Question about Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer
My washer sometimes gives an F11 error code-"serial communication error". It still works, but I'd like to resolve the problem before it breaks completely. Is this something I can fix? How do I start troubleshooting?
I believe EVERY machine will have this F11 error eventually. Here is what fixed mine. Remove the top cover by removing the three 7mm screws on the back of the machine at the top. Slide the cover to the rear and lift off. The CCU board has 2 relays on it. They have white plastic covers. One is labeled K4 and I believe the other is K2. There are five legs on each relay soldering them to the circuit board. Remove the circuit board from the machine. It is the one you can see with the top off in the back of the machine. Unplug all the connectors. Unsolder the 2 relays...brand name Omron. With a jewelers screwdriver carefully remove the plastic cover on the K4 relay. Examine the contact points on the normally open contacts and I will guarantee they will look dull and burnt. They should be bright and shiny. You can burnish the contact points lightly and clean them with electrical contact cleaner. If you take off the cover of the 2nd relay you will see the contact points are nice and bright and shiny. Swap the 2 relays and resolder them on the circuit board. While you have the board out, take a pencil eraser and rub it on the contact points where all the connectors slide onto the board. Spray the electrical contact cleaner to wash any residue away. Carefully reinstall the circuit board and replace the top cover. Our machine has done dozens of loads since I did this with no more problems. I expect another failure at some point when the points deteriorate on the swapped relay. At that point I will try and find replacements for both relays. The K2 relay apparently has less voltage going thru the contacts and does not fail. If you feel real comfortable, you can check the "wiping" action of the points by manually operating the relay when you have it out. I adjusted mine to give a bit more wipe on both relays. I hope this helps...it worked for me!!
Posted on Jan 10, 2009
The DL code and the F11 code appear on my machine. My 'temporary fix' is to try to unplug it. But now, that doesn't work. I've used the diagnostic information that I found on the web.
The control must be in the OFF state before pressing the touch-pad sequence to start the test.
Starting the test mode
Close the door.
Press the Control On button.
Select the DRAIN/SPIN cycle.
Select NO SPIN by pressing the SPIN SELECT button, as needed.
Push Prewash Option button four (4) times within five (5) seconds. C:00 will show in the display.
NOTE: If Model does not have PREWASH Mode as an option, press RINSE/HOLD.
If the Starting procedure fails, push PAUSE/CANCEL button. Then repeat the starting sequence.
Test Program Control during Execution
To advance to the next step of the test procedure, push Prewash Option button two (2) times.
Posted on Jan 11, 2009
I too fought for a long time with my Duet. My brother-in-law soldered the contacts but that didn't work for long. The solution that has worked for over a year is the cheapest and easiest of any I've come across. For less than $10 get a large spring clamp and clamp it to the processor (ok I "borrowed" mine from my husband's woodworking shop). This seems to hold everything in place and has worked without a hitch for over a year. The clamp lies flat enough to put the cover back on and you're good to go.
Posted on Mar 17, 2010
Attention F11 Sufferers!
There is too much misinformation regarding the solution to this problem on the internet. I attempted the repair of my board several times only to get another couple of months before the F11 error would resurface. I found this shop on the internet that repairs the circuit board for $79.99 with a guarantee to be better than new. Selling_surplus repaired my board over 1 year ago, and I have not had a single glitch since. The service technician that actually repaired my board had incredible communication, and he informed me that they upgrade the components on the board that actually CAUSE the relays to fail in the first place. As an engineer myself, I'm glad that someone is actually doing ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS instead of just fixing the symptoms. I can't say enough about these repair guys. You can find the repair service listed on Ebay here:
Posted on Mar 11, 2010
The fix for the F11 problem is trivial. Just unplug the connectors on the CCU (located at the top rear of the washer), apply a little vaseline to each connector (don't worry - excess is not a problem), then plug it all back up. There is logic behind the solution. As has been posted previously, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/mysteryonionpatch/471156850/ for all the details. Many thanks to the author of the flickr post and those who contributed to it. It saved me a bunch of time, money, and frustration!
Posted on Jul 23, 2009
I took the motherboard out and searched around for cracks with a microscope, I found that every one of the relays had
bad solder joints with micro-cracks around the legs. This did not
happen due to wear or vibration.This was a new replacement CCU motherboard.
It was just a bad solder job on the factory wave solder machine. QC issue.
After re-soldering all the relays legs I have run the machine for a month now without any issue.
So there it is the final fix for the dreaded door lock F dl issue. and any other random issue I too was getting.
Posted on Jan 21, 2008
I have had this problem as well and followed many of the suggestions posted to date including swapping then ultimately replacing the relays (K1&K2). My success was about a month then back to the same problem of the door not locking. It will try 6 times and if not successful gives the error code F11.
My solution is quite simple and has lasted several years without an error. There are two relays (not the K1 and K2 mentioned in prior threads) that are larger and sit just across from the last connector on the front right of the board. That connector is the main power to the board. If you push a small piece of wood (mine is 3/4" or so maple) between the board mounted connector for the main power and the two relays across from it, it will reestablish the connection. I too had resoldered many of the foil traces without success. Looking at the board in a strong light, you will see there are foil traces sandwiched into the board. The measured voltage is 120 AC so it is easy for the violent shaking to fracture a microcrack into the foil trace. It is difficult to fix the trace directly.
