My 13-month-old GE washing machine suddenly quit spinning, the front panel would not stay on, and was stuck in the middle of a wash cycle. With it being one month out of warranty, I called in a professional to give me a diagnosis and estimate for repair. I was informed that the problem was the system control board and the repair would be a little over $400 - ouch!
After watching what the repair tech did to get to the insides of this thing, I realized that I could easily hand this job, so I made a phone call to GE to see if they could help a guy out with a free replacement part (it's only 1 month out of warranty, so why not?). I was told that they could not replace the board for free, but would provide the part at a greatly reduced rate. Instead of the $290 quoted by the repair guy, they said I could have it for $80. SOLD!
This whole repair took about 30 minutes to perform and would have been much quicker if I were familiar with the internals beforehand.
As for the washing machine model, it is from the GE RightHeight® front-load washer line. The specific model is GFWR4805FMC.
Step 1: Unplug the Washing Machine
As always, when working on any appliance, make sure the thing is unplugged. Getting electrocuted while fixing your washing machine would be a stupid way to die.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Your Replacement Part
Here are all the tools you'll need for this job:
- Phillips screwdrivers (large and small)
- Bit driver with a 1/4" hex bit and a T-20 torx bit
- Needle-nose pliers (possibly optional)
Step 3: Remove the Dispenser Tray and Panel Screws
Pull out the dispenser tray and press the tab at the back of the tray, then remove and set aside. Removed the two phillips-head screws on the front panel.
Step 4: Remove the Control Knob and Panel Screw
Remove the control knob by pulling straight out, then pull out the plastic knob retainer. Remove the T-20 torx screw in the control panel behind where the knob was.
Step 5: Remove the Front Panel
After the screws are removed, the front panel is removed by pulling up on the panel on the right-hand side. This will disengage the clip from the bolt head and allow removal. Flip the panel over and lay it on the top of the washer, remove the wiring connector and then set aside the panel.
Step 6: Remove the Top Lid
Unscrew the four 1/4" sheet metal screws from the front of the washer. Slide the lid to the front to disengage the panel and then lift it from the front to remove the panel and gain access to the belly of the beast.
Step 7: Begin Removal of the System Board
On the right-hand side, you will see the system board, along with a myriad collection of connecting wires. It is mounted to the washer's frame with three sheet metal screws and two plastic tabs at the back.
It will likely have a protective paperboard cover over it, but I have removed this for the sake of clarity. The cover makes the removal of the connectors slightly more problematic, but stay patient and persevere and you should have no serious trouble getting everything disconnected.
Step 8: Disconnect the System Board Housing
Remove the three 1/4" sheet metal screws holding the housing to the frame and slide the housing to the left. This will loosen the housing from the frame and give you enough slack in the wiring harness to begin removing the connectors.
Step 9: Begin Disconnecting the Harness
All of the connections on this board have a push-in release button. You must push in the release button while pulling out the connector. There are ten wiring connections on this board and one pressure sensor with a rubber hose connected to it that must be removed.
I found it easier to disconnect the front three connectors, then the two on the top of the board. This allowed enough slack to remove the wiring from the clips on the housing. This will get you through the first 8 harness connections.
Step 10: Disconnect the Pressure Sensor From the Housing
You will need to unclip the pressure sensor from the front of the housing. It uses a simple push-in clip that you can pinch closed on one side and work back out of the mounting hole. A pair of needle-nose pliers are handy for this, but it can be done by hand without too much difficulty.
Remove the rubber hose from the housing clips.
Step 11: Remove the Remaining Harness Connectors
At this point you should be able to more easily get to the two remaining harness connectors on the rear of the board. These remove the same as the others. The motor power connectors are kind of tough because they have a plastic sheathing around it. Keep working at it and it will come off.
Step 12: Remove and Replace Board in the Housing. Put It All Back Together Again.
Congratulations, you've removed the control board and housing! All that remains is to remove the six small phillips-head screws that secure the board to the housing, and lifting out the board.
Replacement and re-installation is basically the reverse of removal. Don't forget to re-install the paper cover before hooking up the wiring.
I hope these instructions are helpful for getting your washing machine working again while saving you money!