Thread Number: 81489  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
General Electric Filter Flo - Leaks from bottom of tub
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Post# 1055272   12/23/2019 at 19:00 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

Hello everyone, I recently acquired this GE washer for free, knowing it had some sort of leak issue when filling. The lady said she had someone look at it, and he said if you manually started the wash it would not overflow and leak. From my initial test runs what I have concluded is that it fills up to a certain point and runs just fine, but it leaks water from the bottom of the tub pretty badly. If I run a cycle with hot water after making sure the unit is perfectly level, it does not leak nearly as much and makes it pretty much to the Rinse cycle before leaking everywhere. What I'm guessing is that the tub seal is shot, and that the hot water softens/expands it and then the only warm rinse cycle + run time cools it enough for the problem to recur. Does this sound right and sound like I've pinpointed the issue? I already ordered a tub seal and I'm hoping I'm on the right track.

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Post# 1055274 , Reply# 1   12/23/2019 at 19:08 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        

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Have you removed the back and looked inside to see where the water is coming from?


It could be the main boot/seal has simply come loose or the stainless steel clamps that hold it on have rusted off.  This is my main estimate.  If this is the case you may need to get the new clamps or simply reinstall whats in there with stainless steel bolts.



1. Could be the boot seal


2. could be rust through of the tub


3. could be the drain tube from the tub is leaking or rotted.


The big deal is going to be removing the tub and gaining access to the seal.


Send in some pics as you progress.

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This post was last edited 12/23/2019 at 20:28
Post# 1055276 , Reply# 2   12/23/2019 at 19:15 by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Leaking GE

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it is entirely possible that the washer experienced a severely out of balance spin and broke the seal of an old tub boot but, having rebuilt a handful of these machines, it is rare to find that is the only issue. These machines are typically rust-prone and there could be a number of places that spawn a leak. Since youíre going to be pulling the agitator and basket out, Iíd plan on doing a good cleaning and rust-proofing. Beware of some new boots as they are not as flexible and will not seal. Iíve actually found old boots, even used ones, work better after a good soak and clean. I typically replace the outer tub gasket that goes on the top rim of the outer tub while Iím at it.

Post# 1055277 , Reply# 3   12/23/2019 at 19:45 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

I have not planned on taking it apart until I atleast have the new seal in hand, but I have looked and identified that the leak is coming from the bottom of the tub cover at the center. The back plate is missing so I had full access to see the water raining down. When you start a cycle it does not leak until water starts to fill into the inner basket and then it comes out pretty excessively

Post# 1055307 , Reply# 4   12/23/2019 at 21:38 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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I've had good luck, so far, with the silicone bojack boot on ebay, but I believe one of our members had one split.


That's a great washer, nice features.  The Mini-Quick cycle is handy from time to time.  

Post# 1055420 , Reply# 5   12/24/2019 at 18:37 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        

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"That's a great washer, nice features. "


This washer looks circa 1984ish... with those wonderful GE lever switches.    I think this was the last series they used lever switches on the washers.

Post# 1055434 , Reply# 6   12/24/2019 at 22:05 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1980s GE FF Washer That Leaks

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Hi Zachery, I would take the washer apart before spending money on parts, there is a good chance that no parts are needed OR the machine may be a basket case.


All kinds of problems can surface just trying to get the washer apart, the good news is there are lots of parts out there for these machines.


Let us know what you find wrong.


John L.

Post# 1055446 , Reply# 7   12/24/2019 at 23:26 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

Thanks for the tips and compliments on my machine! I do like the looks and build of it so far, I would not consider myself a collector of appliances but I do love vintage items that I can enjoy as well as use! I've never had a GE but I grew up with 1960s maytags in the house so it does bring me back a little.

With the holidays looming the seal will be in before I have a chance to get to it. Another concern of mine is having things apart for days with a lack of proper storage or room for organizing parts/fasteners, I don't want to lose anything or forget how to get everything back in it's home.

I am not very familiar with these machines but I am gathering that the boot seal helps keep the tub balanced during spin? I just noticed that when I cycled it during the spin it shakes quite a bit,with the washer flexing in a circular motion, walking across the floor. Maybe I'm just used to modern machines lately but I thought I'd mention it in case it's a related symptom. It all seems tight and all that I can see underneath and from the back looks to be in good shape. The back was just left off after it was looked at and has been misplaced, the prev owner said she will find it and give it to me when it's located.

Is there a tutorial already listed somewhere in the forum about taking this particular machine apart to remove the tub and make the repairs that are or may be needed? If not I could use some instructions in this regard.

Post# 1055450 , Reply# 8   12/24/2019 at 23:59 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Post# 1055461 , Reply# 9   12/25/2019 at 02:28 by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Thread 74272

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Iíve rebuilt a few if these machines and taken many pictures along the way. This thread I did last year and might be helpful.


