Photography, Cycling and the Internets

Kenmore Washer Code F02

This is a post to help anyone out there that has a Kenmore H3 washer that is displaying the F02 error code and is stopping the cycle.  I recently came across this problem and found a site that had the solution.   The fix took me about 15 minutes.  It was a bit messy since you are removing the drain access plug at the bottom of the machine.  Several towels, a bucket and a cookie sheet kept the water mess to a minimum.  The only tool required is a wrench.

It turns out one of my kid’s socks got stuck in the impeller.   Removing it fixed the problem. Please visit if you are experiencing the same thing.

Be sure to share any other information about how this went for you here to help others!


49 responses

  1. Tina Workman

    Thank you for your hint about checking the impeller cover on my kenmore h3 washer. I had no clue I needed to check that. And it has fixed my problem without costing me anything.

    Thank you so much
    Tina Workman

    June 25, 2007 at 11:33 am

    • David Epstein

      Thank you!
      Tried all sorts of other solutions, then almost called for service but found your link. Found a large disgusting wad of wet lint clogging the trap. Cleaned it and the machine is back to its normal old self. That’s $130 saved!

      Thank you, David

      June 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  2. I’m glad it helped!

    June 26, 2007 at 9:06 pm

  3. Alex

    Worked liked a charm! Did this over my lunch break in 15 minutes…

    April 7, 2009 at 10:13 am

  4. Jeco

    Thanks so much. Fixed up the whole thing in no time at all.
    Much better than paying $75 just to get it looked at.

    Thanks again.

    May 25, 2009 at 10:23 am

  5. Thank you so much for your information! This solved my problem and saved me a bunch of money. thanks again

    December 30, 2009 at 1:15 am

  6. Leigh

    Thanks…LOVE the internet…simple procedure, worked like a charm!

    February 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  7. Scott

    Add another member to the “kids sock in the impeller” club. Thanks for taking the time to publish the solution!

    March 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm

  8. robert

    I enjoyed 1 and a 1/2 year of troubled free use from this machine. Alas I now have a problem. Error F02, I followed all of the comments from the different web pages. I did not find socks, bra parts, beads and so on; all I found was a build up of soap scum. I cleaned assembly from the bottom of the drum to the outlet hose connecting to the house plumbing. Connected everything together again and it still does not work. The pump is pumping water out but does seem to be working long after there is still no more water. Do I really need to replace the pump or is there something else I need to investigate.

    A quick response would be greatly appreciated.

    May 22, 2010 at 5:59 am

    • Robert, the socks were the only problem I ever had with my washer and that was back in 2006. Here, I am sharing my experience fixing that specific issue. I am not a repair person and unfortunately I don’t know how to offer you further help. If you find out more, share it here so others can find help on the issue. I wish you luck (and hopefully low cost) in your repair.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:31 am

    • Robert

      This response applies to anyone who still gets the F02 message after following all of the other comments. Run the washer cycle with the drain hose disconnected and emptying into a large pail. If the flow of water is large and the error still persist do the following. Remove to backing of the machine and close to the bottom center of the drum there is a T fitting. Remove this fitting and clean it, it will more than likely be filled with soap scum. After cleaning, reinstall and run a cycle. It solved my problem and I hope it solves your.

      January 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      • Darrin

        Thanks Robert!!! I was receiving the F02 message. Cleaned all the drain hoses and replaced the drain pump. Still receiving the error message. Talked to a sears serviceman and he suggested replacing a sensor at the front bottom of the tub. That was an $18 part and still, the error message. Then I found your post,,,, went back to the rear of the washer, found the plastic T fitting with the small black tube leading to it, one screw to remove, cleaned it out (full of sludge) and that fixed it!

        January 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

  9. Tim

    F02 issues resolved using your recommendation. My impeller was clogged with cat hairs and one penny. Once I removed the debris the water gushed out during the rinse phase. Sears / Kenmore should really consider upgrading its manual to provide instructions on how to solve this issue as its really easy to do and saves a service trip to the home. I also would be curious about the efficiency rating of a “clogged washer” on water and pumping times as the time remaining to finish the cycles clogged took considerably longer over time. Many of the gains on water efficiency and electric will be relatively inefficient during times of getting clogged over time.

