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Troubleshooting Your Washing Machine issue Using the Diagnostic Mode

Troubleshooting Your Washing Machine issue Using the Diagnostic Mode

Washing machines aren't fail-safe. They will develop faults or the inability to run through long-term use, problems with the water supply, or basic wear and tear. We all want to figure out the cause of these issues ASAP to get the machine up and running again. Diagnostic modes can help users communicate with their smart washing machine, narrow the problem, and give an idea of what to do next.

These tools can be great time-savers when they're effective and informative enough. That's why it is crucial to know how to use your machine's diagnostic mode, what the error codes mean, and when to call for expert appliance repair.

Understanding Your Washing Machine's Diagnostic Mode

Every brand has its own system for accessing this diagnostic mode. Some older machines require a more complicated series of actions, while modern ones turn to smart software and apps. Here are some of the methods from leading washing machine brands.

1) Whirlpool Washer Diagnostic Mode

Some machines rely on the mechanics of the dial to activate a diagnostic mode. It feels a bit like safe cracking with the Whirlpool models. Spin the dial 360 degrees to the left to reset it, then a pattern of 3 clicks right, 1 left, 1 right. This should bring up all the cycle status lights. One more click to the right activates error code mode, and pressing the start button activates diagnostic mode. You can then use the dial to cycle through the codes found.

2) Samsung Washer Diagnostic Mode

Samsung machines can perform various checks on demand to test the health of the appliance. It all starts by prepping the washer and setting the machine to Delay End for 17 hours. Pressing and holding start should bring up an AS code. Press start again to confirm the test. You can watch and listen to the machine go through its checks. It will check the lock on the door, the valves, the spin cycle, and the drain. Error codes will appear if anything shows up. At the end, you get some pretty music.

3) LG Washer Diagnostic Mode

LG makes some very smart appliances that make the most of modern technology. Their ThinQ app helps consumers link their phones to devices to perform checks. Just open up the app, select the icon in the top left of the screen, and locate Smart Diagnosis. You can then choose your connected device and press start. The diagnosis will run to check for all possible faults and send the results to your phone. As long as the connectivity works, it's much more user-friendly than using the dial.

4) Maytag Washer Diagnostic Mode

What's helpful here is that Whirlpool acquired Maytag back in 2006. They are still separate brands with different appliances, but there are some shared features and technical aspects. This means you use the same series of clicks on manual Maytag washers. Again, you must wait for the lights to go on and then cycle through the dial to find the error codes.

Smarter machines with a control panel may have an info menu with a Service and Support option. Enter the password - 123 123 123 - and then enter to activate diagnostic mode.

5) Kenmore Washer Diagnostic Mode.

Finally, there is the Kenmore system. This one is much more simple. First, press the spin and soil level buttons at the same time, followed by the power button. It's a bit like pressing Control, Alt, Delete. You should hear the buzzer twice to indicate success. From them, you just have to press the start button repeatedly to cycle through the modes.

Common Error Codes and Their Meanings

Once you've successfully entered diagnostic mode on your washing machine, you should see an error code indicating the problem. LCD machines use basic codes with 2 or 3 numbers or letters. These vary between brands, so it helps to read up on what to expect from your machine.

LG is one of the most straightforward and logical brands regarding error codes. Common examples here include:

These give a pretty good indication of where to look, and some are easy to fix. DE could mean the door isn't shut properly, and UE may require a quick load rebalancing.

Whirlpool takes a different approach by assigning numbers to issues. These can be a little vague and include the following.

Many codes relate to the same problems, even if they aren't the same letters and numbers. You can find codes for several issues, such as the following.

It is also worth noting that some high-end machines, such as the best Samsung models, use icons for status updates. This can be beneficial because they are easier to remember than random numbers. Some are self-explanatory, such as the face of a smiling child next to a lock to show the child lock is on. If you see a stained shirt, the machine is running longer than normal to handle badly soiled clothes.

But what if your machine doesn't have an LCD display? There are machines from these top brands that only have indicator lights. This is where things can get a little more complicated. In some cases, the lights will blink in a specific pattern, a little like an LED Morse code, to indicate the problem. If you can match the pattern to one in the manual, you might be able to move forward.

How to Use Diagnostic Mode to Troubleshoot Issues

Essentially, there are five steps to troubleshoot your washing machine.

It helps to reset the machine before and after the test for recalibration. After diagnostic testing, turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Wait for a couple of minutes to let all the power discharge, and power it back up.

Also, don't forget that most manufacturers have online manuals, FAQ guides, and customer service assistants to help.

Limitations of Diagnostic Mode

Going into diagnostic mode is a great starting point when trying to fix a washing machine, but it isn't guaranteed to solve the problem. You must remember that this is all about a series of algorithms giving a rough idea of what might be wrong. They are just there to point you in the right direction. You are still left searching for a precise issue and a practical solution. Sometimes these tools are spot on, and the problem is resolved in minutes. This is easy when it's a door, load, or suds issue. Other times, the codes are completely off the mark. You could find yourself dealing with several issues at the same time.

Another issue for washing machine users is the lack of consistency in the codes. For example, if a machine flashes FE for filter error and drain error, that isn't pinpointing the issue. Meanwhile, Samsung uses either 5E, E2, or 5C for its drain errors. This can get frustrating if you switch brands or struggle to explain a problem to a customer care team.

When to Call a Professional

This can all get a bit complicated and frustrating when the machine doesn't give you a straight answer right away. Some of the convoluted ways to enter diagnostic mode don't help. There is no shame in admitting defeat and calling for help from a skilled appliance repair team.

Even if you can use the diagnostic mode and decipher the codes, there's no guarantee you face a simple DIY fix. Serious faults with parts and electronic systems could require significant repairs or replacements.

The Value of Diagnostic Mode in Maintenance

Diagnostic modes can provide plenty of peace of mind and save users from time wasted dealing with customer support centers. It gives us the power to essentially ask the machine what's wrong and be proactive about rectifying issues.

Still, while the best washing machine diagnostic tools are really helpful for quick fixes, they aren't guaranteed to help. Ideally, you will be able to run these programs, figure out the codes, and fix a simple problem by yourself. If not, your local washing machine repair team is only a phone call away.