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Suds in Sears Kenmore Elite Front Load Washer HE4t

Hi! I have the Kenmore Elite HEt washer and have been having a problem with Suds since October. I wash a load of clothes and when it's done, there are suds all over the clothes & washer. I have to put it through 2-3 more rinse cycles with extra rinsing. This takes all day for 1 load! I have called Sears and have had 7 service calls, 2 the Technician cancelled because he said he didn't know how else to fix it and 1 call no one showed up and I waited ALL DAY before X-Mas! They sent another technician today who said that I'm using too much detergent ( I only use "Tide he" or "Whisk he" and have been accused by Sears of using regular detergent. I have had washer for over 2 years & always used the same amnt deterg with no problems. When 1 Tech replaced a bunch of parts inside he said he could tell I was using the right detergent because otherwise they would have been completely covered in muck. The Tech today said I'm using too much detergent (for a full load I use just under the Tide cap 2 line) He said use only 2 Tblsp. Liquid soap. It barely covered the bottom of the Tide cap! I said that will not get my clothes clean: my son plays sports--smelly uniforms!!! Sears insists the problem is the detergent. I called Tide and they said that if the problem was the detergent then everyone in America that has a front-loader would be in an uproar! At one point, I was told Sears would replace the washer, now they won't and won't return my calls. I have put in a complaint with the BBB. I just want my washer fixed or if not, replaced. I want to be able to wash a load without spending all day rinsing out 1 load of laundry! HELP!

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  • Cookiecrumbs Jan 20, 2008

    I have hard water. Only a few times has it said "SUDS" for an error code. I use less than the recommended amount of soap for a large load, about half of what Tide or Whisk recommends. I have no other drainage issues in the house & no drainage problem in the bathroom that the machines are located in. About halfway through the wash, the machine either has a little too much suds (1st load of the day) or is completely covered in suds (after the 3rd laundry load) and it's the same when it ends. I wash clothes on the Normal/Casual Cycle, with a warm/cold temperature & the SkinCare Rinse which is an extra rinse cycle. It takes 54 minutes. When it's done, I do a Rinse & Spin Cycle, with a cold/cold temp & SkinCare Rinse which takes 30 minutes. If there is still soap in there, I do the Rinse & Spin over and over again until there are no more soap suds ( I first remove all soap suds with a paper towel, even under the rubber ring thingie). I have also tried sending the laundry through another wash load without soap, which takes another 54 minutes on cold/cold temp. The technicians both started the machine on a hot cycle with no laundry, and the machine filled up with suds - but they couldn't figure out why. I found this site after the last technician left last Friday & saw that other people with this same problem had a blockage in the white drain plug behind the front panel, but the technicians insist they've checked this and there is no blockage. I purchased this machine because I wanted to save on electricty and water as well as laundry detergent, but find that I'm spending a lot more on electricty and water than I did with my old top load washer - plus it is taking me forever to do one load of clothes! I work full time, so it's been difficult trying to get my laundry done this way. I'm so frustrated and I don't know what else to do, so I'm hoping someone here can help me.

  • sudsinwasher Apr 05, 2008

    same problem. Lots of suds - no error code. Any ideas would be helpful

  • Anonymous May 17, 2008

    FIrst if the SUDS error comes up pull out you hose and make sure there is no sock or small item plugging up how the washer is draining.  2nd if nothing is there you need a new pump.  Sears repair is a joke.  Go to the store where you bought it with the  original receipt and tell them the problem, tell them Sears repair can't fix it and you want to exchange your old one for a new one. They will do it. They did it for me.

    Don't take no for an answer.



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I have a 2005 model HE-4-T washer. The SUDS error kept showing up. The problem was easy to fix. Step 1: Remove the sectional panel below the door by removing the 3 screws (7mm socket) on the lower edge, tilt the top towards you and lift out. Step 2: In the center of the section that you just exposed, locate the 3-inch, round, beige colored debris trap just prior to the water pump. Step 3: Unscrew the cover by turning counter clockwise while gently pulling towards yourself. Step 4: Remove all debris - I suggest an old toothbrush to get the small stuff. Step 5: Reverse previous steps to reinstall.

I found $1.09 in change, 4 hair barrettes, a small nail and a handfull of assorted lent. We will all check our pockets more thoroughly from know on.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008

  • JudyPI52 Feb 05, 2011

    Thanks for your help! The SUDS error was on my display panel and the water wouldn't drain out of the tub. My HTwasher and dryer are in the garage whichAbout a is not heated. The temp was 9 degrees here two days ago but in the 30's and 40's today. By following your steps on removing the panel below the door and locating and turning counter clockwise we found the problem. Water had frozen in there. The entire cylinder was a block of ice. Beware! When you take this out all the water in the washer tub comes rushing out have a huge container ready! Problem solved.


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I purchased a Sears Elite HE3, which didn't state to use only HE detergent. I have since learned that incorrect soap caused the motor & bearings to fail.

If you would like to join class action lawsuit, contact me at

Posted on Apr 30, 2009

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When you say you are having trouble with suds do you mean the machine is shutting down with a SUD error code?? If not and you are using the recommended amount of Tide HE and it still suds up bad during wash than i would see if you have extremely soft water. Do you have any sort of water softening system?? When you take a shower or wash your hands does is seem like the soap will never rinse off your skin?? Some suds are OK .... If its halfway filled with suds then that is abnomal.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

  • joey  shearer
    joey shearer Jan 18, 2008

    Is there an extra rinse option???

    Ill look at the cycle chart and tell you the cycle with the most rinses.

  • joey  shearer
    joey shearer Jan 20, 2008

    I had a the same washer as yours do this to me Friday. The customer wasnt complaining about there being too many suds however it would throw a SUD code and shut down her washer. Her problem was that the drain pump had failed ( the impeller came loose and slid forward on the motor shaft making it strike the pump housing). However everything in the drain seemed clear. Also the machine would pump out sometimes and not others. If your machine is doing something similar than it wouldnt be completely draining the soap out like it should. Also have the next tech check was is called the ECO-VALVE. it is inside the drain boot that connects to the tub to the pump. It is a check ball that is designed to seal off the soap/water from re-entering the tub once it has drained. Also make sure that the drain hose is only one or two inches down in the drain stanpipe. If you check all these im sure youll find the problem


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I have a knenmore elite he 3t i put a load of delicate cycle but i put a little of whillite and the washer stopped at the drainage cycle it says sud on the code what do i do ? i unplugged and tryed to re do it only fills up with more water and never drains. it just keeps poping up (Sud) i pulled the hose out of the wall re put it back nothing what do i do ????????????????????????

Posted on Nov 25, 2008

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I am having the same problem with the front load washer completely filling with suds and shutting down. We've had it for 2 years without problems, but it has now happened about 6-7 times in the past 4-5 weeks. We have not changed the amount of detergent, but we do not always use the same brand. I think this started after we began using the current detergent which is a 200 fl. oz. bottle of "Tide with a touch of Downy" Clean Breeze.
I think there is a good chance it is the Downy mixed in that is causing it or at least partially responsible.
I will switch detergents and see if the problem doesn't go away

Posted on Feb 13, 2008

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