Home > Message Boards > Home & Garden > Large Appliances > THIS JUST IN - Kenmore HE4T - F11 error code

THIS JUST IN - Kenmore HE4T - F11 error code
Posts on this Topic   Search in Large Appliances   
Showing 1-20 of 37 posts   Page 1 2 Next >> 
Hide member images Print     Start a new topic     Post a Reply
sears_critic Original Post: Jul 29 '06,  11:40 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 29, 2006

Post: 67766
THIS JUST IN - Kenmore HE4T - F11 error code

First I just want to thank everyone who has written about this machine and the dreaded F11 error code.

I also found information at http://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/

I purchased the pair in 12-04.

I started getting the F11 error code AND the d/l error code about 2 months ago and it started happening more often (15 times in the past month or so), in the manual it shows all the error codes EXCEPT for the F4 to F16 error codes (which by the way are in the manual that is behind the lower front panel of the washer).

Since I was in my second year of the warranty the labor wasn't covered BUT the SMART SENSOR control board part was. I called Sears and they said it would be $137.00 to replace the control board IF the technician determined that was the problem. I started telling them about the problem that I was finding with HE4T washer and the F11 error code. They weren't very sympathetic. They told me I could buy a one-year warranty for $279.95 and it would all be good - NOT!!!!

Last Saturday (7-22-06), I spent over 1 1/2 hours calling Sears customer service and pleading my case. I did get a couple of people that acknowledged there were SOME instances of a problem with the control board.

Then I was given the Customer Relations phone number (800) 549-4505 (I believe option #5 - (CALL THIS NUMBER FIRST)) and I talked with someone who was VERY SYMPATHETIC to my cause and passed me to someone named GARY (you can't ask for them by name) at "SEARS ONE SOURCE" (800) 479-6351.

Gary said he would send a technician to my house on Saturday (7-29-06) and they would WAIVE the service call fee AND the labor charge (if needed).

The technician showed up as scheduled and ran the diagnostic on the machine, (which is in the manual that is behind the lower front panel of the washer) and the diagnostic DID NOT find any problems, I suggested that we run a wash cycle to see if that would show the F11 error code, which it DID NOT.

I told the Technician about everything that I've read on the Internet etc. about the F11 code, he said he's only replaced about 5 control boards in the past 2 years.

The technician said he needed to see the F11 code in order to replace the control board, I said the only thing I can do is take a picture of the F11 error code the next time it happens. He called his boss and said that I was insisting that this was an intermittent problem and I was sure they would be back.

He went out to the truck and got a NEW CONTROL BOARD AND NEW DOOR LOCK AND INSTALLED IT. I can't tell you how relieved I was. I don't know if it's true, but he said that Sears was upgrading the control boards. The total bill was $438.56 which Sears picked up at NO CHARGE.

Labor - $137.00
Door Lock - 32.25
Control Board - $269.31

If I have any problems with the new equipment I will report back.

If you want to contact the Corporate Office here's the info:

3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, Ill 60179


repairgeek Posted: Apr 06 '07,  7:18 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Apr 6, 2007

Post: 121022
HE4t F11 Error Code Typical Resolution

I've read many of the messages posted about the F11 and other error codes as I too own a Kenmore HE4t Washing machine and developed the same issue after 18 months. It is true that the machine does tend to vibrate a bit which could worsen depending on the floor type and building structure (such as a second floor apartment). The machine was designed to spin at a higher rate to save energy required to dry clothing. This is important to the cause of the F11 error code in that the vibration is most likely the cause of the issue. While I cannot state that this is the cause in all cases or that my resolution will work for all, I am willing to bet that most of you could resolve your problems using the same methods that I have used.

I work with electronic based equipment often and have noted over the years that harness connections on equipment that vibrates moderately tends to loosen their connections over time. I therefore approached this problem with this in mind. I completely tore down the entire unit, carefully checking each and every component as I went. In all, I found nothing out of the ordinary. I therefore took measures often required of electronic equipment at work. I used a pick to pry the metal prongs on the wire harness connections so that they would more tightly contact the control board.

If you remove the tip cover of the washing machine the control board can be found right in the back, center at the top of the machine. Remove the harness connectors one at a time and carefully exercise the connections toward one another to reduce the gap between them. Keep in mind not to tighten to the point that there is not a gap between them. Remember that these must slide over the edge of the board without becoming distorted, bent or broken.

