Kenmore Washer OE Code [EASY ] -
Appliance Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting the OE Code on Your Kenmore Washer [EASY FIX]

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Jason Carter

Troubleshooting the OE Code on Your Kenmore Washer [EASY FIX]

Believe me when I say, I’ve seen it all. You’re psyched for a fresh load of laundry, and out of nowhere—BAM! Your Kenmore washer throws you that OE error code. Frustrating, right?

Here’s the deal:

I’ve been down this road countless times, and I’ve got your back. Fixing the OE error is easier than you think. Trust me.

And get this:

I’ve also consulted Todd Hofer, a top-notch repair tech from San Antonio, TX, who’s a whiz with these issues.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and dive in, shall we?

Kenmore Washer OE Code

What Is Kenmore Washer OE Code?

The OE error code on Kenmore washers is the machine’s way of saying, “Hey, I am having problems draining water out.” The culprits? A kinked drain hose, a dirty drain filter, a clogged or faulty drain pump, or a problem with the control board. 

In the sections below, Todd and I will go through each of these potential causes. 

But, a heads up:

Kenmore’s washers are a bit like celebrities using stage names. 

You see:

Kenmore doesn’t manufacture its washers. They outsource the work to other big-name brands like LG, Whirlpool, and GE. 

Why should you care?

Well, when shopping for a replacement part, you’ll want to know who’s behind your washer.

The identity clue? The first three digits of the model number represent a specific manufacturer. 

For instance:

110 Whirlpool
402, 592Samsung 
795, 796LG

With that out of the way, let’s get into today’s business.

5 Common Causes For The OE Code On a Kenmore Washer

CauseReplacement Part Cost
Drain hose$20-$50
Drain pump filter$10-$30
Blockage under the pulsatorNo replacement is needed
Tub-to-pump hose$30-$100
Drain pump$50-$200

1. Problem With The Drain Hose

Problem With The Drain Hose Washer
PartDrain hose
LocationAt the back of the washer
Ease of troubleshooting Very easy 
Replacement part cost Usually, no replacement is needed


As you’d expect, a problem with the drain hose will ultimately cause draining problems. 


Most drain hose problems are minor issues that are easy to spot and fix.

According to Todd, “Mostly, it’s either that the hose is clogged, kinked, or pushed too far into the standpipe.”

Identification and solution:

To inspect the drain hose, give your washer a gentle pull forward to get a good view of the back. 

Look for any kinks or bends, and run your hand along the hose to feel for any hard spots that might indicate a clog. 

Next up:

Got a shop vac? Use it to suction on the hose, which can draw out any clogs.

If you don’t have a shop vac, disconnect the hose as shown in this YouTube video. Then force water through it. 


Reconnect the hose, making sure to do it right. 

As Todd explains, “The hose shouldn’t be pushed more than 5 inches into the standpipe. Also, it should be above 39–98 inches from the floor.”

2. Clogged Drain Pump Filter

Kenmore Washer Clogged Drain Pump Filter
PartDrain filter
LocationBehind a small door at the bottom front of the washer, or behind the front toe panel. 
Ease of troubleshooting Easy
Replacement part cost No replacement needed



If you’ve given the drain hose a clean bill of health, it’s time to proceed to our next suspect.

Which is?

A clogged drain filter. 

“This is the filter that traps dirt, coins, hair, and other uninvited guests before they can cause havoc in the drain pump,” Todd explains. 


If this filter is clogged and dirty, it can affect draining, triggering the OE fault code. 

Never cleaned yours? Get ready; you might be in for a surprise.

For instance, this technician found a battery, a key, and even a small pocket knife on a Kenmore He2 Washer. 

Kenmore Washer Battery in Drain Pump Filter

“Make sure to give the drain filter a good cleaning at least once a month,” Todd adds. 

Identification and Solution:

Todd says…

“While most Kenmore washers have the standard drain filter right at the front bottom, it’s hidden in others.”


Look for a tiny access door at the bottom of your washer. Found it? Pop it open and unscrew the filter.

If you discover it’s dirty and clogged, a simple toothbrush and running water are all you need. 

Can’t locate the panel?

It might be behind the front bottom panel. Simply unscrew the screws holding the panel, and you’re in.

“One of my latest repairs was a Kenmore HE2 Plus 110.47512600 that had this type of drain pump filter,” Todd tells me. 

Kenmore HE2 Plus Drain Pump Filter

3. Blockage Under The Pulsator 

Kenmore Washer Blockage Under The Pulsator
CauseClogged drain holes
LocationBelow the pulsator 
Ease of troubleshooting Medium
Replacement part cost No replacement needed


Another sneaky culprit of the OE error code that often flies under the radar is blockage lurking under the pulsator.

As Todd explains,

“Under the wash plate, you’ll discover up to 10 holes lining the edge where water escapes to the drain pump.”

Over time, these holes get clogged and can cause draining problems, triggering the OE error code.

For instance: 

This repair technician found more than 30 coins stuck in those holes when working on a Kenmore Series 700s washer.

