Whirlpool Duet ghw9150 or Kenmore

F11 Syndrome on Whirlpool and Kenmore

TO MY FELLOW "F11 Syndrome" Sufferers (edited again to be more readable)

It start like this:

In fall 2005 or two months after the warranty crapped out was when it started its problems for us. We called the Whirlpool support (hah) number and the person said $70 later “it’s fine”. I said you had to put a load in and see it throw the code. Later, motor error and DL "you will need a new motor and wires $400"...you know the rest. Lucky thing I was too cheap to play the pay game. My wife still likes the machines… so… I had to get it fixed. Surfing for answers and based on other folk's accounts and details (see below) up and down the web. They described the same symptoms.

 

NEW UPDATES: FRETTING/oxidized connections Read further below.

 

DISCLAIMER NOTE: THE EXTRA SOLDER NOTED ABOVE WAS DUE TO MY ORIGINAL TRIAL AND ERROR OF CLEANING AND PRODDING. EXTRA SOLDER MAY DISTORT OR DAMAGE THE CONNECTOR, PLEASE READ OTHER INFORMATION POSTED BY OTHERS...thank you.

 

Having nothing to loose:

You will see the yellow circles where found signs of problems for the solder work suggestions as described on the net.

 

Semi Legal Mumbo-Jumbo...(skip to next section otherwise read):

The following information is only an individuals (my) experience with a particular product and in no manner should it be construed as a statement of universal fault of the product nor does the information within this article guarantee that you will achieve the same results. Following the advise or examples found here will be at you own risk and damage is possible if you are not familiar with basic procedures. The author does not cover any damages if you fry your control board... Individuals are reminded that you should not mistake any overtones as a condemnation of the particular product or in any way does it make any accusation towards a company's lack of responsibility towards the quality of the product and is in fact a condition that is normally outside the warranty of the machine and is therefore the responsibility of the owner for any and all expenses toward repairs (we are on our own) and such that statements are personal observations and are not substantiated by formal data published...blah...blah...blah... Ok, the ugly part is done for now...

 

...Look, if you have the F11 problem, the following information may void your warranty... not that any of us had this happen while under warranty... exercise caution and care... OH! AND UNPLUG YOUR MACHINE BEFORE YOU MONKEY AROUND INSIDE IT!!!

 

Also, IN RESPONSE TO SOME REMARKS (a DIY forum and about me)...

IT IS TRUE... I AM NOT AN APPLIANCE REPAIR EXPERT...(nor do I play one on television), I AM A DUET OWNER AND HAVE HAD THIS HAPPEN TO ME. I AM SHARING SOME OF THE INFORMATION I FOUND AND OR RECEIVED... NOTHING MORE… NOR, DO I WANT ANYTHING IN RETURN. (though I am curious about how old was your machine when it happened, so do share that in the comments if you don't mind... thank you)

 

Getting a Manual:

Look for Whirlpool publication L-68 in pdf form and download before its gone

( secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572... ).

follow info on getting in machine. Also, note when you are prying out the ccu board, be careful as the plastic is brittle (cheap). I've snapped off a few bits here and there thanks to my rush so be a little prepared.

 

DIY-desoldering & SAFETY note:

You should have safety glasses on to perform the following… It is easy to do soldering yourself. A can of compressed air is necessary (safety glasses) and the trick to blast the solder off while its molten Try a solder sucker instead (caution: lead based solder, so don't breath in smoke and this is not recommended if you are pregnant or guys must be careful or you may start firing blanks). Heat the contact point of whichever component and as it shine up in the molten state, give it a quick blast (not at yourself, away from others and things and pets).

 

Dealing with the RELAY switches:

Consider one of your missions is towards the relays. It's hard to see in my picture above, but my example is with 2 - OMRAN G5LE-1-VD in the white and 1 OMRAN G2RL-1A-E relay in black since we don't have a heater so two spot are left empty. (if viewing in member flickr mode, additional notes are listed). When you desolder them off the board it is easier to pull the covers off and it takes just a slight pinch their tiny latches. Getting inside will allow you to clean the contact points if not replacing. I also swapped the two relays for each others position. Allowing the less carbonized one to sit in the hot seat for a while, this is mainly why I desoldered them off. Again, solder them back in with a good silver solder and don’t overheat. If you are able, do replace them both with new ones. Update: See below from "CJRECHE" about different relays and higher amp rating.