Step #1 of course should be to limit or reduce the vibration of your machine as much as you are able. Make sure the machine (and floor) is level. There have been some good postings about the use of rubber mats that can be purchased from your local stores and placed underneath of the machine feet.

Step #2 would then be to tighten the connections of the wire harness. Disconnect power! Use extreme caution!

Be advised that I would never tell anyone to jump into this if one does not know what they are doing. Failing to work on any type of equipment can be dangerous or even fatal if one is not familiar with Safe Work Practices, such as disconnecting power cords and checking that the power source IS disabled. Find someone you know who does well with this type of work and let him/her perform the task for you. If this isn't possible, call for the technician. Keep yourself safe at all costs. After all, it's only a washing machine. Your life and limb is worth much more than this!

Hope this helps!


sears_critic Posted: Aug 25 '07,  8:46 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 29, 2006

Post: 146803
RE: THIS JUST IN - Kenmore HE4T - F11 error code

Quote: sears_critic
If I have any problems with the new equipment I will report back.

Knock on wood, everything is going good.
ncqueenbee Posted: Oct 23 '07,  7:29 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Oct 23, 2007

Post: 156368
Help May Be Coming...

We too have had the dreaded F11 error code happen. I looked up all this info on here, and then called the repair man. Sure enough, he cleaned out the filter, made sure it was level, and nada.... still big problem. He started the spiel about needing $529 to replace the motherboard. I flatly refused.

Well, Sears messed with the wrong people. We build houses. We buy thousands upon thousands of dollars of appliances from Kenmore. Not that it makes us more important (it doesn't), but gives a lot more leverage to help everyone.

We called our contractors rep and told him about all the complaints, and what we were told. Our machine is only 2.5 yrs. old. A repair of this nature for so many people is extraordinary. Well, I literally just got the motherboard part delivered by UPS in 2 days, and the repairman is coming tomorrow --- for FREE.

AND we are insisting that Sears looks into this matter on a nationwide basis. While a recall may not be in order, they need to make this obviously defective problem right for the consumers who experience it. Sears has assured us they are doing so....

I will personally follow thru to see that others are taken care of. We recommend these appliances to so many, the last thing we need is all of them calling us back with these same issues. We'll keep you updated. In the meantime, keep complaining --- it still needs to be a joint effort.

And thanks EPINIONS for this site where we can get and give help. This is a great resource!

jdphilly Posted: Jan 23 '08,  12:42 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jan 23, 2008

Post: 169722
F11 & Fdl erros

I have owned my Kenmore Elite HE4 washer for less than 3 years. The first year under the warranty, it worked fine. Over the past 9 months, I have continuously gotten the F11 and/or Fdl erros. I have had two different service companies come out and replace the door lock mechanism and both control boards 2 times each (i.e. 6 new parts). In total, I have spent close to 1,000 in parts and repairs so far. I am still getting the errors. Because I didn't use the Sears repair people to perform the repairs (it was going to take them too long to come out initially), I was told by them that they now needed to send someone out which they did today. That person wanted to again replace the door lock and main control board and charge me $500 more. I told him no and that the parts (at least the ones bought within the past month) should be under warranty since they were purchased from Sears. They said that wasn't the case and that the person who did the servicing so far would have to deal with that. Unfortunately, he is throwing up his hands since he has put 6 new parts in the machine already. Other than never buy another Kenmore product (which I will never do and will never recommend), does anyone have any suggestions? I am at my wits end.

finalyfixedhe4 Posted: Feb 07 '08,  8:12 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Feb 7, 2008

Post: 171689
F11 fault on Kenmore He4

Just wanted to report that I read every article on this issue that I could possibly find. Everyone was very helpful. I sanded contacts, tightened connections, removed parts, etc. I consider myself relatively handy so refused to allow this trouble to "Beat" me. Bottom line for me... Nothing permanently resolved the problem UNTIL I removed and replaced the computer. Despite the retail cost of $199 on the Sears website, you can actually purchase a brand new computer (In the sealed box) from an eBay Kenmore wholesale parts distributer for about $80 including shipping. The computer is very easy to replace if you follow the safety recommendations provided in the other articles on this site. BE SAFE... IF YOU DON"T NORMALLY DISASSEMLE APPLIANCES FIND SOMEONE WHO DOES. Takes less than 30 minutes to change this computer. These units had two different computers, so you will need to take the exact model number from inside the door on your washer, go to the Sears parts website, and find the part number for your computer. Then enter keywords "Kenmore" and your part number on eBay.

jenneeg Posted: Oct 29 '08,  10:01 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Oct 29, 2008

Post: 207251
RE: Help May Be Coming...

