I bought a brand-new washing machine, a 3.4 cubic foot Whirlpool top-loader (model # WTW4800XQ), and it's not working properly. When I put in even a very small quantity of dirty clothes and set it on a wash cycle, it fills the tub up with water and then tries to start spinning it, but the motor makes a very labored sound and only succeeds in turning the tub an inch or two. Then it tries again, ad nauseam. It sounds very much like the motor is not powerful enough to turn it, or the transmission is slipping, or something like that… the point is that it doesn't spin properly when it's full of water.

If I set the machine on a heavy cycle, the tub fills up nearly to the top with water, which seems very high. If I put it on the lightest cycle with almost nothing in it, it still fills up about halfway with water, and the noise of the motor/transmission is different for the light cycle, as though it's almost able to turn it but still can't quite manage. Could it be filling the machine up with way too much water? Maybe some water level sensor or something is broken? The machine has been leveled.

The motor is perfectly capable of turning the tub in the "drain and spin" cycle, even when the tub is full of wet laundry. It's like it can only do it when there's no water in there.

One final thing to mention is that even after a "drain and spin" cycle, when I turn the tub by hand, I can hear some water sloshing around in the bottom of the machine. Even when I make it easy on the pump and put the drain pipe in a bucket on the floor, it still doesn't seem to be able to pump out all the water.

Any idea what could be wrong with this thing? Again, it's brand-new. I guess it could be a lemon, but that just seems unlikely.

Pardon the inevitable indicators of n00bness; this is first washing machine I've ever owned.

  • 1
    If its brand new why don't you contact the seller for replacement under warranty?
    – getterdun
    Feb 24, 2014 at 1:31
  • 1
    Primarily, I wanted to see if I was doing anything wrong or find out if the problem was so obvious that I could quickly and easily fix it myself rather than go through the hassle of the warranty process.
    – iLikeDirt
    Feb 24, 2014 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


Are you sure it's not doing exactly what it's supposed to do? It's not supposed to spin during the wash part of the cycle. When it's full of water it's supposed to agitate. I don't have a Whirlpool washer, so I don't know exactly how yours agitates, but usually this means it turns back and forth, a little one way, a little the other. Once the wash part of the cycle is done it should drain, then spin. Then it will refill and go through the same routine to rinse.

  • Wow, you were right. I found a YouTube video showing normal operation and that's what my washer is doing: youtube.com/watch?v=yk_aLVfOjAY Jeez, the noise is so jarring that it sure sounds like some kind of mechanical problem!
    – iLikeDirt
    Feb 24, 2014 at 6:10

I had a new GE washer that had a problem with the computer. It would spin, but it would not go into "high spin". So, it's very conceivable that you got a bad washing machine. You could have a bad clutch. The GE warranty people are pretty good. Call them up and tell them your problem. They will schedule someone to come out.

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