F11 code error on Kenmore HE3

I've never had a problem with my six year old Kenmore HE3 until recently. A few weeks ago code FDL kept showing up and my cycle would not complete. I ordered a door lock online for this model, replaced it, and my problem went away. (At least I thought it did.) After about 6 loads of wash, code F11 now shows. What could be wrong with my machine?

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My washer well tell me to add garment after about 10 min cycle. But if on cold water it runs straight threw

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I need to replace the three pin connector from the CCU to the MCU. One of the tines is missing. Got numbers 18 10 30 38 across the bottom of the connector, 55 18180 in the red middle section and what looks like 05 606 in very tiny print across the top. I needed a microscope to read it. Not sure if it's Molex connector or not. Any help?

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Mine was early in the cycle before the drum turns and turned out to be the MCU board, after I bought and swapped out the CCU board.

Try Circuit Board Medics in SC. They sell refurbished boards for less than new.

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I removed the circuit board. The directions tell me to unsolder the wires at the relay (K1). How do I get to the bottom of the board to unsolder? There are no wires that I can reach to unsolder coming from the relay

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Never mind the question about getting to the bottom of the circuit board. duh! I did remove and replace the K1 relay. Still getting F11 error.

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The F11 code is from a communication break in the serial link from the CCU (Central Control Unit) to the MCU (Motor Control Unit)(from the brains to the washer motor controller). Stay with me here!

There are three blue wires that go to the MCU from the CCU. Most of the problems probably occur during the final spin when the machine spins fastest and longest to extract all of the water.

Hence, the most vibrations cause the connectors to shake until there is a break in communication!

Take the top of the machine off (three #20 torx screws on the top back) to gain access into the machine. The CCU is top center back and has the spaghetti of wire going to it. You will see white wires on the far right of the CCU. Then going left they turn to black. The black set (3 wires) left of the row of white wires if for the Door Lock/Unlock. It IS a problem for the F/DL error. It is not making a good connection. Next the blue wire on the LHS of the CCU, last set (back) there are three blue wires. These 3 go to the MCU and are the serial communication lines. Tighten all these wires to make sure they are making good connections. Make sure your machine is level with all the feet on the floor. You do have a 24 month warranty one the machine so call a tech if within that period. To insure that this may be the problem, take a ride and sit on it during the final spin ;-) If it works then you know it's probably the wiring, if it doesn't buck you off first.

You really don't want to replace these parts because the MCU is $230 and the CCU is $175 -- a lot to pay for some loose wires. If you must buy parts, here they are: http://www.repairclinic.com/Shop-For-Par...

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yes but what is mcu?

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Saved me a ton, thanks

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Thank you ! thank you ! thank you ! The repairman just left after telling me to get a new washer. I bought this in 2004 and no problems until this F11 error that started this past week. He (the repairman) changed a motor on the pumb but still got the same code. He said not to bother since it was probably the Computer. Get a new one, is what he said. I jumped on the computer and found this website, read all your posts and explained to my husband what to do. What have we got to loose : he said. To our surprise it was quite easy, the first post explains clearly what to do. Check to wires, with a magnifying glass if you need to. One of them is not in correctly. Tighthen all the connectors. My husbands notice one was loose, pushed it in and VOILA it works. Thanks again !

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Glad I could help. Shame on the repairman.

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I was able to get rid of this same problem by removing the CCU (pretty easy), desoldering the 3 relays on the board and soldering them back into place. I also opened up the two white ones and cleaned them inside, but the fix actually came after desoldering and resoldering the black relay. 8 loads so far - no issues. Prior to that it would stop working about every other load.

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+ Great solution, it didn't occur to me that the vibration might break loose the solder joints.

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the actual relays inside were shot on mine but I also had a defective MCU. If you take the board out of the MCU it will be obvious if blown; several resistors were 'smoked' with a black residue on the case. I replaced the MCU with one from a machine i bought on craigslist for $100.

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Thank you! My son's friend followed your advice, and my machine works again! Saved me a bundle. :)

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I too had this issue and thanks to Mayer and Chris Campbells post went straight to the problem. I looked at the solder points on the under side of the board for the relays. With the naked eye, nothing looked out of the ordinary; however, under a microscope at the office, was able to see the solder was broken in a circular shape at the base of the pin. Again, it wasnt clearly visible even under the scope until you moved the relay on the other side and then you could clearly see the pin coming in and out of contact with the traces. I had my technician remove the old solder and resolder which after reinstallation has completely solved the issue. For those who dont have a technician available to them, any local electronics repair house could do this for you. Good luck.

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THIS WAS THE SOLUTION to my problem!

I never would have looked at my CCU board with a microscope had it not been for this comment.

I had performed every other repair listed, with no success.

I was ready to throw in the towel and buy a new machine, but not anymore.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

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I work in the Electronics Industry, these are called ring cracks. I found several of them on my computer board as well. Its a wonder it worked as well as it did. I have found similar cracks on my TV circuit boards as well. Thanks for the info.

