Washing machines all make noises when they’re in use. This makes it difficult to differentiate normal mechanical clicks and whirrs from sounds that could mean trouble. One of the most common sounds top-loading washing machines make after a year or two of service is a squeaking noise that is only heard when the agitator is in use. This squeaking noise is often caused by something simple, but it can also be a symptom of a more serious problem. This article will look at the causes of this common noise and the steps that you can take to enjoy squeak-free laundry days. If your GE washing machine makes a squeaking noise while agitating, here’s what it could be.
The Agitator Is Obstructed
Buttons, small pieces of trim and particles of dirt removed from clothes during the wash cycle can all find their way into the small gap between the base of the agitator and the bottom of the laundry tub. If your GE washing machine starts to squeak, one of the first things you should do is take out the agitator to see if there is an obstruction. You may have to remove a plastic cap and use a socket to complete the job, but the whole process should not take longer than a couple of minutes. Once you have cleared away any debris and replaced the agitator, you should run the washing machine with no clothes in it to see if the squeaking noise is gone.
GE top-loading washers are known for their intuitive designs, so their agitators are usually pretty easy to take out and put back in. However, you should check your washing machine owner’s manual before you do anything. If you no longer have your owner’s manual, you can download a replacement from the GE Appliances website. GE also has a tool that you can use to identify your washing machine if you don’t know its model number.
You’re Washing Machine Is Overloaded
We all want to finish our laundry chores as quickly as possible, but we have to be careful when we make haste. If we push our washers and dryers past their mechanical limits, motors and transmissions will be stressed and performance will suffer. When washing machines are overloaded, the excess weight places belts, pulleys and other components under a great deal of strain. Overloading can cause washing machines to grind and creak, and it can also make their agitators squeak. You can avoid this problem by consulting your owner’s manual to find out how much weight your appliance is designed to handle.
Your Washing Machine’s Drive Belt Is Worn Out
Many GE top-loading washers have motors that use drive belts to transfer energy and turn the laundry bin. GE drive belts are made out of extremely tough and durable materials, but wear and tear take a toll on them over time. Drive belts wind their way through a circuitous path of tensioners and pulleys, but they eventually start to loosen and sag. When this happens, fraying and tearing become almost inevitable.
Replacing a worn or damaged drive belt is not a difficult job, but you will have to remove the washer’s back panel to get access to the motor. Once this is done, no tools should be required to slip off the old drive belt and slide on its replacement. If you don’t have a replacement drive belt, you will be able to find what you need on the GE Appliances parts page.
Your Washing Machine’s Belt Pulleys Are Damaged or Dirty
Dirty or damaged pulleys are another common cause of agitator squeaking. If you take the back off your GE top-loading washer to replace the drive belt, you should also take a close look at the pulleys the belt moves through. Use a flashlight if you have to, but take your time. If you notice accumulated dirt or damage, use a socket to loosen the bolt that holds the pulley in place. You may have to resort to a bit of jiggling to get the pulley all the way off. Dirty pulleys can be cleaned and reinstalled, but broken components should be replaced.
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Your Washing Machine’s Transmission or Drive Motor Is Failing
If clearing agitator obstructions and replacing the drive belt and pulleys does not stop agitator squeaking, the problem may be caused by a worn-out transmission or drive motor. It’s not particularly difficult to replace washing machine motors, transmissions and clutch assemblies. While you rarely need special tools, these are large and cumbersome components that could be too much for one person to handle. You should pay particular attention to the clutch assembly as this component controls the movements of both the agitator and tub and is prone to wear.
WashersDryers360 Has You Covered
Modern appliances are engineered to provide years of faithful service, but a little routine maintenance may be needed from time to time to keep them running at their best. When washers or dryers start to make strange noises that could be ominous signs, you can rely on us to let you know what could be causing the problem and how easy it will be to fix it. No matter what kind of appliance problems you run into, you will be able to find the helpful tips you are looking for at WashersDryers360.