Comments on Kenmore Elite HE3 4587: A High-End Front Loader Washer" (24 total)  
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Re: Major problems on 3-yr old machine
by paisleyplace
Quote: "Spent over $1,100 on washer...loved it for first three worked great. Now, the drum unit has become disengaged and the cost to repair is ridiculously high...almost as much as a new unit. Sears/Kenmore need to closely analyze the significant discrepancy in their warranties and the actual cost to get an item repaired. If a unit is 3 years old....still under warranty.....the repair costs should not be 90% of the original price of the unit. Until they address this type of situation, my three kids.....myself....and everyone else I can convince to do the same...will purchase appliances eleseware."

MRoz: It sounds as if it is possible your machine was not placed on a level surface thus causing the drum to become out of balance thus causing the damage you describe. This cannot be the fault of the manufacturer or the party that sold the unit. It is clearly written in the manual the importance of ensuring the machines are level. This is important of any appliance that moves inner working pieces in the manner as a washer/dryer set.

The laundry room of my home, which is over 40 years old, is NOT level. It was more of an afterthought of a room as it was built onto the back of the garage or rather enclosed from a part of the back of the garage. Whoever did the work on the room initially either didn't do a good job leveling the floor or it could possibly be due to the addition of the deck that was put on the backside of the house connected to the backdoor, which is at the far end of the laundry room. It did not have the appropriate flashing to protect the I-Beam beneath the house to prevent the support from causing ultimate water damage. We actually had to remove the deck, jack the house up, and replace the I-beam with a new one in order to save that part of the house's structure; however, the washer and dryer's positions as they were further in closer to the living room or inner part of the house wasn't affected like the back door area where the deck used to sit.

My washer and dryer unit, the HE3T Kenmore set, is approximately 13 or so years old. I have never once had a problem with it other than finding the best vent to the outside to prevent birds from being able to lift the cover when the dryer was off and get inside where they attempted to build their nests. It took about 2 summers before we found a vent for the wall to the outside that was strong enough to keep the birds out yet functional enough to allow the vent to open as needed. We also installed a grate that has to be checked every few months to ensure that there is not a lint build up, which could ultimately become a fire hazard if we are not vigilant in checking the grate frequently. About every 2 months my husband removes the grate, removes any lint stuck to it, then replaces it so the birds that are smart enough to figure out how to bypass the flapper cannot get through to make their nests, lay their eggs, and attempt to get the babies out to teach them to fly.

All appliances need upkeep and special installation. Did you realize that if you do not vacuum the coils beneath a refrigerator you can have a fire hazard as well as risk the possibility of having the unit stop working because the lint and other dust can render the motor inoperable? What does this mean? Well, it means that every month you need to not only use a special hose from your vacuum but pull the fridge out to vacuum behind it and if you can get a male friend or an incredibly strong female friend tilt the fridge from the back to allow you access to the bottom to ensure all lint and dust bunnies are removed from the bottom of the refrigerator. If this isn't done with regularity, you are literally costing yourself more money because the unit will require more electricity to work since the dust bunnies and lint cause the motor to work harder but you also run the risk of having it crap out altogether or even quit completely costing you a considerably amount of money to either have a repairman come out to replace the compressor and/or the motor or you have to purchase a new refrigerator. The year we bought our house, we spent some $1400 for our Kenmore Elite side-by-side door w/ice maker (crushed/cubed) and water dispenser in the door refrigerator. I'm not itching to replace this refrigerator any time soon. I couldn't afford to replace it or even repair not even if I needed to because our finances are so strained due to my husband being unable to work since an illness from January of 2009.

Take it from me, Kenmore products are excellent products. They are durable and work well into the long haul as long as you take care of them and follow the directions in the owner's manual.

Currently, I have a Kenmore drop-in stove, Kenmore dishwasher (top of the line the year it was bought), Kenmore Elite side-by-side door refrigerator, and the Kenmore HE3T washer/dryer set complete with the 13-inch risers for both the washer and the dryer. Even the hood vent over the stove is a Kenmore model.

