[Resolved] Sears / Kenmore Elite H3 Washerwasher that has a moldy smell!

A
This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

I have a Sears Kenmore Elite H3 Washer that has a moldy smell. The rubber gasket smells and I have wiped out mold from underneath the gasket. I have called Sears and Kenmore without any help. Just transferred to many different depts. I have written the Sears Corporation and have not heard back (it's been 3-4 weeks). They want to charge me 65.00 just to have a technician come out to tell me what's wrong. I know what's wrong - it's growing mold. Just look at all the complaints on epinions.com I just want them to come out and fix the inherent problem. This machine should be recycled because it is a faulty design. I would appreciate any help. I have tried bleach and I've tried Cascade enzyme detergent. I wipe everything down after any wash and I leave the door open. The smell is musty and I'm tired of it.

RESOLVED

The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Sears's response · Apr 27, 2011

    To YoDeville,

    My name is Misty with Sears Cares and I saw this comment and I wanted to reach out to you to see if we could be of assistance. I’m so very sorry that you are having an issue with your washer I can imagine how frustrating that must be for you. We would really like the opportunity to help and see about getting the issue resolved. At your convenience, please contact my office via email at [email protected] so we can help. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the washer was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide the reference name (YoDeville) we used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

    Thank you,

    Misty H.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

  • Sears's response · Jul 23, 2013

    Weiss, N
    I saw your comment here and I wanted to reach out and apologize on behalf of Sears for the troubles that have occurred with your washer. At Sears, we pride ourselves on making sure our valued customers are satisfied with our products and services and it appears we have not met that goal here. From your post, we can see that this has been a source of great frustration for you and we would like to assist. My name is Liz with the Sears Social Media Support team and we are a single point of contact for escalated concerns. At your convenience, please contact our office via email at [email protected] so you don’t have to be upset by this any longer. In the email, please provide a contact number and the phone number the washer was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. In addition, please include your Screen name (Weiss, N) in the email for reference to your issue. Again, we’re sorry for any trouble we have caused and we hope to talk to you soon.
    Thank you,
    Liz R.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

Responses

  • Gi
    Gina Euliano Nov 18, 2006
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The Kenmore Elite Washer does have a severe moldy problem! I'm trying to get help too.

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Almeras May 03, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Read your owners manual. If you did not agree with the maintenance and upkeep required for a front loader, you should have returned it.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    Michael Konrade Sep 16, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    expierencing the same exact problem. we found lots of mold behind the liquid dispensing tray for the soap, frabic softner and liquid bleach. Very musty/modly smell and we are using lots of detergent to try and get clothes to smell clean.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Carrie Dunne Nov 10, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have had this same complaint and my father leveled the machine with it tilting more to the back to help with drainage, replaced the leveling legs rubber because it was worn down. He locked the legs so they wouldn't move (the servicemen did not do this). So far I am amazed that it seems to be working. I haven't noticed a smell for a week now. I wish everyone luck!!

    0 Votes
  • Ve
    Vet's wife Nov 14, 2007

    I too have this H3 machine after being talked into it by the salesman. This is the worst machine I have ever owned. Does a lousy job on whites, doesn't spin out, can't get repair satisfaction, dripping wet clothes on transferring to dryer... piece of junk!!! Don't waste your money.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    Michael Konrade Dec 17, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We started leaving the door all the way open when we are not washing clothes and we do not let wet clothes sit in there even for a couple of hours. This has helped alot. We also found that our machine was actually tilted forward as well. I adjusted the leveling legs and now it is tilted towards the back. (this was originally installed by sears personal...) Thanks for the tip!!!

    0 Votes
  • Gi
    gina desernia Jan 21, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I also Have this nightmare washer and dryer. The washing machine smells of mildew I have done it all nothing works. Also the dryer does not dry anything it takes forever yes the vents are clear. All my friend have front loaders because thats the rage but they all have the same complaints all different models I think it is the nature OF THE BEAST.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jason Mar 25, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Agree, I have the same problem with Kenmore Elite He3. It smells moldy and does not spin well. Sometimes, the clothes are wet. And there is no single spin option. Very bad. It is not worth the money I paid.

