T-rev's Blog

39 2011-12-10 22:30 Fixing a Kenmore front-loader that won't spin

Had a problem with a Kenmore 417-44252500 front-loading washing machine (made by Frigidaire apparently). During spin cycle the drain pump was working, but there was no high speed spin.

Google easily found lots of people with the same problem, but ascertaining the solution was a little harder, finding manufacturer's documentation harder still. I spent enough time online over this to be inspired to type it up into the page I wish I could have found. Maybe it will be of use to someone else.

I managed to track down JPEGs of the Tech Data Sheet, which I've put in PDF here:
Kenmore 417-44252500 Tech Data Sheet
That should have been all I needed to track down the solution, but the plot thickens...

Ran diagnostics as directed in the data sheet. Everything worked including fast spin. (Fast spin only worked in diagnostics.) Checked the error code, got E47 which is "Board thinks the door PTC circuit is open during spin, refer to Test (9)." Performed the test, which consists of measuring the resistance of the PTC in the door latch. It was ~1500 Ohms, indicating a defective control board according to the data sheet (an open or shorted circuit would have indicated the door latch switch was defective).

However, after some Googling, I couldn't find anyone online for whom replacing the control board fixed the problem! I found that with these symptoms (high spin working only in diagnostic mode) it's "almost always" the door latch but supposedly still could be the (motor) control board (part # 134409900). Yet I found not a single actual report of it's having been the control board.

So with the Tech Data Sheet clearly saying one thing but no evidence to be found online in support, I remained hesitant until I found this post (thanks!) where even after passing the 1500 Ohm test, the fix still involved replacing the door lock assembly.

I got a door latch switch (part # 131763202) that was in stock nearby, and it worked.

By the way, more useful info (found on youtube) in case "you may know someone in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation and if you're in a situation like that..."

To remove the door latch, you don't even have to move the washer. Use a pair of needle-nose plyers to remove the spring/wire band that holds the door gasket in place, pull a bit of the gasket out of the way near the latch, remove the two screws (save them, they're not included with the replacement part), and unplug the three wiring connectors. Put it back together in reverse order (except no need for the pliers).

And, paraphrased from the tech data sheet:

To check last error code without entering diagnostic mode, turn on the machine by pushing any button, wait 5 seconds, press and hold simultaneously both Start and Pause/Cancel. After a few seconds, last error code will be signalled until buttons are released. Note that signalling of the first digit (by the Lock, Wash, Rinse, and Final Spin LEDs and audible beep) may overlap the signalling of the second digit (by the Start LED).

To enter Diagnostic mode, turn knob to Drain/Spin, then press Pause/Cancel to turn off the LEDs, then within 5 seconds press and hold simultaneously both the Option and Pause/Cancel buttons until the LEDs begin sequentially chasing.
In diagnostic mode, when knob is set to:
...Drain/Spin, LEDs chase sequentially, and pressing a button will light all LEDs in that cluster
…Rinse/Spin, hot water should enter through detergent compartment
…Soak, cold water should enter the bleach compartment
…Wool, cold water should enter the softner compartment
…Sport, door should lock
…Heavy, door should unlock
…Normal, washer should fill and tumble
…PermPress, washer should fill and spin (leak test)
…Quick, door lock, drain pump and high speed spin (DANGER, door only remains locked in this mode of diagnostics, and may be opened while drum is still spinning after performing this diagnostic!)
…Delicate, last error code will be signalled


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