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Tom Goellner
Tom Goellner, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
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GE Front Loading Washing Machine Model Number WCVH6800J2WW Serial

Resolved Question:

GE Front Loading Washing Machine
Model Number: WCVH6800J2WW
Serial Number: AT200614T
Control Software version: 600
eePROM version: 031
Inverter Software version: 194

Installed 15 May 2010
No problems noted prior to 27 July 2011.
On that date one load ran normally on Delicate program. Next load for whites with towels started the following behavior, after accidentally pushing the Delay button, then turning off the machine to restart.

Washer only intakes a small amount of water, on any program. Drum revolves for a short time, stops, then pumps out, stops, Start light blinks. Never completes any cycle, unless repeated pressing of Start button until this behavior runs its course to the end of the "cycle" and the countdown timer finally reaches zero.
Error Code (from Diagnostic t02): E4b
I'm lead to believe that this stems from a possible inverter problem. Other possibilities are poor electrical contact, or a fault in the control board.
Running diagnostic test t10 yields the drum only revolving in the counter-clockwise (CCW) direction five times for alternating 5 second intervals, and stopped for the 5 second interval when it should run clockwise (CW). This only occurs the first time t10 is run after removing power, restoring power, entering Diagnostic mode. All subsequent attempts to run the tumble test whilst in the same Diagnostic Test "session" result in no drum motion in any direction.
Diagnostic t11 only shows zero in the display, no spin action whatsoever.
One website (www.brunswick-ga-appliance-repairs.com/washer-error-codes...) lists the GE Frontload Washer Error Codes, defining
4b as "Power up problems Software/hardware problems"
Another website (www.appliance-repair-it.com/GE_front_load_washer.html) describes the error code set including E4b as "Inverter Errors"
"These errors are inverter errors and can be caused by a bad inverter or motor..."
Yet another website (www.advantagesupplyfl.com/GeneralElectricWasherFault Code...) does give a more detailed accounting of each error code in this set, defining
E4B, Power up problems Software/hardware problems. "Check Motor - t10 tumble, t11 spin, T14 spin. Check motor windings - internal short Power down (unplug) washer, wait 30 seconds and retry - if reoccurs, replace inverter. (occur with open winding.)

What, exactly, does error code 4b mean? The motor does cause the drum to turn in a counter-clockwise (CCW) direction in the diagnostic test, but the spin test results in no motion. Does the drum turn in a clockwise (CW) direction only during a Spin cycle phase?
As it is a DC motor, I hypothesize that it is the inverter or its controlling circuitry that is not reversing polarity on the motor windings properly?
Or it could be an open winding on the motor, assuming this is how the motor operates, not just by reversing the applied voltage polarity on the same field winding.
I tested the motor input connections that connect to the wiring harness Blue-White (5.9ohms), Blue-Red (5.9ohms), White-Red (5.9ohms). All winding connections are high impedance to ground.
How do I best test this? My machine does not have a "t14" diagnostic, the test list ends with "t13 EOL Test."
One website test for the inverter directs to test for 120V AC between the "Blue and White wires on the supply voltage harness" which appears to connect to the enclosed box before going on to the inverter. My machine has Red and Blue larger gauge wires in one connector, Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Red, Pink in another connector underneath a plastic cover, before going on to the inverter.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tom Goellner replied 3 years ago.

tom goellner :

You're not getting a clockwise rotation in either test and E4B is IS an inverter problem . you have checked the motor windings and the ohm values you came up with are correct. i'll look up who has the inverter the cheapest - get back shortly

tom goellner :

Inverter part number is XXXXX and cheapest place to purchase is from www.pcappliancerepair.com

tom goellner :

If kyou have no further questions - please hit ACCEPT - it's how I get paid

Customer:

Tom,

Customer:

Thank you for letting me know it is in fact the inverter. Two hundred bucks is what they want. Oy. I had a Maytag circa 1950, that I paid $250 for a guy to rebuild the transmission and the thing ran flawlessly for another 15 years.

Customer:

Have you any advice on getting the old inverter out and the new one in? It's fairly near the front, certainly easier to get to than the motor winding lugs. It looks like about 4 Phillips screws and 3 plugs. Are there any tricks I should know about before I break something?

tom goellner :

No special tricks - fairly easy to get to and it won't hurt if you break the OLD one taking it out, but probably the easiest paart on this washer to replace.

Customer:

Thanks. I had another look at it with better light. I see two screws in front, looks like the cable to the motor is part of the inverter, or there's a connector that's not really visible with everything in place. I'll wait until the new inverter arrives before removing the old one.

Customer:

Thanks for your help. Guess you get paid now.

Tom Goellner, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1392
Experience: 32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
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