 

DIY soldering:

When re-soldering, use a good silver/tin solder instead of the cheap lead/tin crap they used. It's a soldering temp of 370+ degrees so careful! I purchased a Radio Shack 15-30 watt iron and it worked fine for me. Butter the tip a little and use a damp sponge to clean off any sludge from the rosin/flux burning. The tip would be then ready to touch the area for soldering. Not a dainty touch, but enough to allow heating up the connection to melt the fresh solder from the spool as you touch it to the heated area and don’t over do it. Just enough to cover.

 

Additional Error notes:

My Door Errors and Motor Errors can be traced back to the same point in the CCU. Mostly nothing moves without the ccu involved in the process. So it would not be a surprise if the repair guy misdiagnoses and repairs the problem Door or Motor and you still have the same issues. Useful is to beef up the solder coated contacts as circled above. This cuts down on the chance of vibrations wiggling off those flimsy plugs.

 

Other things that cause trouble over time:

RF connection gets loose or slightly corroded and that sends shivers up the CCU too.

Door wire harness at the door end gets a little wiggly

Scraping from the drum (serious problem see Spider Bracket)

 

Passing along more info:

If you know more about the different components on this board beyond this little soldering subject, please keep me up to date if it is part of the problem. Such things like poor quality parts and suggestion for better... that sort of stuff. Also if you have other sites that have more info on the subject, pass them on so I can include them here. Otherwise, I hope some of this helps. I've heard talk in the past that Sears will replace the boards on Kenmore washers...good... take them up on it if its free or near free! Whirlpool...I've not heard a thing yet.

 

Special Thanks:

Thanks to the others whom have done the trail blazing of diagnosing the cause and posting the solutions "crabboy","kevintrisha" and "Sonnysideup" Also read "Littleman23" on the epinion message board he seems to have more info for disassembly. Hey, check out "tanksalotcs" "SPIDER BRACKET"...'youtube' under kenmore, front loader washer, subject is spider bracket failure! Also, Special-Special Thanks to CJRECHE for his efforts and cool microscope images. Special-Special-Special thanks to MONETTSYS for his facts and links (see below).

 

 

History to date:

Number of Loads since repaired in April of 2007:198 loads as of January 2, 2008 with no problems. Now 400ish loads and a year has passed since completion of repair. I hope all you other f11 sufferers are having luck with some of the info above. If it has not happened to your machine yet, hope it never will.

Update:

03/16/2009 - still no problems since my solder job (440+ loads).

10/12/2009 - still no problems and about 500ish loads.

04/20/2010 - still no problems ... lost count 550?

  • mysteryonion 3y

    Super that we could help.
  • biguggy 3y

    I do not agree with the comments in this thread that the corrosion of the spider is due to galvanic action between the aluminum alloy of the spider and the stainless steel of the drum. To support this view there is a very interesting paper on galvanic corrosion at: -http://www.unene.ca/un1001/UN1001_Galvanic%20Corrosion.ppt
    For my further views on the mechanical shortcomings of front load washers in general please see - www.designnews.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=243692&...
    I believe main thrust of this thread is the eletrical/electronic shortcomings of the design so will leave it at that other than to say I find this thread very informative.
  • zapnbuzz 3y

    Had my machines for 10 years before this problem!
    Found this page from a link on this one:
    www.fixya.com/support/t235180-f_11_error_code_whirlpool_d...
    They have a site where you can get board repaired for $89,they claim better than new because soldering problem seems to have come from the factory
  • hapajap 2y