Right up until 1996, the dishwasher and drop-in stove that were in the house when we bought it were original to the house; both units were Kenmore units. This means these household appliances were more than 40 years old! The ONLY reason the units stopped working ultimately is because they were so old and just died from use - not defect. I expect the appliances we own now will last equally as long and thus far I am right as they each work perfectly albeit the width of the stoves from the time our home was built through those 40 years has changed slightly. I cringed to the point where I had to leave the kitchen when the men were installing my drop-in stove because they had to shave the custom-built cabinets to make room for the drop-in stove to fit into the space for it. Thankfully, this was not an issue with the dishwasher as it seems the width for the area of dishwashers have not changed over all these years. I don't think I could have taken having my beautiful cabinets shaved a second time. LOL! ;)

BTW, just to let others know, I do not work for nor am I affiliated with Sears or Kenmore except as a satisfied customer of more than 30 years. Every product I have ever purchased from Sears has outlasted products purchased elsewhere by different manufacturers. I don't trust Frigidaire, Emerson, or Kitchen-Aid appliances because I have found they do not have the lifespan nor the level of working durability found in Kenmore products, Sears products.

The only downside I have found with Sears is the cost; for certain the prices of many items are much higher than appliances found elsewhere bit with due diligence, it's possible to wait for sales and that's when you make your purchase. If your appliances are attempting to go out, purchase your product before it goes out in order to replace it during a sale. This way you don't have to be scrambling to buy paying regular price when you could have purchased during a great sale that could save your hundreds of dollars on the product/appliance you need.

Also, Consumer Reports often lists Kenmore products within the top 3 of the best value products and appliances available. The few times Kenmore is outranked is usually by 1 to 2 European brands, which are excellent products but are often considerably more expensive than Kenmore appliances and products. I'd love to purchase the European brands because they are a bit more energy and water efficent with regards to use but the price is simply beyond my budget restraints.

I hope this helps you understand better that if you want quality products you have to follow directions explicitly and take care the product as well as purchase from a known brand that will last a long time. I think the biggest problems the naysayers here who claim that Kenmore is a horrible product has more to do with not reading the installation manual and then following the directions to the letter or they did not take care of the units as described in the owner's manual. That is just my take from personal experience. I've bought substandard products in the past and once I realized that Kenmore products last so long, I came to become a major fan of Kenmore. It's a brand I trust like Clorox for bleach or Dixie Crystals for sugar versus alternate brands. I go with quality over severe savings upfront because I take a look at the big picture. I don't want to replace a $500 washing machine after only 5 years of service. I'd rather spend 2 to 3x that much for real quality that will last 30 to 40 years or more.

Please know that no disrespect was intended, only clarification as to what is involved if you want to keep your units, ie appliances in the best possible shape so they can survive over the long haul.

Paisley Place

Mar 29, 2010
5:38 am PDT

HE3T Kenmore Front Loader Washer/Dryer w/Risers
by paisleyplace
We bought both the HE3T Washer/Dryer Set complete w/the 13-inch risers & had the delivery man set up the machines to ensure both were level. I have had these machines since they 1st came out. They weren't out for long b/c the machines worked so well. That's why the HE4T came out. It had less features than the HE3T & Sears could sell the 4T for more money although the 4T didn't have as many functions as my 3T machines. I LOVE my HE3T machine & have never had a problem with them since purchased.

The important part about preventing mildew is NOT to allow clothes to sit in the washer. Immediately upon washing, put them in the dryer. It also helps to run a cup of white vinegar through the machine ever so often & once the vinegar is run through, run a cup of Clorox, not cheap bleach but Clorox through the machine too. This will keep the machine sparkling clean & without any mildew smell if you happen to leave wet clothes in the washing machine.