    0 Votes
  • To
    Tom M - North East Michigan Jun 17, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agree with the complaints as wrritten...I have the same problem and it is design related...I am about to take the washer apart and clean wht I can just to avoid the continuous rotten mildew smell..
    This is a design defect that a typical customer/owner can maintain.
    Sears needs to stand up to this problem and handle the issue owner by owner - case by case, etc.

    I'll be digging into this more in the next few days...

    Thanks All for your comments...

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Kathy E Jul 23, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I completely agree with what has been written about the washer having the mold smell. What should we do?????

    0 Votes
  • Je
    jenny walters Jul 30, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I completely agree. I have this same problem. Other than the white load that I wash on hot with bleach, everything else smells like mold. It is awful!!! Has Kenmore dealt with the problem?

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Lisa Aug 08, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    UGH! I am so glad I am not the only one having this problem. We bought ours 2 years ago. It is definitely NOT what I expected from a front loading washing machine. The clothes don't get nearly as clean as my old top loading machine. I always leave the door open between loads. I run the clean cycle as per the manual. Behind the rubber gasket on the door is disgusting. I have used bleach, tilex, and other things to rid the mold inside the door to no avail. And yes...they want $70 to come and just look at it. Sounds like I need to write a letter to their corporate office also.

    0 Votes
  • To
    tony albert Aug 10, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    any one who wants to get involved with class suit email me

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Shodoug Aug 31, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Ours has this from time to time.

    There is a filter basket inside the washer that really needs to be emptied every now and then.

    Otherwise, stuff gets in there and lets other stuff grow on it.

    The lower panle m ust be removed ( three 7 mm sheet metal screws, or a torx driver, not sure of the size) and there will be a strainer basket right in teh middle.

    Just open that with your hand and remove all the junk in it. You might be surprised at what you find.

    Have a towel right there to catch all the water though.

    Then, if the washer has been sitting for awhile, I run a short cycle with some bleach in it.

    The water in those tubes down near the strainer basket never fully empties. Running it with bleach gets the nasty stuff out. I don't think it works if you have a bunch of stuff in the strainer, though.

    1 Votes
  • Jw
    JWG Aug 31, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agree with all of the above. The mold, the improper tilt, the water remaining, the difficulty in spinning clothes again that are still wet, etc., etc. In addition, last night the door locked, and now I cannot get it open even though I've following the instruction guide to troubleshoot. Very annoying! Now I have to pay 65 for someone to come out and look at it! I do not recommend these units.

    0 Votes
  • To
    Tom Biegelman Sep 26, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Recently, our 2 year old He 3 washer began exuding a horrible moldy smell. We performed the following actions with no positive benefit, i.e. the smell remains:

    1) Removed the plastic soap tray - quite moldy - cleaned it and the internal slot that it fits in with a bleach containing cleanser.

    2) Cleaned the inside gasket/plastic drum with a bleach containing cleanser.

    3) Dropped the front panel, inspected the machine - no leaks/mold found - and cleaned out the trap.

    4) Poured bleach in the drain

    5) Ran an empty load with bleach.

    Any ideas as to why it still smells?

    0 Votes
  • Ga
    Gary Sep 28, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I think Shodoug has the answer. I removed the three screws and the panel, then the filter. It was the source of the foul oder (I also found a quarter, a razor blade and a number of other things - but no diamonds!)

    I also had to clean the drain holes at the bottom/front of the drum (behind the rubber seal). I used a toothpick.

    All is good!

    0 Votes
  • Js
    JS Nov 18, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I've had mine just under 3 years and the mold smell is becoming unbearable. I don't think you should have to take a product apart, clean it and all it's inner components, and use a special product (that by the way, Sears sells, imagine that-they make more money on our loss) when you have spent so much on it already. It's unheard of and Sears should recall the machines.

    0 Votes
  • Ad
    Adins001 Nov 24, 2008

    Obviously most people complaining about the smell in thefront load washers do not realize any front load can mold and smell. When a top load washer is closed, there is no water tight seal. However, this is not the case on a front load washer. Any appliance sales person (from any company) that has been selling for some time will know this. You have 2 options. One, leave the door open after the load wash is complete, or buy a cleaning tablet which is put in washer and wash on a hot cycle. If you use the tablet once a month, the smell is not there.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kenmore Elite H3 Feb 07, 2009

    agree with everyone. Mold smell, doesn't drain well. I'm now getting a F2 alarm. It looks like a repairman or new washer.

