Question about Kenmore Washing Machines

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Hi, I have a Kenmore Elite HE4t washer that recently started throwing F11 error codes. The first couple times I was able to reset it with ''Cancel'' or unplugging, but this time every time I did anything, the machine sorted of clicked softly a few times, and then another error came on. At one point, the ''Control Locked'' light came on, which I was able to clear by holding down the Drain/Spin button for 3-4 seconds. But then after I pressed ''Cancel'', and the usual clicking, it threw an FDL error (which has something to do with the door assembly). I've read elsewhere that once an F11 error gets thrown, the main board needs to be replaced and that's that. Does anyone know any different? Are there other things I should try before I call in the service person and get ''soaked''? Thanks.

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"F11" is a Serial Communications error between the Central Control Unit (CCU) and Motor Control Unit (MCU). The CCU is the main computer for the washer and is located directly behind the wash tub. The MCU is the Drive Motor Control board and is located in the rear of the washer adjacent to the Drive Motor on the left-hand side (facing from the rear with the back panel removed). The wiring harness can also cause the error, but it is not as common a problem.

Whirlpool is the manufacturer of both model washers and recommends the following troubleshooting advice. Remove the top panel of the washer by removing the three screws holding it in place in the rear. Once the screws are removed, the panel slides back, then off. Remove the rear panel of the washer for access to the drive motor and MCU. Now check the following:

- Check the wire harness connections between the CCU, the MCU and Drive Motor. Make sure all connections are attached and making good contact. Check for any broken wires or connector pins.
- Check the Drive Motor to see if it free spins and that the belt is still attached and not slipping. If the motor is seized, replace it. If the belt is broken or worn, replace it as well.
- Check the MCU. Connector 1 is the Serial Communications Link between the MCU and CCU. Connector 2 is the connector to the drive motor. Resistance checks across pins 1, 2, & 3 are the motor windings. Connector 3 is the power supply - 120VAC should be read across pins 1 and 2 with the door in the locked position. NOTE: The connectors are read 1, 2, and 3 from the bottom to the top with the MCU installed.
- Check the CCU. Verify connectors 7 and 11 are properly installed. Facing from the front of the washer, connector 7 is the 4th connector from the RIGHT along the front. This is MCU Power. Connector 11 is the Serial Communications link from the CCU to the MCU and is located along the left hand side of the CCU (the connectors are numbered 11 through 14 back to front).
- Check the Drive Motor. Remove the connector and perform resistance checks on the motor connector pins. Readings across pins 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and 1 to 3 should read 6 ohms.

In most cases this is an indication of a failed CCU. This is an easy repair that the average do-it-yourselfer can accomplish on their own. If the washer is still under a warranty, parts and labor would be covered. With no warranty, a replacement parts will vary in price depending on where you get them. There are several good websites available that you can order parts on line and have shipped directly to you.


NOTE: Remove all the connectors from the CCU ONE AT A TIME and reconnect to see if the error code goes away BEFORE you decide to purchase a new one. It is not common, but sometimes a flaky connection can generate error codes.

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Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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    The symptoms are pretty specific for the F11 code on the Whirlpool Duet front loaders and clones (Kenmore Elite and KitchenAid):

    If the washer starts to fill but the drum NEVER moves, your MCU is bad

    If the washer runs through most of a cycle and then gives the F11 before (or during) a rinse or spin cycle, then you have the CCU relay problem.

    If you are interested in having me repair your CCU for you, I offer that service on eBay (website coming soon). My username there is "jhagner"

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