The first thing I was told before buying the HE3T was to wash the clothes in our home (1st time run) WITHOUT using detergent because top-loader machines rarely if ever remove all the detergent and boy was she right. I washed the first load without detergent and even though I had not added anything to the containers for the detergent, bleach, or softener, my LED/LCD light came up with the SUDS display. It only took running an extra rinse cycle until all the clothes in the house were washed 1x.

It is extremely important to ONLY use the HE detergent in these machines. Using anything else is just wearing out and wasting the use of a great machine. Think of front loaders such as the HE machines by Sears or any other non-Kenmore brand although I highly recommend anything by Kenmore... as a dish washer. Detergent for dishwashers have a low-sud-sing agent so you don't wash your dishes only to find your kitchen floor with suds all over it. While the front-loader HE machines from Kenmore are workhorses, they still need a bit of extra care to ensure not tearing them up before their time.

1. It's important to always shake out clothes one piece at a time before adding to the washer and to the dryer to ensure prevention of twisting up the clothes in the washer/dryer unit not to mention ensuring the laundry, be it clothing one wears or towels or even bed sheets and comforters are added one at a time in a manner so that the washer and dryer can clean and dry the laundry without overworking itself causing premature wear and tear that can cause the need for a new washer/dryer set.

2. ONLY USE DETERGENT ESPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR HE FRONT-LOADER MACHINES. The HE detergent is like detergent used in dishwashers. It is low-suds but this does NOT mean the lack of heavy suds will NOT clean the laundry because nothing can be further from the truth! Regular detergent can seriously hurt these machines because regular detergent has heavy fillers used to suds up when put in water for agitation. Fillers in regular top-loader machines can possibly gunk up a front-loader machine.

3. It is important to check the exhaust to the dryer at least every 6 to 12 months, preferably every 6 months. Birds can be notoriously intelligent and sometimes can manage to open the exhaust on the outside of the house then bring in pine straw, dog fur, and other items to make nests. It's important to remove the dryer vent hose from the dryer itself and clean it from the dryer end through the outdoor exhaust door in addition to checking inside the dryer itself to ensure birds haven't brought anything inside the actual dryer itself.

4. Some technicians say that dryer sheets are not the best route to take when softening clothes. I am still sort of on the fence about this subject; however, all things considered, it wouldn't hurt to only use softener in the washer instead of dryer sheets in the dryer.

5. One last thing is to have an electrician check the voltage going from the breaker box to the washer/dryer units about once a year or so to ensure the electrical outlet and breaker box is not overloading the machines. Additionally, it is wish not to use the washer or dryer during lightening storms. During these storms, it is always safest to unplug the units until the storm passes to ensure that lightening doesn't hit somewhere close to the house and manages to fry the machines.

Outside of a little maintenance and commonsense, there is no reason these machines shouldn't work long beyond the state years included in the how-to and informational manual. Mine has.
Mar 17, 2010
6:42 am PDT

Major problems on 3-yr old machine
by mroz
Spent over $1,100 on washer...loved it for first three worked great. Now, the drum unit has become disengaged and the cost to repair is ridiculously high...almost as much as a new unit. Sears/Kenmore need to closely analyze the significant discrepancy in their warranties and the actual cost to get an item repaired. If a unit is 3 years old....still under warranty.....the repair costs should not be 90% of the original price of the unit. Until they address this type of situation, my three kids.....myself....and everyone else I can convince to do the same...will purchase appliances eleseware.
Sep 2, 2009
5:49 pm PDT

I concur, great washer
by pzeissig
This washer came in our house so it's about 3 or 4 years old and has been working great. My mother has the same one and is also very happy about it. Haven't had any mechanical problems yet.

One comment on your review about the filling of HE detergent. First of all, only use HE detergent, nothing else. Second, do not go by the MAX line on the washer as to the amount. Instead go by the line in the cap of the detergent bottle. There should be two lines "1" and "2" for small or large loads. It's a very small amount of detergent even for large loads.

