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Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog

Special repair trick for fixing an LE error code in LG front-load washers (and it's NOT the hall sensor)

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Washing Machine Repair 25 May 2013 · 45,066 views
LG, washer, RPS, hall sensor and 3 more...
As most people know after a quick search of the Internet, the LE error code in LG front-load washers is usually caused by a bad hall sensor, also called a rotor position sensor or RPS. Part number: AP4440680

Part number: AP4440680

The hall sensor is easy to test and replace, see this post at Fixitnow.com for detailed instructions.

Okay, let's say you replaced the hall sensor because you believed it was bad and you're still getting that ding-dang infernal LE error code. What's a brutha to do?

First off, don't go into a blind parts changing monkey panic and start replacing parts that just never fail on their own like the stator. Take a breath, unbunch them panties, and come with me now as we step through the three most likely causes for the LE error code that persists even after replacing the hall sensor.

1. Using too much or the wrong kind of detergent

Using non-HE (high efficiency) detergent in any HE washing machine (which includes ALL front loaders, regardless of brand or model) is a big Bozo No-No. You can't just use less of the non-HE stuff because washing with low water requires different detergent chemistry than washing with boocoo water.

The biggest problem with using non-HE detergent is sudsing. Excessive sudsing can cause problems in HE washers by “cushioning” — or even preventing — the tumbling action. HE detergents also hold soils and dyes in suspension in low water volumes, so they don’t re-deposit onto cleaned clothes. This means that if you’re using non-HE detergents in your front-loading washer, you’re wearing poopy germs and other ca-ca on your clothes right now and you are one of the Great Unwashed. The inside of your washer will start smelling poopy, too. See my seminal tome, 9 Ways to Beat Odor Problems in Modern High-Efficiency Front Load and Top Load Washers, for more.

But the biggest problem with sudsing as it pertains to the LE error code in LG front loaders is that the excessive suds can trick out the control board because the load doesn't "feel" right (yes, the control board senses the load and its action) and so it throws an LE error code.

Note that using too much HE detergent can cause over-sudsing, too. Detergents are one those things where more is NOT better. You want just the right amount and no more. So what is the right amount? Well, first off, disregard the idiot directions on the box. Naturally they're going to tell you to use more so you'll have to buy more sooner. And don't fill it to the MAX line in the dispenser. Start with the following amounts of HE detergent and adjust based on your water hardness; more for hard water, less for soft water (read more about water hardness and how to check yours in this post, The Hard Facts about Hard Water and Your Appliances):

- Regular HE detergent: 2 tablespoons per normal wash load

- HE 2X (double concentrated): 1 tablespoon

- HE 3X (triple concentrated): 1 teaspoon

2) Broken wire harness

If you're sure that you (or your customer, if you're a professional appliantologist) are using the correct type and amount of detergent then replace the motor wire harness at the back of the washer (the one underneath the motor). You can see it in the photo below:

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Even though the wire harness may look fine, one of the wires inside may have broken over the years of use-- they's a whole lotta shakin' and gyratin' going on back there! Also, wire harnesses in dynamic environments like a front load washer can become intermittent in their conductivity. It may work in more quiescent parts of the cycle and then break continuity as the movement increases. This can break the data feedback from the hall sensor to the main control board and cause it to throw an LE error code.

A visual inspection of a wire harness doesn't give a full assessment of its integrity-- you have to measure continuity of each wire in that harness to know what's really going on.

Or just go ahead and replace the wire harness, it's inexpensive and easy to do.

3. The main control board may be bad

Emphasis on the "may" because this is actually the least likely scenario yet the first one that most techs will jump on in these situations. Lots of times, when the main control board in an LG washer goes bad, it's visible, like in this one:

Posted Image

It's usually the triacs, the power transistors, that get shorted out. If you see this, you better look for the problem elsewhere in the machine because something shorted and caused the triac to draw excessive current which burned it up.

But control boards absolutely do fail in non-visible ways, too. So if you're still getting the LE error code after you've replaced the hall sensor, you've ruled out detergent issues and replaced the wire harness, then the only thing you're left with is the main control board.

