The cloths get wet barely but there is no water in the drum should there be water visible on the door? I also use small amounts of HE soap but it seems to accumulate inside and when I use the clean washer feature it suds like crazy and comes out the back top!
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No water that high. But you may have an extra water button that allows you to add slightly more water to each wash load. Water should be just above bottom of inside drum in the back of the drum as it rotates
don't know about water level on side door machines but do know that most people put way to much detergent in with their clothes and frequently then see soap suds in rinse is there is too much detergent.
These washers use very little water. (about 2 inches in the bottom of the wash tub) The actual amount used will vary based on the volume of clothes and the type. (snythetic clothes do not absorb much water, but put in a load of cotton towels, for example, and the clothes absorb the water, causing the water level to drop, and the machine will add more water to return the level to the set point, which usually takes a several short fills, over a couple minutes)
To see that the clothes are indeed wet, just pause the machine a few minutes into the cycle. The door will unlock, and you can feel how wet they are. When the cycle completes, these machines spin so much faster (about twice as fast as most top loading machines) that the clothes feel very dry. (thus reduced drying time, and additional energy savings) Because of the lower water usage (about 12 gallons vs. about 45 for a top loader) make sure you only use 1 to 2 (max) tablespoons of HE detergent per cycle, and only 1 teaspoon of fabric softner if you use it. (don't use fabric softner on towels) Using too much addatives will cause odor issues, and possible performance issues.
Your expectations are based on top load washers.
Front load washers use only a very little water, and suds are an enemy. (HE soaps are designed to clean without suds. Suds are really for show and cause drag on the wash tub during spin.) If you start a load with no clothes, you will see that the water level never gets above a couple inches in the tub. That is the correct water level for front loading machines. PS. Because of the low water use, make sure you use very little soap. (one to two tablespoons per load only!)
No. Water level is not user adjustable. The washer will automatically put in the correct amount (about 3 inches in the bottom of the tub) and adjust for load size and type. This level is all that is needed. The reason the clothes are hardly wet at the end of the cycle is due to the high spin speed (compared to almost all top loading machines). If you want to see how wet the clothes really are, pause the machine mid cycle and the door will unlock and you can see, or select a "no spin" option and see at the end of that cycle. You will use about 12 gallons of water for a large load, vs. about 45 for a top loading machine, so remember to adjust your soap and fabric softener use accordingly. ( one tablespoon detergent and one teaspoon fabric softener maximum per load)
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.
If your washer is a LG WM-1832 it has a assessable filter behind the access door on the lower left front of the machine. Clean that out first, and if it has a tub clean or sanitary cycle use that cycle (if not, use hottest longest cycle available) with 3 Affresh tablets or use whirlaway to clean out the washer outer tub (the not visible tub that holds the water). You might want to use another cycle like that with bleach to head off mold or mildew growth. Use of proper amount of detergent and fabric softener should really help the clothes odor issue from then on. Also check the tub seal at the bottom of the door area to clean out any lint from drain hole areas to help prevent water from remaining in the tub seal area.
The level of water in the drum is controlled by a pressure switch. This switch is attatched to the drum via an air tube which pushes air into the pressure switch as the machine fills with water. There could be a blockage in the pressure chamber attatched to the drum or the pressure switch is faulty.