    June 7, 2010 at 10:02 pm

  10. BILL


    July 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm

  11. Julie

    FYI… replacing the drain pump was easy as pie. Don’t be afraid to save yourself some cash. The hardest part was removing and reinstalling the spring hose clamps. I went ahead and replaced the spring hose clamps with screw hose clamps which were a lot easier to get on and about $1.50 each. The pump itself was $138.00 with tax and the special screw driver I needed to remove the front of the washer was around $10.00 makeing my repair around $150.00. The repair took me about an hour. I am just your typical housewife who enjoys scrapbooking, getting my nails done and shopping. Mechanically inclined I am not! So if I can do it anyone can! 🙂

    July 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  12. Pat

    Kept getting that FO2 code and checked all kinds of thing with no luck. Stumbled across your post and went in search of that drain plug. Opened it up and found one of those detergent cloths that you throw in the tub to do the wash. Put the plug back in and the washers is working like a champ!!

    Thanks for the post.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

  13. Corbin

    thanks for the info! i was able to fix my washer as well. I found pennies and all sorts of stuff in the clean out as well as a rubber band stuck in the propeller. just ran my first load and it is working great now. thanks!

    December 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

  14. Ken

    For Tim and Bill above posts. I to found the answer to my long drain problem thanks to this post. Problem was the drain filter was clogged with a sock and lots of lint. Yuck. But the interesting thing was when I removed the lower front panel to get to the filter I found a service manual in a plastic rapper glued to the inside of the washer cabinet. Listed under won’t drain troubleshooting is “check that the drain hose and drain pump filter are clear fo foriegn objects.”
    Across the top of the page in bold letters it says “For service technician only – do not remove”. Guess they don’t want the consumer to know about all the possible repairs that can be done.

    January 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

  15. John Dziedzic

    I also had that annoying f02 error and I unfortunatley had a Sears repair tech out to my home and realized how easy it was to fix. So when it happened a year later I wasn’t worried until the impeller was clean. If you have this problem and the impeller is clean follow the rubber hose up there will probably be a kids sock that already passed the impeller and is working its way up. Whomever gave the suggestion about the hose clamps is a genius because those spring clamps are a pain.

    February 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm

  16. Elena nadih

    Thanks a million! We had a quarter and a car alarm battery in ours. Works great now.

    February 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  17. elizabeth

    how do you open the pump to examine the impeller? I tried every which way and could not open it.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm

  18. kratos5000

    Well it worked for me too. I found one of my daughters soft hair bands stuck in there. I have photos if anyone is interested.

    Thanks for the help!

    August 27, 2011 at 5:40 am

  19. Josh

    WOW, thank goodness for the internet. I clicked the link and the followed the instructions to repair my F 02 issue. When i took off the filter cover i had under estimated the amount of water that was going to come out. I had a few towels standing by but bescause of how close the washer is to the ground there’s only so much towel you can fit under the machine. If i were to do this again i would surely have my wet dry vac ready to suck up all the water coming out before it could even reach the floor. Once all the water was out i found that one of my wife’s Nylons was stuck in there. Pulled it out, cleaned out the rest of the gunk in there to include the filter gasket and put it all back together. Seems to be running fine now. Thanks again. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE HOW MUCH WATER IS GOING TO FLOW OUT WHEN YOU TAKE OFF THAT FILTER COVER!

    October 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

  20. Brett

    I also have the f02 code. I removed the back cover and cleaned out the hoses. I then pluged the unit back in with the drain hose still connected. It began to pump the water out. At that point I thought I corrected the problem??? I put everything back together and then I was back to the f02 code. Do you think that it would still be the impeller clogged? Maybe the T that was referred to in one of the postings? I will take it all apart when I get home from wotk and I will update then.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:27 am

    • Robert

      To the one that mentioned the T in the back of the machine, did it resolve your problem after cleaning it out?

      October 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm

  21. Lori D.

    thank you so much! I just saved a couple hundred dollars, lol! I had a kids black glove in my impeller! I wonder how long it’s been in there…..