Thank you for post on the he3t front loader washer. Mine washer only went 2 years before the dreaded f11 code. I spent months fighting Sears to have them come fix it (after paying them $65 to come tell me it was the motherboard), but they never would since it was just out of warranty. I even reported it to the BBB in Chicago, but Sears refused to do anything. I tried contacting the lawyers who are doing the class action suit, but they never called back.

Can you tell me who you contacted to get results or would that person not be able to help me since I am not a contractor (though my father is!) I just want it fixed. It is in my garage just sitting there, while we use an older top-loader given to us by a friend.

We paid $1300 for this machine, and it makes me sick to think that it will cost $200+ to have it fixed.

Thank you for any assistance.


airdoc777 Posted: Mar 15 '09,  12:46 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Mar 15, 2009

Post: 220727
My Cure for F11

I have read many posts for this problem and I have my own solution. I interface computers to real world applications and when I saw the control board for this washer I was appalled at what I saw. The tiny relays on that control board are rated for 10 or 16 amps. These are fine if you are only driving small devices but they cannot take the startup currents and back EMF of solenoids and motors. I have tried filing the contacts and resoldering edge connectors all to fail to solve the problem. So, I replaced 2 relays involved in the most critical operations. One was the small relay (K4) that activates the door lock/unlock solenoids. BUT instead of simply replacing the relay, I rewired the harness and added an industrial relay to do the heavy work of actuating the solenoids. I also replaced the main relay (K6). This relay is what the entire machine uses for all motors, solenoids and other relays depend on to operate. Here again, I diverted where the power goes to. The power that normally passes through K6 is now just used to operate an industrial rated relay.

I used original relays for the control board due to the fact that the electronics on that board were intended to only operate tiny relays. I simply diverted the power to drive larger relays. This was no easy task and it is not to be performed by anyone other than an expert in this field. I have a number of photographs and I am willing to share them with anyone who wishes to see what I did.

I would bet that very few of these control boards have actually gone bad. Only the relay contacts have been slightly scorched to the point of intermittent reliability.

So far this has worked for over 8 months. Good Luck!

worked4me Posted: Mar 23 '09,  5:53 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Mar 23, 2009

Post: 221326
He4t F11 and Fdl Error Solved

We purchased our Kenmore He4t front load washer in January of 2005. Worked great, used a lot less water. Didn't like spending that much money but with 4 kids and our old machine's transmission going and the old dryer's loud squeaking indicating it needed work as well, we bit the bullet and got the set. (Worried about my wife's back and the kids getting into the front loader, so got the highest pedestals Sears offered as well.) After about 18 months it gave the Fdl code. No problem with the door lock - it turned out that the connector to the board was a little loose. Removed and pushed it back on and it worked fine until March of 2009. The F11 code was displayed and we couldn't get the door to unlock without disconnecting power for several hours. Did very few loads during the week with this problem happening near the end of the spin cycle on almost every one of them. Did some research and found the solution to the non-communicating CCU on this website: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg0717144512415.html
Look for the posting by thenotoriousflavio on Feb. 24, 2007.
Also look for this link on the same website:
Fixing HE4t F11 Error Code
posted on Jan. 15, 2009 posted by davidghe4t which goes to http://he4tf11.blogspot.com/ and provides great instructions and photos on how to fix it. Including pulling the washer out and pushing it back in (spraying water on the linoleum to make it slide easier) it took me less than 2 hours and since I already had the tools, I only needed to purchase a small roll of sliver tin solder for $5.50 + tax (things are expensive here and I didn't have time to search for a better price for solder). I also cleaned the board's relay contacts and swapped the two relays to help prevent the door look error from occurring in the future due to dirty relay contacts. Took the time to show the kids the relays, how they worked and what the arcing did to the one set of contacts. I also removed the entire back of the washer to check it out and give it a quick cleaning inside, not that it really needed it. BTW, the back has nice, rolled-over edges so NO worries about getting a cut on it (really liked that, wished the dryer back had the same feature). Adding a little solder to the contacts was so easy - hot 30W soldering iron (probably could've used a 15W) with small solder bridge then placing the solder on the outer edge of the contact away from the iron's tip until it melted and added a small amount of solder to each contact and quickly removed the solder and iron, let it cool and repeated for each of the 30+ contacts. I did label all of the connectors before and as I removed them to be certain I didn't put any in the wrong spot. Also was very careful not to break anything and to put everything back together exactly as it was before I took it apart.
Anyway, the machine works again and have run over a half-dozen loads since putting back together. My CCU was assembled in Italy in the end of November/early December 2004 for Whirlpool; I'm sure these boards have been made in several different locations. Looked fine, although I am surprised it didn't have gold plated contacts, and the slight grooves from the machine's vibration were visible on most of them. Based on the other postings I've seen, I have quite a bit of confidence that this fix will be long-term. Faulty/loose contacts/connectors can cause a host of problems, which is why replacing the board or other parts can "fix" the problem.

