We can divide the problem into two groups of causes; Adjustments or Resets, and Component Issues or Failures. We will start with the Adjustments or Resets since opening up the washer is a lot more effort.
Keep in mind that you may find information on websites that will advocate adding springs, bungee cords, or disassembling suspension rods and adding parts to them. These "fixes" might work in some cases but they often give mixed results.
Further, the washing machines are engineered (seemingly poorly sometimes) to operate as designed. Allowing movement of the wash tub is designed so that parts are not over-stressed trying to resist loads by sheer brute force, and the machine doesn't go for walks repeatedly. So it's probably good to resist using the "quick and dirty" approach unless you have no alternative.
Adjustments and Resets
Adjust the Load
This is the standard LG answer to anything in this area. But it is actually valid, and the first place to start. You might think this is too easy, but a common user error is loads that are too large, or large single items, like a bedspread, that aren't distributed properly in the machine.
- Stop the machine, open it, and rearrange the load. You might even want to add an item like a towel, possibly even wet, if there's only one item so that you can better balance things.
- If the load is too large, the machine may not be able to spin at full speed, remove some of the wash items and try again.
- You may avoid this in the future by finding out from your owner's guide, how much your machine can handle.
- Start the machine again and see if it will spin properly. If so, the problem is solved.
- If the load is properly sized and fairly well distributed, go to the next item.
Your machine may be having this code because it isn't steady on its feet. This is very important with front-load machines. They have to be steady and level.
- Give your machine a push in a couple of directions and see which way it wants to tilt, if at all. if It doesn't want to tilt that's helpful, because leveling will be that much easier.
- You should put a small level on the top of the machine to check which way it is leaning. In case you aren't sure how to use a level, here's a link to some information.
- You want to get it so it is level side to side and front to back. So shift the level to read each direction.
- Just because it doesn't rock doesn't mean it is level.
- Try to adjust it in a spot as close as possible to where it will operate. Floors are not always super-even. and moving a machine a foot or so can make a big difference in leveling. Concrete floors can do this so beware.
On top load machines, an alternate quick check is to look at how centered the tub is in the door opening. This is a more crude adjustment and is likely not as accurate as using a level. Further, if a suspension rod is broken you will get a false reading if you rely on it alone, and might throw your washer way out of level.
- If you can see less of the tub rim on one side, raise that side of the machine with both front and back legs.
- Watch to see that it doesn't start rocking as you adjust the legs.
- Also as mentioned try to adjust it in a spot as close as possible to where it will operate. You probably are close to the operating position if you are doing it this way.
- Once you have leveled the machine, start it up again and check it. If it spins smoothly, you are done, if not, go to the next step.
The Washer Needs a Reset
Occasionally the washer just needs a reset. On LG machines this is accomplished by unplugging the machine for two minutes, then plugging it back in. The previous leveling operations will help to make reduce unbalance, so no harm is done.
Component Issues or Failures
Now we enter into the internal checks of the machine. These checks will sometimes only be applicable to one type of machine and we will note that in each subsection.
Loose Rotor Mounting Nut
This is a common complaint on LG top load machines of older vintage and is worth checking along with the inner wash plate or agitator nut. This can also occur on front loaders but there isn't an interior fastener. The procedure is similar to that described below for the top loader.
To access this nut on a top loader,
- Carefully tip the machine on its rear and prop it so it doesn't go completely flat and possibly damage the outlet hose. (On a front loader, remove the rear cover).
- Then remove the motor support bracket if present.
- Next, tighten the nut that is in the center of the rotor. it is a large nut (24mm on one model, probably a good guess for others)
- The torque value given for one model is 200kgf/cm (or 88 ft-lb 19.6 N·M) but make sure it is tight.
- It is a large nut and can take and needs considerable torque. You may want to use an impact driver set to a low setting if you have that available.
- Reassemble in reverse order
At this point, on a top loader, you should also check the agitator or wash plate fastener, and make sure it is also tight. (not as tight as the rotor nut though!)
- You will need to remove the cap that is in place over that fastener.
- There may be gunk in the area if it is loose. Clean it out, tighten the bolt, and replace the cap. Some units will have a very large nut here which needs a special wrench (38mm) to tighten. That doesn't seem to be a reported problem.
- Test the machine and see if the error is cleared.
Suspension Rods (Top Loaders)
These parts are found on top load machines they allow the washer tub to be suspended and "float" inside the cabinet. or case of the machine. They are found on newer top-load models. They are a common cause of load imbalance error codes.
As they wear, their springs fatigue a very small amount, but mainly the damping effect of the assembly goes way down.
The main test is the bounce test.
- Push down on the washer tub or basket and release it quickly
- When you release it, note if it bounces or just returns to its starting position. If it bounces more than once it's defective, replace all the rods and associated components.
- Sometimes you can improve the damping by applying a damping grease (one is called Nyogel 767A for example) to the rods where they pass through the plastic spring holder at the lower end of the assembly. If the plastic has begun to wear (the rod is floppy in it) just replace all the suspension rods.
Since there are a variety of suspension rods and they all look similar, we will just list a few things to keep in mind if you are replacing or inspecting them.
