March 1, 2015

Laundry center common questions

By Lyle Weischwill
Laundry center common questions.
Laundry center common questions.

These common questions about laundry centers are the ones our experts hear the most often from our customers. You might also find the help you need by checking the common symptoms and solutions for laundry centers. When you’re ready to make a repair, search your model number to find replacement parts. Sears PartsDirect has the part you need, no matter where you bought your laundry center.

Why does my washer fill with water when it’s off?

A defective water inlet valve assembly can allow water to enter the washer when the washer is turned off. Unplug the washer to completely disconnect electrical power. If the washer continues to fill even when it’s unplugged, replace the water inlet valve assembly.

If the washer stops filling when disconnected from electrical power, a problem with the timer or the electronic control board is causing the washer to fill when it’s turned off.

Why is my washer leaking from below?

If water leaks from under the washing machine, unplug the washer and check for a leak in the drain pump or drain hoses. Replace a leaking washer drain pump or drain hose.

If the drain pump and drain hoses are okay, the problem could be a defective water seal at the bottom of the tub. Replace the tub seal if it's leaking.

Why is the washer banging during the spin cycle?

If the washer tub bangs against the laundry center cabinet during the spin cycle, the most common reason is an off-balance laundry load; rearrange the clothes in the washer to distribute the weight evenly.

If the tub continues to bang the cabinet walls during the spin cycles, the problem is most likely a broken suspension component or a worn snubber ring.

Why does my washer fill then stop?

If the washing machine fills but then doesn’t start washing the clothes, check that the lid is closing properly. Some washers won't start washing if the lid is open or if the lid switch has failed. If the lid will not lock, replace it. A washer won’t agitate if the water-level pressure switch, the drive motor or the timer malfunctions. Call a service technician to examine the washer and make the repair.

Why won’t the washer drain?

If water remains in the washing machine, check the drain hose and drain pump for a blockage or restriction. If you don’t hear the drain pump operating after the wash cycles ends, the drain pump could be defective or jammed.

Why do my clothes take so long to dry?

Inadequate air flow through the dryer usually causes clothes to take a longer time to dry.

Check the lint screen to make sure that it’s clean; you should clean the lint screen before every dryer load.

Dryer softener sheets can cause residue to build up on the lint screen. That residue is difficult to see. Wash the lint screen with water and a soft-bristle brush monthly if you use dryer softener sheets.

Check the exhaust vent duct path to the outside of your home, starting with the flexible vent hose behind the dryer. Make sure the flexible vent isn’t kinked or clogged. Check the duct system going to the outside of your home and clean the duct system if necessary. Make sure the damper for the duct system on the outside of your home opens properly.

Why is the dryer drum not rotating when I hear the motor running?

If the motor is running, the drum belt is likely broken. Replace the drum belt, following the instructions in our dryer belt repair guide.

Why won’t my electric dryer heat?

Check the two house circuit breakers dedicated for the dryer to see if one of the two has tripped. Each breaker provides 120 volts to the dryer. The dryer motor operates on 120 volts but the heating element needs 240 volts to heat.

If both breakers are on, unplug the dryer and check the outlet cord. A damaged outlet cord or faulty connection on the terminal block at the back of the dryer might be the problem.

A broken heating element, a damaged operating thermostat, a blown thermal cut-off fuse, a failed high-limit thermostat, or a bad motor switch can also impair heating. Once you find the cause of your failure, see our laundry center DIY repair guides for step-by-step instructions on how to replace the defective component.

Why does my gas dryer stop heating?

A clog or other restriction causes a gas dryer to cycle the burner off before it reaches operating temperature. The exhaust air stays near the operating thermostat or thermistor, keeping the dryer from heating properly. Check the flexible vent behind the dryer for a kink or a lint clog. Check for lint buildup in the air ducts running to the outside your home. Make sure the damper on the exit vent outside your home opens easily.

If the exhaust air path is clear, you might need to replace the gas valve coils, following the steps in the gas valve coil repair guide. Weak gas valve coils operate properly from a cold start but fail to open the gas valve during subsequent ignition attempts.

Why does my dryer shut off after about 15 minutes when I use Auto Dry?

Dryers have moisture sensors that determine when to shut off a load with you choose at automatic drying cycle. Check the moisture sensor bars for a buildup of fabric softener residue that can keep them from sensing moisture in the clothes. Remove any residue with rubbing alcohol. A disconnected or broken wire on the sensor bars can also cause this problem.

What does the EF5 error code mean on my laundry center?

The EF5 code on Kenmore and Frigidaire laundry centers indicates the control board detects an out-of-balance washer load. The control board receives signals from the washer drive motor to detect load balance condition. If the drive motor fails, it will send faulty signals to the control board. Rebalance the load. If the code appears with the washer load balanced, you'll likely need to replace the motor and gear case. The drive motor and gear case are one replacement part for this laundry center.

Symptoms common to all laundry centers

Choose a symptom to see related laundry center repairs.

Main causes: unbalanced load, broken suspension springs or shocks, worn snubber ring
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: blocked exhaust vent, clogged lint screen, bad timer, moisture sensing problems, weak gas valve coils, bad heating element
Main causes: broken dryer drive belt, weak drive motor, binding drum seals
Main causes: clogged drain system, blocked drain hose, bad drain pump
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: bad lid switch or lid lock, drive motor failure, broken motor coupler, bad timer, faulty electronic control board
Main causes: control system failure, broken heating element, bad gas valve coils, gas supply failure, voltage supply problem, blown fuse

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.

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
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer snubber ring

If the washer tub bangs the cabinet during the spin cycle even though the load is balanced, you might need to replace the snubber ring in the base of the washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center dryer door switch

The dryer won’t start if the door switch is defective. Your can replace it in about 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 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.

August 5, 2022

Introducing new technical repair content that we’re developing for the Sears Technical Institute

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn about Sears Technical Institute and the advanced technical content being developed for aspiring appliance techs.

August 18, 2021

Using a wiring schematic to trace a current video

By Lyle Weischwill

Find out what’s wrong with your appliance by following a circuit.

August 17, 2021

How to read a wiring schematic video

By Lyle Weischwill

Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.