Troubleshooting a Kenmore Front Load Washing Machine

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Kenmore front loading washing machines will give you years of service. Sometimes things do go wrong, especially after the warranty runs out. Troubleshooting a Kenmore front loading washing machine could save you a lot of money on a repair bill. Before you call a service technician to fix your machine, attempt to resolve the issue through simple fixes first.


Washer Code Messages

Your Kenmore front loading washing machine has an LED display that will give you error codes.

F20 indicates that it is not getting enough water. Check to make sure the hose is not kinked and that the water is turned completely on. If that checks out, turn the water off and disconnect the hose from the machine. Look at the inlet filter and make sure it is clear. If necessary, clean out the debris with a small brush and reattach the hose.


F21 indicates that the washer is having problems draining. Check the drain hose to see if it is kinked or if there is an obstruction in the hose.

SUD comes on every time excessive suds are detected. Not using the proper detergent will set this off faithfully. The machine will run a cycle to remove the excessive suds before completing the wash cycle.

Will Not Spin

If your washing machine does not spin, check to make sure the door has latched completely. Also remember that if your machine is in the SUD cycle it will not spin until it has eliminated the suds.


If the motor does not operate at all either in wash or rinse, the motor control board could be bad. You can visually inspect this by removing the front panel and taking the two screws out that hold the motor board in place. If the board is bad, the fuse will be blown or the components will be scorched.

Washer Is Noisy

If the washer is making noise or vibrating, check to make sure it is still level. If it is out of level you can change this by adjusting the feet. Metal belt buckles and buttons in your laundry could be causing the noise as well.


Door Stays Locked After Cycle

At the end of the wash cycle, the lock will disengage after about 30 seconds. If it does not, it may be because the machine still detects that the water has not completely drained. Just select "Drain" and "Spin" and let the washer go through the cycle. Your door should unlock.



Kenneth Crawford

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.