GE Front Load Washer Control Board Replacement

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Introduction: GE Front Load Washer Control Board Replacement

My 13-month-old GE washing machine suddenly quit spinning, the front panel would not stay turned 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 handle 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.

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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 as far as it will go, then gently press down on the tab at the back of the tray which allows it to be removed. Set it aside. Remove 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 out, 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; then disconnect the wiring connector and set aside the panel.

Step 6: Remove the Top Lid

Unscrew the four 1/4" sheet metal screws holding the top panel in place. 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, 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!

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    11 Discussions

    0
    sampope1983
    sampope1983

    10 months ago on Step 12

    Thank you so much for taking the time to help me fix this myself greatly appreciated

    0
    MadMonk67
    MadMonk67

    Reply 7 months ago

    I'm glad it helped!

    0
    MadMonk67
    MadMonk67

    Reply 10 months ago

    I'm glad it was helpful!

    0
    MarkP401
    MarkP401

    1 year ago

    Can anyone tell me the part number of the little chip that exploded on my board? I already replaced the main fuse already with a fuse holder.

    0
    Costa Rich
    Costa Rich

    Reply 7 months ago

    I find it interesting that my board has failed in the same way THREE times. I didn't realize it until now as I looked over all the boards. But they have the same chip blown out, U101/U101A. It is a TOP258PN ON824B (not sure if that last part is needed) and alone costs about $2 or something. I'm going to buy a sleeve of them to see if I can rehabilitate some of my failed boards. And maybe put a heat sink and a fan on it. If I do, I'll add the pictures to this instructable. I'm just astonished so many failures are around the same part. Seems like GE could have noticed this and fixed it.

    The first two failures were catastrophic with U101 with it catching fire or breaking. The last one just has a burned smudge underneath it on the plastic housing but the chip itself hasn't destructed. That's how I was able to figure out what part# it was.


    IMG_6108.JPGIMG_6111.JPGIMG_6112.JPG
    0
    AdamE59
    AdamE59

    3 years ago

    My washing machine powered down mid cycle, wpuld not power back on, and had a burnt plastic smell around it. I opened it up and foind a burned/exploded piece on the control board. I ordered a replacement from GE and followed your guide to install it. Now it will power on but will not start a cycle. When i try to start a wash cycle ot clicks the door lock a few times then stopps and says "load sense" on the screen. Any one know if i need to program the new board some how or if another piece may need to be replaced?

    0
    KathyD113
    KathyD113

    Reply 3 years ago

    AdamE59, I am having exactly the same problem. I have done everything that you have done so far with exactly the same results. If you find out what to do to get the drum to work again, please post so that it may also help me out. Thanks.

    0
    BeachsideHank

    Odd as it may seem, capacitors- the electrolytic type, continue to be the main villain in many board failures. But being electronically inclined, I would examine those for any outward signs of failure, most notably a doming or rounding of the top or leakage of "schmutz" around any of them. Absent that finding and replacement then yeah, I'd do what you did and plead poverty for a replacement. Nice tutorial, thanks.