- Some rods may have Damping Devices (springs or elastic bands) which help to restrain the washer tub from moving sideways. They are attached to the damper rod and the washer tub near the top. These can break or stretch and become loose. They should have some tension on them when in place. If they are defective (loose or broken), replace them as a set.
- Many (most) rods can be removed from the top of the machine but there are a few which require you to unhook them from the top, and then tip the machine to remove the rod from the bottom. On machines with rods that can be removed from the top, there will be slots in the brackets on the sides of the tub so the rod can go through the slot to be removed.
- When replacing the rods, do one rod at a time, otherwise, the weight of the tub and motor assembly can be difficult to lift in order to install the new rod in place.
Here is a link to a video with more explanation on Suspension Rods
Shock Absorbers (Front Load Washers)
Most front-load washers have shock absorbers to steady the washing drum. The drum is usually suspended by large springs from the machine frame and the shock absorbers provide additional support and steadying so the drum doesn't bounce around. When they fail the machine will often vibrate heavily.
A quick check involves giving the washer drum a downward shove and seeing if it bounces more than once. A more involved check requires removing the front and rear panels of the machine.
- Remove the front and rear panels of the washing machine. You will be able to see the shock absorbers. There are usually 4, sometimes only two, and occasionally three.
- Check to see if any of them are leaking oil.
- A good check for such leakage is to rub the shiny shaft of the shock absorber with a clean paper towel and note if any oil soaks into the towel.
- Any leakage is a sure sign of failure, and if you find any replace all of the shocks.
- A further test is to detach one end of the shock absorber from the base of the machine and push the plunger in and out by hand. There should be considerable resistance in both directions.
- For any failure of this test, replace all of the shocks
- If the shocks look good go on to the next item
Hall Effect Sensor
When it fails, this component makes the machine run "blind" because it doesn't know where the rotor position is. Consequently, it can't accurately sense the load size, and it often also causes vibration issues which will trigger the UE code.
This is a relatively inexpensive part, and the equipment to test it will cost almost as much as the part. So if you have reached this point and don't have access to a multimeter, you might consider just buying the part.
The preliminary procedure to test the Hall effect sensor is simple. You are looking for a resistance of between 5,000-15,000 Ω (10,000Ω is a good value) between the common terminal (on the connector, the terminal closest to one end of the part) and each of the two terminals right next to each other at the opposite end of the connector.
The two terminals will have holes that are rounded at two corners (the only two like that), while the common terminal will be square. This test will tell you if the sensor should be tested with a voltage source.
To test the sensor you need to remove it from the machine, which will involve disassembling the motor and removing the stator (the unit with all the motor coils) from the machine.
- Test the sensor with a multimeter as described above
- If the resistance value is wrong, the sensor is bad, no need to confirm.
- If the resistance is correct, the sensor may still be bad, and the test requires more equipment.
There is a more complete and accurate test that requires a fair amount of skill with a multimeter and also requires a power supply. A link is included below.
Drum Support Spider
This is an essentially fatal (you will have to almost completely disassemble your machine and the replacement part is costly) condition which happens mainly to front loaders and causes uE errors. It seems to be connected to water pH conditions because very alkaline water (high pH) more readily corrodes aluminum. High-alkali detergents don't help. Washing soda (Sodium carbonate) will produce a mild sodium hydroxide solution (alkali) when dissolved in water.
The spider is generally made from cast aluminum and the combination of moisture and alkaline conditions can cause massive corrosion because the aluminum is held in contact with the stainless steel drum, so the aluminum corrodes rapidly.
This is a failure that can be diagnosed as follows on front loaders.
- Open the machine and rotate the drum by hand.
- Listen for a grinding or thumping noise as it turns. If it is really bad you might hear pieces rattling as it turns.
For a further check, it can also help to peel back the door seal so that you can observe the edge of the drum in relation to the edge of the door opening in the front cover.
- Rotate the drum and check to see if you notice a wobble in the edge of the drum compared to the edge of the door opening.
- Try to turn the drum so the suspension does not move (try not to press downward when you turn it.)
- A similar method will work for top loaders. You can observe if the tub rotates with a wobble. If it does wobble, it is a bad sign. You can try rocking the tub to see if you hear grinding or rubbing noises.
- If the spider seems ok, move on to the next item.
- If it seems to be a problem, you can disassemble your machine to check. It may not be economically repairable. If you have more time than money you can go after it.
Direct Drive Motor Failure
Some units can experience failure in the direct drive motor, where a magnet on the rotor comes loose, or the rotor is bent. This can cause vibration. Also, look for wiring harness problems (which may show up as an LE error)
Often liquid is filled on many top-load machines, if the liquid leaks out the machine will vibrate. Check to see that the liquid is still present. Some front-load machines use concrete weights that can crack and shed pieces. Check to see that they are intact and that there is no debris under or inside the machine.
Both top loaders and front loaders can suffer from vibration if the bearings that support the washing tub or drum are failing. This is more prevalent with ball bearings, as water intrusion or wear will create substantial vibration. Another difficult repair but if you have more time than money the parts are available. The unit will likely sound like a freight train on spin
The drive block is a part that drives the agitator on top load machines. It is located inside the wash tub and can be accessed by removing the agitator. When it is worn, it can lead to vibration of the machine when spinning because the agitator will rattle.