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Amazing. Just amazing how something so small could make such a huge problem.

I had never heard of these "Ring Cracks"... now I've seen them.

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This was incredibly helpful; my washer is running again. I looked at the solder joints on the relays (the three black boxes on the board), and could barely see (with two pairs of reading glasses and a good magnifying glass) what looked like a ring around one of the soldered pins. Not a crack, but I googled images of "solder ring crack", and it was what I saw. I resoldered all the pins on the relays just to be sure there weren't other cracks I didn't see, and it's working again.

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The F11 fault was killing my wife's well oiled household machine and it's my fault?

I found the round cracks around 6 of the soldered pins on the backside of the CCU board. I just touched up all the solder joints for the Black Relays like the fellas above stated. My wife is ecstatic that the machine went past the magic 11 minutes to go barrier she had been fighting for the last week. All I can say, is that you guys are AWESOME.

OBTW: I found that numbering all the connectors and matching the numbers on the CCU case made it a snap to reassemble. Just a thought.

Greg

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all you need to do is solder the broken connections on the relays on the boards.

Look at them with a mag glass and you will see they are broken.

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Yes, that is all that i had to do. I touched up three broken solder joints on the two black relays on the board at rear of unit.

Good advice.

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You will need a good magnifying glass and a bright light to see the ring cracks on the relay pins. Quick fix once you can see the cracked solder joints.

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I found 1 ring crack and fixed it. 2 other soldering were weird like not neatly done like the others so I soldered them for good measure. I cleaned up the board with some electronic cleaner spray and re-assembled the board. This time the washer started okay. My issue was I was getting the F11 code at the beginning. Now everything seems fine. Thanks everyone!

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I took my board off as directed in all the excellent posts above. The middle connector on the MCU looked different and I had to use my imagination to see a hairline crack even under my microscope (magnified such that an Exacto blade tip takes up most of my field of view). Not being able to tell for sure I re-soldered it anyway. It has done a few loads so far and it seems to be the correct solution to the problem. Hats off to the one who first decided to use a microscope to scrutinize the board. Thanks everyone!

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I found that my excessive vibration is due to there only being two springs holding the barrel as opposed to four, which it was designed for. The springs have stretched out and doesn't have enough support.

I tightend the connectors on the CCU and replaced the springs and haven't had a problem for 5 loads now.

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Same problem with my 6 year old machine. Replaced k1 and k4 relay on ccu board. Now 3 weeks later all is still working fine. Problem looks like design error. When door latch opens the latch coil generates a voltage spike that arcs cross the relay and eventually the contacts don,t hold, especially at the vibrations generated during the final spin cycle. F11 error is just a bad diagnostic.

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Fantastic tip! I just checked all the wires and contacts and checked for cold solder joints and nothing. After the 10th read through all the tips i finally noticed the contacts have a problem staying closed when vibrated.

The final test was to apply 12v to close the contacts and bump the relay on the table. One relay stayed closed through some pretty violent bumps easily 50g or more. The other one a minor tap opened the contact. I could get readings over 40Ω during the bump.

Took off the relay cap and sure enough contact burnt to !@#$. I should be able to source some new relays at DigiKey. Wow. $1.26 each. Ok so found matching pinout 16a models for about $2.30 each. I'll be upgrading.

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follow-up; i did replace the relays with the higher rated ones; unfortunately *also* my MCU was shot but now the CCU will no longer self-destruct; i have a feeling that it was a cascade failure; the failure of the relays on the CCU led to a rapid switching of the relay which caused an inductive voltage spike in the MCU blowing the components there.

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The F11 code is caused by either a CCU failure or an MCU failure...here's how to tell:

If your machine starts a cycle and the water fills but the drum NEVER turns, your MCU is bad...it's most cost effective to buy a refurbished one and you can get them on eBay for $99 all day long.

If your machine makes it most of the way through a cycle but throws an F11 code during the rinse or spin, your CCU has the relay solder / vibration problem...

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Errors occur at both times with our 7 year old machine. I do some soldering in my electric guitars so I'm going to refurbish it myself? I need to look closer to these joints for cracks. My 62 year old eyes ain't what they use to be! Thanks to all for your help.

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Door locks, Machine puts in water, F-11 code goes off before drum turns. Replaced MCU board with NEW board. Still does the same thing. Checked connections at both ends. They looked clean......... Where do I go from here?

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It is really rare that thr MCU fails, 99$ of the time it is the CCU, relays or soldering crack or loos pins. As stated earlier, re-solder what you can or send your CCU to one of the ebay guy for repair.

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I was receiving the F11 error and I replaced the MCU and it did not fix my problem. I went through and checked all the wires and when I went to pull the large wire harness from the motor all the black wires popped out. Luckily the wires stayed in the correct order so I re-spliced the wires hooked everything back together and the machine started working again.

The vibration had - over time - weakened the wires and the connection.