    October 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm

  22. Thanks for saving me some cash. The sad thing is we have had this problem at least one other time and had a repair man out. They fixed it and never let us know what the real problem was other than it needs to be “serviced” regularly. This time because tight on cash I decided to look it up and see if I could do it myself. Feeling foolish for not doing the last time.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm

  23. Randy Martin

    I found it! After replacing the pump, cleaning the hoses,etc. I noticed that the new pump was sucking the black hose from the bottom of the drum to the pump flat indicating no water was getting in there. I pulled the hose off the bottom of the drum and found a tennis ball size ball of lent stuck in it along with the straw of a broom which probably caught the lent. Pulled it out and it works fine…for now. Thanks for this site it helped me greatly!

    December 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  24. Amazing do-it-yourself web site: I had no idea there was a filter in the housing of my he4t washer. The manual did not specify a filter that needed to be checked. I found three infant socks stuck in the filter trap. Dispose of the debris and the F02 code went away.

    Thank you much….keep it going….

    March 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

  25. Mike

    Thanks or te tip. I had one of my infant daughter’s facecloths stuck in the filter.

    March 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  26. Four screws on the front panel, remove. Be prepared for the standing water to move, un screw filter compartment and clean it up. Found a pinata in ours, knocked it off and screwed it back and put it on a ghost load so far so good.

    May 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  27. Paul R

    My wife found this website and we opened the filter trap in the front and found all sorts of junk from the kids pants (yeah I know wife never checks the pockets). We found 3 three pennies pieces of plastic and broken pencils in the trap. I would recommend having plenty of dish towels handy and slowly unscrew the trap to control the release of water. There is a fair amount of water these is released. Once fully opened, be sure to check that the propeller (in the tube on the right side) flows freely. Use your finger to turn the propeller several times to make sure it turns easily as I found some debris in there as well. Worked like a charm and saved about $200 for a service man to come out.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:19 am

  28. Champ

    Weeks of a wife beating up the washer because of this F2 code and drainage issues, the old water smell and the thought of a high dollar repair. All FIXED by your info on this site. I love you man!!!!


    July 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm

  29. Kelsey

    Thanks for the tip, found a chewed up penny in the trap and smelly lint. Washer is now working and you saved me an expensive repair bill!

    July 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

  30. mike

    little more then i thought, but this post was a real help.

    August 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

  31. Cindy gibbs

    So how do you clean the drain hoses?

    November 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm

  32. Wow these simple instructions really work! Thank you so much!! I’m sure I probably just saved at least a few hundred dollars in service fees. When I opened my drain I found all kinds of things about 88 cents in change, a piece of paper, half of a pencil, a pen, some stickers, and soap scum but I think the main culprit was a flower shaped barrette that I used in my daughters hair it was exactly the same size as the hose when I moved it lots of water gushed out! Needless to say I’m back up and running! Time to get caught up on all these loads of laundry lol Thanks again!!

    November 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

  33. Meridith

    It worked! Cleaned out the filter, got totally grossed out at all the gunk, had an “Oh! So THAT’s what that smell was coming from” moment and are now happy with our washer again. Easy peasy! THANK YOU!

    December 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm

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    August 5, 2013 at 7:47 am

  35. Joe

    Thanks. Your tip is still helping seven years later!! Great instructions and without the hassle and expense of a repairman. Great sense of satisfaction doing it yourself! One tip I want to repeat. When you take the cover off, a LOT of water will come out. Someone suggested opening it just a little so there is a trickle of water and sucking it up with a shop vac. I did that and although it took a while (10+ minutes) there was no water mess. Did not need any towels. My ShopVac was a third full of water when I was done and I have the biggest one they make. A lot of water.

    November 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

  36. david

    I just finished helping a friend solve the F02 code on their Kenmore.
    We also found on the back of the washer a milky white looking “air trap” with a small rubber hose that goes to some kind of solenoid.
    We took it out and washed all kind of black scum out of it.
    Evidently this was plugged up with the scum and the solenoid could not sense properly.
    Washer is now draining properly.


    January 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

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  40. Alison

    So. Supposedly my husband tried this and he cannot get the trap off….it is “frozen” on and won’t move. Any ideas????

    July 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm

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