    Mysteryonion - Great blog. I started getting the F11 all of a sudden. No previous errors. I work on electronics, so I wasn't afraid to get in there and do the things suggested. After trying all the connectors, and taking the relays out and inspecting them closely, I put them all together again. I must say, I thought I broke it worse when I couldn't get it to even do what it did before; but silly me, I forgot to shut the door all the way when initiating the diagnostics. Anyhow, after shutting the door and initiating the test, it was the same as it was prior to working on it. I went back to this blog and did more reading. I noticed that there were a couple people that mentioned no D/L errors, and only F11 errors that they couldn't get past. That was my condition. The other common thing was that when running the diagnostic test (detailed in the manuals) it would start at C00, click the door latched and then start the water fill during the C01 stage. Before moving on to C02, it would give the F11. This was the same as if I tried it during any cycle. You never saw it move or attempt to move the drum. The people that mentioned this same pattern said they ended up replacing the Motor Control Unit. AngelScarpelli09 went as far as to describe the silicone under the board and the blown out components. That is what I found on mine.

    For those people that wonder how to check this - I accessed the lower compartment (super easy, 3 screws), and the motor control housing can be seen on the lower left front of the washer. The door on the MCU housing to access the connectors is difficult to open with your fingers. With the washer unplugged, carefully use a small flat blade to open the small door. It swings forward and to the left. Remove the connectors, the ground has a keeper tab on it. Cut the tie wrap holding the wires to the motor. Press the release lever on the base, and slide the housing forward to free it up. Rotate and take it out. I could tell without taking the board out of the housing that there was a black mark under the board by peering through the larger connector hole. I took a small screw out of each corner of the board, flipped the housing onto its open side to access the outside of the housing. Here, you can see two raised holes with plastic filler poured into them, which ends up covering screws for the heat sink. I easily dug out the plastic, and used a small flat blade to clean out the crosspoint screw head. Then you take out the two screws and the board comes right out of the housing. You can easily see the problem.

    After peeling back the smoked silicone piece, you could see the spin circuit discreet components were obliterated and the remaining chip was blackened. I have pictures I can send to you. A quick look online shows I'll probably have to buy a new MCU, and I'm currently trying to figure out if the most common one shown is actually compatible with my unit or not. I have the GHW9150PW0. Some websites show that there are two styles that may fit; the one I have and one with a different heat sink and connector arrangement.
  • hapajap 2y

    I guess I have a Flickr account now. Here is the link to the pictures. www.flickr.com/photos/90224798@N07/sets/72157632047468842/
  • mysteryonion 2y

    Thank "hapajap" for the information.
    Let us know if you find a variation of model numbers for your MCU needed.
  • hapajap 2y

    The part number for the MCU is 8181693 or 8181693R or even 8182706. I think the true part number for the GHW9150PW0 is actually the 8182706, but the older ones are compatible. I got lucky and found a used appliance dealer in town that had a parted Duet with the older board. You do need the housing though, because the mounting of the board inside the housing is different. Some places only sell the board, and unless you have same board and housing, it may take some rigging to get it to mount somehow. The newer boards mount in the housing I show. I've already put the 8181693 in, and I forgot to check how it was mounted inside the housing. I would be surprised if the old board fit the new housing. The old housing fits into the washer exactly the same as the newer housing.

    The diagnostic test passed. We are washing clothes again.

    mryeeonion - I know this other item is out of the realm of the original problem, but since everyone is taking the lid off anyway, I thought I would mention it. It has to do with the plastic wire conduit that runs from the top of the machine to the bottom, and is located along the right front corner of the machine. While inspecting the wiring, I noticed this conduit had come loose from the corner and a large plastic tab coming from it was rubbing on the gasket or baffle that seals the area from the outer barrel to the front of the machine. On my machine, it resulted in a fair sized hole at the 3 o'clock position of my baffle. So far, I don't see water actively coming out of it, but that doesn't mean it won't. I'll have to figure out how to seal it, because if nothing else, humidity and moisture are definitely escaping through that hole and making it a more moist environment in the main interior compartment, where all those electronic boards reside. If the hole had been rubbed any lower, it probably would be leaking out all the time. I used tie-wraps to secure the cable run to the corner, and keep it from creating any further damage.

