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The Kenmore Elite HE3 is a washing machine by Kenmore.

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Why is the "F dl" light come on

This has really been a struggle, the "F dl" light comes on and we are stuck and can't get the door open or continue on with the wash, it also beeps as it stops.

Please help.

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replaced the door lock switch twice on mine. Error would go away for a bit, reoccur, go away... Happened again now. Took off the lid, pressed the 2 wire connector (FL something) on the right side of the brain box - the door locked and started right up.


Worked for me thanks


I have been unplugging mine, sometimes it doesn't take long, sometimes over night...., when you plug it back in it still will not unlock but does run a cycle and will unlock at the end of the cycle


What does UL mean?


Thanks for sharing everyone.

for me what worked was reseating the connector with 2 pink wires to the right of the plastic block. See details below.

Someone had mentioned leaving the washer door open and I think that might have been what happened to me, and the lock didn't reset. After coming back to it, I had the dL f error code.

I took the top off, and reset all pink wires in the block but not the 2 pink wires going into the solonoid looking thing to the right of the plastic block.

I had it plugged in (by accident) and took out that connection, then remembered to unplug it (whoops), connected the wire, plugged it in, turned it on and it worked.

I had it unplugged for 12 + hours before this, no change.


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These are the errors for error code

F/dL Door Lock Error


A Door Lock Error occurs if the door cannot be unlocked. It will try to lock it 6 times before displaying the error.

check or repair the following

Door Lock Mechanism broken or removed from the Door

Check Door Lock/Switch Assembly

Check the wire harness connections to the Door Lock/Switch Assembly and Central Control Unit (CCU)

Door Lock/Switch Assembly Failure and have more on this. Here is a way to gain access to your washer if the door is locked shut.

1. Remove the lower panel under the door by loosening the three screws under the bottom edge on the front of the washer. HINT: If you prop up the front feet of the washer with some small blocks of wood, this will make access to the screws much easier.

2. With the screws removed, the lower panel should drop down then come off. If the panel sticks, a light tap on either side will knock it loose.

3. Reach your hand up inside the washer behind the front casing on the right-hand side. This is where the door latch assembly is located.

4. At the bottom of the door latch assembly is a small pull tab. This is the manual release for the door. Pull the tab straight down and the door will come open.

Sometimes these doors will not unlock for whatever reason. If there are no error codes being generated, this could have just been a momentary glitch. If you see "Fdl" or "Fdu" error codes, these are usually indications of a failed door latch assembly and will require replacement. You can also try to reset the CCU by unplugging the washer for AT LEAST 30 minutes. Hope that helps.

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Thanks.....your information was helpful and saved me $ on a service call. Found about 5 small nails and a penny in the filter. Pulled the manual tab and opened the door. Washer locked and works great!

Thanks again


FdL code would not reset until I turned washer on to start load. Once I did that the Fdl code resolved. Took top off, removed & replaced wires, took door lock off & cleaned it - nothing worked until I simply started a load. Washer then locked door, and all worked fine afterwards.


I get this error BEFORE the door locks. I have already replaced the door lock mechanism myself. It will usually start after several tries, but I have been trying for 1 1/2 days now. How do I clear that error?


kakrasky66: If it's not the Door Lock then it the CCU unit. On Amazon I was able to get the CCU (Kenmore CCU Central Control Unit 8182689) Refurbished for only $97.00. Warning do not get the New model from Kenmore as it has the same issue. Vendor "PartSimple" refurbishes the CCU to ensure that the unit will last longer (Relay swap, contact cleaning etc...)

I spent the whole Spring and Summer with a working washer after spending last winter with one that was sporadic.


kakrasky66: I had the same problem and it was connections to the CCU. Be forewarned: the connectors are cheap and break and there's no gold plating on the board fingers meaning the connections can get dirty. I disconnected & reconnected the wires to the CCU and then used hot-melt glue to hold the connectors in place.


