Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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My kenmore elite washer accumulates water where the fabric softener goes. Why

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It appears your dispenser solenoid has failed in this instance.

For replacement parts - head on over to PartSelect.com or RepairClinic.com and enter in your full model number for a full parts listing.
I recommend both sites because ...


FixYa has no affiliation with either site - I have been using and recommending them for years - trouble free.

PartSelect has a great schematic database for locating the part on your unit and great "testimonials" for each part that often times includes HOW-TO information.
RepairClinic has pictures of each part they sell and also a great how-to and troubleshooting for basic repairs.


If your unit has never been serviced - there should still be an original service manual enclosed in plastic taped to the inside of the shell.
In the service manual are Error codes, maintenance procedures, and troubleshooting steps you can follow.


Anything too complicated or beyond your scope should be handled by a professional.

If you think you want to tackle the repair - and have gotten stuck on a step - reply to your question and I will be glad to help you out.




Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question

Posted on Sep 30, 2010

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1 Answer

I have a kenmore elite. My softener compartment and occasionally the soap compartment is full of water after a load.


Fabric softeners can coagulate and clog hose. Try pouring hot water into compartment, with washer empty, to clear hose.

Jan 03, 2017 | Kenmore Washing Machines

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Kenmore elite washer, water doesn't go through fabric softener dispenser, goes right to cup underneath. ??


Boil water run trough the despencer where you insert the fluid its probly blocked

Sep 03, 2016 | Kenmore Washing Machines

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Where does the detergent go and where do i put the fabric softerner? I am using a Kenmore Elite front load washer. thanks, Adriana


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,
John C

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

1 Answer

My kenmore elite HE, smart pack is not dispensing the fabric softner? Can you help?


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?

Jun 09, 2010 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Washer kenmore leaking water out bottom


Its very possible it could be one of the tubes that run to the fabric softener or detergent.

Dec 30, 2009 | Kenmore 3.2 cu. ft. Plus Top Load Washer

1 Answer

Water softener goes in at wash cycle rather than rinse cycle


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

Jan 25, 2009 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Kenmore Elite Oasis, fabric softer thing exploded...


Okay...the cone actually goes inside the the two other pieces you mention. The cone is to be inserted upside-down. That is, the opening of the cone should be facing UP. The way this fabric softener dispenser is supposed to work is, you place fabric softener thorugh the opening of the dispenser. The cone actually holds it like a cup. When the washer goes through the initial spin cycle before the rinse cycle begins, the centrifugal force of the washer spinning forces the fabric softener out of the cone and into the wash tub.

The dispenser assembly should just snap right on top of the agitator. If the dispenser does not stay on securely any longer, you may have to replace it with a new one. You can find replacements at searspartsdirect.com. Just type in the same model number you provided and look for item number 1 under the "Motor, Basket and Tub Parts" heading.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you still have questions, please let me know.

PS It is also a good idea to periodically remove the dispenser and soak it in some hot water to get rid of accumulations of hardened softner. They will clog from time to time.

Sep 04, 2008 | Kenmore 24032\24036 Top Load Washer

1 Answer

Kenmore Elite fabric softener won't drain


Is the dispenser full? It could be that it is a bit clogged. I would try just pouring a little very hot water in for several loads and using dryer softener sheets during this time. Let's see if we can unclog it .

Aug 21, 2008 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

4 Answers

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.

Jan 27, 2008 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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