Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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Water softener goes in at wash cycle rather than rinse cycle

We recently purchased a Kenmore Elite front loader washing machine. We also have rather hard water here in Indiana. The manual suggests that the liquid water softener goes in at the rinse cycle. We have observed, however, that it goes in at the wash cycle. The result is wash cloths and towels that rival sand paper. Our previous washer did not present this problem. Same home, same water. Is there some wiring or mother board problem here in the Elite?

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If it has to go in the rinse,,this means you have to put it in the fabric softner compartment of the dispencer,,,also do not fill pass mark fill line in dispencer or it will sphion down by itself before time..onthejob

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Water leaks out of the soap dispenser of my kenmore elite front loader and all the soap or bleach us not out


The 1st thing to try is to take out the dispenser ,there is a little piece that you will push down and then pull the entire assembly out, rinse it out with hot water ,most likely there is a build up in the dispenser,there after use only powder detergent, and no more then 1 tbs ,and any other stuff IE bleach ,fabric softener,use 1/2 the amount and dilute it with water.

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Hi from retired Englishman in SW France,

A quick and easy way to find out which tray is which is to pull the detergent drawer out just so that you can see into it. Start a pre-wash and see where the water runs in, then advance to the main wash and observe. Finally start a rinse cycle and where the water goes in is where the conditioner/softener goes.
In a few cases I have come across the pre-wash tray shares with the conditioner/softener part but the pre-wash powder goes in the front and the softener in the back.

Cheers,
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Mar 16, 2011 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

I purchased the Kenmore Elite washer approximately five years ago. I have had no problems with it operating. However, since purchasing this washer I have ruined almost everything white I owned and avoid...


There has been many reports of complaints regarding this problem and it was found out that the gray spots on white clothing are caused by the fabric softener. The Kenmore Elite is a "highly efficient" machine that it uses very minimal amount water when washing and rinsing. The minimal use of water results in the fabric softener not being diluted completely and eventually makes gray spots on white clothing. The ridiculous solution to this problem, as Sears "advised" is not using fabric softener for white clothing. But you may also try putting the fabric softener in a small plastic bowl just enough to hold it and place it inside the machine prior to the final rinse. Using only the suggested amount of detergent and avoiding the use of detergent powder with speckles reduces the possibility spot occurrences in your while clothing.

Aug 27, 2010 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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The softener water flow is clogged. You know, open the dispenser while it's filling in the final rinse and look over the softener dispenser. Is there water flowing?

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Kenmore front loader washing machine very long wash cycle


You need to replace your cold water, inlet valve.

Unplug the machine from the power source. Disconnect cold water hose. remove the top cover of the machine. You will see the cold inlet valve/solenoide where the hose fits.

Take note of where the wiring goes. You can get the part from your appliance parts outlet.

Refit, and you should be right to go.

Good Luck.
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Oct 22, 2009 | Kenmore Washing Machines

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Water doesn't empty out of the softener compartment.


clean the syphone cap it is more than likly clogged with softner. some water being left in there is normal though.

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check cold water line...onthejob,,,im assuming no rinse cycle only..onthejob,,,no mater the cycle

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1 Answer

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The brand of your front loader is not that material on this issue. What is happening is that your old top load washer may have used as much as 45 gallons of water per cycle, while some front loaders use as little as 12. Because of the low water use, you must cut back on the additives you are using. Use only 1 tablespoon of HE detergent (even less if 2x or 3x detergent) per load. If you use fabric softener, use only 1 teaspoon per load. Odor on clothes after wash is indicating that the detergent and or softener has not been fully rinsed out. If you throw a load of washed towels into your machine and start a cycle without any soap, then stop the cycle, you should not see any suds. If you do, there is obviously soap left in the clothes. With bath towels, the towels are used to absorb clean water off a clean body. They do not need soap when you wash them, and never use fabric softener on towels.

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Water Softner Dispense wont empty - Kenmore Elite Quiet Pak 4 HE3t


I'm sure you heard a small motor running from time to time during a cycle. That moves an "arm" which sends water to the different chambers during a cycle. Fabric softener is dispensed when water goes to that chamber and dilutes the fabric softener. That chamber then empties by a siphoning action.
If you want to narrow down the problem a little to help trouble shoot -- put some wet rags in and run the Rinse and Spin cycle with some fabric softener. If the softener is not dispensed, then you know that the water isn't being sent to that chamber properly.
If you are intrepid enough to take the top off your washer, do that and see if the arm appears to be moving during a normal cycle. Maybe the arm got dislodged or broken during the move.
If water isn't being diverted properly, I think this calls for a real repair person.

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