11/29/18 Moved into a condo and inherited this laundry pair. I have same exact problem with the washer as OP on 02/19/18 except model # is GE GFWN1100L3WW. Washer fills with plenty of water, drum senses one or two rotations, then drains, unlocks door and flashes the pause button. No cycles run complete. I unplugged, replugged for 15 seconds. Then tried 15 minutes. I cleaned the drain at the bottom of the machine, as well as the filters just inside the hot and cold water hoses. I changed the water inlet valve. Still no resolution. Ran a test for error codes. There were several. We cleared the codes and re ran the tests. Got an E46 (motor or control). Called our usual repair man and he is still trying to get info on the error code fix.

Any other suggestions before I give up and replace the darn thing?



Right off the top, "motor or control" + "fills" + "one or two rotations" + "drains" indicates a problem with the drum motor. Since it fills and drains, it is unlikely to be related to hoses, filters, inlet valve, etc.

I found a site that explains how to get into Service Mode. This should enable you to do some more diagnostics. Another page on that site describes the E46 error as follows:

E42/E48/E49/E46/E54 Motor Related Errors

These three errors are motor errors and can be caused by a bad inverter or motor. First, clear the code, exit the service mode and disconnect the power to the washer for at least 30 seconds. Don’t disconnect the power until you exit the service mode because it may damage the control. If the problem persists see the page below.

So that points to:

  • Inverter
  • Motor
  • Something causing the motor to overload. Since it does "one or two rotations", the motor is getting at least some power (inverter) and is not totally dead (motor). It could be wearing out or malfunctioning in some way that it either draws too much power (and the control board senses that and shuts down) or doesn't turn fast enough or turns too fast (e.g., if pulley is loose) (and the control board senses that and shuts down).

So next steps (aside from anything you can figure out in Service Mode) is going to be to disassemble it to check the motor for loose connections (doubtful, but you never know), dirt blocking the motor or similar "easy fixes". One likely culprit is the drive belt (part WH08X10048) - if that is worn out it could explain everything, though even that is in the $50 range so you want to be fairly certain that is the problem before ordering one.

If that doesn't turn up anything, then you get into "swap components" mode. The catch is that a motor assembly (part WH20X10028) ranges (currently, subject to change, which is why we don't do "shopping questions") $50 to $300 or more depending on where you get it from, new/used, etc. In which case it may be time to look for a new washing machine.

  • 1
    Thank you manassehkatz... I did research the cost of potential replacement parts and have pretty much assumed a new washer is in my future as this is a 2012 model and I have no idea of its historical usage (or abuses lol). We have already invested in the new water inlet valve and have reservations about sinking any more money into this machine unless we’re sure of the problem and that it’s cost effective. We do not have the skill level to go beyond basic testing. But thanks for confirming what we suspected......not worth it 👍 – Bettie lew Nov 29 '18 at 19:14
  • This is one of those "old" vs. "new" systematic problems. The old washers & dryers are extremely simple machines. Some of the new dryers have "fancy controls & stuff" and therefore expensive parts, but there isn't anything fundamentally better about them - I would go as far as saying that it makes sense for some people to get a new type of washer but an old type of dryer. But washers are different. The front-loaders are MUCH more energy/water efficient, gentler to the clothing, better at spinning out, etc. So the problem is that if you go for the "new" then you lose the old... – manassehkatz Nov 29 '18 at 19:41
  • extremely simple, 3rd-party parts available, trivial (relatively) to fix features of the old top-load machines. – manassehkatz Nov 29 '18 at 19:41
  • The typical "major appliance" rule is 10 - 15 years. A 2012 machine should have plenty of life left in it. In fact, the old washers & dryers can last pretty much "forever" replacing a part at a time over the years. But not the new stuff. Not necessarily "designed to fail", just more complex & proprietary parts. – manassehkatz Nov 29 '18 at 19:43

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