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Thread Number: 49024
GE 2800 Dishwasher Wash Arm Trouble
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Post# 709956   10/18/2013 at 09:31 (319 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

I love my GE 2800 for its cleaning ability and overall great performance. Nice to find a forum with like-minded individuals!

With that being said, I do have an annoying problem. The infamous "blocked washer arm" message with scolding beep come on 2 minutes into the cycle. I open door to reset, I press the start button again to reset...and all is well for 1 minute and then it happens again! I go through this routine 3 times each cycle and then the last 22 minutes or so (I use the 28 minute cleaning cycle) everything is awesome.

Maddening. I have cleaned the holes in the washer arm. Some crud continued to come out during the wash cycle after the cleaning. Thinking I had it licked, I ran it again...with the same issue!

Upon further inspection, I notice when I spin the washer arm, it moves freely...then at one point in its orbatial arm cycle, the tip of the arm hits the right sidewall of the dw! This is when the message comes on. So...I think I have found the problem, but now what?

I don't know how to remove the washer arm...and I can tell you the arm is a bit wobbly sitting on top of its housing. Its like if that housing (or some sort of gasket or washer?) That would support the arm is missing, has broken loose, etc.

I had a serviceman (using the term "service" loosely) out last week who said to "junk it" and parts were not available for it! A load of bunk, I now see.

After browing through this terrific website, I see my intuition was right in not giving up on my baby just yet!

Any advice is much appreciated! Thank you!

Post# 710103 , Reply# 1   10/18/2013 at 23:20 (318 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

washdaddy's profile picture
If you could post a few pics of the dishwasher (inside and out) and point out where you see the arm coming in contact with the tub that would be very helpful in assisting with your problem.

Post# 710109 , Reply# 2   10/18/2013 at 23:36 (318 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

The wash arm does come off, you may have to turn it counter-clockwise.  Something is wrong if it hits the sidewall,  Can't image how it could shift that much.  I had one of these models years ago, was  great performer, but my seals wore out and left black smudges on everything so it's long gone.  Wish I still had it...

Post# 710112 , Reply# 3   10/18/2013 at 23:56 (318 days old) by bigalsf (Salt Lake City)        
Wash tower removal

Actually it is a clockwise turn to loosen the tower; it has a left hand thread so it unscrews the opposite way. It sounds like the tower may just be loose causing the was am to float a bit. Or it could be the Wash arm support bearings. To check, remove the tower and was arm. You will then see a screw at the top of the wash arm support shaft. Unscrew and lift this up. The bearings are nylon sleeves that fit in each end of the support (they slip in and out). If they are missing or damaged they will allow the support to rock on the shaft. I believe these are still available in parts stores or on eBay.

If you get stuck snap some pics and our resident GE experts will be glad to help. Good luck!

Post# 710686 , Reply# 4   10/21/2013 at 21:28 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Wow! Thanks so much for all the info! I will give all suggestions a try.
I will take photos and post!

Post# 710687 , Reply# 5   10/21/2013 at 21:38 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Here is when the washer arm hits.

Post# 710688 , Reply# 6   10/21/2013 at 21:41 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Here is when the arm is normal. It hits the right sidewall every 5th or 6th 360 degrees rotation.

Post# 710689 , Reply# 7   10/21/2013 at 21:44 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Here she is on the outside!

Post# 710692 , Reply# 8   10/21/2013 at 21:54 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Here she is on the outside!

Post# 710694 , Reply# 9   10/21/2013 at 22:06 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

I was able to pull it apart and I found remants of a plastic washer, 2 inch diameter. Part of it is on the side as you can see, another part was twisted around the post. The wash arm is extremely wobbly if moved up and down, even before taking out what's left of this washer. Does the washer would elevate the arm just enough to clear the ledge on the side walls? Does anyone think it is just the lack of the washer? What's the name of the part that I look for? Everything else looked good and solid.

Instructions were perfect! I was nervous to pull apart because I didn't want to mess it up.

Thanks again to all for reading and for your help!!

I also love Sunbeam Mixmasters, fyi

Post# 710698 , Reply# 10   10/21/2013 at 22:32 (315 days old) by washer111 (Australia)        

washer111's profile picture

What a wonderful looking machine you have!


I think what might be causing the problem was the "remanants" of a washer you described. You may wish attempting to replace these parts and see if there is any difference in the performance.

Also note that since your machine uses those "gears" to produce rotation like an "orbit," some revolutions may come close to hitting the tub, although I don't think GE engineers intending for their to be contact between the arm/tank.


If all else fails, maybe try filing down the wash arm so it doesn't collide!

Post# 710707 , Reply# 11   10/21/2013 at 23:42 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Thanks, washer111! I think it is pretty nifty, too.

And thanks to bigalsf for the info so I could have the courage to start this project.

What I thought was a washer is now, I believe a "seal lip". Does this sound right to anyone?

Post# 710725 , Reply# 12   10/22/2013 at 04:35 (315 days old) by Magic_Clean (Florida)        

appears that in addition to the teflon sealing washer being worn out, the wash arm bearing sleeve(s) are deteriorated too. This is the small plastic collar that fits over the stainless steel shaft on the wash arm hub.

You've got a nice machine that should be easy to rescue; once parts are obtained.


Post# 710847 , Reply# 13   10/22/2013 at 13:43 (315 days old) by chachp (Conway, AR)        
Your machine is a beauty.

chachp's profile picture
I can see why you want to preserve it. I suspect you will get the help you need to get it working properly again. The folks here have helped me many times and now I am doing some of these restores on my own.