    Thanks for the great advice and constant updates.
  • biguggy 2y

    It is of interest to note that a Sears 'Expert' (Jerry C), in a post dated July 11, 2012 states that the faulty 'solder' joints only occurred on the He 3 and He 4 machines (and presumably their Whirlpool cousins) manufactured prior to the 4th quarter of 2005.
    www.managemylife.com/mmh/questions/308527-kenmore-he2-f11...
    The testing sequence given in that post, and some of the subsequent others may also be of interest to some readers'.
    A very interesting thread. Many thanks.
  • mysteryonion 2y

    Thanks for the link.

    That would explain a few odd emails that this info was "out of date" ... however, one ask this "blog" should be taken down.
  • biguggy 2y

    For my three cents worth there are quite obviously a lot of the He 3's and 4's 'out there' together with their Whirlpool cousins, which will have been manufactured prior to the 4th quarter of 2005, so I believe 'the solder' info is still valid for the nominated machines. Secondly the 'contact fretting' still appears to be ongoing and therefore that also is still valid, as is the much rarer 'contact burning'.
    I have contributed to several sites and yours is one I have on my list of 'useful links' that I reference at the appropriate time.
    As I said before- many thanks.
  • hapajap 2y

    Alas, my happiness of saving money and fixing my Duet may be over. Today I got an F02 error, which legitimately was a drain pump issue. There was a clog in the drain filter. Broken pen remains, a piece of padding, etc. But why didn't this show before? Because there was a lot of small pieces of debris that clogged it up the rest of the way. What was the small debris? Small pieces of plastic. With clothes loaded in it, or with nothing in it, the washer is thumping on high spin. Visual inspection revealed the front lip of the plastic tub (hidden behind the inside rubber gasket,) has become shredded by the motion of the high spin. I'm also assuming that the screws of the stainless metal drum are digging into the part that I can't see. Conclusion - I believe the spider is breaking down and the tub is becoming uncentered. I'm not about to pay $400+ to replace that stuff. I guess it's time for a new machine. :(
  • mysteryonion 2y

    OUCH! hapajap... sorry to hear about that. I fear the day our spider goes.
    I see it is at $321.00-$417... yikes.

    Hope you find the next one a winner.
    Good luck.
  • biguggy 2y

    hapajap - It could be just the bearings, but as there is shredded plastic you could have serious damage to the outer drum. The only sure way is to strip it down. There is a shop manual for the Duet at:
    secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572...
    and for the 'Duet Sport' at:
    secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572...
    this one is a little slow to load so please be patient.
    Should it just be the bearings (and seal) that have failed Whirlpool will not supply just the bearings and seal for most of their models. You can check it out here:
    www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action
    the exploded parts diagrams at that site are the best I am aware of and are also about the only good thing that Sears have at the moment. Personal experience of their meaning of 'In Stock', do not trust it.
    There is a video of a guy replacing the seal and bearings for an He3 at:
    vimeo.com/24810291
    He also sells a bearings and seal kit at:
    hometask.com/washerrepair.aspx
    Please do not fit the bearings as he does. I have never used his services so cannot comment any further on that aspect but I have contributed to his site at:
    groups.google.com/group/washer-repair?hl=en
    To get an idea if your problem is 'just' the bearings reach in through the door of the washer and try to lift the inner drum relative to the outer drum, there should be virtually no movement. Turn the inner drum through 90 degrees and repeat the test. Do this twice more, repeat this twice more turning the drum in the same direction each time. On completion you will have tested the movement of the drum in four positions during one revolution. Approximately equal movement in all four positions indicates failed bearings, considerably more movement in one or two positions indicates a failed spider. You could, of course, have both.
    Good Luck.
  • justjoannie 2y

    I've had to replace my whirlpool parts so many times. It's really cool to get to see what they actually look like and what I've been paying for!
  • mysteryonion 2y

    Hello justjoannie, sorry that the F11 has hit you too. I hope that you are out of the woods now and able to use your machine. Could you let us know the list of parts these have been replacing?
  • Chris Burke 2y

    Hey mysteryonion (et al), thanks for the info.

    I found this page several years ago, but put off making the repair because (1) I wasn't having problems all the time, and (2) even though I'm an engineer and consider myself pretty handy, I've never been very good at soldering, so was intimidated. I also didn't realize until I got into it that the solder holding the relays was on the back side of the circuit board. I'm sure somebody probably clears this up in 6 pages of comments, but I had to figure that out.

    Bought my HE3t in 2005 when I was single and didn't do a whole lot of laundry. Tried cleaning the contacts with an emery board and also tried vaseline (both seemed to help for a while). However, 8 years, a wife and 2 kids later, I finally had to do SOMETHING other than beat on the machine.

    I took the 2 white relays off (5 solders each) and removed the covers but both looked clean and brand new insode. I sprayed canned air to remove any invisible particles and swapped positions. Resoldered the connections of the black relay then hit ALL of the contacts.

    Very few of the contacts appeared to have a problem, but I figured since I was there, I'd do all of them. It took some practice, but finally got good a thickening the contact. Lay tip of solder across the contact, then press the flat edge of the soldering iron tip across the solder, parallel to the contact. When the solder melted, it ran along the hot edge, nice and even all along the contact.

    I feared I was heating up the contacts too much doing this, but everything ended up ok. It's still early after the repair, but we're on our 6th load with no problems.

    If you are considering doing this and hesitating, GO FOR IT, YOU CAN DO THIS. It took me about an hour and a half start to finish (including interruptions), and I REALLY took my time.

    P.S. When soldering, set up a fan so you don't breath the fumes. The canned air worked good for me since I didn't have a solder wick.

    Thanks again everyone.

    ****UPDATE**** After another week and a dozen or so more loads, it's still working great.
  • Mark Barrett 2y

    Thanks for all of the helpful tips here! Here's what I learned and wanted to share: I was getting F11 errors on my Whirlpool Duet. I pulled the CCU board and cleaned all the contacts and connectors to it. Cleaned the contacts on the K4 relay which had a black carbon buildup - used a fine sandpaper and then denatured alcohol. That fixed the F11 errors! Went to test it and immediately got a DL error. It was caused by the "Door Switch" connector which didn't have a good enough connection to the CCU. So I pulled it out and pushed it back in and wiggled it to the left or right a little. As you're looking at the front of the CCU, this connector goes along the (left) side. There's 4 connectors on that side and this one is 2nd from the front. For a picture of these connectors, here's a link (go down to 5-1 or page 39). secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572...
    There's a test you can do for the door lock. While you're looking at the above document go to page 39 and unplug the connector that's labeled 'Door Lock Solenoids'. It has 3 contacts on it. On page 41 they show the readings (in ohms) you should get, which is about 60 ohms. They screwed up the test points which should read as 3 to 2 and 2 to 1. If you measure 3 to 1 (which is what they wrote) it will measure around 120 ohms. If you have trouble reading the contact numbers then just remember that contact #2 is in the middle. To make these measurements you will need a multimeter (make sure it can measures ohms). For those who don't have one you can buy an inexpensive one for about $20.

    After a month I started getting FDL errors. The black relay (K6) part number G2RL-1A-E 12VDC (16A 250V) had failed. It has 6 legs that go into the circuit board. 4 of them are on one end of the relay and the other 2 are at the other end. These 2 are what activate the electromagnet when current is applied and then the contacts close to make a complete circuit. My contacts were clean. The electromagnet is what failed. Here's a simple test that you can do without ever having to open up the relay. Measure the resistance (ohms) of the 2 legs mentioned above. It should read around 362 ohms if you're using my old multimeter. The contacts on this K6 relay must be closed or else the white relays (K1 & K4) can't open nor close the door lock.
  • jun_rn@sbcglobal.net 2y

    Thanks! Mine is still working beautifully more than a year after.
  • thehesiod 7mo

    I want to thank you for a wonderful write-up. I ended up having both the cracked solder and carbon build-up on one relay. I looked online and they said the best way to clean it was with WD40 and later wipe with alcohol and it seems to be working well! I used the Hakko 808 desoldering gun and it was a snap.
  • navarzo21 4mo

    So much in electronics assemblies is now designed and intentionally constructed to not last past the warranty period.
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