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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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I have a 4 year old front load GE washer GCVH6800JOWW. No matter

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I have a 4 year old front load GE washer GCVH6800JOWW. No matter what wash cycle I use time is automatically added to the orginal start time. So when I press start it may say 25min. then start going down but then increase to three times what it should take. A appliance tech. told me its the rear bearing and the cost is to high so the machine is finished. Could it be some sensor and not the bearing?
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

So the time doesn't get extended out based on any particular sensor. The timer extends out based on a few things including how long it takes to heat or cool the water to the proper temperature (water will come in different temperature based on different houses and and the climate of the year) as well as how long it takes to balance the load before it can spin the clothes. Now the bearing could be causing the problem because that will make the washer much more sensitive to balance the load. The temperature, you really can't fix the problem. If the timer really only starts to take a long time toward the end of the cycle, you know the issue has to do with it not balancing the clothes properly. If the timer extends out toward the beginning, then that is to do with the water temperature.

Now all that said--absolutely no front load washer that I have run across will finish in the "estimated" time given. Those are ideal conditions with no clothes adjustment time at all. Most normal cycles take about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes depending on how long it takes to balance the clothes before it ramps up into high speed spin even though the timers will say much less at the beginning of the cycles. Still, if the bearing is starting to go bad, it's very distinctive---it will begin to start roaring a bit when the washer goes into high speed spin (sort of like a jet engine) and the noise will get worse over time.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello - We always wash on cold so temp. should not increase time. If a faulty sensor says the clothes are still too wet (when in fact things they are dry) could time not then be added in error. One other thing. Yesterday the washer completed a wash cycle but the clothes came out much wetter then other times. (too wet to place in dryer). What do you think?

So, that is an assumption you could not make. Whether you wash on cold or not, the washer will heat the water to 72 degrees to ensure that the detergent dissolves. If your cold water comes in at 50 degrees, that takes a while to heat. The washer does not add time based on how wet the clothes are--only the dryer would do this, not the water.

If the clothes came out too wet to place in the dryer then it sounds like the washer never went into high speed spin. The washer will try to balance the clothes for up to 8 times (total of about 45 minutes) and if it can't balance the clothes, it just shuts down. So that sounds like your problem has more to do with not balancing the clothes than the water temperature. Not being able to balance the clothes could have something to do with what you're putting inside the washer, or it could be that the bearing really is going out and adding resistance to the motor so it thinks it's out of balance.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks - It makes sense of what you are saying. This gives me more of a understanding of how my machine works. Maybe I will try 1/2 loads to see how it runs. Have you heard of many bearing failures on a 4 year old machine?
Thanks again

Bearings do fail quite often unfortunately and it's quite well known by technicians because of the really expensive cost to fix them. They can last 12 years or 2 years, but usually in the 12 year range.

Keep in mind, it doesn't matter how many clothes are in the cycle usually it's about what's inside the washer. An ideal load for the washer where it can balance easily is a washer 3/4ths full of socks and t-shirts. Now you can obviously wash other things inside, but 3/4ths full (not packing the clothes down just throwing them in, is usually where you want your load to be to balance the best.

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