing cycle isn’t starting after the sensing mode, you may be dealing with a faulty lid switch.
A broken lid switch will prevent the wash cycle from starting since the door won’t be able to close correctly.
Even if the wash cycle starts, a faulty lid switch may cause the door to open mid-cycle, which can be dangerous.
How to fix a GE washer stuck on sensing
Different methods will prove more or less effective depending on the underlying issue causing your GE washer to remain in sensing mode.
Therefore, the emphasis should be on the troubleshooting process, which makes it much easier for you to fix and prevent this issue in the future.
1. Clean the drain pump
The water pressure will be affected until the drain pump is entirely free of clogs and blockages. The first step would be to locate the drain pump, which can be found behind the back panel of your GE washer.
Unplug the washer from the power source, then move it so you can access the back panel. Remove the rear panel, then disconnect the drain hose from the drain pump and the inlet hoses.
Inspect all of these elements for any blockages or signs of damage before moving on to the pump. Wash all the parts and flush out or pull out the clogs so the water can run freely.
However, if the drain pump is defective or broken, you will need to install a brand new one.
2. Replace the transmission
A new transmission can be a rather costly investment, so you may want to get a second opinion or reconsider replacing it. Considering the price of this element, you may decide to get a brand new GE washer.
In this case, we recommend consulting with a professional, as the transmission may not even be an issue in the first place. A faulty belt can cause similar problems, including the burning smell and the whining noise commonly attributed to a bad transmission.
However, if your GE washer gets to the wash cycle but doesn’t seem to drain water in the spin cycle, this is a clear indicator that you’re dealing with a faulty transmission that should be replaced.
3. Install a new water inlet valve
If the water inlet valve is clogged, corroded, or damaged in any other way, it is highly probable that this is the leading cause of the sensing mode issue.
You should be able to locate the water inlet valve inside the washing machine. Once you open up the top part, you will find it close to the back side of the washer.
You will also notice that the valve is secured with screws while multiple wires and hoses are connected. Slowly unscrew the valve and disconnect it from all wires and hoses, ensuring not to damage any of these elements in the process.
Since installing the water inlet valve can be rather complicated, you may want to leave this task to a licensed expert who can inspect other essential elements in the washer.
4. Install a new main control board
While you may be tempted to inspect and replace individual elements of the main control board, this isn’t the best decision in the long run. Once you notice that the main control board is defective or malfunctioning, it is much better to replace it entirely.
Installing a new main control board can be tricky, primarily if you’ve never performed a similar task. You may want to hire a technician to ensure the main control board is the issue.
Once you get the confirmation you need, they can install a new board for you if that’s the route you decide to go with.
Remember that installing a brand new main control board can sometimes be more expensive than installing a brand new GE washer. Make sure to compare the costs and do the math before making the final decision.
5. Replace the lid switch
A faulty or broken lid switch will prevent the washer door from closing and remaining locked until the wash cycle is completed.
The lid switch could be broken, corroded, or blocked by mineral buildup and accumulated dirt. If you notice any blockages, try removing them and then closing the washer door.
If this doesn’t work, you will have to replace the lid switch altogether.