How to Replace the Sensor on a Whirlpool Cabrio Washing Machine

The Whirlpool Cabrio is an energy-efficient, ultra-capacity residential washer with 13 automatic washing cycles, five temperature settings and a noise-reduction feature.
Whirlpool Cabrio washers use a rotor position sensor to monitor the motor's direction and rotation speed and relay that information to the central control unit inside the control console. If the sensor fails, the Cabrio may register a F41, F50, F51 or F52 error code. Replacing the rotor position sensor in a Whirlpool Cabrio washer is a difficult task that novice do-it-yourselfs may wish to leave to a professional.

Step 1

Unplug the washer from the grounded wall outlet to avoid electrical shock or death while replacing the rotor-position sensor. Close the hot and cold water-supply valves behind the appliance.

Step 2

Rotate the screw clamps on the hot and cold water-supply hoses to disconnect them from the back of the washer. Squeeze the pinch clamp securing the drain hose with a pair of pliers. Pull the drain hose off of the water inlet nozzle. Use an old towel to catch any water that drains from the hoses.

Step 3

Spread an old towel on the floor in front of the washer. Tape the washer lid closed, using strips of duct tape. Tip the washer forward and lay it on its front panel so you can access the drive motor and rotor components under the machine.

Step 4

Loosen the mounting screw at the center of the rotor as far as you can, using a 1/4-inch Allen wrench; the mounting screw will not separate from the rotor. Grab both sides of the rotor and shift it back and forth while pulling it toward you. Keep loosening the screw and working the rotor toward you until you are able to pull the rotor completely off of the splined tub shaft.

Step 5

Find the standoff wire-retaining clips to the left of the drive-motor stator assembly. Tug gently on the clips to remove them from the tub holes.

Step 6

Take out the four 3/8-inch bolts securing the stator to the drive motor assembly, using a socket wrench. Remove the front spacer from the assembly. Pull the stator, shield and rear spacer off of the tub shaft. Unplug the white plastic power connector from the right side of the stator.

Step 7

Locate the two retaining tabs on the rotor-position sensor. Lift the tabs, using a small flat-head screwdriver, and remove the sensor from the stator housing. Unplug the wire connector and remove the wire retaining clip from the back of the old sensor. Detach the wires from the drain and recirculation pumps, and release the wire-harness retaining clips; note the orientation of the wires to make reassembly easier.

Step 8

Remove the eight hex-head screws securing the rear panel to the washer cabinet. Pull the panel off of the machine and set it aside.

Step 9

Pull the clear water-level pressure hose off of the port on the bottom left side of the washer tub. Slide the hose through the retaining clips along the side of the tub.

Step 10

Detach the wire-harness retaining clip from the hose bracket, using the pliers. Follow the wire harness to the hose-retaining plate and remove the hex-head mounting screw. Move the retaining plate to the left and use the pliers to detach the retaining clips at the top of the wire harness and on the back of the plate. Remove the hex-head screw securing the metal wire cover plate just below the back of the control console.

Step 11

Remove the hex-head screws from the back of the control console. Pull the console away from the machine and disconnect the console wiring from the central control unit. Set the removed control console on a padded surface. Snip the zip tie holding the rotor-position sensor wires. Detach the sensor wire connectors and water-level pressure hose from the central control unit. Remove and discard the entire wiring and hose assembly.

Step 12

Plug the new rotor-position sensor-wire connectors and water-level pressure hose into the receptacles on the central control unit. Snap the wire retaining clips into place, and replace the metal wire cover and hose-retaining plate. Thread the water-level pressure hose through the retaining clips along the side of the washer tub. Fit the end of the hose onto the tub port.

Step 13

Thread the rotor-position sensor wires under the pump inlet hose and snap the retaining clips to the bottom of the tub. Plug the wire connector into the new rotor-position sensor. Attach the wires to the drain and recirculation pumps. Align the rotor-position sensor tabs with the indentations on the stator housing and snap the new component into place.

Step 14

Reverse the disassembly process to replace the remaining washer components. Restore the electrical and water supplies before using the machine.

Things You Will Need

  • Pliers
  • Towels
  • Duct tape
  • 1/4-inch Allen wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Hex-head screwdriver
  • Scissors

Warnings

  • Replacing the rotor position sensor in your Whirlpool Cabrio washer may void its warranty.
  • Wear heavy work gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges inside the washer cabinet.

About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.