796.40512900 Front loader drains fine sometimes, other times not

dudu440

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Location
Sacramento
Model Number
796.40512900
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
1-5 years
It shows error code OE, which tells me what I know. I've checked for obstructions and kinks, cleaned out the pump motor (it had a lot of greasy gunk in it), but still no luck. Logic tells me that either the pump motor is failing and should be replaced (though sometimes it works fine), or there's something in the circuitry (presumably buried in the front panel) that's sometimes sending the wrong instruction. Thanks for any clues to point me in the right direction.
 

Jake

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Hi,

Did you check the drain hose from the tub to the drain pump? It is possible that a small article of clothing got in between the tub and drum and is stuck in the drain hose. Could be a small sock or a thong underwear. Usually, it's the thong underwear that's causing the problem.

Also, Check the connectors at the drain pump to make sure they're secure and the wires have not broken off the connectors. I've found some drain pumps to do that. Next, check the wires between the drain pump and the control board to make sure they haven't been cut or damaged. Check the voltage at the drain pump when it calls to drain. If it's less that 110 volts, change the board. If the voltage is 110 to 120 replace the drain pump.

Here's the control board for your model you can order:
LG EBR62545103 Pcb Assembly,main


Here's the drain pump for your model you can order:
LG 4681EA2001T Drain Pump Motor


Jake
 

dudu440

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Thanks a lot for your prompt reply, Jake, but if there were an obstruction or a cut wire, wouldn't the drain pump fail consistently? Sometimes it starts up and drains normally, with a good outflow. Other times, nothing.

I'm leaning toward thinking the problem is the control/circuit board, or perhaps a timer. That's also because sometimes before it does drain it stands still for a few minutes, then goes. And for a long time, the machine has taken way longer to complete a wash that the readout saying how much more time until load completion indicates along the way.

Do front-loaders even have a timer? I see a description of one for top-loaders with instructions on how to replace, but not for front-loaders.
 

Jake

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No, the old first generation front loaders had timers.

if there were an obstruction or a cut wire, wouldn't the drain pump fail consistently?
Yes, I would agree. So its either the control board or drain pump. The only way to tell is by doing the volt test, if you don't have a multimeter then I'd order both just to be on the safe side.

Here's the service manual for your model: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fuh22320i1tpfk2/796.40512900%20Service%20Manual.pdf?dl=0

It shows how to get access to the control board and drain pump. There is also a video when you click the link to the drain pump above.

Jake
 

dudu440

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Thanks again, Jake. You're definitely helping me zero in on the problem. I have a multimeter, but wouldn't any test of the pump motor be unreliable since it sometimes works fine? (And when it doesn't, sometimes it hums softly for a few minutes, as if waiting to start -- which it them may or may not do. ...) And do you mean a volt test as you wrote or a continuity test? Of course I'd rather the pump motor be the problem, since it costs a lot less than a control board, but I'd rather not end up having to get both.
 

Jake

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Yes, that's why I mentioned to order both, then return the one you dont need for a full refund, less shipping. Intermittent problems are the hardest to nail down till the problem occurs everytime, see what I mean?

Yes, volt test.

When you order from our two appliance parts suppliers AppliancePartsPros and RepairClinic, you have 365 days to return the part/parts for a full refund, less shipping, for any reason, even if you install the part/parts and it doesn't fix the problem.

Jake
 

dudu440

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OK, I followed the instructions on page 25 of the repair manual to check the resistance -- though I think the "Yes" and "No" on the flow chart there are reversed. Resistance between 10 and 20 is what it should be, isn't it?
For checking the voltage, there seems to be inconsistency between the instructions on page 25 ("main PCB connectors NA4-1 BN and BL3-1 BK"), the wiring diagram on page 42 (which if I'm reading correctly looks like the relevant first wire would be BL4-1, not NA4-1). I also looked at the full circuit diagram on page 22, and I find it even more confusing. I see no BN wire coming from either of the above.
So ... if testing the voltage is important, perhaps you can try to explain to me which of these is correct and exactly where are the right contacts to test. The wires going to the pump are black and brown. Maybe it's as simple as testing them right there, at their ends?
Thanks again.
 

Jake

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--->Measure the resistance of the drain pump motor. Is the resistance between 10Ω and 20Ω ?
(Refer to 9-4 Pump motor assembly.)

The instructions are correct, what is the ohm reading your getting?

--->Check the voltage between the main PCB connectors NA4-1 BN and BL3-1 BK. Is the voltage 120 VAC ± 5%?

What is the volt reading your getting?

Jake
 

dudu440

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The resistance reading was around 15.
Sorry if my previous question wasn't clear. Can you tell me exactly where to do the voltage reading? I found the instructions confusing, with different contact labels appearing in places where I would expect them to be the same. Specifically, where do I find NA4-1 BN and BL3-1 BK?

I also ran the test sequence per the instructions on page 19 of the repair manual. The pump worked fine for that.

Thanks again.
 

Jake

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It says if between 10Ω and 20Ω to replace the drain pump.


Sorry if my previous question wasn't clear. Can you tell me exactly where to do the voltage reading? I found the instructions confusing, with different contact labels appearing in places where I would expect them to be the same. Specifically, where do I find NA4-1 BN and BL3-1 BK?
Page 22 of that service manual has the circuit board diagram to where each connector is labeled.

Kenmore 796 is made by LG, and some service information can be hard to understand because it was translated from Korean to English by a computer.

