READING ERROR CODES: 1. Wake the washer by pressing any button. 2. Wait 5 seconds. 3. Press and HOLD the Start/Pause and Cancel buttons simultaneously. As long as the buttons are held, the failure code will appear in the display as an E followed by two numbers, a number and a letter or two letters. The control will beep and the Door Lock, Wash, Rinse, and Final Spin indicator lights will flash.
Many appliance servicers have been befuddled by the elusive and mysterious F11 error code in these Whirlpool Duet front loading washers (also sold under the Kenmore brand). In their confusion and frustration, many will go into Parts Changing Monkey mode and start blindly replacing expensive control boards without really fixing the problem (but still charging the customer, of course).
The Appliance Guru never does business that way. Customers hire me to solve a problem. Period. I give a quote up-front for the complete repair cost and I stick to it. If my diagnosis is wrong, that's my problem, not the customer's and it won't cost them a penny more than what I quoted.
How can I offer professional appliance repair services this way and stay in business? Well, it means I better know what I'm doing and be able to do real troubleshooting, not just throw parts at the problem and hope to get lucky.
The infamous and all-too-common F11 error code in these Whirlpool Duet front load washers is a case-in-point. The tech sheet inside the washer says this is a communications error between two control boards: the CCU (central control unit) and MCU (motor control unit). Even Whirlpool's own technical guidance for this error is abysmal; they say to replace the CCU and if that doesn't fix it, then replace the MCU. This is why there is so much confusion among appliance repair techs in the field. Each of these control boards costs well north of $200 and the CCU in particular goes on frequent backorder, adding lots more cost and inconvenient downtime to the customer.
As I show in the video, the F11 error code problem in these Whirlpool Duet washers can almost always be repaired without replacing any expensive control boards. It's at least an easy and inexpensive repair to try before replacing the CCU or the MCU.
Water level sensing in LG washers is done differently from how you may be used to seeing it done in other brands. Whirlpool, GE, Electrolux and others use an air tube connecting an air dome on the tub to a pressure sensor with a physical diaphragm or transducer that "feels" the water level increase as an increase in pressure inside the air tube. LG uses frequency measurements. How's that again? I'll let Brother john63, Dean of LG Appliantology explain:
The Water Level Frequency Sensor operation is based on the displacement of the *coil* attached to the diaphragm.
When the *coil* raises or lowers---it changes the electronically resonant characteristics of the oscillator circuit.
The water level is measured by the Main Board---by frequency readings.
I've never had a failed Water Level Sensor.
It is best tested while on the washer---by using the TEST MODE.
On most LG washers---the Test Mode is enabled by pressing and holding the SPIN SPEED and SOIL LEVEL buttons---and then pressing the POWER button (release all 3 buttons and wait for the door to lock).
Press the START / PAUSE button 4 times at one second intervals (Prewash Cold Water Fill)
The display read-out on the Control Panel will show the *frequency*
Empty---the frequency read-out should be about 255
A tub full of water should show a frequency of about 214 (depending on model number)
Some of the errors that can be displayed---relating to water fill are...
Little or no water---usually caused by a failed Water Valve
Too much water (overflow detected)---Can be a failed/stuck open Water Valve or blockage in the black air tube which is connected to the Water Level Frequency Sensor. Disconnect the tube from the sensor---and blow air back into the tub to clear obstruction.
To test the Water Level Frequency Sensor outside of the washer...
Use a test meter to check the ohms between pins 1 and 3 (should have between 21 & 23 ohms).
These new Whirlpool vertical modular (VM) top-loading washers are pretty easy to troubleshoot, mostly because they practically troubleshoot themselves with fault/error code combinations that you can read in diagnostic mode.
The mode shifter has turned out to be one of the common-fail parts on this washer and it's regular rolling inventory for me. Although the fault/error codes will point specifically to the mode shifter if there's a problem with it, there may be situations where you want to test the mode shifter directly. Brother Eric calls the dance steps on that little ditty:
Yes, you should have 5vdc at J2 pin 2 (pink) with connector disconnected. This is a digital logic level provided via pull-up resistor on the control board. The rpm sensor in the shifter will "pull" this level low (0 volts) each time the optical sensor light path is interrupted by the rotating blade inside the transmission. This creates a digital square wave to the processor (switches between 5vdc and 0vdc). The frequency of the square wave is dependent upon speed of rotation of the transmission and is calclulated by the processor to determine rpm. If you monitor J2 pin 2 while wire harness is connected and rotate the tub very slowly, you should see it switch between 5vdc and 0vdc. You should also have 5vdc on J2 pin 1 when in spin mode and 0vdc when in agitate mode.
Brother john63, the Dean of LG Appliantology, offers some pearls of wisdom for getting the best results from those LG washer-dryer combo units:
Provide your customer with the following information---and they'll be more informed as to how best to use the combo washer/dryer.
Use ONLY "HE" type detergent in the following dosage (for this small-size tub):
HE (regular concentration): (1) Tablespoon Per Wash
HE 2X (double concentrated): (1) Teaspoon Per Wash
HE 3X (triple concentrated): ***NOT RECOMMENDED***
Remind the customer *not* to load the washer tub past the ***black hash mark*** that is located on a sticker/emblem---on the left side of the door/tub opening. A fully loaded tub will *wash* fine---as long as the clothing is not compressed/pushed into the tub but---the laundry will not dry very well (taking up to 6 hours to dry laundry).
Advise the customer to select/use the TIME DRY dryer cycle rather than *automatic*. They will need to select the desired cycle RUN TIME for the dry cycle. After a month or so of using the TIME DRY cycle---the customer will become familiar with the amount of time needed to adequately dry an average-size or type of laundry load. Using the TIME DRY cycle in a combo unit---eliminates/avoids using the dual THERMISTORS that are located on the DUCT ASSY. This also allows for a higher temperature during the dry cycle (laundry dries faster). Use the *automatic* dryer cycles for Delicates only.
Armed with all of this *very* relevant information---the customer becomes less frustrated/more relieved---that not only do they have far better *intel* on their particular combo---but that you ACTUALLY CARED to inform/educate them about it. It's best to write this down and give it to the customer. It's *impossible* for the average customer to *memorize* all of this:) Good Luck.
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