Is your Kenmore HE washer stuck on sensing, leaving you puzzled and your laundry undone? Modern washing machines, like the Kenmore High Efficiency (HE) series, are engineered for convenience and efficiency. However, they’re not immune to glitches, and a common hiccup is the washer stalling at the sensing phase.

This introductory guide will explore the intricacies of this issue, shedding light on why it occurs and how you can address it. Understanding the problem is the first step towards a solution, ensuring your washer returns to its optimal performance.

What Is The Sensing Cycle?

The sensing cycle is a critical phase in the operation of modern washing machines, especially in models like the Kenmore High Efficiency (HE) series. This cycle is the washer’s initial step after you start a load. During this phase, the washer determines the size of the laundry load.

It does so by moving the clothes around to sense their weight and balance. This information is then used to adjust the water level and wash time, ensuring an efficient and effective cleaning process. The cycle typically involves the lid locking and the machine making a series of slight movements.

It’s a smart feature designed to conserve water and energy while optimizing the wash performance. However, if your Kenmore HE washer is stuck on sensing, it indicates an interruption in this process, which can halt the entire wash cycle.

Why Kenmore HE Washer Is Stuck On Sensing?

Kenmore HE Washer

When your Kenmore HE washer gets stuck on sensing, it can be more than just a minor inconvenience. This issue signals that there’s something amiss in the washer’s functioning. Understanding the common culprits behind this problem is crucial for effective troubleshooting. Here are the top reasons why your Kenmore HE washer might be stuck in this frustrating cycle:

  1. Faulty Water Inlet Valve: The water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the washer. If this valve is defective, it can impede the flow, causing the washer to get stuck in the sensing cycle as it fails to fill properly.
  2. Motor Shift Actuator Malfunction: This component is responsible for shifting the washer from wash to spin cycles. A malfunctioning motor shift actuator can disrupt the cycle progression, leading to a sensing cycle that never transitions to the next phase.
  3. Main Control Board Issues: The control board is the brain of your washer, coordinating all its functions. Problems with the control board can lead to various issues, including the washer getting stuck on sensing due to miscommunication or faulty signaling within the system.

Easy DIY Troubleshooting Tips To Fix Kenmore HE Washer Stuck on Sensing

Experiencing a Kenmore HE washer stuck on sensing can be frustrating, but before calling in a professional, there are several troubleshooting steps you can undertake. These DIY tips are aimed at identifying and possibly resolving the issue with minimal expertise required.

  1. Reset the Washer: Start by unplugging your washer for about a minute and then plugging it back in. This can reset the system and may resolve minor glitches causing the sensing cycle issue.
  2. Check the Water Supply: Ensure that both hot and cold water supplies are fully open. A restricted water flow can hinder the washer’s ability to move past the sensing phase.
  3. Inspect the Water Inlet Hoses: Look for kinks or blockages in the inlet hoses. If these hoses are blocked or damaged, they can impede water flow, leading to sensing cycle delays.
  4. Clean the Inlet Screens: The screens at the water inlet connection may be clogged with sediment or debris. Carefully clean these screens to improve water flow to the washer.
  5. Examine the Door Lock: A malfunctioning door lock can prevent the washer from moving past the sensing stage. Ensure the door is properly closed and the lock mechanism is functioning.
  6. Check for Error Codes: Some Kenmore HE washers display error codes that can help diagnose the problem. Refer to your user manual to interpret any codes.
  7. Manually Advance the Cycle: Try manually advancing the cycle to see if the washer responds. However, this is more of a temporary fix and won’t solve underlying issues.
  8. Inspect the Motor Shift Actuator: If you’re comfortable with more involved DIY, check the motor shift actuator. Refer to the user manual for guidance on locating and assessing this part.


In conclusion, if your Kenmore HE washer is stuck on sensing, it’s essential to try the troubleshooting steps outlined. These DIY methods can often resolve the issue quickly and without the need for professional intervention.

However, if the problem persists despite your best efforts, don’t hesitate to contact Kenmore support or a professional technician. They can provide more specialized guidance and repair services to ensure your washer functions optimally. Remember, timely and expert support can save you time and extend the life of your appliance.

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