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Suddenly, my Kenmore Elite h3 washer door would not lock. I could hear a clicking noise in the back but no loud latching noise from the door. After a few clicks, the beeper would sound and the panel would flash "DL" and "F". After reading a few blogs I determined I had a door latch problem. I unplugged the washer and turned off the water. I tightened the screws for the latch in the door using a torx screw bit. I removed the front bottom panel (3 torx screws bottom of panel). Reached inside and pulled the emergency release (You can see it using a flashlight) several times. I then removed the top panel (3 hex screws in the back) and unplugged the 2 pink wireing harness from the panel in the back and plugged them back in (the pink wires go to the door latch). I also reached in and jiggled the wiring harness to door latch. Plugged the washer back, turned the water on, put a load of clothes and the door latch locked with it's usual loud noise and the washer started working!! I am going to buy a replacement door latch swithch. I found several on ebay for about 40 bucks.

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Thank you Technogram! This is the exact problem I was having and now I can fix it myself. Thanks!


Thanks Technogram!

Your solution worked great for us, and the washer is working well now.

Thanks again.


Thank you so much for your helpful instructions! You just helped us open our washer and get it started again. A locked washer with an error code and filled with wet laundry was the last thing I needed on this Sunday morning. You Rock!


Thank you, thank you! I released the manual switch and started the wash cycle over. Seems to be working fine now! You saved a very tired mommoy of three tonight! :)


Thank YOU!

my machine has done this since 6mo old and I stopped using it... Sears comes out and claims it is fine no problem... the next time I use it... it stops door stuck... clothes ruined again... unplugging worked for a couple months and this last time I had to take the panel off after trying for two weeks to free my clothes as they were held hostage by HE 3 washer...

TIP... you need a Torx head screw driver to remove the screws...

Next I hope to fix it myslef... in appreciation ... dawn, January 18, 2013


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-(Kenmore HE3)…same thing... mine would not lock, error 'DL'... i replaced the door latch mechanism, which did not solve the problem. -i removed the three torx screws from the top-back of the unit, lifted the back cover up gently an inch, and slid the top of the washer away from me, removed top. -then i just reseated the pink wire connector (i reseated them all). -problem solved, for now. -must be a poor connection (vibration?). -cost me $73 for the latch i didn't need, hope i save you $.

-update 1/20/18:

*****eventually i had to re-solder the board where the connectors make contact, which involved removing the board and adding a bit of solder to each of the contact points on the board, been years now without a fault. This was the solution.

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Thank you! Your trick worked! Unbelievable! I finally started washing again after almost 2 weeks of trying to solve the problem. Awesome!!!



Our Kenmore Elite aka Whirlpool HT4 had similar naughty behaviour !

The door lock had a continuity imbalance in the door lock solenoid coils (cannot get separately ).


1. New whirlpool lock installed.

2. Still behaved naughty with the dL code.

3. Took to off and followed above!

All is happy but after 11 hard years I would suggesting taking the top off every year at this age and press in gently the wire couplings to the computer! This vibration oriented problem at least partially!

By the way thinking back this design of electrical couplings / mounting system of electrical components is very similar to my former 74 450 Mercedes Sports car which in the end needed a rewiring with an American universal wiring harness! Too much vibration over the years!

Thanks for this, here in Canada the lock is $140 including a myriad of taxes but very prompt delivery as we are 400 miles in a rural area!


I had already replaced the door latch and was about to give up. Following this worked for me. Just carefully heating and re-soldering the points on the board made it work for me. Carefully disconnecting all the harnesses and getting board out took a bit of time, but once it was out and dissassembled, it was easy to get to work on soldering those connection points. I can't thank you enought.. After 2 months of washing elsewhere I am finally washing at home again.. Blessings to all of you for your ideas...

oh.. I discovered that pressing and holding the cancel button, resets the error code on my Kenmore. Most were saying that you had to unplug the power for 10 min.... Some actually said to unplug overnight.. Late in the game I figured this out.. Hope it helps someone else...

Thanks again everyone...


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I think I found the issue with the latch switch... it is a passive switch, and therefore can fail to close the electrical loop if corrosion or wear begins to take hold... I used an old gearhead trick and put some WD40 into the switch from the outside, soaking it. That enabled the oil to impregnate the switch and come in contact with the contacts that close the electrical loop. I verified this by using a multimeter to analyze the before and after ohm reading. Before, there was no ohms read, 0. After, infinite, or closed. So, the switch appears to be at fault here for some instances. The connector is rather flimsy as well, and a dose of WD40 on those contacts should keep that from misbehaving in the future as well. But in my situation, the switch was the culprit and now is working again as it did when it was new. Hope this helps, and should be a cheap fix for some.

