When your LG washer runs into a problem, it will display an error code to guide you to the root cause of the issue.
When your LG washer shows the tE error code, it’s experiencing a temperature error. To troubleshoot the issue, you’ll need to inspect the components responsible for creating heat: the heating element and the water temperature sensor, also known as the thermistor. The main control board could also be a problem if its components connected to the heater or thermistor are faulty. Replacing these parts will solve the issue.
Keep reading as we dive into the most likely cause behind the tE error code for your LG washer and the steps you can take to fix them.
What the tE code means on your LG Washer
On an LG washing machine, whether it’s a front-loading or top-loading model, a tE error code refers to a temperature error.
When you select a wash program on your LG washer, the machine automatically adjusts the settings for the wash. That will include things like the duration of the program and the speed of the spin cycle, for example. But, more importantly, it will also include a specific water temperature preset as well.
For your washer to reach the correct water temperature, three components must be in good working order: the water temperature sensor (or ‘thermistor’), the heating element, and the components on the main control board responsible for powering those two components.
If any of those three components are faulty, the washer will trigger the tE error code.
Possible Causes and Solutions
Here are the most likely causes for the tE error code to appear on your LG washer and what you can do to fix them.
Failed Water Temperature Sensor (Thermistor)
What it is: The term ‘thermistor’ is a combination of ‘thermal’ and ‘resistor’. It’s an electrical component attached to the back of your washer drum to measure the water temperature inside.
Simply put, the thermistor will sense when the water is too cold and supply power to the heating element to heat it. Once the water has reached the temperature set according to your wash program, then it will stop sending power to your heating element, thereby preventing overheating.
Washing your clothes with water that’s too hot or too cold can be damaging and make the cleaning process less effective. So, you can see that the thermistor plays a crucial role in your LG washer’s operations.
How it fails: The thermistor is prone to failure due to several reasons. For example, this component might have simply worn out after being in use for many years. Or, it might have experienced an electrical fault like a short circuit or bad wiring.
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In any case, when the thermistor fails, it can’t sense the water temperature accurately. As a result, the washer can never reach or maintain the water temperature set by the wash cycle.
How to fix it: Water temperature sensors cannot be repaired. Instead, you must replace it entirely. Thankfully, this fix is pretty straightforward.
With the washer turned off and all water drained from the machine, remove the rear panel (on a front-loading model) or the bottom panel (on a top-loading model) to access the back of the drum.
There, you will see the thermistor attached to the outer tub. Remove the electrical connectors and unthread the screws that hold the thermistor in place. Once that’s done, you can remove it quickly.
Next, you can install the new thermistor by mounting it in place. Then, reconnect the electrical connectors the same way as before.
Faulty Heating Element
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What it is: The job of a heating element is just as the name suggests. It is a component that generates heat to raise the water temperature inside your washer drum. The heating element will function for as long as it takes to reach the temperature pre-set by your selected wash program or by any manual setting you have put in.
The heating element has an outer metal layer and a metal wire that runs along the inside. When electricity flows through that wire, it will generate plenty of heat to raise the water temperature inside the drum.
Once the set temperature has been reached, the heating element will shut off until the water gets too cold again.
How it fails: The heating element in your LG washer is an electrical component. Therefore, the most likely reason it fails is that the element has become worn out or damaged. So, for instance, rust might have eaten through the outer metal layer. Besides that, impact might have bent or otherwise damaged the element as well.
In any case, a damaged heating element will not generate the required heat, leading to the tE error code being triggered.
How to fix it: Heating elements are another kind of component that cannot be repaired. So, you must replace it when it fails. Start by shutting off the power and water supply to the washer.
For example, on a front-loading model, you will access it by removing the machine’s front panel.
You’ll find the heating element on the bottom of the drum area. First, you’ll need to remove the electrical connectors attached to it.
Once that’s done, you’ll be able to free the heating element and slide it out gently. The replacement part will slide in the same way before you secure it in place and replace the electrical connectors the same way as before.
Main Control Board
What it is: The main control board has plenty of small components, all of which coordinate the many different functions of your LG washer. In a way, you can think of it as the brain of your appliance, necessary for a wash program to be carried out perfectly.
Among the many components on the main control board are those responsible for controlling the washer’s temperature. That means it is connected to parts like the heating element and thermistor (described above) to ensure that they function as they are supposed to.
However, when those components on the main control board fail, they will also cause problems with the heating element and thermistor. As a result, the tE error code will be triggered.
How it fails: The most likely reason for the main control board to fail is from suffering an electrical fault. For example, a surge of electricity could cause a short circuit that damages some of its components, particularly those responsible for managing the washer’s temperature.
How to fix it: Technically, it is possible to repair the main control board. However, it’s a less feasible option because you’d have to find someone who specialises in performing those repairs. That’s why the most common solution is to replace the board entirely.
The main control board is located in a separate housing within the washer. On a top-loading model, you’ll find it inside the control panel, while a front-loading model will have it under the top panel.
Depending on the design of your model, you might have to remove any hoses or other parts to gain access to the main control board.
The most important thing to remember is to take a picture of the electrical connectors on the main control board before you replace it. That’s because you will have to reconnect them the same way with the replacement board.
How To Clear The tE Error Code On Your LG Washer
To clear the tE error code for good, you’ll first have to troubleshoot and resolve its root cause (following the steps described above). That way, the code will not return after you’ve cleared it.
Then, you can clear the code by performing a reset on your machine.
How To Reset An LG Washer
The steps to reset an LG washer are very straightforward. Here’s what you’ll have to do:
- Start by turning the washing machine off at its power source. That includes removing the plug from the wall socket or switching off the dedicated circuit breaker if there is one.
- Next, press and hold the Start/Pause button for 5 seconds.
- Lastly, reconnect the power supply to the washer.
The reset process is complete, and you can resume regular use of your LG washer.
How To Test Your LG Washer After Fixing It
Suppose you’d like to do a full test of your LG washer after you’ve fixed it. If that’s the case, there are two ways to do it. Firstly, you can run a complete wash program to ensure that everything works correctly from start to finish.
Alternatively, you could also enter diagnostics mode to test individual functions on your washer.
How To Enter Diagnostics Mode On Your LG Washer
To enter diagnostics mode on your LG washer, follow these steps:
- First, put your washer on standby (i.e. the power source is on, but the machine is turned off at its control panel).
- Press and hold the Spin Speed and Soil Level buttons.
- As you’re holding those two buttons, then press the Power button. If you do it correctly, the machine will make a ‘ding’ sound twice. That means you’re in diagnostic mode, which will test individual functions of your washer.
- To scroll through each test, press the Start/Pause button.
- If there is an issue, an error code will appear. If not, the machine will turn off once you’ve scrolled past the final test.