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The consequences of using non-HE detergent in an LG washer

Samurai Appliance Repair Man


Today's riddle:

Q: Why would someone spend $1,000 or more on a shiny new LG front load washer and then try to save a few shekels by using non-HE (high efficiency) detergent (in contradiction to the explicit warning in the owner's manual)?

A: Because they're penny-wise and dollar-dumb.

So what are the consequences of using non-HE detergent in any front load washer? You mean besides voiding your warranty? Well, let's see, there's all kinda mechanical problems that you're gonna induce into the machine. Read Sublime Master john63's explanation right after Brother Comstock sets the table for us on this one:

On both of these washers the mushroom vavle, check valve, is present in the vent, WH2277HW is production of 09 if i read it right. I observed oversuds condition, and ASSUMED that that was what was causing the leak. Through diagnostics, the unit checks good for everything but recirculate. I.E. I couln't tell if it was moving the water or not, in the given portion of the test cycle. I'm open for any suggestions, and I proably should have searched before posting this thread, Thanks in Advance.

More side notes, the customer is using powdered, tide, non HE, I'm going to call this in shortly as a denial of coverage, unless some wisdom can be shown to me. I know that the vent is designed, to leak, during heavy suds, and mostly to help the machine, during drain.

<<<I observed oversuds condition, and ASSUMED that that was what was causing the leak.>>>


Explain to the customer that---during a cycle---there should be no suds visible at all (zip/zero).


<<<Through diagnostics, the unit checks good for everything but recirculate. I.E. I couln't tell if it was moving the water or not, in the given portion of the test cycle.>>>


During a test of the RECIRCULATION MOTOR function---water should be seen cascading down the door glass from a nozzle within the rubber door gasket---located at the top (12 o'clock on the gasket).

The nozzle can become plugged/restricted by a clump of lint.

Use your finger---and grasp the blockage to clear the nozzle. The plastic nozzle is virtually unbreakable and can be forced apart/stretched to get a grip on the lint build-up.


<<<the customer is using powdered, tide, non HE>>>


Advise the customer---that using non-HE type detergent will cause:

1) Musty Odor

2) L-o-n-g Cycle Run Time (duration)---longer than the time displayed on the control panel

3) Poor Wash Results (especially whites)---Dingy whites

4) Slower Spin Speed (wetter laundry at the end of the cycle)---dryer needs longer run time to dry laundry.

5) Intermittent Water Leaks from behind the washer (air vent)

6) Damaged Hall Effect Sensor (on models built prior to 2008)---this shows as an "LE" error that cannot be "reset" or "cleared"

7) "LE" Suds Error (can be cleared from MAIN BOARD when washer is unplugged for 30 seconds)


<<<I know that the vent is designed, to leak, during heavy suds, and mostly to help the machine, during drain.>>>


The vent at the rear of the washer is only designed/intended to allow air movement within the tub for laundry tumbling---as well as to permit opening and closing the door without suction-effect.

Suds was not intended to be "evacuated" or "vented" through this outlet.

All LG washers *do* have a software program known as SUDS KILL MODE---this is triggered (or enabled) when the MAIN BOARD detects the presence of suds through the HALL EFFECT SENSOR during the **RINSE** portion of a cycle.

During SUD KILL MODE--- the display clock will **stall** while the washer enables a set of actions designed to reduce (but almost never completely) the amount of suds.

SUDS KILL MODE usually runs for approximately 20 to 30 minutes---before the display "clock" resumes counting downward.

Also explain to the customer that the ***CORRECT*** amount of "HE" detergent that should be used depends on the ***potency*** of the detergent...

HE (2) Tablespoons Per Wash Load (regardless of load size)

HE 2X (double concentrated) : (1) Tablespoon

HE 3X (triple concentrated): (1) Teaspoon

Consumers/customers often express surprise that the ***INSTRUCTIONS*** on the bottle/box of detergent are ***INCORRECT***.

In most cases---reading a product label (instructions) IS THE CORRECT THING TO DO.

In this case---not so.

The soap & detergent industry (with the exception of the Shaklee Corporation) isn't interested in proper front load washer function/clean laundry----it's all about profit.

Most consumers never think that the root cause of their washer problem(s) are connected to (or caused ) by the detergent.

I'd print this post and give a copy to *your* customer :)

<<< I know this has been discussed many times>>>


And it will be discussed many,many more times---until---at least LG revises their *owner manuals*.


<<< it has a check valve to stop fluid, what else may be causing the vent to leak?>>>


The MUSHROOM VALVE at the rear of the tub will *rise upward* from air-draft created by the spinning tub---preventing splatter/water coming off the wet laundry---from leaking through the rear vent.

Suds can still get by---and is the only cause of a leak at the rear vent (unless the MUSHROOM VALVE is missing altogether).

The MUSHROOM VALVE at the end of the DISPENSER HOSE---performs the same function EXCEPT---in the seated position (no spin) it must allow water/detergent/bleach/softener to enter the tub assembly.

If THAT valve becomes sticky and sticks to the rubber bellows-type hose---a leak can occur from the DISPENSER ASSY (fairly rare).

Once all of this is understood---the most daunting challenge for a servicer---is to explain all of this in layman's terms to customers/owners.

It doesn't help at all that---the owner manual explains none of this---that the detergent instructions *do* specify excessive amounts of detergent (dosage) or that LGs own Customer Service Representatives (the folks that handle consumer calls) are not fully aware of the magnitude/importance of using the correct type/amount of "HE" detergent---and what the symptoms are (difficult to believe as well).

Asking a customer to **trust you** with this information can be a TALL order.

The best method for sceptics seems to be...

"Try the *correct* dosage for a week---prove me wrong (or an idiot)."

Feedback (our office calling the customer) shows that...

1) Laundry is cleaner (especially whites)

2) Annoying "LE" errors *stop* occurring

3) Cycle run time is consistent with time displayed

4) Intermittent leaks--end.

5) After a TUB CLEAN CYCLE with TIDE WASHING MACHINE CLEANER---musty odor is gone and remains so.

6) Heavier laundry loads (towels/denims) are spin-dried more consistently---before being added to the dryer.

Source: LG WM2277HW washer leaking

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