Kenmore Washer Troubleshooting

Kenmore washers are popular among consumers and for good reason. They are relatively reliable machines, but at the same time have their own problems.

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The good news is that when they do have problems it’s generally easy enough to fix yourself.

So, rather than spend money on a repairman, check our information below for symptoms and fixes on your Kenmore washing machine.

If Kenmore Washer Won’t Spin, Check:

Lid Switch (top load machine)

Your Kenmore washer will not spin if the lid switch is faulty.

This is a safety feature, to prevent accidents when somebody wants to stick his hand while washer is spinning.

To check this you’ll use a multimeter to check for continuity in the switch. If there is none, replace the switch.

Washer lid switch failed

Drive Belt

Drive belt connects the motor and transmission. So, Conduct inspection on the drive belt and make sure it’s tight enough.

If it is loose on the pulley or broken, you’ll need to tight the belt or replace it.

Motor Coupling (top load machine)

The motor coupling connects your washer’s motor to the transmission.

When the washer is overloaded, the coupling will fail on purpose to protect the motor and transmission.

It can also fail from normal use over time, if you find that it’s broken you’ll need to replace it.

Washer motor coupling location

Motor Control Board (some newer models)

This control board provides the motor with power. When the motor control board is faulty, the washer will not work properly, if it works at all.

First, you’ll want to check the board for any components that are burned. Then you’ll need to ensure the board is supplying power. If you can’t find that it’s sending power to the motor, it will need to be replaced.

transmission Clutch (top load machine)

The clutch is the part that makes connection between the tub and the transmission. It works to assist the tub with gradually gaining proper speed.

If it becomes worn out, the clutch will prevent the tub from being able to spin. This part is not repairable and will need to be replaced.

Rotor And Stator Assembly

The rotor and stator work together to create an electromagnetic field that’s strong enough to spin the tub in both directions.

The magnets inside the rotor can become damaged, and when this happens the washer won’t spin. You’ll need to access this part and inspect it for damage to determine if you need to replace it.

The stator contains windings that can become damaged. Inspecting these for any type of defect will tell you if the stator needs to be replaced.

If Kenmore Washer Makes Loud Noises, Check:

Drum Bearing

There is a bearing mounted in the center of the outer tub. This bearing helps make sure the inner tub spins smoothly.

Replacing this part is one of the more complicated fixes, and most people suggest that you replace the bearing and outer tub at the same time.

A most common issue when bearing seal is worn out and water starts leaking through.

Rusted bearings on the tub will make noise, kinda when airplane taking off.

Washer drum bearings rusted out

Drive Pulley

When the drive pulley becomes cracked, bent, loose, or worn out it can make your washer loud. You’ll need to remove it from the machine and inspect it.

If you notice that it’s defective or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Drive Belt

Over time the drive belts will become worn out. When this occurs the belt ends up breaking and causes the machine to make loud noises.

You will need to visually inspect the drive belt and if its broken, replace it.


Aside from making the washer not spin, a failing clutch can also make the machine loud during or just after the spin cycle.

A failing clutch will make grinding metal to metal noise.

Again, this part cannot be fixed, so you’ll need to repair it.

Drain Pump

If the loud noise is occurring while your machine is draining, it’s probably the drain pump. This can mean it’s either clogged or faulty.

To determine if this is your problem you’ll need to access the drain pump and clear it of all debris. If the pump is free from debris but still noisy, you’ll need to replace it.

If Kenmore Washer Won’t Agitate, Check:

Drive Block or Bell (top load machine)

The drive block connects the agitator to the washer’s transmission. If the drive block becomes worn out, the transmission shaft will still move, but the agitator won’t.

You’ll need to inspect the drive block to see if it has any damage. If it’s stripped, damaged, or worn out, replace it.

Drive Belt

If the drive belt is broken or loose from the pulley, the machine won’t agitate. Check the belt for damage, and replace if needed.

Motor Coupling

This coupling connects the washer’s transmission and motor. If you overload your machine, this coupling will fail by default to protect the transmission and the motor.

You’ll need to inspect the part to see if it’s broken and needs to be replaced.

If Kenmore Washer Won’t Drain, Check:

Drain Pump Or Hose

The drain pump or drain hose can become blocked by debris. To determine if this is your problem you’ll need to remove the drain and see if there’s any debris.

If you find obstructions be sure to clean the pump and the hose to make sure they are free of clogs.

While you have the drain hose off make sure it’s not damaged in any way. If you find damage replace the hose.

Coin Trap or Filter

Some Kenmore washers feature coin traps to catch small objects before they reach the pump. This part needs to be clean and free of debris to ensure your washer is draining correctly.

Simply remove the trap and thoroughly clean it.

Obstructed drain pump filter

If Kenmore Washer Shakes or Vibrates, Check:


Eventually the shocks in your washer can wear out. They are important as they prevent the washer from shaking and vibrating.