To test the board and see if this is a potential solution, take the cover off the controller board and carefully press the front of the relays towards the back of the machine while the error is occuring. There will be a clicking sound as the relays open and close the door lock. If this is the problem cut or improvise an insulated block that will hold the relay in position and secure the connection. The machine will work gteat and no expensive parts are required.
Posted on May 25, 2009
Serial Communication Error
Communication between the Central Control Unit (CCU) and the Motor Control Unit (MCU) cannot be sent correctly.
Check Wire Harness connectors to the MCU, the motor, and Central Control Unit (CCU)
Check the Drive system for any worn or failed components
Check Wire Harness
If all the connections look fine , then its possible the CCU is reading wrong and will need to be changed
Posted on Nov 26, 2007
In most cases the main control board is the issue. Its the white module located underneath the top its to the rear. If the machines locks up when this problems occurs suspect the control board. The motor and motor control as well as a bad connection between the motor control and the main control can also cause the same error.
Posted on Oct 28, 2007
Mouser.com sells the relays for about 2.50ea. Buy 2 of them and replace them with new. G5LE-1-VD 12VDC http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=G5LE-1-VD_DC12virtualkey65300000virtualkey653-G5LE-1-VDDC12
Posted on Jul 24, 2010
I unplugged and replugged most of the larger connectors to the Central Control Unit and the washer has been working through several loads so far. My theory is that the connector contacts get oxidized/dirty and unplugging and replugging cleans them and re-establishes a good electrical contact.
Posted on Jan 06, 2008
I had f11 problems up until a year ago.I knew the problem was related improperly soldered connections on the main circuit board,particulary relay connections.I have a friend who is adept at circuit board soldering and had him re solder all the connections on the board.Its been about a year without an incident,but we keep our fingers crossed anyway.we knew about the f series of errors due to the numerous postings on the net.To my knowledge whirlpool still doesnt recognize they had a circuit board problem .It might have been only on certain boards because we know of people with the same machine who have no problems.hope this was helpful
Posted on Jan 12, 2011
This is an easy one!!!
and one most so called techs miss when servicing motor issues
ah forget the dust what does it matter!!!! LOL:)()(
dont forget lots of errors can be caused by the motor burshes
lots of people will think na they are ok they dont need replaced
however this is actually the case
BUT what happens is as they wear the carbon from them ends up on the case of the motor and more important the electrical plug and socket on it
this causes a current to flow accross the carbon dust
and can upset the normal operation of the motor and the speed sensor and motor condition anaysis
so you can get a ghost error just caused by carbon dust
when you open the machine simply use a dry paint brush and give the motor a good brush around
to remove the conduction path
this dust can lead the the mains supply in your homes safety sensors tripping
i fix this fault about 20 times a day!!!!
Posted on Dec 02, 2014
My F11 is one of the ones that was not fixed by connector work, or pressure on the board, or replacing relays. (I did check all that out). No, mine had no door lock fault, and no intermittent F11 fault. The F11 fault was persistent and could not be bypassed. I eventually found the problem with a tip from another post on mysteryonion's blog that mentioned the motor control unit board having silicone underneath and that area overheating and the components getting fried. I checked there and took it apart, and sure enough, the board was toast. The CCU problems are legit though, and definitely a good place to start, since the relay issue is a fairly well documented one at this point. Be careful about adding solder to any edge connectors. That's a sketchy deal.
Posted on Nov 19, 2012
Originally I had the door switch error (FDL I think it was), so I replaced the door switch ($58 online). It worked OK for about a month, then I started getting the F11 and FDL errors. After looking at the connections to the door switch, I thought the upper connection seemed loose. So I used a wire tie to hold the connector firmly in place. I haven't had an error message since (about 4 months). Just wish I hadn't wasted the $58.
Posted on Jul 17, 2012
Thanks rjnolfe (solution #1) for the good advice.
I did as suggested in your solution plus one extra step.
I pulled the CCU circuit board from the Whirlpool Duet washing machine, replaced the two white relays with Mode Electronics 12VDC SPDT 360MW 400 ohm 10Amp coil relays (part number 50-533-1). Each relay cost me $2.50 Canadian plus taxes.
When I removed the plastic covers from the two old white relays, I saw that the contacts on one of the relays was totally burned off. When I re-soldered the two new relays on the CCU circuit board and reinstalled the unit back into the washing machine, the washer worked for only two loads before the dreaded F11 and FDL codes reappeared.
I pulled the CCU circuit board again and followed another suggestion to re-solder the circuit board contact points of all three black relays (there are six legs on each relay to re-solder) . I also added a small thin line of solder on all of the circuit board contact fins (front and back). My Whirlpool Duet has now been working fine (about 30 loads) with no error codes during the last 30 days. In total, I spent about $5.50 for parts, 1 hour of my time to go and get the relays from a local electronic parts store and about three hours of my time to remove the CCU (twice), solder in the new relays, re-solder the contacts of the 3 black relays and add solder to the CCU circuit board fins.