Jake
 

dudu440

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Yes, that's what I saw but I guessed it really meant the opposite because it seemed to defy logic. If between 10 and 20 is bad, then what is a good reading? Less than 10? More than 20? It can't be both. And you'd think that it would give a range for a good reading, not a bad one. But if it looks right to you, ... well, you obviously know a lot more about this than I do.
I also still wonder: If the pump is bad, then why does it work perfectly at times? Would the resistance vary from moment to moment?
And the instructions on where to test the voltage still leave me baffled because the contacts/wires shown are labeled one way in the instructions, another in one diagram and a third in the other.
Maybe I should just buy both parts as you suggested, but that would require putting out even more $ and paying to return one or the other (hopefully not both!).
Thanks,
David
 

Jake

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Because of the translation problem, They make it sound confusing, and it doesn't make sense to me either, I'm just going by what it says in that service manual.

So, I really can't help you further, either order both parts and return the one you don't need for a full refund, less shipping, OR have Sears come out.

In fact Sears refuses to work on LG and Samsung too now, they will ONLY work on the KENMORE 795 and KENMORE 796 which are both LG.

Jake
 

dudu440

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I'm going to order the control board and we'll see how it goes. I found a DIY video about the Kenmore pump motor, and it says the ideal resistance is 16.2, so I'm really sure the manual has its Yes and No backwards.

By the way, we also have an LG (they and an older Maytag, plus three dryers, serve a 25-family cohousing community). I dismantled the LG last week because one of the springs popped out when it danced too much from an unbalanced load. They internal setup is virtually identical to the Kenmore -- I understand LG makes both -- but the parts I'm looking at ordering for the Kenmore seem not quite exactly the same, so I don't think I should try the LG ones in the Kenmore. Reply if you want as to whether you agree.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

Jake

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I found a DIY video about the Kenmore pump motor, and it says the ideal resistance is 16.2, so I'm really sure the manual has its Yes and No backwards.
That won't surprise me.:)


By the way, we also have an LG (they and an older Maytag, plus three dryers, serve a 25-family cohousing community). I dismantled the LG last week because one of the springs popped out when it danced too much from an unbalanced load. They internal setup is virtually identical to the Kenmore -- I understand LG makes both -- but the parts I'm looking at ordering for the Kenmore seem not quite exactly the same, so I don't think I should try the LG ones in the Kenmore. Reply if you want as to whether you agree.
Correct, same as with Kenmore 417 which is made by Frigidaire, some folks think they can cross-over the same parts, but that's risky to do and I've never advised it, as there is slight differences in both.:)

Let us know if the control board fixes it!

Jake
 

dudu440

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Hey Jake, are you still there?
Last time we corresponded, replacing the drain pump did the trick. But now it suddenly stopped working, showing an FE error code at first, but none when I ran the test cycle. I dismantled the pump, and the resistance tests fine. It also looks fine and there's no blockage. I detect no voltage at the leads that plug into it, but I'm not sure I'm testing that correctly. As before, I'd like to figure out how to test voltage higher up in the system, for instance at the control board. And as you can see from our previous messages, the instructions were confusing. Can you help me try again? This time, it's my only hope, as the PCB assembly, part EBR62545103, is apparently no longer available. Can you confirm that or say whether there is any other alternative? Thanks so much.
 

Jake

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Its very simple: Check the voltage at the drain pump when it calls to drain. If it's less that 110 volts, change the board. If the voltage is 110 to 120 replace the drain pump.

Yes, you are correct--->EBR62545103 has been discontinued.

These Kenmore 796 models are made by LG, they are not a reliable machine compared to Whirlpool and Maytag. So I'd suggest your next washer be Whirlpool or Maytag if your control board is the culprit.

Jake
 

dudu440

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Thanks, and I'm glad to see you're still around -- and up late! I do see a control panel on E-Bay that says the actual seller is Sears Parts Direct and can be returned within 30 days. $237 -- scarcity has driven the price up, I guess.
I also found a website with instructions on how one might repair a burned out relay on such a board: ifixit.com/Guide/Repairing+Kenmore+Elite+HE3+Washer+Control+Board+Relays/3533. Dare I ask neighbors for a good soldering iron and try it?
But first, back to my diagnostic question: Can you advise on how to reliably test the voltage to the pump? I tested the leads that plug into the pump with the washer "running" on the "rinse/spin" cycle, which it seems should have done it. No voltage. Was that correct? I'd like to try testing at or near the control panel in an effort to confirm where the problem is.
The community committee may well decide to replace the washer, though they give me leeway to try repairing since it's the newest of our three. Thanks for the advice on brands. They may decide to go commercial instead. Is that a good idea? If so, do you have brand recommendations?
Thanks very much.
David
 

Jake

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I tested the leads that plug into the pump with the washer "running" on the "rinse/spin" cycle, which it seems should have done it. No voltage. Was that correct?
Perfect! Yes, that's the way to do it.

I'd like to try testing at or near the control panel in an effort to confirm where the problem is.
You'd need to look at your tech data sheet to find which pins on the control board send voltage to the drain pump.

The community committee
This is not in a private residence?

If this is commercially used you will need a Speed Queen Washer.:)

--->Speed Queen TR3000WN 3.2 cu. ft. 26 Inch Top Load Washer

Jake
 

dudu440

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The tech data sheet was where I ran into confusion when we communicated two years ago -- I couldn't tell which terminals to test. See the earlier thread. And now we know the manual isn't reliable, as it was backwards on the pump resistance.
Meanwhile I opened up the cover of the control board and nothing looks obviously burnt or otherwise out of sorts.
We are a community of 25 households with a shared laundry room in the common house -- three washers and three dryers. Over the years I've taken on the challenge of keeping them running, usually successfully. It's a great change of pace from my usual work sitting at the computer, reading and writing more political/legal stuff.
Thanks again.
 

Jake

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I understand, This Kenmore 796 model is made by LG, as you know LG is from South Korea.

Their manuals are the worst. A computer translated it to English from Korean and quality control dropped the ball.:disgust:

Jake
 
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