So maybe some of the problems people have experienced with suds and stains is the improper use of detergent.
Nov 17, 2008
9:58 am PST

Re: Re: Re: Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by tkj22jordan
Hi. I hope you get this and respond to me. In the first year of owning the Kenmore washer, Sears was unable to fix our machine and replaced it. Upon replacement Sears insisted we spend $225.00 for their Protection Agreement to ensure us that their Lemon Guarantee would protect us from a another Lemon...Is it possible we could have 2 lemons in a row?...Or are the problems engineering flaws that cannot be remedied for the consumer. At a cost of repairs totaling $3475.03 in just 15 months and 8 visits (in which Tenessa was not able to go to work, and lost revenues). Sears needs to admit that they are unable to fix our machines and that we do have a lemon and honor their Lemon Replacement Guarantee, as the need for repairs continue to present themselves. We have respectfully requested Sears to respond to our concern with resolution but we continue to get rejections. We have had a long list of problems...I pray your is not the same. Good luck not buy the agreement.
Feb 27, 2008
9:55 am PST

Kenmore Elite HE3
by adriannew
Definitely a design flaw with this washer! I've tried everything I can find out to make this washer clean our clothes, and it just doesn't do the job! Rinsing, and prerinsing before washing, about 3 hours to wash a load of laundry! Still doesn't get the clothes clean! Special soap doesn't help. There is just not enough water to clean. Way too much money for this faulty product. Neither does it save any energy when it has to run so long. Not a good purchase!
Oct 17, 2007
12:22 pm PDT

$1100.00 Repair
by david45
Bought this washer 1.5 years ago, new from Sears. Within the first 3 months the motherboard had to be replaced. About a month ago it started making a knocking sound, called the repair man. The hub or axle on the drum was going bad and needed to be replaced. Cost $1100.00 parts and labor. Went to Home Depot and bought the GE version at half the price with extended 2 year warranty at less than half the price Sears wanted for a one year extended warranty. DO NOT BUY THIS WASHER
May 18, 2007
7:26 pm PDT

Re: Experiencing stains on clothes
by pmc1720
To start let me say that the wide variety of opinions on this machine should be reason enough to be cautious. There seem to be people who love it and then people like me who have had nothing but problems. There is obviously workmanship quality issues and the inconsistencies of the product are worrisome. When the machine is functioning I think it does a great job. However, my washer and dryer are 5 years old and I have mutliple yearly visits and have paid for multiple extended warranties. I have had issues with the detergent and fabric softener not emptying, for which they replaced some sort of pump twice. I have had a failed motherboard and a defective rubber gasket, and a defective door. The dryer has been just as bad. I 've needed new thermistors twice, fuses twice, a motherboard once and I have to use the timed feature or else my clothes will not dry. The machine shuts off as if the clothes are dry, but they are not. Even the Sears serviceman told me they have nothing but problems. He advised me to get the extended warranty which I did.
I have also had a problem that no one can seem to remedy, that being pink bleach type stains on anything of a light brown or taupe color. I do not use bleach, nor a detergent with bleach, but the repair man says that the detergent is sprayed onto the clothes in the beginning of the wash cycle and perhaps, it sprays to much and stains them. I don't know the answer, but we've had several pairs of khakis with little pink dots on them and beige towels with peachy pink stains that don't come out and are ruined.
All in all, I would stay away from this machine. When it works, it does a fine job, however if you were to get one like ours that has problems from the start, it's just a headache and many hours waiting for your repair service call. Just today, my dryer stopped working for no apparent reason. All the lights on the circuit board we're blinking. I finally had to unplug it to get it to stop. When I plugged it back in, nothing worked. Checked the fuse box and no problem there. Went out and bought a Bosch washer and Dryer. Came home and tried the dryer and it started working. But I don't need this type of unreliabitlity, especially when you are paying a few thousand dollars for it!!"

