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I have about two and half years old GE GFWR4800FWW (GFWR4800F0FWW specifically) front-loading washer. It has started making very loud noise during spin, and also when I turn the drum slowly by hand it seems something is pulled upward along with the drum little ways until gravity pulls it back down, creating a rattling sound, almost as if a chain would slide down on the outer surface of the drum. I've opened the back of the washer, and external to the plastic tub everything seems to be (at least visually) in order (shocks, suspension, etc.), so the problem seems to be inside the tub.

The next step would be to open the tub, which I haven't yet decided whether I want to attempt it myself. Based on the symptoms, I'm wondering how big bill I'm looking at in parts (and labor if I call someone to look at it), assuming something that could be tightened hasn't just come loose.

Thanks for any insights!

  • Perhaps some pebbles or other small debris stuck in the drum? – topshot Oct 4 '16 at 15:16
  • No, it's definitely something that the basket "drags" when turned, like a rim that has more weight in one spot resting on the drum. – Ville Oct 5 '16 at 5:06
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Sounds like your tub's supporting bearing at the back is shot. I'd start there, even just to see how your tub is actually operated.

This is important because your tub may not have a support bearing at all & may rest on front & back rollers with a bottom wheel or a belt connecting to a pulley on the motor. 1 or more of these rollers or just the drive-wheel may be worn down.

If you have this roller setup you may be able to adjust the drive-wheel height by an adjusting screw. If just a or the bottom rollers have worn but the tops are still new, then just swap those around.

Once you determine what's what then you can go online-line to any appliance parts website & see if it's worth your time or if $100 or more would be better spent on an Appliance Repairer doing a full assessment of the washer along with the necessary repair.

  • I had a service person come over today, and he quickly diagnosed it as the "support spider" having failed. It would be an interesting project, but it's not worth my time/effort, so I'll pass, and just get a new washer. :-) – Ville Oct 5 '16 at 5:08
  • Yep, that's what goes into & rides the bearings. It's quite unlikely the Support Spider itself failed. He probably means it's bearing shaft is heavily scored & ground-down so it won't ever work tight nor right again. This "typically" means the entire tub has to be replaced. I say "typically" because no-one welds the shafts to rebuild them back to new quite cheaply & quickly. And, go for truck bearing replacements & you'd be good forever, but no-one does that either. So, you made the only & right decision to replace the whole washer...planned obsolescence with marginal parts wins again. – Iggy Oct 5 '16 at 11:21
  • That's pretty sad if that's the case. 5 years for how much a front loader costs? I think our front is going on 15 now </knock on wood> – topshot Oct 5 '16 at 12:08
  • Yeah, you're pretty lucky. Most appliances for the last 5-years (+/-) are total garbage & require constant repairs. I never left normal top load, my Water Bill's BY FAR my smallest bill & I never liked the 2 to 5 hour waste of electricity front load cycle absurdity...amongst mold smell & cleaning or that you can't add to a started wash. High Efficiency's in front or top loads are just stupid, clothes come out dirtier. I get small stains occasionally, but I never had to pre-treat, can soak all day & can run the load a 2nd time for 2 more rinses to get even more soap out for stay fresh clothes. – Iggy Oct 5 '16 at 19:08

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