Troubleshooting technique for checking the MCU in a Whirlpool Duet Sport washer

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Washing Machine Repair 23 May 2013 · 7,888 views
Whirlpool, Duet Sport, MCU and 3 more...
If you're dealing with a Whirlpool Duet Sport front load washer (also sold under the Maytag and Kenmore brands) that just beeps when you press the start button but doesn't lock the door or run, it can be tricky to figure what the problem is. The prime suspects are: CCU (central control unit), MCU (motor control unit), and the door latch assembly. Academy Fellow Trying to help offers this tip for checking the MCU to determine whether it's the cause of the problem or not. If it checks good, you have two other suspects to test but at least you've eliminated one of them! OTOH, if the MCU tests bad, you can buy the replacement MCU here with a one year, no-hassle return policy, look up your exact board by the model number of your washer.

Yes, there is a 3 wire blue harness that runs from the CCU (Central Control Unit) to the MCU (Motor Control Unit) I believe it is the M3 connector. Unplug that connector at either end and let it hang. Now hit start, if the unit locks the door and acts like it is going to take off on it's little merry way, you have a bad motor control board. Chances are with this disconected after a minute or so a code will pop, but you will already have your answer. At the moment of start the CCU looks for two signals, door lock and motor control. If it does not see what it likes it tripple beeps. Removing the harness eliminates the bad signal. It will lock the door now and sit there looking for the MCU signal. No signal is better than a bad signal! Make sure you ohm your motor to verify it is not shorted and the source of the blown board though!

Here's the MCU test technique illustrated:

Posted Image

and Brother PDuff shares this old tech tip for checking the CCU:

Old tech trick for checking CCU's was to unplug unit and plug back in. If you hear a click from the CCU then the CCU was usually ok. But I think these new CCU's are onto that trick. Still researching that switch at access panel. I don't know if it would cause a problem but it has attracted my attention. Will advise.

Source: maytag front load washer (whirlpool) doesnt start just beeps

Appliantology Newsletter: Front-Load Washer Stinkology

Appliantology, newsletter
Caressing your cranium like cool cherry blossoms, it's the green shoots of another Appliantology issue easing down into your eyeballs like the misty morning dew in springtime. Come in and have some Tranya...

Inverter Motor Fuse Eliminated from GE Hydrowave Top-Load Washers

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Washing Machine Repair 09 May 2013 · 1,907 views
GE, washer, hydrowave, fuse
From the GE Tech bulletin on this:

New variable speed inverter motors no longer
require the in-line fuse. When replacing an
older Hydrowave inverter motor with the new
inverter motor, the in-line fuse must be
removed from the washer harness. Failure to
remove this fuse link will cause the fuse link to
fail due to the higher inrush current of the new
motor design.

Replacement motors will include a jumper wire
and 2 wire splices to remove the in-line fuse.

Read more: http://appliantology...#ixzz2SpWjBMAt

You can download the tech bulletin here: http://appliantology...r-fuse-removed/

Buy parts for your GE washer here: http://www.repaircli...g-Machine-Parts

9 Ways to Beat Odor Problems in Modern High-Efficiency Front Load and Top Load Washers

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Washing Machine Repair 16 April 2013 · 5,924 views
washer, odor, washing machine, HE and 2 more...
1. Use Only HE (High Efficiency) Detergent

And no, using a smaller quantity of conventional detergent is not the same as using HE detergent, as explained below. HE detergents are not simply a concentrated formulation of the regular stuff. Since front loaders and HE top loaders use much less water than conventional top loaders (about 12 gallons per wash load vs. about 56 gallons in a conventional top-loader), HE washers require a detergent with a whole different chemistry. You can read more about it in my magnum opus, High Efficiency Detergents, Front-Loading Washers, and the Great Unwashed.

If HE detergent is not used in these modern, low water-use washers, residue will accumulate in the outer drum and emit a foul odor. Or, as Martha, the sister of Lazarus observed, "Lord, by this time he stinketh."

"What's the best HE detergent to use," you ax? I gotta recommend Woolite Complete from the Reckitt-Benkiser folks who put on the awesome detergent training seminar for professional appliantologists at the Appliance Service Training Institute every year.