Jan 6, 2007
1:26 pm PST

Re: Just bought an HE3 today
by MamaMiaEtc
Great, Voban! I'm glad I helped you decide and I hope the machine works out for you. When they come, if you have a good level, get them to use it to make sure the installation is level. I've heard other people have had problems with uneven installations and the machine "walking" during the spin cycle. Then,if you do have a walking problem, you'll know it's not because of uneven installation. A good experiment! And thank you for your trust, Voban. ~Mia
Apr 4, 2006
4:27 am PDT

Re: Experiencing stains on clothes
by MamaMiaEtc
My first thought is you're getting bacterial growth inside the drum somehow. Do you clean out the rubber gasket periodically? Lint and grunge do get lodged there and could possibly cause this problem. I'd also check the drum visually for a problem. Then, as I mentioned in the review and as many users of front loaders also mention, musty odors indicative of bacterial growth will occur if you don't leave the door slightly ajar between uses. This absolutely solves the odor problem, and I suspect your staining problem, whether from the gasket or somewhere inside the drum, is related to this. Are you keeping the door slightly ajar between washes? Finally, if you add a bit of bleach to a wash now and then, my personal opinion is you wouldn't have to run an empty wash with bleach, like the serviceman suggested to you. That being said, it's been my experience that the service men have "seen it all" and their advice usually excellent. Good Luck, and if anyone else has had staining, perhaps they could add their 2 cents here. Thanks for commenting and rating! ~Mia
Apr 4, 2006
4:19 am PDT

Experiencing stains on clothes
by mommy2kids1dog
Hi. I purchased an HE4 in December and have been experiencing some staining of my clothes. I had the serviceman here today and he told me I have to clean the drum every 2 months with a bleach/cascade towel mixture. This seems labor intensive and I was wondering if anyone else has experienced staining. Thank you.
Apr 3, 2006
6:10 pm PDT

Just bought an HE3 today
by voban
I really enjoyed your comments, very helpful and made me feel even better about our new purchase. We need a new machine asap, so we decided on the Kenmore HE3 even though it was pricey..we paid $999.99 before taxes...comes with a delivery/installation rebate too! I did quite a bit of research before buying and hope that we will be as happy with it as you are.

I didn't buy the service aggreement either. I hope I don't pay for that, but it seems like asking me for another $200.00 when I've already spent over $1000.00 is rather insulting. I'll just hope for the best. Delivery in two days!
Apr 3, 2006
5:28 pm PDT

Re: Re: Re: helpful in researching new washer
by MamaMiaEtc
Hi Rick,

Sorry for not responding sooner, I didn't see your comment 'till today. It looks like my alerts on this review did not work.

If you will post your LG model number here, other folks will know exactly which one to avoid. I'd also like to know so I can check out its reliability rating at CR.

I didn't purchase the matching dryer. My previous Series 80 Kenmore dryer had lasted 25 years so I decided to purchase its successor model, the Kenmore 80 Series 64892. It's cheaper than the companion Kenmore Elite dryer. I wrote a review on it last August here at Epinions. It does a fine job, no problems so far and it's been almost 8 months.

As I mentioned to the previous commenter, the Kenmore Elite HE3 has a very powerful spin cycle that can cause shaking and walking problems unless it's perfectly balanced at installation. My house is solidly built, and I notice significant floor shaking during the spin cycle, although I've got no walking problem. Get out a level during installation and make sure the washer is installed correctly.

Jan 26, 2006
6:54 am PST

Re: Re: helpful in researching new washer
by buttermilk8
I too am having Home Depot come pick up the LG front load washer and dryer. They have already replaced both machines within the first month of owning them and the second batch is going back.

That being said, your review on the Kenmore washer is great. Did you also purchse the dryer? I am interested in that review.

