My GE Washer Will Not Stop Filling & Go to the Wash Cycle

It can be frustrating when your GE washing machine won’t stop filling and advance to washing, especially if the problem causes the washer to overflow with water. A GE washing machine, like most washers, has four separate cycles that it must complete in a routine wash cycle: filling, washing or agitating, draining and spinning. If the washing machine is stuck in any one of the cycles without the ability to transition to the next one, a component’s function is often impaired.

Water Level Sensor

Certain better GE washing machines feature a water level sensor that automatically determines the water level needed for a specific wash load size. Based on the sensor’s estimate, the washing machine begins to fill with water and should stop filling once the desired water level is reached. However, if the sensor malfunctions, it could incorrectly approximate the amount of water needed for washing, and cause the washer to continue to fill with water without end. Since the washer thinks that more water is needed, the washer won’t advance to the washing cycle. Stop the washing machine and contact a GE repair technician to have the washer inspected. If the technician finds that the water level sensor is bad, have him replace it.


The standpipe is a long pipe that’s usually behind or next to the washing machine that allows water to drain from your washer and carries it to your home’s main drain outlet. For a standpipe to operate properly on a GE washing machine it should be at least 30 inches high, according to the GE website. If the pipe is shorter than 30 inches, water will drain out of the washtub as its filling, so that a specific water level is never reached and the washer never goes to the wash cycle. Consult a qualified plumber to install a standpipe of the correct height.


GE washing machine won’t advance to the wash cycle if the lid is up on a top-loading washer as a safety measure. On certain newer top-loading models, it’s possible for the washer to fill and its timer to advance only for the washer to drain eventually without advancing to the wash cycle. Ensure that the lid is shut before you start the washing machine.

Water Level Control Switch

Most GE washing machines monitor the filling process with a water level control switch. The component is a hollow, plastic tube that runs the length of the outer washtub. During filling, water enters the tube, pushing air toward a switch at the top, in the case of a top-loading washing machine. Once the air pressure reaches a certain level, it triggers the switch to alert the washer to stop filling and begin the washing cycle. If the switch breaks, sticks or becomes loose, the washing machine is unable to regulate filling, and may not know when a certain water level is reached to stop filling with water. Review the manual for a diagram to indicate where to find the water control switch on your model. Inspect the switch for faults. If the switch is punctured or dangling from the washtub, replace it.

About the Author

Christie Gross has been writing since 1998. Her work writing public policy platforms for elected officials nationwide has been featured in national and local newspapers under various client pen names. Gross has a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware.