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Thread: I hate Sears!

  1. #1
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    Christo Pull Hair I hate Sears!

    We have a front load kenmore washing machine that is not working. It is probably 4 or 5 years old. After a load of clothes last night, it started beeping and signalling an f11 error. I canceled the cylce/error and when I went to open it up, it started flashing an fdl error.

    Well, I looked the errors up. The f11 means a communications error with the control board. The fdl is door lock error. That's the important one now. The doors lock on these washers during a cycle. And now that the error is showing up, it won't unlock. So I can't get clothes out of it.

    I set up a service call at the earliest time they could get to me. Next Tuesday. But all I really wanted to know is, how do I get the door unlocked. Not a single person, at the service department, the parts department or the store has any idea. And none are willing to ask their techs how to do.

    All I want, right now, is my clothes back!!!! I hate Sears. I have never had an appliance delivered by them without problems. And now this.

    Guess I have to buy from someone else next time. I finally have learned my lesson.

    Anyone out there know the trick to opening a door like that? Got any friends that work on them?
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  2. #2
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Will diconnecting it from the power unlatch the door? I'm presuming some sort of solinoid is used.
    Norm

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    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    on my washing machine the door lock is controlled by an electromagnetic switch and a mechanical water level sensor. I can open it mid-cycle if I take off the power and drain the machine manually. Maybe yours has a similar system?

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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Be careful. The lock engages when there is enough water in the unit that opening the door would cause a small flood. You may want to look into making sure the tub is drained before unlocking the door.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Well, I've tried unplugging. No help. I can see into the clothes and I cannot see any water. Normally I can see some during a cycle.

    It does sound like it is trying to unlock the door. So it could be that it is jammed. I suppose I may have to figure out how to get inside the case and try to figure it out.
    Bright Scouter
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  6. #6
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    This one reason I'll never buy a washer that has enough electronics to generate errors in the first place. Analog forever! My '84 Maytag'll be with me until the end of time.

    In a more serious note, I bet you can get some good info from the various DIY repair sites ou there. Either under Kenmore or whoever made (Whirlpool or Maytag probably) it for Sears.
    Do something alone and it's weird, do it with others and it's a club.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    I'll keep trying. Most are just talking about how this is a well known problem. But, they don't tell you how to unlock the door. I'll keep looking though.
    Bright Scouter
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    Flashaholic* 9volt's Avatar
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    Last edited by 9volt; 01-12-2007 at 04:49 PM.


  9. #9
    Flashaholic* 9volt's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Foudn these too. YMMV, not my instructions, etc:

    -----------------------------------------------------

    First, UNPLUG THE MACHINE! Let it sit for an hour to discharge any stray capacitance. Fixing it will involve exposing elements that handle a great deal of power: don't poke around and touch anything unnecessarily, you could be shocked or electrocuted.

    Second, CHECK THAT YOU HAVE UNPLUGGED THE MACHINE!

    Third, remove the lower front kick panel. You will need a star-head driver (six points), which you can get at your friendly Sears store. (Not only do they sell the junk, they sell the junk to fix the junk.) It requires a fairly small unit. I used a handle with swappable parts to match the right size head.

    The three star-head screws are located along the bottom of the kick panel. If the washer is sitting on the optional pedastal, be sure to pull the drawer out before proceeding. Then unscrew each of the screws and place in a plastic bag to avoid losing them.

    The front panel is now attached by pressure to the rest of the washer. Take a crowbar, cover the end with a thin paper towel to avoid scratching the paint on the washer, insert the thin end low in the gap between the washer and the panel, and gently twist until the side pops off. Do both sides.

    Once the panel has been removed, look to the right on the side of the inner wall of the washer. There you will find the lost manual pages intended to help the tech interpret error code and fix conditions. It also contains instructions on how to UNLOCK THE DOOR. Fancy that. Take the manaual pages out from behind the plastic envelope (they are taped and sealed, be careful not to tear them) and put them with the rest of the user manual, where they belong.

    You can now see the inside of the washer. Peer up the inside at where the latch for the door closes. You will see a small plastic black box. Pull the bottom end straight down. Then, open the door. Viola!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    yup if you can remove the panels and get to the latch from underneath you may be able to spring it. mine works that way. hey 4 or 5 years isn't too bad though..

    I've got a Staber machine and I had to get a new $200 circuit board after a year because rats peed the old one-- the board is mounted on the inside of the back panel with no protection except a sheet of plastic film draped loosely over it, otherwise it's totally unprotected, common sense would at least have it in a plastic box, or something..

    if it breaks again I'll seriously consider one of these James washers:

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    That's a case where I personally think advanced technology is overrated. My 15 year old (I think) washer and dryer function perfectly, clean my clothes well, and will never, ever do something like that! I don't like front-loader washing machines. Too big a chance something like this or a big leak in the door gasket will happen. Not to mention, the high tech stuff almost always cost a whole lot more, and will most certainly cost a whole lot more to repair, kind of like newer cars, I guess. I hope you can get your clothes out, and it won't cost you too much to repair.
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  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Quote Originally Posted by TedTheLed
    if it breaks again I'll seriously consider one of these James washers:
    I can vaguely remember having one of these in our basement when I was a child. I could never figure out where to plug it in...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Quote Originally Posted by TedTheLed[img
    http://a787.g.akamai.net/7/787/2898/v381/www.gaiam.com/retail/images/products/63411_detail.jpg[/img]
    This style washer still functions perfectly and doubles as an aroebic workout!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    I'm currently using a Frigidaire my parents bought approx 30 years ago. Last time I needed a part, the guy at the store asked me with an incredulos tone, "Do you know how old that machine is????" I told him yup, I was there when they brought it home.