trifenberg Posted: Mar 30 '09,  8:27 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Mar 30, 2009

Post: 222047
RE: My Cure for F11

airdoc777 -- if you could share your solution for diverting the power to drive larger relays for the door lock solenoids, as we have unfortunately reached this point with our HE4t after following all of the wonderful help and advice posted out there for the FdL error message. We were able to get rid of the F11 errors! email is trifenberg@hotmail.com ~Thanks!

rmac27 Posted: Apr 14 '09,  4:39 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Apr 14, 2009

Post: 223551
RE: My Cure for F11

Could you please send the pics you have and maybe the part numbers you used on the relays. I am a tech myself and have dumped close to $800.00 myself in parts and now the F11 issue.


jgates01 Posted: Jun 07 '09,  10:57 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 7, 2009

Post: 227802
RE: He4t F11 and Fdl Error Solved

Could you provide me with your CCU part number? I need SEARS Kenmore part number 8182289

goo2009 Posted: Jul 28 '09,  10:45 pm (Updated: Jul 28 '09,  10:47 pm)           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 28, 2009

Post: 231763
RE: Help May Be Coming...

I am in Canada. I have a Sears Kenmore washing machine, model He3t. I have had it at least four years, circa 2005.

Within the last month, we have noted this: mid-cycle, it stops and flashes a F11 code. I press pause /cancel, restart it, and it runs for five more minutes, then the code flashes again. Again, I have to go press pause/cancel, and then press start AGAIN to keep the cycle going. This happens every load.

Apparently according to all the posts here, this is a known problem with this machine. ... I would like Sears to send someone to fix it. Any advice on how to deal with them?

N.B. I am not technical and can't start opening the machine up and soldering things myself.

gwitgwit Posted: Aug 11 '09,  9:13 am (Updated: Aug 11 '09,  9:13 am)           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jan 30, 2009

Post: 233120
RE: My Cure for F11

Is your relay replacement fix still working? Can you run your machine on any speed higher than Low? Can you wash full loads without the error message?

cwasher Posted: Feb 07 '10,  12:31 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Feb 7, 2010

Post: 249647
RE: He4t F11 and Fdl Error Solved

After receiving increasingly frequent F11 error codes during the spin cycle this is what appears to have worked for me: remove and study the washer wiring diagram and fault code description documentation found on the inside lower right wall of the HEt4 after removing 3 screws to remove the lower front panel. F11 is described as: Communication between the Central Control unit and the motor control unit cannot be sent correctly. This indicated to me a loose connection at the plugs associated with this signal path. After studying the wiring diagram I removed and reinstalled the M13(1,2,3) and the MS2(1,2) connectors at the Central control unit (connecter labels are found on the control board) located top center rear of the washer, after removing the top cover by removing several screws at the top back of the cover. I also tried to close the gap on the female pins on the M13 plug when I removed it at the central control unit (CCU). I also removed and reinstalled the same two connectors at the Motor Control Unit (MCU). The MS2 plug at the MCU seemed to be loose. This has seemed to work, at least until the connector shake loose or develop a weak connection again. If this didn't work and I suspected relay problems on the CCU board I was going to order a new CCU Assembly from Appliancezone.com: Washing Machine Central Control Unit - PN 8182689, $128.29.

yellowlab100 Posted: Mar 01 '10,  4:53 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Mar 1, 2010

Post: 250873
HE4t- F11 error code fix

We have a Kenmore HE4t washing machine that was purchased July of 2005. It started giving us the F11 code every time we washed a second load immediately after the first load. We were basically stuck doing only one load at a time waiting several hours before attempting the second load. After researching several comments from people with the same problem, I decided to try the most simple fix first. I found a post of someone who just cleaned and greased the connectors on the main board. First remove the top metal cover of the washer. The main board is in a white plastic cover and is located at the back of the washer at the very top (directly under the top panel). I removed all the connectors one by one and greased them with some Di-electric grease I bought at Menards for under 5 bucks. When I plugged the connections back in I unplugged them and plugged them in again about three times to make sure the grease covered the contacts. I did this repair about a month ago with no errors since. Quick easy fix so far (about 20 loads ago)...

