WM3500CW Troubleshooting and Parts

WM3500CW Troubleshooting and Parts Guide

Latest posts by James Blackford (see all)

It’s 6:45 P.M., and you’ve just pulled into the driveway after another late day at work and fighting traffic to get home, the countdown in your head has begun. Three hours. Three hours to cook dinner, check the kid’s homework, feed the dogs, do the dishes, and start the laundry. But you’re not an amateur. You’re a veteran of the household battlefront.

It’s 9:45 P.M., and the sound of silence washes over you like the triumphant shouts of a victorious army. The kids are in bed, the dogs are kenneled, and the quiet of the house wraps around you like a warm blanket compelling you to the comfort of your bed. You smile and walk tiredly to your room when an alarm trills, stopping you in your tracks.

Following the noise, you find yourself staring suspiciously at the display on the washing machine. It’s flashing a series of symbols you’ve never seen before. You open the door to find a load of clothes sopping wet and know two things. The clothes you washed last minute for your kid’s picture day aren’t clean, and your washing machine is broken.

So, you walked right over to the computer and hopped online for help with your broken washer, and with any luck, found this article in the sea of overly-complicated information. In just a few minutes, I’ll help you quickly diagnose your washer and tell you if it’s a repair you can do yourself and save hundreds of dollars or if you’ll have to bite the bullet and call a repair company. So let’s get started.

Two Methods for Troubleshooting Your LG WM3500CW Washing Machine Up Front

  • By the error code showing on the washer’s display.
  • Investigate and troubleshoot based on the symptoms you’re experiencing.

The Error Codes Up Front

UE Error

Out of all the codes that could possibly come up, the UE error is the one you want, as it is rare the code is the result of an actual failure. UE indicates the load was off-balance and could not fully spin out. The most common causes of an unbalanced load are when the washer isn’t level, or the load itself is unbalanced.

How to Fix:

  • The first thing you’ll want to check is that your washer is stable on the ground. If you grab the top of the unit and can easily rock it one way or the other, you’ll need to adjust the feet, so they are all firmly on the ground.
  • Once you’ve ensured the washer is stable, look inside at the clothes. If the load is too small or the weight distribution is too uneven, the unit will not be able to spin at high speeds. Add a few towels to give it more to work with for balancing, and start a Speed Wash cycle. If it’s able to complete without an issue, you’re Aces.
  • If you still get the UE error at the end of the cycle, then either one of the Tub Weights is broken, or the Dampers are worn out and need to be replaced.

OE Error

The OE error indicates your washer is draining slowly.

How to Fix:

  • You’ll want to check the drain line from the back of the unit and ensure it isn’t kinked, pinched, or clogged. Because of the built-in filter connected to the washer drain pump, it is nearly impossible that something made its way through the washer and into the hose.
  • If the hose seems clear, investigate the drain hose receiver in the wall or drain pipe in your home. Make sure nothing is clogging the hole, and it’s free of debris. If there was an obvious clog, hopefully, you’ve fixed the issue.
  • If the code reappears, then your Drain Pump Filter is clogged, or the Drain Pump is bad.

filter scrn shot

Sud Error

The Sud error usually appears when it detects too many soap suds at the end of a wash. For the most part, this one is a non-issue.

How to Fix:

  • All washing machines have a way of monitoring the water level. The LG WM3500CW has a small hose connecting to the tub drain hose that goes to a water level sensor. As the water level changes, the pressure, or weight of the water inside, changes. As this happens, the water level sensor monitors this change to the water level. When there are too many soap suds, it is hard for the sensor to accurately gauge how much water is inside.
  • Simply take the clothes out, pour a small amount of vinegar into the soap dispenser, and start a normal cycle with warm water. If you notice a lot of suds at the start, everything is likely fine. Let it finish the full cycle, and the chime at the end will be one of joy and not sorrow.
  • Unfortunately, the Drain Pump needs to be replaced if the error reappears and there are no suds when you open the door. If there are still lots of soap bubbles at the end of the cycle, rinse and repeat the vinegar wash.

1E Error

The 1E error appears when the washer is filling too slowly or not at all.