    0 Votes
  • Dp
    Dparker Feb 18, 2009

    I have had h3 washer for 3 years. I paid about 2000.00 for the pair. I have noticed more and more mildew smell over time. I started to call maintenance man out to look. Glad i read all of your comments first. I am gonna try the drain clean out and tilt unit back and see if it helps. If this does not solve the problem I am gonna sell it for what its worth and buy a new set that does not have these issues. As for sears not standing behind their product, it will catch up to them sooner than they think. Sears use to be the number one appliance sales company in the country, this is not the case any longer. If they keep putting products out that have faulty issues, they will not be around much longer. I am dissapointed with my 2000.00 purchase and most of all I am dissapointed with sears.

    0 Votes
  • Hm
    HMF Apr 16, 2009

    I bought the Elite 3 a few years ago and noticed my clothes had a terrible smell. Sometimes the clothes don't dry well and i have to run again. So much for saving money. I too was talked into this washer by the salesperson. My old washer was the old technology never had the problems I am experiencing with this new technology. Sometimes the machine stops in the middle of the cycle and doesn't want to continue. I am very dissatisfied with this machine and will never buy another one. Thank God I did't buy the dryer.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kenmore elite h3 problems May 25, 2009

    That's my exact problem ! Mold smell, doesn't drain well, I have to keep pressing pause and start to keep it going but today I did it for about 5 times to get a decent load. Any advice? I had take good care for it but was a second handed so I have no Idea what's going on.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    berourke May 31, 2009

    Shoudog has it!!!1

    Cleaned the filter and all is well!!! We did everything in the manual and the troubleshooting section. Found Shoudog's post - took out the filter - the thing smelled like sewage!!!

    Funny how sears has an appliance with a filter that needs cleaning, but doesn't say anything about it in maintenance or troubleshooting.

    Why tell the ###s that paid big bucks for this piece of junk, when you can withhold the information and gouge them for a BS "service" call (you'll get dinged for an hour minimum and it will take less than five minutes to fix).

    Corporate greed strikes again.

    Sears is going broke 'cause people won't shop there anymore and management can't figure out how to fix it. Hey guys - the answer is some honesty, not more advertising.!

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    sailordad Aug 03, 2009

    We had tried everything listed on all of these sites and had only minor improvement...though I was surprised to find several socks under the rubber door seal! I don't know how but the smell in ours was, in the end, coming from the detergent tray/water supply line(s). Here is the solution that worked for me:

    1. buy a small hand/drill operated pump (I used a pump2O drill operated model for about $10 at home depot)
    2. buy the cheapest water supply hose you can find...should be close to the other washing machine stuff (cost was about $5)
    3. buy a gallon of 'simple green' cleaner...I got bleach too but didn't have to use it, the simple green worked fine
    4. pour the simple green into an empty bucket/small trash can
    5. turn off the hot/cold water valves to your washer (leave it plugged in) and disconnect them
    6. cut one end off of the hose you got in step 2 and connect the other end to the drill operated pump...there should be an arrow on one side of the pump telling you which direction fluid will flow, this hose goes on the inlet side and the end without a connector will be put down into the simple green bucket
    7. connect either the hot or cold water supply line to the other end (outlet) of the pump
    8. start the washer on a wash cycle with 'warm' water selected
    9. when you hear the valve open pump about half of the simple green through the water supply hose (you may have to stop/start the cycle a few times if you get an error code)
    10. repeat steps 7 through 9 with the other hose
    11. hook the hoses back up and let it sit for about an hour after canceling the cycle
    12. open the hot/cold valves and run several rinse cycles (I did 5 or 6 rinses)

    In this process you'll see/smell the simple green coming through the detergent tray. It's been about a week since I did this and it still smells fine. I hope this ends up being helpful to someone else.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    little brother Dec 26, 2009

    Our Elite H3 was 5 years old and this is what it looks like inside. There is no wayt to get rid of the soap ### etc. The average owner would nver see this unless they tear the machine apart when it dies. Parts are more than half a new machine so why bother. I took ours apart to use the drum as a fire pit. All front loads are made this way the white metal spider bracket is the weak link, most likely by design. Not a wonder it smells like mold look at the casting, lots of places for ### to hide, look close enough you might find an engineer ;-).