If you don't have a small 15 / 30 watt soldering iron, a solder removal suction tube device and solder, then that will set you back around $30.
But that's better than paying over $500 for a service call and a new CCU to be installed. Hope this information helps you save money instead of paying for a service call or a new washer.
Posted on Sep 05, 2011
Thanks to kensch888 for solution #13. I ordered a new processor at shopjimmy.com for $168 and installed it in about 30 minutes. No problems after installation. Been running for 1 month with no F11 codes. This is a very easy fix. Lots of wiring to plug back in to the new processor so make notes as you unplug the old processor.
Posted on Feb 10, 2010
I hate my het4, got f11 or fdl a whole bunch of times. will not buy anything kenmore or whirlpool again. i tried vaseline on contacts, worked for a while. almost inclined to go back to old school washers with turning knobs and no electronics. i think my relays are bad, my problem is the clicking doesn't happen. bit the bullet and bought a new board from appliancezone.com for $128.
with the extra board, i'll do the soldering or relay replacement if the replacement board goes bad...hope it doesn't..my neighbor and i bought the same model washer 5 years ago, i had problems and zero problems for her. i actually got he3t, but got a replacement he4t because of multiple failures within first year. he4t failures did not occur until 2-3 years in use. i'd try the vaseline, resoldering first, then board...good luck everyone on the same boat.
Posted on Aug 15, 2009
I've read about replacing the relays and I did that after swapping them. Didn't work for long. I cleaned the connectors and contacts, but that didn't last. Not counting my time, I guess I spent $40. For $98 I got a new processor module and that fixed it, so far.
I took a chance ordering from Shopjimmy.com because I could only find one review on-line, but the chance really paid off.
I ordered a processor for my Whirlpool Duet from them on Friday 7-24 for $98 and it arrived Wednesday 7-29. The best price I found elsewhere on the net was $149, but the average was $198. Can't beat Shopjimmy's pricing.
I had called before ordering and the representative was knowledgeable, polite and she did not pressure me. She verified the washing machine parts are new.
The CPU was well packed and worked out of the box.
I'm going to order a spare from them as soon as I get some $.
I would recommend shopping at Shopjimmy.
Posted on Jul 31, 2009
Hello fellow f11 sufferers,
If you have time, drop in and view some info I've posted about this issue and note the names of folks that work on the problem.
Posted on Nov 27, 2007
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"
Posted on Feb 19, 2014
My frequent F11 and occasional F11 + FdL errors were fixed following the SamaraiRepairman YouTube video on Troubleshooting and Repairing the F11 Error.... I entered some comments on this YouTube that may help others. In short, I had loose and oxidized connections ar the CCU. In my particular case, I had no relay issues. FYI, I have a 2005 Whirlpool Duet GHW9300. Started getting F11's almost a year ago. Came and went. Lately, I was getting the error perhap 40% of the time. Happened during all cycles and even different cycle phases (e.g wash, rinse, spin). Did happen more frequently with a larger load (I.e. larg unbalance and thus vibration). These situations jive with the occasionally bad connections issue I was experiencing. So far, 14 loads straight and no errors at all...praise God and thanks Samarai Repairman!
Posted on Jan 05, 2014
Thank you very much for the info. Yes please resolder all your switches they have micro cracks. I resolder my K6 switch and others on the board and it works! keep my fingers cross! I been working on it for week and ready to purchase new washer tonight.
Posted on Feb 08, 2011
If soldering is a problem with the two relays, Then you can get 1500 grid sand paper and clean the burned relay that way. It works just as well. Then I followed by 2000 grit paper to smooth it out a little more. Works awesome. NO PROBLEMS so far.
Posted on Nov 09, 2009
I just want to thank rjnolfe with his solution about the relays that were the problem! His solution was posted Jan. 10, 2009. We did just what he said. This machine was getting ready to get beaten to death with a wood maul. I tried everything I could think of and then some from various experts. Nothing worked until his solution came along. Hats off and many accoloaes to you. I have done about 40 loads and no more f11 codes! Thank you from the bottom of my freshly laundered heart! Phoebe...
Posted on Mar 04, 2009
I don't know whats wrong with my washer it flashes a f-11 sign but it doesn't spin i didn't get a owners manuel so i don't know whats wrong with it or how to fix it
Posted on Oct 30, 2008
The F11 or FdL error code is related to circuit problem in the central control unit. This seller (Wahwahtechnology) at eBay offers repair service that wilL definitely fix the problem. It only costs a fraction of a new control unit. very well worth it.
link at ebay:
a satisfied customer
Posted on Apr 24, 2010
I found that just calling a Appliance Technician out to your home to service the problem is the easiest wasy to solve any of your appliance problems,why go through all the headaches when all you have to do is make a quick call to the local appliance company,technician will come right out look at the machine and tell you what is going on.... its that easy and they will warranty all work, i feel its good to always have a appliance repairman number on hand you never know what is going to break the company make these appliances only last 3-5 years than they need to be serviced call try calling a appliance repair company and let them deal with the problem thanks hope you find a great technician as my family and friends have
Posted on May 30, 2010
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