Posted Image

2. Run the "Tub Clean" Cycle Once a Month

Using either non-HE detergent or too much HE detergent will cause the build up of a residue called scrud (a mixture of scum and other crud). Once the Funk From Within (FFW) has taken hold inside the washer drum or tub, neither bleach nor vinegar will eliminate the odor. De-stinkification at this point involves scrud removal. You'll need to run a product called Affresh through it on the "Tub Clean" cycle. This cycle, combined with Affresh, is specially designed to remove scrud build-up.

Posted Image

If the washer doesn't have a "Tub Clean" cycle, then just run a hot water wash at maximum water level.

When running a Tub Clean cycle with Affresh, do not add any clothes or detergent. Just hot water and Affresh.

3. Reduce Detergent Use for Soft Water or Water Softener

Soft water will cause over-sudsing even when using HE detergent. To prevent scrud buildup, the amount of detergent used in each wash needs to be reduced to prevent forming suds during the wash cycle. If the water is very soft, as with some city waters where they soften it, the detergent usage will need to be reduced even below the recommended amount.

"But I like to see lots of suds in my washer because then I know my clothes are getting clean!"

You have to start with the understanding that the tumble action of high-efficiency washers (i.e., front loaders) produce more suds than the agitator action in top loaders. Now most of people think, “Oooo, sudsy, that’s good!” No, not good. Suds do nothing to clean your clothes and are actually an undesirable by-product of the detergent’s chemical interaction with the water.

Is it possible to know for sure what kind of water hardness you're dealing with? Ya sure, ya betcha! Just use this Maytag water hardness testing kit. You can read more about water hardness, what that means, and how it affects detergents.

Posted Image

General detergent guidelines for any front load or agitator-less top load washer with tub sizes 3.0 cu ft and larger is as follows (adjust as needed to eliminate undesirable sudsing):

HE: (2) Tablespoons Per Wash Load

HE 2X: (1) Tablespoon

HE 3X: (1) Teaspoon

4. Ensure Drain Hose is Installed Properly

If the drain hose is not installed properly, the unit will not drain properly. Additionally, if the washer drain hose is crammed so far down the drain pipe that it's submerged in the standing water in the pipe, it will do two things: 1) bring odors back up into the drum and 2) cause siphoning which, in turn, causes improper filling and other weird symptoms.

Posted Image

Never extend the drain hose more than 4 inches beyond the end of the elbow, and drain hoses should never be inserted more than 6 inches into drain.

5. Dry Door Gasket when Laundry is Finished for the Day

The door gasket on a front load washer should be wiped dry when the washer is finished working for the day. Water left in the bottom arc of the gasket is normal, since there is no suction pump attached to the gasket. However, if not dried out, stagnate water could begin to stinketh.

6. Periodically Inspect the Door Gasket and Clean Off Mildew as Needed

Periodically, check the door gasket on a front load washer for mildew buildup. If you're a bleach fan, mix 3/4 cup bleach with a gallon of hot water. Use the bleach mixture and a cloth to wipe out the gasket. (Do not use bleach alone. Undiluted bleach will damage the gasket.) Or, we've found that Simple Green works pretty good, too, and it's a little less fuss to use.

If the mildew cannot be removed, the gasket will have to be replaced. You can buy the replacement door gasket for any brand and model of front loader right here with a one year return policy. Most door gaskets you'll find here have a how-to replacement video that shows you exactly how to replace it.

7. Keep Washer Door Open or Lid Raised when Machine is Not in Use

After a cycle, small amounts of water are left in the machine. When finished with the unit for the day, dry the gasket (on a front loader) and leave the door open for a couple hours to allow the moisture to evaporate and dry out. On top loaders, just leave the lid raised.

8. Clean Detergent Dispenser Regularly

Once a week, remove the dispenser drawer and clean out the gookus in the sink with hot water and scrub brush.

9. Clean the Drain Pump Filter Regularly

Most front load washers have some type of "coin catcher" or screen for catching "gookus" -- that's a technical term we professional appliantologists use to refer to anything that ain't supposed to be there. This drain pump filter should be cleaned about once a month to prevent odors.

Remove the pump filter or coin catcher and scrub it under hot water to get all the nooks and crannies.

Posted Image

Accumulations of gookus on the drain filter like you see above prevents proper drainage and makes a great habitat for little stink-maker bacteria to grow, thrive, and stinketh.

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