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I was using a General Electric washing machine when it suddenly stopped working.

I thought of everything and the most logical explanation was the factor of cold temperature, so I used a heater to blow hot air towards the washer. After a while it started working.

Does anyone know if a General Electric washing machine would have an automatic shut down function to shut the machine off in the event of the temperature being so low that water could freeze in the machine ?

  • GE maybe? I've had some GM cars that felt like being inside a washing machine, but never a literal one. Also what kind of temperatures are we talking about? If your machine was below freezing the water may have frozen in the pipes, but I can't see that being inside a home.. Is it in the garage? – Ron Beyer Jan 21 at 13:15
  • It could be GM, via Frigidaire brand. How cold did it get? If it was below freezing, it could be the water inlet froze. – Tim B Jan 21 at 13:47
  • @jsotola General Electric, Fixed. – ShoutOutAndCalculate Jan 21 at 15:05
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    many mechanical and physio-electrical problems are thermal related. as metal cools and heats, it contracts and expands, often at different rates than other parts it's bonded to. This could cause myriad issues: solenoid sticking, mechanical sensor jamming, circuit interrupt, pushing MOVs outside of their range and scaring the controller, etc. – dandavis Jan 21 at 18:02
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Installing a washing machine in a location that freezes is extremely risky, even if the machine is disconnected and in storage.

There are many and plastic parts in the machine, that will crack easily in freezing conditions. Some of them have water in them at all times, e.g. bottom of drain hoses. Some have pressurized water, such as the water inlet valves: a crack here will dump thousands of gallons of water.

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Your main stack is physics.se, so I'm sure I don't have to explain the behavior of freezing water and why it destroys equipment. Allowing this equipment to be exposed to freezing temps is a foreseeable mistake.

Preparing a washing machine to be stored outdoors/in freezing conditions is called winterizing. To be clear, the washing machine does not have any functionality that would auto-winterize the washing machine, even if it could detect ambient temp, which it could not. It would certainly do nothing for the hoses from the wall or the plumbing in the wall. Those, you would have to remove and disconnect yourself.

Most likely what happened is the hoses to the washer, or the pipes in the wall, froze just solid enough to block them but not enough to crack. That blocked water flow, so the machine never filled, so the timer could not advance. You thawed those pipes in the nick of time. I would say "you got lucky" - don't push your luck.

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