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Whole neighborhood had a freak flash flood. My basement took 7 inches of water. Got the hot water heater working today; the furnace and central AC are fine.

I have a GE "laundry center" -- it's a single unit with just one plug. The dryer is on top -- that's working fine. The washer is a top loader.

I didn't realize you're not supposed to try running the washer without making sure everything is dry. Maybe that caused some damage. The flood was on Sunday evening. We bought a sump pump Monday morning, and by Monday afternoon, the sump pump's job was complete and we started using squeegee and shovel to remove the mud. I tried to run the washer on Tuesday. Initially it seemed to be working fine, but then it's as though its little brain is addled.

When I turn it on, the light comes on, and it does its usual prelude of providing a little bit of water to the tub in a couple little squirts. Then it sits and thinks for a moment, as usual. Then nothing happens. It just sits there until you take pity on it and turn it off.

None of the cycles works -- not even the spin-only cycle. It drains but doesn't spin.

Today (Wednesday) we unplugged it from the wall, took off the front with a putty knife, and pointed a fan at it for half a day. That didn't help. Then we cleaned what we could see, using vinegar solution and an old toothbrush. Then we pointed the fan at it again for several hours. It still didn't fill the tub; and it didn't try to agitate.

Also we tried doing the "reset" procedure (open and close lid multiple times).

Local repair people are booked for a month. I'd like to try to work through some diagnostics.

I don't know how to see error codes. Where does one see error codes?

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    Can use google by putting in make and model of washer to find error codes. Water and electricity do not mix. Electric power should be turned off during flood events. Will probably need to clean bottom inside of washer, but sensor/s and/or motor are probably shot. Unplug washer till fixed incase power finds path to frame of washer, then you. Should run fan in basement for at least a few days to reduce dampest in basement.
    – crip659
    Jul 15 at 10:39
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    You may have fried the controls powering it up with wet electronics. About your only hope is to flush the electronics with isopropyl alcohol. This will help flush any water trapped on the PC boards then allow a fan to blow on it to dry the alcohol. The problem is the control electronics may have been damaged by powering up while wet, it is still worth a try , that or get a can of electronics cleaner cost more but usually dries in seconds not hours.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 15 at 14:51
  • Thank you, Ed. I know how to clean the outside of little things with a toothbrush, but can you explain how to "flush"? Or provide a link? Jul 15 at 16:57
  • @crip659 - Thank you. How can I read an error code? I usually track how far this washer is along in its cycle by watching the lights. (It shows one light at a time next to the phase it's currently in.) Jul 15 at 17:02
  • I don't anything about how that washer works, might not even have error codes, but google will know. Think you will be looking at replacing a part and you might be right when you said it's little brain is addled.
    – crip659
    Jul 15 at 17:22
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I think the only real solution for you is to replace it. I know it is expensive but delivery should be in short order. Also check your insurance, it may be covered, Check your policy and call your agent. Remember if this happens again always unplug it immediately, clean out the inside, dry it, and relube any berings that may have been wet, if sealed you may have to replace that part.

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  • Thank you, Gil. Just wanted to clarify that there is no mud in the tub. Jul 15 at 16:55
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We did a search for GE washers and found a video that explains how to get the error codes (hint, there's a sequence of combinations of lights). But actually we didn't need to interpret the error codes because Plan A actually worked:

  • pry front cover off with putty knife
  • dry the mechanisms with a fan for several days

and voilà.

The key, in retrospect, was to wait more than two days for the mechanisms to dry out properly.

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