Post# 1055538 , Reply# 10   12/25/2019 at 17:49 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

Okay, tinkering with it a little, got the lid open. Tips on getting the agitator out with household items/basic tools? Or is 2x4 and rope with a screwdriver as per the video really the best option?

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Post# 1055546 , Reply# 11   12/25/2019 at 19:20 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

Got the agitator off, now need a wire brush which I don't have at the moment.. bolts look pretty rusty. The top lip of the drum however is pretty clean except for one spot, nothing a little sandpaper and some Rust-Oleum can't take care of.

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Post# 1055547 , Reply# 12   12/25/2019 at 19:29 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        
I'm impressed

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You got quite far.  Once you get these three bolts removed you will be able to lift this HEAVY tub basket out and you'll have access to ...... whatever is leaking.


It is heavy and porcelain.  You don't want to chip or drop the tub so have card board or something clean able but reasonably soft to set it on.


Thanks for the pictures. 

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Post# 1055567 , Reply# 13   12/25/2019 at 22:17 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

Well, I got it all apart pretty easily. There's no significant rust to be found on this machine so that's a relief! I probably should've joined here before I ordered anything but I am in a rush as we are a small family with a 2yo so laundry piles up quick! The top clamp was off the boot.. So I cleaned up the clamp and put it back on! I know this probably isn't necessary or what others would do but I also put some ultra grey rtv where the clamp sits to help anchor it in place, and added some where the lip of the seal is for good measure and to make sure that it doesn't leak there. I also put some sealant on the fill hose as there was water scale all over the plastic tank so that had been leaking at some point, the hose is just old and flattened by the clamp so even with the clamp maxed out it's not on super tight. The sealant I used is semi-rigid high torque application stuff so overkill for the job but it will keep everything sealed and where it needs to be once cured. I do realize this means more work if/when I do have to replace this stuff, but hopefully that's not a concern for a long time.

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Post# 1055581 , Reply# 14   12/26/2019 at 00:27 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

It is now back together and functional as I type running a load of laundry with a dry floor! Thanks for the help and advice everyone! I did forget to put the plastic piece under the agitator back, so I will have to do that before running another load... But I am a happy camper! Can't beat getting a vintage machine for free, finding out it's a great unit to have, and fixing it for free! I'll save the new seal for a rainy day.

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Post# 1055586 , Reply# 15   12/26/2019 at 04:48 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Good deal! I've used sealant before on those seals.

Post# 1055603 , Reply# 16   12/26/2019 at 08:33 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1980s GE FF Washer That Leaks

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Yay glad you got it running without too much trouble, it is often amazing what we can do when we make the effort and tear into something that we may know little about, I love learning new stuff which I still love fixing appliances. Almost every day I learn new things, this occupation is anything but routine.


I hope you get a lot of good use out of this washer and you and your family have a great New Year.


John L.

Post# 1055611 , Reply# 17   12/26/2019 at 10:36 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

anks and a Happy New year to you as well! Yeah I've never worked on washers much but I have always been a diy'er and fixed my own stuff. Just have the get over the anxiety of diving into something unknown and get to it. Now it's on to hunt for a cheap filter pan and mini-basket!

Post# 1055638 , Reply# 18   12/26/2019 at 15:13 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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I'm so happy for you that you got your vintage GE Filter-Flo washer leak figured out & fixed and that it is now up & running!

I think it's so cool that you could fix it yourself. I wish I was more mechanically-inclined, to be able to do repairs but unfortunately I'm not. So it amazes & elates me every time I see a vintage washer/appliance given a 2nd life!

(Doing the HAPPY-DANCE for you on this side of the computer)

Post# 1055642 , Reply# 19   12/26/2019 at 16:37 by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Hey Moonshine and Hippiedoll

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Moonshine-----Congrats on success with a fine machine! Good work pays off, and Filter-Flo's are workhorse machines that wash well, rinse well, have plenty of options, etc. I've had various Kenmores, Whirlpools, Maytags, Norge, Hoover, Speed Queens thru the years, some with great success and some that just didn't "fix up" very well. I want to keep them all, but if I had to choose only one machine for some house that just doesn't have space for my 7, I would keep the workhorse 79 GE Filter Flo. 2 speeds, extra rinse when needed(rarely), great filtering and extraction, etc. Umm, quite a bit of water but I can't complain when I see the results.

HippieDoll-----always kind and positive comments, you are a favorite here, for me to read!
Thank you!

Post# 1055712 , Reply# 20   12/27/2019 at 12:30 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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Thank you for your nice comment. You made me smile

Post# 1055733 , Reply# 21   12/27/2019 at 16:37 by Doug (West Virgina)        

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I want this machine when youíre done with it LOL ! Nice find, I looked for years for this model of filter flo an I finally found it on Craigslist about 5 years ago

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Post# 1055740 , Reply# 22   12/27/2019 at 18:03 by Moonshiner180 (Missouri)        

Nice! If I ever decide to part ways with it I'll let it be known here it's available.

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