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Thank you for this answer, I took off the top of the washer, the wiring was not exactly as explained, but I vacuumed some dust, pushed all the wires up into their contacts, turned on the power and it works!!!! Thank you so much for this info, it save me from having my husband yell at me and it also saved me $$$$$

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We began getting the F11 code about a week ago. However, ours was different than most of the F11 horror stories. Our code came a short time after starting the machine (10-20 seconds after cycle starting), the water would start, relays would click, door locks, etc, however, the drum never turns. I read most of the F11 postings I could find (one site had hundreds of posts on it). Proactively I removed the CCU board, carefully marking the location of each wire connector, taking photos, etc. I removed the white relays from the board, swapped them, resoldered them, checked/cleaned/renewed the solder on several other relays and a few components that were less than acceptable in my opinion. However, this did not rectify my F11 issue. I then found the documentation that was once in the washer, and that the previous homeowner had removed, and ran the diagnostic test. It would not go past step C1. HMMMMMMM, back to the internet. In the literally hundreds of postings that I read through, collecting notes on a legal pad for future consideration, I did find in two or three postings that the timing of the F11 code seems to be a critical troubleshooting observation. Most F11 codes are later in the cycle, when the drum is turning, either agitating the drum, or spinning, and the vibration of this action causes the bad solder/poor relay contact issues to cause the F11 code. HOWEVER, in those two or three postings I did identify that if the code was thrown early in the cycle, as ours did, then it was a MCU issue. So, I did my parts research, identified the correct part number using the manufacturers website, then went other places to price the part. I ordered my MCU from AppplianceCentral, and the part arrived in three days. I swapped the MCU out last night, I replaced the CCU cover and snapped the CCU back in place, checked all the connections to make sure they were all seated in their sockets, and ran a load. Voila, no F11 code. I do want to thank everyone for taking their time and posting all their trials and tribulations, as well as their victories. Oh, and a quick thanks to Al Gore, without him, we'd have no internet! (haha).

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Thanks David... While F11 code is triggered by communications error, it is no slam dunk and both CCU & MCU could be at fault. I verified that my CCU was working well (both relays working well) and performed a Motor continuity test per the tech manual I found inside the side wall of the machine. The motor appears to have normal readings @ 6 ohms per coil (1-2, 2-3 and 3-1 pins) and after verifying each wire continuity between CCU & MCU, then MCU has to be at fault. Ordering my circuit board medic repair today and will post an update when this is back to normal.

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TEMPORARY SOLUTION: Having experienced this error as well, most answers talk about the problem being the small cracks in the relays that are breaking communication during the spin cycle due to vibrations. I don't have the 2-3 hours right now to take the machine apart and fix it because today is laundry day...

Instead, i folded a couple dish cloths and put one under each foot of the washing machine. They act like little mini shocks and keep the washing machine from jolting around during the spin cycle. 4 loads so far and no F11 - so at some point i'll have to get in there and resolder the relays, just not today.

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This is an awesome thread. I suggest you carefully read it all if you are having F11 errors and see what makes sense for you. The root cause of all the shenanigans is the incredible vibration of these machines. If yours is more than a couple of years old there are 2 mandatory things to do and this fixed my machine the first and second time over the years that the problem surfaced and in both cases for a couple of years. Remove the three or four screws holding on the top and take it off. Find the CCU in the cream colored box at the top back of the unit and mark all the connectors with a Sharpee A, B, C,....AA etc and of course the box itself with the corresponding letters. Take lots of pics with that smart phone too so you can get it all back together. CAREFULLY remove the connectors and avoid breaking off the retaining tabs. If you do, hang onto them and you will need to glue them back on. Remove the box and the board inside. You will see on the connectors that the vibration has fretted little craters in the connectors. Take a soldering pencil, 60W is good, and a bit of solder and reflow all the solder pads where the connectors land. Make 'em smooth again. There are lots of threads that talk about this. One of the two black relays has burned contacts. If you are cheap, pop the covers off after desoldering them and clean the contacts and swap the positions of the relays. If you are handy find the parts by number OMRON something or another and dig through Digi-Key and buy replacements. They are cheap, but get the 16A versions instead of the 10 or 12 A ones. The first time I fixed our machine I did the swap. The second time I replaced the relays. Both times I reflowed the connector pads. I broke a few retaining tabs off and had to make an aluminum one or two since the parts dropped to the bottom of the washer :( If you start getting DLs along with your F11s, you need to either replace the door switch or like cheap I did, open up the thing and with your contact burnisher and cleaning fluid, polish the sh*t out of the contacts, get all the springs back in the right place and put it back in. Fail to do this properly and your door won't lock. One guy mentioned that F11s are serial communication errors due possibly to a loose connector on the CCU backmost left side. We started getting F11s maybe 6 months after replacing the relays and fixing the door latch and I went in, wiggled the black wire connectors and the blue wire connector (3 wires) I just mentioned. So far so good.

We have an HE4t version and several years ago it sta

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sue will be eternally grateful.
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