How to Troubleshoot Error Codes for the Kenmore Elite HE3 Washer

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Use HE (high-efficiency) detergents if the SUD error shows.

Kenmore's Elite HE3 washer has a comprehensive error reporting system. The error messages appear on the display along with a tone sound. While the error messages aren't written in plain English, they provide codes that can be looked up--or if the issue happens often enough, you'll get to know the code's translation from memory. The codes start with the letter "F" and are followed by a two-digit number. There is one plain English code and that's "SUD," which refers to the Suds Routine.

Step 1

Check the display for an error message and identify the error message. "SUD" means that the Suds Routine has run and excessive suds remain and have been detected. "F20" indicates a water inlet problem with no or insufficient water supply. "F21" is a drain problem. "F22" is a door lock issue.

Step 2

Use HE (high-efficiency) detergents if the SUD error shows.

Step 3

Press the "Stop" button twice to cancel the cycle and unplug the washer if "F20" or "F21" shows. In the case of "F20," look for water faucets that aren't turned on, inlet hose screens that are clogged, or kinked or frozen inlet hoses. In the case of "F21," check the drain hose for kinks, freezing and clogging. Remedy and try the cycle again.

Step 4

Press the "Stop" button twice to cancel the cycle if "F22" shows. Check that the washer door is firmly shut--open it and shut it and try again. Make sure there aren't items blocking the closing of the door. Don't overload the basket. Try the cycle again.

Step 5

Press the "Stop" button twice to cancel the cycle if an error code other than "F20," "F21" and "F22" shows. Choose the "Drain & Spin" cycle if there is excessive water in the machine. Start the cycle again, and call for service if the error message reappears.


Patrick Nelson

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.