Post# 710862 , Reply# 14   10/22/2013 at 14:50 (315 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Okay...I located and ordered the correct parts. This is so, so much better than dumping it, per the repair person's original advice. (Wish I didn't pay that service call now, rats!)

I am thrilled to give this a try. Many, many thanks to bigalsf and magic_clean...any other advice is much appreciated. I will keep everyone posted to the progress.

It is a beautiful machine. Super spotless dishes, and looks great inside and out.

When I went shopping for a new one last weekend, (before finding you awesome people) I could not believe how cheap the new machines looked, and felt. Anything in the $500 range looked like it would fall apart if I sneezed in its general direction...or it that just me?

Post# 710877 , Reply# 15   10/22/2013 at 16:05 (315 days old) by chachp (Conway, AR)        
You don't even have to sneeze.

chachp's profile picture
Just look at it and the handle will fall off. OK not that bad but God forbid you should expect it to finish a load in under 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Post# 710889 , Reply# 16   10/22/2013 at 16:59 (315 days old) by pdub (Portland, Oregon)        
Link to parts diagram

pdub's profile picture
Here is a pretty clear diagram showing how it all goes together. Good luck and glad you will be able to keep your nice dishwasher going. It's a beauty.


Post# 710939 , Reply# 17   10/22/2013 at 21:21 (314 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Thanks, pdub!

So I just ran it with tonight's load. I had put everything back together perfectly after my inspection, and now...the darn detergent cup is stuck, only opens half way. Darn! Now what?

Just unrelated misfortune? Or is this related to my taking the other stuff apart (the thigh bone's connected to the knee bone, etc.)

Now I'm bummed out.

Post# 710944 , Reply# 18   10/22/2013 at 21:30 (314 days old) by washer111 (Australia)        
Worth Mentioning:

washer111's profile picture

At some point, it may be prudent to replace the Pump Motor before it takes out your control board. Apparently, the motor GE used in these machines were quite good at "sucking on the wires," and could prematurely burn-out your control board. As you probably know, they are also quite load and have a wavery sound. If you can really only here the water noise on your machine, you maybe have a replacement motor.

If you ever take the kickplate off, the old motor is monstrous in size, whereas the newer ones are much smaller. A comparison is attached (Where a member replaced the pump on his Potscrubber 2 - Model 1060). 


The newer motors are a much more energy-saving design and should be capable of doing the same level of scrubbing the machine does now. They will help save the dishwasher from the rubbish too soon.


Old Motor:

Post# 710945 , Reply# 19   10/22/2013 at 21:30 (314 days old) by washer111 (Australia)        

washer111's profile picture

The newer motor:

Post# 710985 , Reply# 20   10/23/2013 at 04:31 (314 days old) by chachp (Conway, AR)        
That was me.

chachp's profile picture
I can't speak to whether or not your old motor will shorten the life of your control board because I simply don't know.

What I can tell you is it was incredibly easy to replace. My old motor was leaking and someone here gave me the part number of the newer design motor which I found new on eBay for about $60 I think. I was terribly intimidated over the idea of this because I had never done anything like that. I actually found it very easy to do. The newer designed motor fit perfectly and hooked right in. I was surprised.

I can also tell you the new motor is incredibly quiet compared to the old one and from what I could tell the cleaning results were just as good if not better than with the old motor.

Long story short, it can't hurt and you will be amazed at how much quieter your machine will be.

Post# 711127 , Reply# 21   10/23/2013 at 23:40 (313 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

The motor is okay. Not too noisy.

Just having issues with the washer arm and now the detergent cup. I was able to get the cup to open by unscrewing the front panel, jiggled it gently, I heard a "pop" and the cup swung open. There was some detergent residue I was able to clean off. I put the panel back together. Now I can't get the cup to close. Guess it is not the worst thing in the world, but still frustrating.

Suggestions on this dilemma? I don't think anything broke. Or did it?

Post# 711159 , Reply# 22   10/24/2013 at 05:59 (313 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Malfunctioning Detergent Dispenser

combo52's profile picture

This was often a problem area on these electronic GE DWs. If you can't see anything broken among the various plastic parts of this contraction I would spray a little silicone lubricant on all the moving parts and see if that helps. If not you will likely need a Det Disp drive motor actuator to repair the dispenser.


You can use the DW without the dispenser working by figuring out the starting point for the main detergent wash cycle for the cycle you use most often and then setting a timer to remind you when to open the DW door and drop in your detergent tablet. The DW may give you a reminder [ Cup Open ] if the DD is not working correctly, you should be able to get past the CO reminder by just pushing start once or twice without opening the main DW door.


The main motor upgrade is a good thing to do for the long run life of the DW and while not that hard to install it can be a little difficult unless you pull the machine out and lay it on its back if you are not used to doing this repair.


John L

Post# 711344 , Reply# 23   10/25/2013 at 12:34 (312 days old) by katrand (Michigan)        

Magic_Clean and bigalsf...thank you so much!

My parts arrived yesterday and I installed them, now the dw works perfectNo more washer arm message! Oh my gosh, I cannot thank you enough!

It was totally worth it to purchase the parts. So much better than buying the new junk I saw. I LOVE my dishwasher!

Yep, I am able to bypass the open cup message, but I'm feeling a little brave to try that repair now that I have my feet wet.

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