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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    We just got the LG washer and dryer about a year ago. Once we had some sort of sensor error, and wouldn't let our clothes out.

    If we unplug the machine, wait 5 minutes, then plug it in again, it reset, and all was well with the world. Haven't had a problem since.
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  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    A washing machine that gives you error codes?! Wow I had no idea there were such digital monstrosities. Yeah an analog machine is great cause its just a belt or solenoid. Same for an old dryer, they last forever!!!

    I guess it would have to have some sort of lock if it's front loading though. Hmm. Any way to open up the side panel and look at the solenoid lock?
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  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Yeah, aint technology grand? My mother in law's coffee maker has "reboot" instructions.


    But back on topic.

    In many cases a lock will stick because there is pressure on the latch. Maybe something was stuck beteeen the door and door jamb when it was closed. Try pushing the door closed while power cyling it. This may allow the latch to unlock.

    It's the same principle as "pennying" a door. Sufficient pressure on the latch will keep the door knob from turning.

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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Appliances these days are designed for customer appeal and cost of manufacture, rather than reliability. The Maytag Neptune was one of the first ones to go all-electronic, and I think the resulting class-action suit was recently settled.

    Many people will say that the water-saving front-loading washers now popular are unavoidably less reliable, but companies were making these things back in the '40s. The old designs would be more expensive these days, but they'd last longer.

    Manufacturers over the last 15 years or so have been training customers to accept poor reliability. It's BS. A properly designed large appliance should last 20+ years. Adding to this is the spread of offshore brands like LG (who used to be known as the cheap TV company GoldStar.)
    Do something alone and it's weird, do it with others and it's a club.

  19. #19

    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    One warning(or two)about Sears...

    If you purchase appliances from them and then postpone delivery multiple times(i.e. your house not ready yet), make sure you call to confirm warranty start date. Although your warranty doesn't officially start until you take delivery(not from date of purchase), most likely sears will only have the 1st delivery scheduled date on file. Then they only keep the delivery records on file for 30 days so going back to find out what date an item was actually delivered in nearly impossible.

    We didn't take delivery for almost 6 months due to delays in getting our house ready. When we needed service on a couple of our appliances we were told they were out of warranty because the official date listed was our 1st scheduled delivery date. We postponed at least 5-6 times so records were all screwed up. The mess that follows is something that would rival the worst torcher teqniques used at gitmo. After being transfered and retransfered to 27 different people and then starting the process all over again about 27 times, the $300 to fix the appliance doesn't seem so bad!

    Lesson learned...oh and by the way...all 7 appliances purchased from Sears(Kenmore) needed some type of service within 1 year, but that's a story for another time...

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    Flavio
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    Sorry everyone, had a campout this weekend. Never got to touch the washer. I will try to get the panels off tonight after work and see what's in there. I might get lucky and get it open. If not, the repair guy is supposed to show up tomorrow.

    I bought this one when my 20 year old mechanical model was going to cost too much to fix. Not sure it was the right move now. It DOES clean better than my old one, and seems to be easier on the clothes. The fact that it uses less water and soap may be nice, but are definitely overridden if it needs to be fixed more often. But we shall see what happens.
    Bright Scouter
    Del

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Chronos's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    My wife and I and many of our friends are never purchasing Sears appliances again. Since their merger (was it Kmart?) their service teams were purged and replaced with underqualified help IMHO. Also we've all noticed a dramatic drop in appliance qualilty over the past few years.

    For example, we are now in the process of replacing all of the Kenmore appliances in our kitchen. This was not planned as part of a rennovation, as our kitchen is up-to-date. It is a response to our dishwasher failing (we replaced it); our microwave failing (we replaced it); and now our gas stove/range failing (we are about to replace it). Services schedules in our area have long, long lead times (weeks) and then inevitably the service teams don't possess the necessary parts. The parts get ordered, then arrive a few weeks later, then the technicians arrive a few weeks after that. Sigh. Oh, and all of these appliances were replaced 5-6 years ago when the kitchen was remodeled. Double sigh.

    Combine that with the fact that several of our friends are experiencing the same issues, and now many of the contractors we are talking to for other work on our home refuse to recommend Sears.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    What a coincidence. Our microwave recently stopped working. We've only had it for a few years, and it's a Kenmore Elite something-or-other from Sears, with electronic stuff. It just didn't turn on anymore, nothing on the display, no light inside, nothing. Of course, it only had a 1-year warranty.

    Our previous microwave had a timer knob and a power knob, and that was it. It was analog, so the timer wasn't that useful for anything under five minutes or so, but it must've lasted decades.

    We're also having some trouble getting our new-and-improved broken microwave repaired. I heard my mom saying something on the phone to my dad about the repair center being in Sacramento or something. In fact, she's driving the thing over to our local Sears as I type this.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: I hate Sears!

    A larger problem is the throwaway society we're now living in. I'm guessing that the landfills are filling up with microwave ovens and other electronic devices that almost work and could be repaired with a 5-cent resistor (and $100 in labor).

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