What to Do if a Kenmore Front Load Washer Will Not Start

If you're all set to do some laundry, but the Kenmore front-load washer in your home won't cooperate, there is no need to panic. Methodically consider each possible area of trouble to avoid having to call a service technician. You may be able to resolve the issue on your own.

Error Codes

Laundry day.

Kenmore front-load washers are equipped with a display on the control panel that light up with error codes in the event of a problem. An "FH" code suggests there is a water inlet problem, while an "F02" code points to a drain problem. An error code reading "F" indicates an electrical problem and "SUD" means that the "suds routine" to eliminate excess sudsing has been activated. The washer should restart once extra suds have been removed. Water and drainage problems usually mean you should check the hoses for any kinks or obstructions, according to the owner's manual. An "F" code may require you to drain and start a spin cycle to drain the washer of excessive water.


Make sure that the washer has power. The Kenmore front-load washer must be plugged into a grounded three-prong outlet, and the washer itself must be grounded. Extension cords or adapters cannot be used. Check the fuses and circuit breakers to make sure they haven't blown.


A wash cycle must be properly initiated for the washer to start. With a Kenmore front-load washer, that means the washer door must be opened after the last cycle ends, and completely closed before a new cycle begins. When you select a cycle, you must press "Start" within five minutes or the washer will shut off. Hold the "Start" button in for at least one second to make sure that the cycle activates.


Check to see that there isn't any clothing obstructing the door closure or the movement of the wash basket. Clothing loaded into the washer should also be evenly distributed in the basket. An unbalanced load may trigger a shutdown in a Kenmore front-load washer.


The washer needs water flowing in and then out to function. Make sure that the hot and cold water supply faucets are turned on and the inlet valve screens and drain filter are clear of debris. There shouldn't be any kinks in any of the hoses. The drain hose of a Kenmore front-load washer must be no more than 96 inches above the floor.

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Maxfield Carroll is a writer and artist whose work has appeared on various websites and in newspapers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism.

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