Locate the shock absorbers on your machine and check them for damage. If you find that one is damaged, replace it. Also keep in mind that when you replace one you should consider replacing them all to ensure they get equal wear.

Suspension Rod

Your machine may have one or more broken suspension rods. These rods also help dampen any movement from the tub during the wash cycle.

To check the rods, inspect them to see if there are any visible damages. If you find that one is broken, simply replace it.

Counter Balance Spring

There may be at least one counterbalance spring broken on your washer. These springs work just like the shocks and suspension rods.

When a counter balance spring breaks, your tub becomes unbalanced. This will cause the washer to vibrate and shake during cycles.

You will need to inspect these springs to see if any of them are broken. Replace as needed. Also remember to check the frame where the spring attaches. If there is rust on the frame, replace that as well.

Leveling Leg

The leveling legs are important for keeping your machine balanced. Check each leg to make sure they are in the correct position.

If you find one that’s not secure, simply adjust it and lock in place.

If Kenmore Washer Is Filling Slow, Check:

Water Inlet Valve

This valve opens during the wash cycle to allow water to fill the machine. If this valve is faulty, the water may fill slow, or not at all.

Also keep in mind that this valve requires good water pressure to work right. So, first check that your water pressure is adequate.

If this is not the problem, clean the screens inside the valve hose connection ports. If the problem persists, replace the valve.

Low Water Pressure

Sometimes the water pressure at homes is too low. The water inlet valve requires 20 psi at minimum to work correctly.

If Kenmore Washer is Leaking, Check:

Drain Pump

The drain pump can begin leaking water if it’s damaged, cracked or some of the hoses connected to get loose.

You cannot repair this part, so you will need to replace it.

Tub bearings Seal

The tub seal can become torn, thus causing water to leak from around the seal. When this happens you run the risk of water leaking into your tub bearings.

If this occurs, the tub bearings will fail. So, when you find the tub seal leaking it’s a good idea to replace that and the bearings at the same time.

Drain Hose

Check the drain hose on your washer to ensure it’s not leaking. The most common place for a leak is between the pump and back of the machine.

Inspect the hose for leaks, and replace if needed.

Water inlet valves

This is probably the most common issue related to water leaking.

You need to open the top cover of the washing machine and check inlet valves on the back of the machine to make sure they are not leaking.

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65 thoughts on “Kenmore Washer Troubleshooting”

      • Ours is doing that now too! Hitting pause does nothing but make it start making noises. We finally had to turn off the water to the house and get the water cut off to the machine since it kept going even when we cut power to the machine.

  1. Washer fills with water and rotates while filling. It does not flood but does not move to the next cycle.
    What is this. A control board or switch?

  2. Kenmore model 110 47532601. Front loader
    Washer makes loud buzzing/whining noise when turned on. Then gets quiet/normal and seems to fill and turn ok, but when it gets to rinse it stops and has to be turned off and restarted on rinse & spin only.
    Any thoughts appreciated

  3. I have a Kenmore top loading HE washer. No matter what wash I choose it blinks red and green. I was reading I could take a diagnostic check to see what error I have but I can’t find the directions on this. It’s only 5 years old.

  4. If water is dripping into the machine when it should be cut off (not dripping) is the due to a faulty water inlet control valve?

  5. I am seeing small brown felt like texture particles on clothes and around the inside of my Kenmore 400 tub. What could make that happen? Pockets etc are always checked prior to washing, it is not coming from our clothes.

    • Right, this is just particles of colored calcium deposits. Its not easy to get rid of them. They usually stick to the outer side of the stainless drum and not easily accessible to clean.

  6. I have a top loader I was washing a load of clothes it seemed to working fine l went back to check on and the sensor light was flashing so Press the cancel button and now I have no power to it it won’t do anything

  7. I have a top loader Kenmore washing machine. It agitated very vigorously but now it agitates very gently.
    What could be the problem ?
    Model 110-29622801.

  8. When the dryer is done I always clean the lint filter. Looking down the filter slot I see some lint in the slot that does not come out. I am unable to get to this lint. Is there a tool available to stick down the filter slot that can collect this lint? There must be a tool that can do this without taking the washer apart. Can you be of any help in this?

    • How long it takes to finish the cycle? If it takes hours, then by filling up with water, washer is trying to distribute load before the spin cycle. Did you have any Unbalanced Load errors?

  9. I have a kenmore elite top loader and it won’t run the “clean washer” cycle. I keep getting the “UE” error with 30 mins left on the cycle. I start it again and it does it again a few minutes later.

  10. Very interesting and helpful. But my problem isn’t listed.
    Sometimes clothing coming out of the wager is rained or discolored, like maybe touched by bleach. I don’t use bleach and I use Tide. I also used washer cleaner….Do you have any idea what is causing this? I have photos.

    • Make sure water taps is ON all the way. If thats ok, the inlet valve partially clogged by calcium deposits. Actually, try to fill with HOT water only and then with COLD water only. Will it be doing the same thing, filling slowly?