How to Fix:

  • First, you’ll want to check the water lines going to the unit and ensure they are turned on. Hopefully, it was as simple as someone turning off the water.
  • If they are on and you’re still not getting water in the machine, turn them off and unscrew the water lines from the washing machine. One at a time, aim the water line in a bucket and slowly turn on the valve to ensure you have a good fast flow coming from the faucets. Do this with both the hot and cold lines. If one or both of the lines do not have a fast water flow coming out, then the issue is with the household plumbing.
  • If the water flows at a good rate, you will want to turn the water back off and check the filters in your washing machine’s water valve. The blue and red connectors are the tip of the washer’s water valve.

cold valve

How to Clean the Filters:

Inside you will find the valve’s filters that can be removed with a pair of plyers and cleaned. For each valve connection, there are two filters. The first will be plastic, and the next one you remove will be a thinner metal mesh filter that must also be cleaned. 

In areas with hard water, and especially if you have well water, they will get clogged over time. Put the filters back in after they are cleaned and connect the water lines back then turn on the water. Start a speed wash and set the water temp at warm so both valves will be activated.

If it makes it through the cycle, your problem is fixed. If the code reappears, you will need to replace the water valves. 

FE Error

Unlike the 1E error, the FE error indicates there is too much water inside.

How to Fix:

Typically when this occurs, you will notice water inside the machine even when it hasn’t been used for a while. This is because the valve is unable to fully close, allowing a small but steady amount of water through and constantly filling the washer. In these cases, the Water Valve must be replaced.

dE, dE1, dE2 Errors

All of these errors are related to an issue with the door closing and/or locking. This error can even still occur if the door does manage to lock. In this scenario, you would have to replace the Door Lock and the Door Strike.

tE Error

The tE error happens when the temperature sensor is unable to determine the temperature of the water. If this error occurs, you will need to replace the Temperature Sensor.

PE Error

The PE error occurs when the washer cannot determine how much water is inside. This is due to a defective Water Level Sensor, which must be replaced.

PF Error

Like the PE error, the PF code indicates a bad water level sensor.

How to Fix:

  • You’ll want to check the washer’s drain hose first. If the hose is too far into the drain outlet in the wall or drain pipe, it can siphon the water out of the machine as fast as it’s trying to fill it up. Ensure the washer’s drain hose is no more than 4 to 7 inches into the drain pipe.
  • If this checks out, then replace the Water Level Sensor.

LE or CE Error

LE and/or CE is displayed when the washer detects a problem with the motor.

  • You’ll first want to check if the wash basket spins by hand without any natural resistance. Make sure when spinning the basket to go slowly. Spinning too fast will energize the motor and instantly provide resistance, making it seem that something is holding it back. If something is lodged between the spin basket and the tub during a cycle, the basket can not spin normally and will result in the LE code.
  • If something seems to prevent it from spinning freely, it’s time to call it in for repair. Getting to the space between the Tub and Basket is a nightmare ( even for a seasoned technician )
  • If it seems to move freely, then there is an issue with the Motor and the Speed Sensor, and both parts need to be replaced.

CL Error

The CL error isn’t usually an error. The display’s flashing letters tell you the control lock is turned on.

How to Fix:

  • Press and hold the Control Lock button for 3-5 seconds to turn off this feature.
  • If it is not responding after several attempts, the Display Interface Board is defective and needs to be replaced. While this is rarely the case, it is a possibility.

tcl Error

TCL displayed means the washer is currently in a clean cycle and is not an error.

Troubleshooting by Symptom

If your washer has malfunctioned and no error code is displayed, you can still get to the bottom of the issue based on the symptoms and conditions before, during, and after the failure. Let’s go through a basic troubleshooting path to find the issue.

Common Observable Symptoms:

Very loud grinding or roaring sound when the unit is spinning:

The bearings are worn, and you will want to have a repair company do the service as this is a significant overhaul and can be very expensive, ranging from $400-$1200 dollars. So if you’ve been on the fence about updating the washer, this may be what pushes you to go shopping.