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By latch switch, you mean the actual point where the door and the lock meet?


I’m wondering the same thing. What is a “latch switch?” The actual door latch, like you were asking? Or the buttons on the washer? I’m apprehensive to put any WD40 on the washer buttons, as that stuff tends to take paint off.


I sprayed WD-40 on the door latch where the door comes into contact with the machine, plugged the machine back in, and it worked. Not sure how, as the door latch is mostly plastic. Hopefully it’s not a fluke and keeps working for me.

I’d had many appliance repair people out, and the last one who seemed to repair the problem indefinitely (for a year or two) told me the tiny electrical arc to the contact on the mother board, over time, will corrode just a tiny bit and prevent the electrical impulse from reaching the board and doing its job. He cleaned the contact on the board with a dollar bill. I’m hoping this never needs to be done again, since I have my dryer on top of my washer, and it’s a major pain trying to find a repair person who will lift the dryer off the washer to get the washer top panel off to repair anything.


My washer is doing this again, and the WD40 trick isn’t working…


The latch is the lock mechanism, extremely easy to change, but I would try everything else mentioned on here 1st while not expensive or hard to fix (I got for $40 something online and did it myself with no prior experience by watching videos, it wasn’t my actual issue because it’s acting up again and has been since, off and on, the WD40 end checking connections is free so I would start there. If you have to pull up a video online and just follow along, as I said pretty easy and it only took me about an hour to take everything apart, change, and put back together. If it won’t open try unplugging for 30 minutes then plug & push pause/cancel button 2X’s, if it still doesn’t unlock then as stated above you can take bottom panel off and reach up in at the lock area to pull tab down to release door, I would try the unplugging and plugging back in a couple times 1st because it’s easier then taking everything apart. *When you plug it back in don’t press anything before pressing the pause/cancel button 2X’s *


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I have an answer...before doing any removing of the washer, I left the door closed (usually it is open after a wash to air-dry) and started the washer up to an hour later and it reset itself. The key here is to keep the door shut so it resets the lock. Make sure the load of clothes is inside with detergent (if not in the drawer) and press start buttons half an hour to an hour later. I had the clothes and detergent ready to go for an hour with the door worked!

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Has anyone told Whirlpool they manufactured a piece of junk?


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Great post!

We had the same problem. Wiring was fine. I tried the WD40 and then accidentally had the latch in lock mode with the door open!

I could not manually unlock it.

My son and I took the latch completely off after removing the wiring harnesses.

We opened the latch carefully to not lose or displace springs.

We found a small piece of broken plastic jamming the mechanism. We got the box back together and reinstalled the latch. All is working so far!

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This was all helpful. What would we do without online help sources? Here we are in the midst of the pandemic & I put in a load, but it stopped with 2 minutes left to spin & displayed the dreaded DL/F code. I tried to cancel & reset, but the door remained locked & it would not reset to a new cycle; it just kept ticking, so I cancelled. This happened 3 times. Because my machines are stacked, it would be difficult for me to access the top panel, so after reading all the above comments, I decided to try the most noninvasive response & unplugged the washer. Let it sit overnight, hoping it would reboot. Sure enough, I plugged it in this morning & set it for a quick rinse & spin cycle; it finished the cycle & the door unlocked. Hope it will continue to work until the pandemic has subsided & it is safe to call for a maintenance check up.

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My washer keeps doing this intermittently after a time. I had washer repair people out about a year ago, and the 3rd technician told me the contacts on the board get corroded with time from the slight electrical impulse to signal to the board to shut the door. He resolved it for about a year, like he said, by cleaning the contact on the board with a dollar bill. My machines are stacked and not starting up again. I’ve tried the WD40 trick and it’s not working. I unplugged it overnight and just tried it again, and it didn’t clear because it started clicking trying to shut the door as soon as I plugged it in, not after I pushed “start.” I have it unplugged, again, waiting.

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Brian zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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