Top Load Washer Fills But Will Not Agitate

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

If the washer stops after filling, check the house circuit breaker/fuse as well as the outlet and plug. Washers should be plugged into their own separate outlet. If it is not a power supply issue, check the following:

  • Newer top-load washers are designed to operate much quieter than a typical washer. To test to see if it is agitating:
    1. Open the lid and place a new article of clothing in the washer and note its position.
    2. Close the lid.
    3. Let the washer run for a minute or two and open the lid. If the agitator is working properly, the article of clothing should have moved around in the wash.  
  • If the washer is not agitating, you may need to reset your washer motor . If your washer senses a power spike, unbalanced load, or disruption in power it will send a fault code to your motor and may require the motor to be reset:
    1. Unplug the washer for 1 minute from the electrical outlet.
    2. Plug the washer back in and lift and lower the lid 6 times within a 12 second period.
    3. You have 30 seconds to start lifting and lowering the lid. The lid must be raised a minimum of 2” ensure the magnetic connection on the lid is interrupted. Make sure you close the lid completely each time.
    4. The motor has now been reset and is ready for you to start a cycle.  
  • On newer washers, it takes about 20-30 seconds for the machine to sense the load and engage the drive system after the water has stopped filling.  
  • Make sure the washer lid is down. The washer will not agitate or spin with the lid up, though many models will still fill and drain and the timer will advance.  
  • Most models have either a lid switch probe or a magnet on the lid that activates the lid switch when the lid is closed. If missing or damaged, the washer will not agitate or spin, even with the lid closed.
    • Lid switch probe: A small plastic piece that fits into a hole in the bottom right side of the open lid.
    • Magnet: Plastic coated magnet that is fastened with two screws in the top right side of the open lid.  
  • The washer cycle could have been stopped or paused by accident. Make sure the Start/Stop or Pause button was not pushed, or that the timer knob was not pushed in.  
  • Check the cycle selection to make sure it is not in a soak cycle. Some models have soak cycles that may be selected for 15 or 30 minutes prior to the main wash. See the Owner's Manual for information on your model. Download a copy of your Owner's Manual.  
  • Check the speed selector switch. Make sure it is pointing at the speed, not stuck in the middle. Turn the switch to the correct speed and try again.  
  • If the washer is stored in below freezing temperatures, water in the pump can freeze and lock the motor. Allow time to thaw, and start the washer again.  
  • If CAnCELEd ("canceled") scrolling on control panel or the two furthest lights are flashing (2015 and newer models): This indicates that an error has occurred. Select Drain & Spin and press Start, this will attempt to clear the error. If problems persist, disconnect power to the washer for 1 minute, reconnect and retry by either re-starting your previous wash cycle settings and press Start or select Drain & Spin and press Start.

If the above suggestions do not correct the situation, service will be required. For service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.