jccheap Posted: Mar 02 '10,  6:23 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Mar 2, 2010

Post: 250978
RE: He4t F11 and Fdl Error Solved

Are you sure of the part #8182689?
I ordered that part number from appliance zone and can't exchange it because I installed it. They said I needed part # 8182289 and won't take the one I received back.

nchockeymike Posted: Jun 08 '10,  12:01 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 8, 2010

Post: 256908
RE: HE4t- F11 error code fix

DEFINITELY check out the fix from "the notorious flavio" at epinions.com dated Feb?
Our HE4t F11 and Fdl errors were maddening.
Long story short - Flavio's fix has worked like a champ and it's been 2 solid weeks of washing most every day.
Radio Shack for 15watt soldering iron + silver based solder in .015 or .032 thickness, then 600 grit or higher sand paper for $30 total, + 2hrs labor.

And this comes from a guy too afraid to take apart a $20 toy for fear of breaking it. Honestly, it's not hard.

Take off top of machine; attached to the back support bracket is the the white plastic box housing a dozen wire harnesses; take photos of set up and/or mark them for easier put back; remove all harnesses; gingerly remove control board box; you'll see the very thin solder strips that the wire harnesses try to make contact with - these are the strips to resolder (about 46 on top and 46 on bottom); small flat head screwdriver pries open the 5 or 6 tabs to open the box; 3 tabs hold the board in place and this is where I found a neat 50sec youtube video showing a toothpick assisted method to get these 3 tabs to give up the circuit board - as you pry a tab also insert a toothpick to hold the tab open while you go after the other 2; be careful not to touch "board stuff"; clean existing ridiculously thin solder strips w/ 600+ grit sand paper; carefully clean off residue; solder all 90+ contact strips making sure solder points don't run on to adjoining solder points; reassemble and replace; while your in the machine check all other wire harnesses for a snug fit; plug in machine and give it a whirl; all good? put machine fully back together and back in place nice and level. (the 2 white relay boxes on my board were clean so didn't mess with them too much).
Hope it works! Now I just need a pair of red shorts to get in a load of all white dress shirts to fully close out this experience. ;-)

gbrettmiller Posted: Jun 11 '10,  4:59 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 11, 2010

Post: 257154
RE: HE4t- F11 error code fix

Unfortunately, I've got the washer and dryer in a stacked configuration. Is there anyway to access the CCU wiring harness without having to unstack them?

puchichi Posted: Jun 21 '10,  8:20 pm (Updated: Jun 21 '10,  8:33 pm)           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 21, 2010

Post: 257516
I should have more time fot the money paid

I purchased my HE4T on January,2006. Today it fried to the tune of a E 11 code. It's a great thing that my mothers older mechanical Kenmore lasted the better part of 25 years with out any major issue. Versus, the cream of the cream of the crop Kenmore HE4T at Whopping 1400k, plus the extended 3 year warranty that sucked my well half dry. After all of the pompt and curcomstance of this medel, it would have gotten Consumers Reports best buy tag. Well, good morning to Consumers Reports paid under the table for a great review from Sears & Roebuck's HE4T Washer. Kudos my bros. However, i am here to say that your brand blows the garden ball through a gardenhose syndrome. The The CU has fried and now i at the mercey of a lowlery sears mounted reresentative to asertsain what is my machines major malfunction. I can spll it out in plain english. It SUCkS! Why bshould we have to be hearded like cattle just to jet an appointment to get my parts fixed. We can de better than that. Don't call sears to comme to your home and have them b/s you about what yoou need to get your machine upto spec. We already know what to do, we just order the new part ourselves ans we will install the defective component our selves. The shame of purchasing a machine that can't even out last my sons HP a420n PN that is on 24hours a day with no bootdown. Kenmore take notice. We are unhappy with your product. For now after i get my new replacvement part for my HE4t. I will be Ovua me moncheri. No More Kenmore for me., Peace!!!!

Hide member images Print     Start a new topic     Post a Reply
Showing 1-20 of 37 posts   Page 1 2 Next >> 
Return to top