Question about Kenmore 3.8 cu. ft. HE3 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

2001 HE3 Washer

A Sears technician has been to my house 3 times to check my "F9" error which means electrical problem. It does not happen on every load so of course, it does not show up when they come to check it. It drives me nuts because it usually happens after 30 minutes in the wash cycle and you can press pause and hit start and it will finish the cycle. It does sometimes seem to be sluggish when it is in the wash cycle. Why is it the repairman has to actually see the F9 error to start eliminating the problem? He told me that even when he sees it, it will be trial and error until he finds the board that is causing the problem. It seems ridiculous that they do not have someway of diagnosing the problem like they do with cars. It is so frustrating to have to check your washer every so often to see if your clothes will finish the cycle. Love my HE3, but will never have another washer with electronics if this is the way it will be!!! This has cost lots of money and I bought an agreement for one year. The tech just told me that if they come out so many times and find nothing, I will have to start paying over $100 even with the agreement. I really need help from someone. Please tell me what to do. Thanks!!!!

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  • Anonymous Feb 11, 2009

    I had the same problem and the technician replaced the main cpu/controller board which solved the problem.

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F9 is an Overflow Condition error. If the Overflow contact on the pressure switch is closed for more than 60 seconds an Overflow condition will occur. In an Overflow condition, the Door may remain locked, and the Drain Pump may run constantly, even if PAUSE/CANCEL is pressed twice and the Display is cleared. Unplug the unit to service. You will need to check to following:

1. Check the drain hose and make sure it is not plugged or kinked.
2. Check Wire Harness connectors to the Drain Pump, Pressure Switch, and Central Control Unit (CCU).
3. Check/Clean Drain Pump Filter of foreign objects
4. Check for Drain Pump Failure.
5. Check the Inlet Valve for proper shut off
6. Check the Pressure switch for proper operation.

1. Check the drain hose by removing it from the standpipe and pull a vacuum on it with a shop vac. It could be that you have an obstruction somewhere. You may have to check the drain pump and the drain hose just prior to the drain pump as well. This is the hose that attaches to the bottom of the tub. This area can get clogged with debris

2. Unplug the washer and remove the kick plate and top panel. Check for any loose connections at the drain pump, pressure switch (located in the right rear of the machine), and the CCU (located in the center rear of the washer behind the wash tub). You may have a loose or dirty connection somewhere. If you remove any connectors, make sure you write down where they go. It's best to only remove ONE connector at a time when checking the CCU. On the pressure switch, make sure the air hose is still attached. This is usually a clear or black rubber hose. With the air hose off, loose, or leaking, the switch will not work and the tub will continue to try to fill. The pressure switch can be checked by removing the the large connector plug from the front of the CCU at the very LEFT. Readings across pins 1 to 2, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, and 4 to 6 should ALL read 0 ohms.

3. The drain pump. Remove the clean out cover on the pump and check for debris. Make sure you drain the water from the drain lines, pump and hoses PRIOR to removing the cover. Otherwise, you will have about a gallon or so of water to clean up. The shop vac method works great for this. If the pump is running and clear of foreign matter, the pump is probably not the problem. A meter reading across the pump motor windings at the connector plug should be about 15 ohms.

4. The inlet valve. If the inlet valve would fail in this manner, the tub would be trying to fill with water all the time and not shut off (even with the washer turned OFF). You need to ask yourself if you find standing water in the tub when not in use. Replace the water inlet valve if this is the case. Readings across the HOT and/or COLD solenoids should each read about 800 ohms.

5. The suds error. This occurs when air from too much detergent gets into the drain line. If you are using HE detergent (which is great, because on the newer models NOT using HE detergent voids your warranty), but HOW MUCH are you using? Some things to consider:

a. Do you have soft water? This can actually cause the soap to suds better making the need to cut back on how much you use.

b. Look at the detergent container. Is it double or triple concentrated? Some detergents are sold as extra concentrated which means you need to cut back on the amount you use. Not doing so can cause the water to over suds.

c. What size loads are you using the detergent in? Running small loads with the same amount of detergent can also cause over sudsing.

Rule out the simple common sense things first. If everything else checks out and your problem still persists, you may have a failed CCU or pressure switch

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Posted on Sep 13, 2010

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