GE Washer and Dryer Knobs - An Unfortunate Break

You turn the knob to a cycle, temperature, load setting...but it seems to only stay the same.  No matter where you turn the knob.

  • Example 1:  Clothes Dryer - "I turn the knob to start the cycle, but nothing happens."
  • Example 2:  Washing Machine - "I turn the knob to HOT water, but only get COLD water."

This article will cover the simplest solution to check FIRST...before you start replacing switches, sensors, timers, or even the entire appliance.

In the image below, you see the panel and knobs.  The switches are attached to the backside of the panel.  Their knob shafts come through the control panel openings, and then the knob slides over the switch shaft.

In the illustration below, you see a knob (blue) with a D-shaped knob shaft.  You also see a switch (green) with a D-shaped shaft.  A perfect alignment, for example, is seen in Image 1.  Over time, the knob shaft may crack.  When this happens, the knob continues to rotate, (Image 2) however it does not rotate the switch.

The knob spins atop the switch without actually turning the switch, and can be deceiving, since you think you're rotating the switch...when they're actually only rotating the knob.

If this isn't caught...this can leave you with an "unfortunate break", replacing very expensive parts in an attempt to repair your appliance, when it was...to quote one of our customers..."just a stupid knob."  Many DIYers sometimes skip the simplest steps first and begin to replace timers, "because it didn't start the cycle", or replace water valves "because I put it on Hot and it's only putting out cold water."

How do I check?

On most models, the knobs can be easily removed by pulling them straight off the shaft.  You can then turn them over and see if the shaft is broken.

NOTE: There are sometimes thin metal inserts (Example Part Number WE1X980) inside the knob shaft to prevent from shaft breakage. This is part of the knob. If you pull the knob off, and that sleeve stays on the switch shaft, you will need to remove that before replacing the knob as the two shaft inserts will collide if not removed prior to replacing a new knob.

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Washer and Dryer Knobs Not Working?  Here is an easy fix!
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