Kenmore elite HE3T washer stinks

gzecFebruary 26, 2012

Since purchasing this house we have this stinky front load washer. My wife leaves the door open, cleans the dispensers routinely, and runs "affresh" cleaner regularly. Is there something that can actually eliminate the smell or should we replace the washer? Please help.

Model # 11044921300

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Well, it sounds like you've tried most everything. This is ONE other thing that is probably the cause. This is a video demo of the drain catch in a whirlpool Duet. It should be the exact same in your HE3T. It's easy to do. There may be something stuck there attracting bacterial causing the smell.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning Drain Pump

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 12:00AM
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I had friends who had that problem. They thought it was coming from the sink drain in their laundry room but they'd never cleaned out their machines filter (an LG). They didn't even know they had to do that. When we opened it up there was lots of stuff in there (hair scrunchie, coins) and it stunk. After it was cleaned out problem was solved.

Are you running at least one sanitary/extra hot cycle per month? Does your machine have a tub clean setting? If so, be sure to use it once a month.

Good luck.

Here's a couple links to help you out:

Here is a link that might be useful: Smelly Washing Machines

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Whatever washer you replace it with will develop the same problem. Suggest getting to the root of it right now.

FWIW, I've had similar machine for seven years. Don't use bleach or affresh or anything else and everything stays fine.

Not there; don't know, but.....I'm suspecting product or dosing trouble combined with your water quality and temperatures used. You'll have to clean it out entirely or it will come back quickly.

Do you know maximum temperature capability of this machine? Does it have a "clean machine" cycle?

Agree with mark40511 about cleaning the trap. Suspect you may encounter clear evidence of what you're dealing with right there.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:33AM
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aslo, as usual, you are full of misinformation. Not all washers will develop a bad smell. It depends on the design and how one takes care of the machine.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 4:00PM
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"Not all washers will develop a bad smell."

Didn't say that. Did say I have a machine almost just like it with no such trouble and therefore suspect something amiss at this location. Also said "not there; don't know....".....said "suspect....."

I you want to come after me, suggest you wait for a better occasion than this.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Well if you're using Affresh I'm guessing it has a clean washer cycle and you're leaving the door open. That's two good things. The things I can think would be

A) Too large loads with too low water temp

B) too much or too little detergent and/or fab softener which can cause a scum to build up in the plastic outer tub.

C) Something in the drain pump (like in the video) that's stuck. A sock, paper towel, or any number of things that can stay there a while and start causing a smell, especially if you don't use chlorine bleach to wash over whatever might be stuck.

I have much the same machine as you do and I've never had any problem like this either. Please let us KNOW what you find and report back :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 2:17AM
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We have the HE3T as well. Have you checked inside the rubber gasket that is around the door opening? I will find the occasional small garment wedged in there. The first time, there was some mildew build up in there too. After cleaning the gasket, I made sure to always check it after each load & leave the door cracked when I was finished with the machine for the day. I also switched my detergent from an all liquid diet to powdered Charlie's Soap laundry detergent & that seems to have helped. I have never run Affresh or any other washing machine cleaner. Charlie's does it just fine for me (you actually run a load or two with double the regular amount of Charlie's + old towels to clean the machine when you first start using Charlie's Soap.) Before CS, I had used vinegar with hot water and a load of old towels. I found that having the towels in there helped with the smell more than if I just ran the washer with nothing in it. Also, make sure you are promptly removing the washed clothes to move them to the dryer--if they sit in there more than 24 hrs, the washer (and usually the clothes too) will smell.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:48AM
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asolo, here is a quote from your previous post: "Whatever washer you replace it with will develop the same problem"

if that doesn't sound like you are claiming all washers will smell, than please explain what you meant.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Next time I'll write you an epistle and have it professionally edited and hand-delivered. I should probably have put "likely" in the sentence knowing, as I do, your penchant for pedantry. However, in your case, I don't think any number of disclaimers would save me.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 2:19PM
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in other words, you can't claim that you didn't say (in essence) that "all" washers will smell. Gotta love people like you who can't debate the topic without personal attacks.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Nice to be loved. On we go.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 3:41PM
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I had the HE3 and never had a problem with smells unless the door got closed by accident. I'm sure I used too much detergent and fabric softener. I did do hot water washes and used LCB on a fairly consistent basis. I would clean that drain pump and also make sure that no small items have gotten trapped behind the rubber lip inside the machine. When my kids were little, their socks would sometimes get stuck in there.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 6:11PM
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FWIW, @dave1812, I believe you were the first one to lob an "attack" ...

"... as usual, you are full of misinformation"

I did not take @asolo's comment as meaning all washers will develop a problem but more that the OP needs to get to the bottom of what's causing his/her smell or a new machine might just begin to smell as well.

Anyway ... as you were ...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:13PM
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gzec, does your washer have an internal heater? If so, my suggestion would be to run a couple of sanitary cycles with bleach first and then with liquid dishwasher detergent. If you don't have sanitary, the longest and hottest cycles your machine can achieve should work as well (it may be Whitest Whites, or something similar). Clean out the drain trap, the rubber seal around the door opening (make sure you pull back the rubber seal and get into all the nooks and crannies ;-) and the detergent/softener dispenser (including the dispenser drawer opening in the machine). Oh, and don't forget to run off the cold water before you begin your hot/sanitary cycle. Basically, you need the hottest possible cycle with strong detergent or bleach in order to kill the mold and mildew.

My old Duet Sport without a heater had an occassional smell issues when I didn't know any better about HOT washes. My new LG with an internal heater (I regularly run HOT and SANITARY washer in it) has absolutely no trace of mold, mildew or smell after a year and a half of use.

Good luck and let us know how you do.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Good point about turning off the COLD water, izeve. When I run the Sanitary or Pure Cycle, I adjust the cold water faucet to let just a trickle of cold water through, and (using a mixing valve) I turn on the HOT water to 100%. that way, no matter if the ATC in the Samsung calls for mixing in cold water or not, I know that the only water entering the tub will be either around 145 degrees, or slightly cooler (thru the COLD inlet), giving me a nice hot wash cycle. Obviously, If I don't re-open the cold faucet and turn down the hot water mixing into the COLD inlet, then the RINSE cycle will also receive hot water too. For the Pure Cycle, all I want is very hot water! I run that cycle roughly every 12 days. It makes a big difference in the odor level of the washer (it removes the TRACE smell of detergent). the washer never has any moldy smell and I don't expect it ever to develop such a problem as I always dry the seal, detergent dispenser, and leave the door open. (an ounce of prevention...)

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I agree. I didn't think to turn the cold at the back of the washer down to the point that only a little comes through making the wash even hotter.

I probably should start turning my water off at the back when I'm finished washing for the day, simply because the hoses are seven years old. They state to change every five years and I haven't

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 2:19AM
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I'm unwilling to set my water heater to 145F....which isn't in the "sanitary" range anyway.

ATC in these HE machines is a cruel joke. Need one with a built-in heater....that does what it's supposed to. Unfortunately obtaining information about that in advance of purchase is annoyingly difficult. Almost everyone discovers such shortcomings after the sale.

From another thread, it appears dave1812 has modified his plumbing to solve the issue at his place. I'm unwilling to do that, as I suspect most people would be. Certainly do wish the mfgr's would be more up-front about what their machines do in their cycles and what temps they actually deliver. Provision for operator modification would nice, too. Alas.

@mark40511....highly recommend floodchek hoses and bronze goose-neck connectors. I have them at two locations. They are, indeed, a cut above. Link below. I am retail customer only. No other association.

Here is a link that might be useful: my preferred washer hoses

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 11:06AM
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