    0 Votes
  • No
    not gonna take it anymore Dec 26, 2009

    My Maytag Neptune has the same problem - good luck -

    0 Votes
  • Te
    TehachapiTammy Jan 22, 2010

    I thought I was the only one! I have pulled back the rubber part and pulled out itrems that get tracpped in there, I have washed out the soap dispencer, I will look behind it now. I have ran a cycle through it with bleech and it still smells bad! The rubber part is getting old and dry and I am afraid the seal will not work soon. Anyone have any suggestions? Do I hear recall? Mold?

    0 Votes
  • Il
    ilove3kids Sep 01, 2010

    My turn! OK... so I have been putting up with the moldy smell since 2004 when I bought the machine new. I have had all the complaints that you are all posting and my story is even worse. The other day the machine made a loud bang while spinning and then stopped spinning. I called the repair service. I am told that the tub literally broke off the back of the unit!!! It will cost 700 to repair! Obviously it is time for a new washer. I will never shop Sears... Kenmore... (a Whirlpool actually with the sears label) ever again. The repair professional stated that he "had never seen this lever of problem in a front loader."

    What a sad hunk of junk. Buyer BEWARE! Get a unit on sale at Home Depot! Stay away from Sears rip-off...

    0 Votes
  • Le
    Leeannem Nov 09, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    does anyone know what error code FH means?

    0 Votes
  • Na
    Natalie Thorp Mar 20, 2011

    I have had it with my H3. We bought it 6 years ago and 1 year ago I started getting a F11 code. I was able to fiddle with the electrical computer box and fix it whenever I got the dreaded beep. Finally a couple of electrical explosion two days ago left me washer less. Don't buy this machine or any Kenmore appliance ever. Sears sucks and sends 'washed up' past Montgomery Wards technicians to fix the stupid thing.

    My suggestion on the dirty washer...Put vinegar in the bleach cup and your smells will dwindle.

    0 Votes
  • Ml
    m l29 Mar 30, 2011

    Yes the smell is unbearable. I have had mine for over 7 years and they not only smell but they break down a lot. By now I could have purchased another machine. So much for modern technology. The old machines lasted for years without breaking down given you would take care of it. and not over load it with cloth.

    0 Votes
  • Yo
    YoDeville Apr 27, 2011

    Terrible junk product of today's times. My clothes smell so bad from that junk washer that a homeless person wouldn't wear them. The old top loaders were the best. One night I was around some cigarette smokers and my jacket wreaked of smoke. I put the jacket in on a normal cycle on warm and it still smelled like smoke when the was was complete. Hard earned money wasted. No more pride in the once grate Sears American product. Also I tried all of the suggestions and they did not work.

    0 Votes
  • Rs
    rsears Jan 22, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agree with you all. I have been puting up with these problems for six years. Sears says they don't know of any problems. I am so tired ot it. When you pay that much money for them they should stand behind them. I could have purchased new machines every other year and not had the headaches. Thanks alot Sears,

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brandy Marie Sep 23, 2012

    I had the same problem. All of my clothes came out with this moldy smell. It was very frustrating. I bought Affresh tablets and rand three consecutive washes (each with one tablet) with a normal wash cycle with a hot wash. Then my husband removed the gasket and we soaked it in bleach for a few hours and scrubbed it with a brush. I also cleaned the soap dispenser with bleach spray. The clothes now come out fresh smelling. To maintain a clean washing machine I run the machine with an Ffresh tablet once every 3-4 weeks. I still don't think it uses enough water but this has helped tremendously with the mold! I hope this helps.

    0 Votes
  • We
    Weiss, N Jul 21, 2013

    We bought a Kenmore Elite about 4 years ago and I have been complaining about the musty, moldy smell for years. When is this inferior product going to get recalled. Not fair to pay all this money for a product that smell like mold, and makes your clean clothes smell moldy!

    0 Votes

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