  11. Basement Kenmore washer 70 series
    Model 110
    12/15/20 right knob (to select wash/rinse etc.) wouldn’t turn then broke off. How to repair/replace???
    Have vix if you want.
    Pam Craychee

  12. I have the Kenmore front load washer. Model number is 417.41122410
    Serial number is 4C51007656.
    When I put the appropriate load in the washer it starts up and Shows that the load is going to take 45 minutes after two minutes goes by it drops to three minutes! I have unplugged the washer, I have returned it to default settings and this is still happening. Do you think you may know why?

  13. I have a Kenmore elite front load washer. Lately water collects in the front where door opens. I have cleaned out the water and the seal all around but Waterville collects. I have also run a washing machine cleaner thru. Any ideas?

  14. Hi Eugene,
    I have a Kenmore top-load washer, model number 110 26012011. Recently my washer has been intermittently not powering on. I checked the outlet and breaker and that is not the issue. Would you have any insight into my issue?
    Thank you so much for the help!

    • Not powering ON by pressing Power Button? Maybe something wrong with the Power button. If its not a button, then it can be the main control board glitch or failure

      • It can also be turned on by rotating the dial to select a wash cycle, which makes me suspect it isn’t the power button. Would it be worth replacing the main control board, in your opinion? Thank you for the quick response.

    • it is Calcium residue and some gunk left on the outer side of the drum. You need to clean washer, using any available cleaning methods, until get necessary results

  15. My Kenmore elite HE front load washer is leaking water intermittently from either the middle or the rear of the machine and I haven’t been able to determine where it’s coming from. It’s not making any unusual noise and it doesn’t seem to be leaking while it’s filling. Any thoughts?

    • Check these: Inlet valves, Drum bearings, Drain Hose or Drain Pump. If its an intermittent issue, then you need to keep an eye on it, during wash cycle. its only one way to do it ))

  16. Once my washer (Kenmore model 49157 – Direct Drive) reaches max RPMs in the spin cycle (hi, med or low) it makes a loud screeching sound. The water drains normally. The level shows that the washer is level on the ground. The two baskets do not separate from each other at all. Everything appears to be in fine shape aside from the loud sound near then end of the spin cycle. Any thoughts?

    • Hard to say what is it, but if you could make a video with that screeching sound, it will be much easier to understand whats the problem.

  17. Hi Eugene, our washing machine a is all better now. It drains perfectly. However we do have a Kenmore Elite dryer that doesn’t shut off when the clothes are dry. The lights go off and it beeps indicating its done but it continues to spin. I either have to leave the door open or unplug it until the next load. Can you advise what the problem could be?

  18. I have a front load washer Kenmore model 40029900.
    I keep the filter clean and have never had trouble with it until yesterday when it did not start. Any ideas? The power cord looks fine and there is power to the outlet.
    Thank you, Patricia

  19. Eugene, we have a Kenmore Model 100 top load washer that won’t turn on. There is a very faint click after pressing start, but that’s it. We’ve checked the breaker, but aren’t sure what else to do. Any ideas? Thanks.

  20. Hi There,
    We have a Kenmore Front Loading washer Model: 592-49127. It makes a VERY loud but short lived banging noise at the end of a spin cycle. Clothes come out fine. We bought the machine in Jan/2013 and are wondering if we should try to fix it or are we looking at needing something new. Thanks.

  21. Hi Eugene,

    I have a high efficiency washer Kenmore MOD. 110 26002010.
    all controls works fine. when you press the bottom “start” no water comes into the machine and I can hear a click and the motor trying to start but stops and I hear the click and the motor trying to start again and then stops but nothing happens.
    any idea what should be wrong?

    • You have a top-load machine. Lift the front of the washer up a little bit, to make sure nothing got stuck between the belt and pulley. If everything ok, then you need to run diagnostic mode to check error codes. Depends on the error code you can figure out whats wrong with your machine.

    • You can find the service manual on the left inner side (between drum and the washer) , there will be information on how to enter diagnostic mode

  22. I have a top load Kenmore washer, three years old. From day one my dark clothes come out with what looks like soap residue. I clean the washer with afresh once a month, but I still have to run the dark wash through a rinse and spin cycle every time. What is causing this.

  23. I have a Kenmore Elite Front Load.
    Only the power button works. There is a chime sound when any other button is pushed. The error message “CL” flashes on and off. The machine failed on the “Auto Soak” mode.

  24. Hi Eugene, I have a Kenmore 21302 HE top-load low-water washer. I ken it making a noise when draining, didnae think anything of it. But then it didnae go to the spin cycle. I hae hit the start/cancel button & it jumped to the spin cycle, only to stay there & do nothing til I hit the start button again & it drained. No spinning. So when it seemed done. It wouldnae jump to done, so I hit cancel. I popped the lid open & the clothes were drookit. But no water inside. Just the clothes were drookit. I dinnae ken what to make of it.


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