Question about Kenmore HE2 Plus Front Load Washer

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We have a Kenmore HE2 Plus (110.47511702) that started failing to complete it's cycles and was getting a F21 code. This washer was rarely ever used (we had it in a house we were trying to sell), and problem occurred shortly after warranty expired (as expected...). One thing we also noticed was water would start coming out the front door, despite being locked and the seal was not damaged in any way. Sears repairman charged $300 to check pump (no problems) and replace the pressure switch. This did not resolve the problem, and told us the washer was letting in too much water and he would have to replace the control panel. He did not have it on hand and said he would call us soon when one was in stock. Did not hear from him. After several weeks went by, called him back and now are told it will be more because a month had gone by. Not sure I ever want to deal with Sears again, nor buy another Kenmore product. Would like to see if this can be repaired ourselves as we are already out price of washer and $300 for a "repair" that did not do anything! Technician notes are 'NDCS / LEAKING ON FRONT DOOR THEN STOPPING ON ERROR F20' Thanks you for any help you may be able to provide us!

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  • phanham Mar 24, 2011

    Macmarkus, we were getting an F21 error. He did hook up a laptop and run several tests, so not sure if he did get an F20 or just wrote it down wrong.

    After checking pump and drainage functions (all ok), he said water leaking from door was too much water being let in. He said something about diaphrahms going bad and replaced the pressure switch? Still had problem, so wanted to replace circuit board or control panel? Didn't have one with him, and where we are at now.

  • kariato
    kariato Aug 08, 2012

    F21 are very common. Usually because of items such as coins get stuck in the filter. If you remove the panel under the front door you will see a white twist seal. Remove it and you can probably find it filled with items such as coins. If the pump is really loud it might need replacing a $70 part that is very easily DIY. Sounds like Sears did to you what it did to me twenty years ago when it replaced everything on my car that did not need it and charged me $1,000. I'd call up his supervisor and complain.



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Welcome to FixYa.

There are several things which can manifest in a "F21" error, however you stated at the bottom the repair person indicated they remedied an "F20" error.

Before proceeding and generalizing on many things which can cause either of these faults, can you verify it is indeed an "F21" error message in the display ?

I will look for your reply and help move you forward in any manner I can.


Macmarkus :)

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

  • 2 more comments 
  • phanham Mar 24, 2011

    Macmarkus, we were seeing a F21. Technician hooked up a laptop and ran some tests, so not sure if he received an F20 or wrote it down wrong. He said too much water was entering tub, causing the leak from door. He said something about diaphragms going bad and replaced the pressure switch? That didn't solve anything, so then wanted to replace main circuit board or control panel...


  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Mar 24, 2011

    Hello again,

    Well I can't speak to what the on site sears technician did, I can't even understand the need for a pressure switch ( unless something has gone undisclosed by them) and as for the control board issue...I'd be very surprised at that and it sounds like a case of "throwing parts at a problem" and hoping it fixes it, since F21 never requires a control board...CCU (central control unit ) nor MCU (motor control unit).

    If I where in your position I'd be looking for an obstruction at the pump/filter first, then the tub to pump bellows, since the pump typically causes the "F21" as that indicates a draining fault, the filter in the pump may be blocked...I would think the tech checked that, but I don't know.

    What I'm going to describe below is the most likely causes.

    **An "F21" error indicates a blocked drain, faulty pump but can also be caused by the back-flow ball inside the bellows which connects the tub to the pump.**

    **Turn off the breaker at the service panel or unplug the washer from the wall first**

    1) locate the screws in front at the very bottom of the panel below the door and pull the panel down and forward until it is off. They will be either 1/4" hex head or #20 torx head screws.

    2) You will immediately see the drain pump in front of you with a large removable filter. ( **see image below...they may appear slightly different than your actual machine, but the same instructions apply...this is were a wet-dry shop vac and towels come in handy, also the use of the removed panel as a catch pan is beneficial...but you may still get wet )

    3) Turn it counter-clockwise should allow you to remove it and inspect it and clean it out. Make a good thorough inspection inside the pump as well not just the removable filter.

    4) Re-insert the filter and before placing the panel back run a test rinse/drain cycle to inspect for leaks and to verify the unit drains and spins now.

    ( If the problem still exist`s the "F21" will re-appear. If so you`ll need to check the hose/rubber bellows from pump to tub...back-flow checkball...for other obstructions as I alluded to ).

    There is a large clamp which secures it to the tub, but if you remove it to clean out all the dirt built up inside, make sure you get it good and secure when putting it back.**

    You'll want to look in this bellows for debris or clothing items such as small socks, undergarments etc. which can obstruct the function of the back flow check ball.

    Keep me posted and let me know how it goes and if you require further assistance.

    Thanks for choosing FixYa. Please take a moment to rate the solution provided for you here today.

    Good luck.


    Macmarkus :)

  • Jon Fenderson
    Jon Fenderson May 31, 2011

    This site is fantastic! Ten minutes of reading, ten minutes of fixing and the problem was solved! The pictures you include are great since one person's terms and another person's understanding of the term aren't always the same. I'd recommend you to anybody. Thanks for the expert advice.

  • tharrison921 Jul 25, 2011

    Hey Macmarkus,

    Thanks for the guidance. I had this same problem yesterday, and your advice worked. I just went through the list and when I opened the filter the second time, one of my preschooler's socks gushed out. It still didn't work, so I opened the filter again and felt inside the little intake to the pump, and it was completeley blocked by a bunch of hair ties that my daughter and wife use. That did the trick. Thanks a lot!!




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