Model #WM2487HRM, this washer would being a cycle, but shortly after filling with water would display an 'LE' error message and stop the machine. The customer was a little concerned about the whole thing because another technician had already been out twice to replace parts, and both times he left to order more. I visiting this machine while riding with another tech one day who had a followup call to install more parts. The good news is, we didn't need the parts, and the machine is up and running.
The 'LE' error message indicates the control board has detected that the motor is either not turning, or has locked up for some reason. Monitoring the motor is the job of the hall effect sensor board which constantly determines the direction and speed of the motor and feeds that information back to the control board. If there is a problem between what the motor should be doing and what the hall effect sensor says the motor is doing, the 'LE' will be displayed and the cycle will be stopped.
Motor lock can be caused by several things from a loose connector, to a bad motor, or even the hall effect sensor failing or dislodging from it's mount. Any one or more of these components could have caused this error, but it is possible to separate the working from the non-working, just by following a process. The reason this particular unit has been on the injured list for so long is the first tech never followed a trouble shooting process to ensure the parts being replaced had actually failed.
If we take a look at the motor circuit of this washer, you should notice we can do our checks right from the control board by verifying voltage outputs to the motor and sensor boards, and then after removing power to the machine, do resistance checks to those same components. By doing these checks you are first eliminating the control board as the problem because if the output voltage is present, it must be working. And second you eliminate the component and wire harness because if you read the correct resistance, then they must be working. Which ever one isn't reading correctly must be the problem. Sounds simple enough, but unfortunately, the first tech never did either check and just ordered parts.
On my visit, the process was simple. We verified voltage from the control board, and finding it was good, we next went on to do the resistance checks. Starting with the motor, we checked resistance between each of the windings until the condition of each one was verified and here is where we found the problem. A reading of between 5 and 15 ohms should be read between any two wires, but on two of them, we were reading almost infinite resistance which would indicate an open motor winding. Figuring we now have a problem with the motor, the next stop was to check the motor at the connector. Here we did the same check, but this time the appropriate resistance readings were found which would now indicate the motor is good. This left the harness as the failure. A quick resistance check on each wire showed one of them (the blue one actually) was open.
Knowing we now had a bad harness (and not wanting to tell the customer we needed another part) I started pulling the harness apart to get a look at each wire, and that's when I found it. The top photo shows the small cut in the wire that over time, became a larger gap until it finally just stopped working. I was able to repair this wire with a little solder and heat shrink tubing, which worked well for the customer. Had the first technician followed a good trouble shooting process, this problem could have been solved much earlier.
The moral of this story. Understand what you are checking, be consistent in your process, and always verify a failure two ways if possible. Knowing which part has failed always beats hoping you know which part has failed.
Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer.
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