Water is not draining:

Press power, then the spin button, and start activating Drain And Spin. If the door locks and you don’t hear any sound after, or a loud humming and no water drains, check the Drain Pump Filter by accessing the door at the front bottom of the washer. Make sure to have a bucket ready to catch the water as you slowly unscrew the Filter Cover counter-clockwise.

A slight turn will allow the water to drain but do not unscrew entirely. Otherwise, you’ll have a room full of water. Once the water is drained, unscrew the Drain Filter and pull it out, clean out any foreign materials that may be caught and reinstall tightly, then start a Speed Wash. If the unit still does not drain, you will need a Drain Pump.

filter scrn shot

Finding Your Part Numbers

First, locate the model number sticker for your washer. It is usually behind the door and just above the hole for the door lock. This will show the model number and the Product Code or Version Number. Some parts fit all versions, while others are version specific. The WM3500CW has two different versions, ABWEUUS and ABWEVUS, so be sure and note which one yours is.

model sticker

LG WM3500CW Part Numbers

Note: If you plan on tackling the part install yourself, an LG Door Seal Spring Wrench is recommended for some of these repairs. These pliers are used to remove and install the spring holding the door seal to the front cabinet.

Where to Find These Parts

There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Even the greatest Household warrior cannot defeat every foe on their own. Most LG Frontload washers are very similar in how they are disassembled for repair. A quick Youtube search will yield dozens of videos showing effortless, quick steps to repair your washer yourself.

But like the magic of Hollywood that makes jumping from a motorcycle at high speeds to a helicopter just over the edge of a cliff look easy, the video tutorials from the internet can be very deceiving.

In those videos, none of the screws are stripped or rusted on, the gaskets aren’t worn, and connections don’t cross thread. The best solution may be to call a repair company. So call around and find out the different labor rates of your local businesses. Some will have a flat labor rate, while others charge by the hour. Don’t be afraid to ask for a quote over the phone for a specific repair.

After reading this guide, if you’re sure your drain pump is seized, ask them how much to replace it on your LG washer. Some companies, usually the locally owned ones, will even install the parts you’ve ordered, saving you the cost of markup.

I will leave you with a ballpark price estimate that a company would charge to do the repairs mentioned in this article. As a technician in the field for over 15 years, I’ve seen the price variance from different companies, so this is a loose guide, but it will at least get you in the ballpark. So good luck, soldier, and godspeed.

Average Repair Costs a Service Company Would Charge for Parts and Labor

  • Drain Pump $200-$450
  • Water Valve- $200-$400
  • Motor-$250-$500
  • Water Level Sensor-$200-$400
  • Door lock/Door Strike-$200-$450
  • Weights-$250-$500
  • Main Board-$300-$600
  • Display Board-$300-$600
  • Damper-$300-$600
  • Temperature Sensor- $200-$400

WM3500CW Troubleshooting and Parts: FAQs

Question: How do I know what parts fit my washer?

Answer: Make sure you look up your parts with the full Model and Version number. Not all part sites will let you search based on the version, so try and stay with the ones that will. Sticking with the brand’s home site is always a safe bet you’ll get exactly what you need. https://lgparts.com/

Question: Can I do the repair myself?

Answer: Many videos online will show you step-by-step how to repair almost any repair. When searching for a tutorial video, the exact model won’t be necessary as long as you search for the brand and type of washer. Replacing any part on a front-load LG washer is nearly the same on every model they’ve produced for over ten years, so you can get a good idea if the repair is something you can tackle.

Question: Can I buy the part on Amazon or eBay to save money?

Answer: Yes. As long as you search for the exact part number and ensure the numbers match. Buying parts for your appliance on the brand’s website or a third party’s website is like the difference between buying the part for your car at the dealership versus AutoZone.

You can save a lot of money in most cases, but the part will be aftermarket. Make sure and stick with a seller with good ratings and check the warranty and return policy of the part you’re buying, as most should come with at least a 30-day guarantee.

Question: Is the WM3500CW stackable?

Answer: Yes

Question: Is 4.5 cubic ft. large?

Answer: A 4.5 cubic ft. washer can wash 16-20 pounds of laundry or about 11-14 towels and will be able to accommodate a Queen size comforter.

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