If you have been experiencing an F11 error code from your Kenmore washer, it can be worrying. This type of interruption can happen at any time, but what does it signify and how should you go about fixing the problem?
Generally, an F11 error code on a Kenmore washer is an indication that communications cannot be sent correctly between the machine control board and the motor control unit. While the cause varies between models, this is usually due to a control board failure.
An F11 error code can render your washer unusable. But don’t run out and buy a new washer just yet. The good news is this can be fixed. Read on for a simple troubleshooting guide on what to expect when you get this code and how to fix it.
What Does Kenmore Washer Code F11 Mean?
In general, an F11 error code on a Kenmore washer is a communications error. This means that the machine control board and the motor control unit (MCU) of the washer cannot communicate with each other effectively. If you see this code, the washer’s control board has determined that there is an imbalance within the spin basket, therefore preventing the spin cycle from happening.
What Does the Main Control Board Do?
The main control board, also known as the machine control board or central control unit, controls the washer’s functions. This is included filling, draining, agitating, and spinning.
If your washer has a faulty main control board or can’t communicate with other parts of the washer, you may see things like your washer not filling with water, failing to enter the spin cycle, or not starting at all.
What is the Purpose of the Motor Control Unit?
The motor control board is separate from the washer’s drive motor and receives signals from the main control board. It activates the drive motor to spin at a different speed and for a different amount of time, depending on what cycle you’re in.
If the motor control isn’t working properly or can’t communicate with the main control board, you might receive the F11 error code, or the drive motor might not spin at all.
What Caused the F11 Error Code?
Before you can fix an F11 error code, you need to know the cause to avoid any unnecessary repair attempts or part replacements. Some of the causes of an F11 code include:
- Worn or failed drive system components. This is the most common cause of an F11 error. If the issue is caused by the main control board or the motor control unit failure, the part will need to be replaced.
- Wire harness connection issues. As a communications error, the F11 code could be caused by something as simple as loose wire connections on the main control board or motor control unit.
- Power surge. Error codes can sometimes be caused by a power surge. This can usually be fixed by a hard reset to the machine. These steps vary by model, so look at your manual for reset instructions.
The first step in diagnosing is to check the wire connections. If the wires are good to go, then you’ll likely need to look into it further troubleshooting or part replacements.
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What To Do About Error Code F11?
If you get an F11 error on your Kenmore washer, the first thing you’ll want to do is check the connections on the main control board, motor control unit, and drive motor. Make sure all of the wires are firmly secured and that there isn’t an electric anomaly such as a power surge occurring.
Below is a general guide for replacing your motor control unit or main control board. Remember that the components in your washer vary by model, so check your manual for information pertaining to your model. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking for or how to repair it, it might be best to call a service technician to take a look.
How to Replace the Main Control Board on Your Kenmore Washer?
The washing machine’s main control board communicates with the other components in the washer to manage the machine’s functions and cycles, such as wash, drain, rinse, and spin. If the F11 error code is caused by a faulty main control board, the washer typically won’t run at all.
To replace the main control board, follow the steps below.
Remove the Faulty Main Control Board
First, make sure there is no electricity coming to the washer by unplugging the machine from the wall. You’ll also want to make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
Move the washing machine away from the wall and unscrew the screws at the back of the washer holding up the top panel. Pull the panel up and off toward the back of the washer.
The main control board housing is located on the dispenser hose. Move the dispenser hose out of the way by releasing the spring clamps and pulling it off the back of the dispenser housing. Then, release the tabs on the plastic cover to access the main control board housing.
Take note of the location of the wires, then release any locking tabs and pull each wire plug out of the connections on the back of the main control board. Remove the mounting screws and slide the control board housing out of the cabinet. You can now remove the main control board from the housing.
Install the New Control Board
To install the new main control board, set the unit inside the housing. Slide the housing back into the cabinet and replace the mounting screws to lock it in place.
Start connecting all of the wires to the new main control board, making sure all locking tabs are engaged. Then, position the housing cover and snap it into place. Reinstall the dispenser hose on the back of the main control board housing.
Push the top panel down and forward, then replace the screws to secure it. Plug in the washer and return it to its original location.
How to Replace the Motor Control Unit on Your Kenmore Washer?
The motor control unit is a small circuit board located near the drive motor at the bottom of the washer. It receives signals from the main control board and activates it when necessary. If the F11 error is a motor control unit, your washer may experience issues such as spinning at the wrong speed or not spinning at all.
To replace the motor control unit, start by unplugging the machine and removing the back panel.
Locate and remove the screw that secures the green ground wire for the motor control unit and the screw that secures the housing to the washer’s base. You’ll also need to remove the screws from the back panel that secures the motor control unit to the frame. Disconnect the wires and pull the motor control board from the cabinet.
Connect the wires to the new motor control unit and mount the unit inside the washer cabinet. Then connect the green ground wire and replace all the screws. Finally, reposition the back access panel and plug the washer in.
While the F11 code is not the easiest to fix as it usually requires a part replacement, it is typically easy to diagnose. Hopefully, these troubleshooting tips helped to clear the F11 code from your Kenmore washer. As always, if you’re concerned about handling repairs on your own, don’t hesitate to call in a service technician for help.