Identification and solution:

Here’s a step-by-step guide to inspecting the area below the pulsator: 

  • Step 1: Grab a flat-head screwdriver and pop out the pulsator cap.
  • Step 2: Using a socket, unscrew the center bolt. Lift the pulsator out of the tub to access the drain holes.  
Kenmore Washer Blockage Lurking Under the Pulsator Replacement
  • Step 3: Use pliers to extract any blockages from these holes.
Kenmore Washer Blockage Lurking Under the Pulsator

Here’s a pro tip from Todd:

“Before putting the pulsator back, give its bottom and the area where it sits a good wash to prevent those black flakes.”

  • Step 4:  Reassemble everything and run a spin cycle to see if you’ve resolved the issue. 

4. Clogged Tub to Pump Hose 

PartTub to pump hose
LocationAt the bottom of the washer 
Ease of troubleshooting Medium
Replacement part cost No replacement is needed
RepairableSome issues are repairable



Sometimes small items, such as socks and thong underwear, can decide to go on an adventure inside your washer.

Their final destination?

Inside the tub-to-pump hose that connects the wash tub to the drain pump 

As Todd puts it, “If this hose is blocked, it can trigger the OE error code. Luckily, it’s easy to inspect and clean up.”

Identification and solution:

Here’s a step-by-step guide to inspecting and cleaning the tub-to-drain pump hose.

  • Step 1: Disconnect the washer from the power outlet.
  • Step 2: Unfasten the screws holding the back panel.
  • Step 3: Slowly tilt the washer on its back.
  • Step 4: Peer through and locate the hose.  

It’s mainly a short black accordion-styled hose, secured with ring clamps at both ends.

  • Step 5: Squeeze those clamps with your fingers and slide them away, freeing the hose ends.
  • Step 6: To release the hose, give it a twist and a pull. Do this on both ends.
  • Step 7: Peep inside the hose to see if there are any items, such as a sock. 
  • Step 8: Inspect and clean the hose, and then reattach it.

5. Faulty or Clogged Drain Pump

Kenmore Washer Faulty or Clogged Drain Pump
PartDrain pump
LocationAt the bottom of the washer
Ease of troubleshooting Hard
Replacement part cost $50-$100
RepairableSome issues are repairable


Another prime suspect in this problem is a faulty or blocked drain pump. 

As Todd explains…

“The drain pump’s function is to remove water from the wash tub at different stages during the washing cycle.”

However, if it’s clogged or faulty, it won’t drain water, triggering the OE error code. 



From my experience, it’s not always that the drain pump is faulty. Sometimes, it’s a clog or a mechanical issue that can be fixed. 

For instance:

Something like a sock or pair of underwear could be clogging the pump.

Kenmore Washer Faulty or Clogged Drain Pump

Something else:

The impeller could also be blocked or damaged, and hence the pump cannot work properly.

Kenmore Washer Faulty or Clogged Drain Pump

That’s not all:

There could be a loose connector, or one of the wires that connect to the control panel may be damaged.

Here is how to inspect the drain pump:

  • Step 1: Unplug the washer from the power source.
  • Step 2: Turn off both water supplies and disconnect them.
  • Step 3: Tilt the washer on its front to access the backside.


If you have a front-load washer, this process will be different. 

  • Step 4: Inspect if there is a loose or damaged wire. 
  • Step 5: Use a multimeter to test the drain pump during a spin cycle. 

Pro Tip:

If the voltage is less than 110 volts, the control board could be faulty. If it’s between 110 and 120 volts, replace the drain pump.

  • Step 6: Disconnect the drain hose from the drain pump.
  • Step 7: Unscrew the screws that hold the drain pump in place. Next, open up the drain pump for inspection 
  • Step 8: Reassemble the washer, turn it on, and test if the issue has been resolved.



If the drain pump is faulty, simply replace it. 

Take note; make sure you have tested and replaced the right rump.

This Redditor made the mistake of replacing the recirculating pump instead of the drain pump on his Kenmore Elite 796.41483410 washer. 

Other Possible Causes Of The OE Error Code Include

  • A problem with the control board
  • Faulty pressure switch 
  • Overloading the washer

Most Affected Models

The truth is, no Kenmore washer is immune to the OE error code. Luckily, the culprits tend to be the same usual suspects.

Curious about which models have been caught red-handed? Here is a list compiled from our Facebook group.

Model NameModel Number
Kenmore EliteBU1017
Kenmore Heavy Duty 80 Series80 Series
Kenmore 500 Series Top Load Washer #110.29522800
Kenmore 700 Series Washer27132
Kenmore Connect Washer#41003
Kenmore 796 Washer40272900
Kenmore Washer796.41282311
Kenmore Top Load796.40272900 
Kenmore Front Load Washer 796.4044#
Kenmore Elite Washer 41472210
Kenmore Front Load Washer 796.4044#
Kenmore Front Load796.40441900 
Kenmore Elite41482 
Kenmore Elite 41002 


Well, folks, that’s everything you should know about the Kenmore washer OE error code. 

Here’s a recap:

A Kenmore washer will display the OE error code if it fails to drain within 10 minutes during a drain cycle.

Common culprits?

  • Kinked or clogged drain hose.
  • Clogged drain filter.
  • Faulty or clogged drain pump. 
  • Clogged drain holes under the pulsator
  • A problem with the control board.

To pinpoint the specific cause, Todd recommends a step-by-step troubleshooting process, starting with simple issues such as the drain hose.

If you are not able to identify the cause, consult a professional. Also, check out our Facebook group for free help with your appliances.

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