Troubleshooting a Kenmore Washer

Kenneth Crawford

Over time, washing machine parts go bad. This applies to Kenmore washers as well. When the washer does not work as it should, do not automatically call the repairman. When troubleshooting a Kenmore washer, you may find the problem is a less costly repair.

Spinning washer

Washer Does Not Fill With Water

A Kenmore washer that is not filling with water may have clogged inlet screens. Place a bucket underneath the hoses to catch any leftover water. Unplug the washer and turn off the water supply. Remove the water hoses from the back of the washer and inspect the screens inside the inlet ports. Often, these clog with sediment. Clean the screens with a small toothbrush. After cleaning, reattach the hoses and turn the water supply and power back on.

Another reason the washer might not fill is something interfering with the water pump. Check the connecting hoses on the water pump to make sure they are not clogged. With the hoses disconnected, check the water pump for obstructions.

Washer Will Not Drain

Water that doesn't drain from a washer usually means a faulty or clogged water pump. Turn off the power and water supply to the washer. Locate the water pump by referring to the owner's manual for the particular model. Inspect the belt if the washer is a belt drive. Many newer models are direct drives and use a motor coupler that mounts on the water pump. Inspect the coupler for damage and replace as necessary.

On some models, water not draining could be because of a broken lid switch. Open the lid of the washer and look for the protruding plastic piece on the inside of the lid. If it is broken, the lid switch is not engaging. If the lid switch does not engage, the washer will not run the drain cycle. If the plastic piece is intact, the operation of the switch can be checked quickly. With the lid open, insert a straw into the lid switch hole on the washer. A click is heard if the switch is operating. If no click is heard, the switch is faulty and must be replaced.

Door Will Not Open

On front-loading Kenmore washers, the door automatically locks during the wash cycle. If the washer senses that all the water has not drained, the door will not unlock. Check for clogs in the water pump as described earlier. Also check the drain hose for obstructions. Set the drain cycle on the washer again and let it run. The door should unlock after the cycle is complete.