October 31, 2018

Cleaning your appliances after a drinking water advisory

By Julie Riebe
How to clean your appliances after a drinking water advisory.
How to clean your appliances after a drinking water advisory.

Once a drinking water advisory ends and you don’t have to boil water anymore, you have one more task before life goes back to normal: clear lingering contamination from your appliances by following local or state recommendations or these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clean the refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser

Because your refrigerator’s ice maker and water dispenser are connected to your water line, you need to clean and flush the system. Here’s how.

  1. Replace the refrigerator water filter. While water filters remove many contaminants, not all trap bacteria and viruses. You can find the filter’s part number on the filter. Buy a water filter from the manufacturer or an authorized seller; you'll pay more, but can trust that the filter is authentic.  

  2. Throw out all the ice in the ice maker.

  3. Run the water dispenser for 3 to 5 minutes to flush the system.

  4. Let your ice maker run for an hour and then throw out the new ice.

  5. Wash and sanitize the bins.

Drain and refill your water heater

Drain your water heater if it’s set below 113° F and then let it refill.

Run an empty dishwasher cycle

Flush all lines and pipes to the dishwasher by running a cycle with the dishwasher empty.

Check water color before using washer

If water is discolored or cloudy, run an empty cycle to flush lines and pipes. Wash a load of dark clothes first, just in case any residue remains in the water that could stain lighter garments.

Clean water treatment systems

If you have a whole-house water treatment system, change the filter cartridges and then let all the house faucets run for 5 minutes to flush the pipes. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for disinfecting the unit.

Decontaminate the water softener

Run a regeneration cycle to clean the water softener’s resin beads, which trap minerals in hard water. Running a regeneration cycle helps remove contaminants from the beads. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to run a regeneration cycle on your water softener.

Symptoms common to all laundry centers

Choose a symptom to see related laundry center repairs.

Main causes: blocked exhaust vent, clogged lint screen, bad timer, moisture sensing problems, weak gas valve coils, bad heating element
Main causes: control system failure, broken heating element, bad gas valve coils, gas supply failure, voltage supply problem, blown fuse
Main causes: bad lid switch or lid lock, drive motor failure, broken motor coupler, bad timer, faulty electronic control board
Main causes: unbalanced load, broken suspension springs or shocks, worn snubber ring
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, faulty drive motor, drain system problem, broken drive system components
Main causes: lack of water supply, failed lid switch or lid lock, bad water level pressure switch, control system failure, bad water valve
Main causes: door not fully shut, bad door switch, faulty push-to-start switch, wiring failure, bad drive motor, blown fuse, control failure
Main causes: broken dryer drive belt, weak drive motor, binding drum seals
Main causes: clogged drain system, blocked drain hose, bad drain pump

Repair guides common to all laundry centers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your laundry center.

How to replace a laundry center washer lid lock switch

If the washer fills but won’t start the agitation cycle, the lid lock switch could be defective.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a laundry center washer timer

If the washer doesn't fill, spin or drain, the timer could be the problem.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center dryer drive belt

If the dryer motor runs but the drum doesn’t turn, the drive belt is likely broken. Replace it, following the steps in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all laundry centers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your laundry center.

June 5, 2018

Displaying error codes on Kenmore and Frigidaire laundry centers

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Step-by-step directions for entering the diagnostic test mode.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working