Jan 23, 2006
6:00 pm PST

Re: helpful in researching new washer
by MamaMiaEtc
Thanks for the information on LG. You are the second person in four days to tell me about problem LG washers. My 4586 is functioning perfectly and I still recommend it. My SO has a less expensive Kenmore front-loader that has worked well for him for three years, after an initial problem with leaking because he over-stuffed it. You might want to look at them too. Good luck and thanks for your comment, ~Mia
Jan 22, 2006
5:54 am PST

helpful in researching new washer
by marieboyd
hi - we are in the process of returning for a refund from Home Depot, our 3 month old LG washer, gas dryer and dishwasher. they have all been a disaster from the beginning, although the washer waited a few weeks before developing timer problems and not dispensing all of the fabric softener. the dryer doesnt dry on automatic cycles, and has already had the mother board replaced, and the dishwasher doesnt work at all, having had the mother board replaced, and the motor that needs replacing cannot be accessed without damaging the unit. i am trying to find a reliable machine, so this might just be it. thanks, marie.
Jan 21, 2006
2:09 pm PST

Re: Re: Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by MamaMiaEtc
The machine is running perfectly seven months after purchase. It does an excellent cleaning job while conserving energy. You really need to figure out what's right for your needs, though. You might want a machine that is capable of boosting the water temperature higher than the current setting on your water heater, for example. In that case you'd want to research the HE3t or the HE4t, if they're available, and figure out if the hotter water is a worthwhile trade off for the higher energy usage.

Jan 2, 2006
5:12 pm PST

Re: Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by cmock
Just wondering if everyone is still happy with the Kenmore HE series. I'm thinking of getting a front loader and it looks like the Kenmore seems to be the best. Any advice?
Dec 28, 2005
1:34 pm PST

Re: extremely thorough and thoughtful review
by MamaMiaEtc
Thanks for your comment, mielemama! I'm still having moderate twisting problems (with queen size sheets only), and I don't overload. I carefully load them into the machine one by one, thinking this will help, but it hasn't. This is definitely a minor problem, though, I'm still very satisfied with the machine. Welcome to epinions! --Mia
Nov 15, 2005
7:19 am PST

extremely thorough and thoughtful review
by mielemama
I have had my HE3t for two years and love it. High capacity and enough cleaning cycles to handle anything from cashmere sweaters to I-don't-want-to-talk-about-it kid clothes (sanitary cycle).

This washer (and matching dryer) were the topic at a dinner party where I and a co-worker had the machine (she stacked hers) and loved it, and another woman was about to take delivery. Since then, I have heard that the other person loves it too.

I haven't had any twisted laundry problems except when I put too much in- one set of king sheets and pillowcases is the max for sheets with no twisting. Important note, the cleaning is not compromised when its overloaded- thingts are just a bit twisted.
Nov 14, 2005
7:32 pm PST

Re: Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by MamaMiaEtc
Hi vbfc,

So, you've had no problems? How long have you had it? And what does the little "e" stand for, anyway?

Thanks again for your comment,

Aug 20, 2005
8:35 am PDT

Re: Re: Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by MamaMiaEtc
Hi Daquan,

Thanks for leaving a comment! It's more fun when folks do...
Yes, the USA makes more low-tech things now. Whirlpool (Kenmore) will be making washers in Mexico soon too. They'll be producing a $649 front loader there, a Sears washer specialist told me.

By the way, I'm looking for a laptop and couldn't find your Dell review. Where is it?

Aug 20, 2005
8:31 am PDT

Re: Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by daquan
Yes, great review!!!

One question though. You said that the machine is made in Germany. Don't they make ANYTHING here in the U.S. any more?

Has all of our work in this country been outsourced & farmed out because of cheap labor?!!

The reason I ask this is because I just lost my job at United Airlines because the company has outsourced & farmed out the department to an outside vendor for cheap labor.

Aug 20, 2005
5:52 am PDT

Hi and welcome to Epinions!
by vbfc
What a great review. I have some version of the H4Te (whatever?) and have been happy with it. You have provided great detail in an easy to read style - love it!

When you do edit there is one paragraph that appears twice (talking about bleach and not too dirty clothing). Unfortunately all the clothing at my house is filthy.

Looking forward to more of your work! Hope you enjoy it here.

Aug 19, 2005
3:06 pm PDT