Kenmore Series 500 Washer Stuck On Sensing – Best Guide In 2023

Is your Kenmore Series 500 Washer stuck on “sensing”? Don’t panic! Our expert guide has everything you need to know to fix this frustrating issue quickly and easily.

Do you rely on your Kenmore Series 500 washer to keep your clothes clean and fresh, only to find it stuck on the dreaded “sensing” cycle?

If you’re like me, this frustrating glitch can put a major wrench in your daily routine.

But fear not, because, in this blog post, I am going to dive into the common causes of Kenmore Series 500 washers stuck on sensing.

After that, I will explore some simple solutions to get your washer back up and running in no time.

So get ready to say goodbye to endless hours of waiting for your laundry to finish, and hello to a smoothly operating washing machine with the help of my tips and tricks. Thank me later.

Let’s get started!

Kenmore Series 500 Washer Stuck On Sensing

When your Kenmore HE washer refuses to budge from the “sensing” cycle, leaving your laundry in limbo, one of three parts likely is to blame:

  1. A faulty water inlet valve
  2. Stuck shift actuator
  3. Malfunctioning control board

Even though Kenmore washers are typically reliable and easy to fix, it can be frustrating when you’re not sure what’s causing the issue.

But don’t worry, I have got you covered with my in-depth guide that will help you diagnose and fix the problem so that you can get back to your laundry routine in no time.

1. Faulty water inlet valve

The water inlet valve serves as a crucial component. It connects the hot and cold water hoses to your washing machine regulating the flow of water into the appliance.

A malfunctioning valve can lead to inadequate or no water filling in the Kenmore washer 500 Series.

Unfortunately, this part is typically irreparable, requiring a replacement when found to be faulty.

However, there may be cases where cleaning the two inlet ports can resolve the issue. Particularly if blockages are caused by calcium deposits or debris impeding the water flow.

Therefore it is best to test the valve to determine if it has indeed failed before replacing it.

Although if there is need for replacing the valve, it is a simple and straightforward process. But it is essential to utilize compatible parts tailored for your Kenmore 500 washer model.

How to Test Faulty Water Inlet Valve If Your Kenmore Series 500 Washer Stuck On Sensing

I have done it so many times. So I am listing the best and easiest steps to start fixing your Kenmore 500 Series washing machine:

  1. The first crucial steps involve disconnecting the power supply. Also turn off both the hot and cold water supply. This ensures your safety and prevents any further damage to the machine.
  2. Next, remove the supply hoses from your machine with the help of pliers, but be prepared for water leakage once they are disconnected. It’s recommended to place a bucket near the machine to avoid any mess.
  3. Its time to check and observe the filter screens located inside the water inlet valve. Debris on these screens is a common reason for valve malfunction, which can cause washing machine issues. Using a flashlight, carefully inspect both ports of the screens. If they are dirty, clean them without causing any damage since they cannot be replaced.
  4. Moreover, it’s also essential to check the hoses for any kinks, damages, or blockages. If any issues are found, you must fix the hoses before moving further.

What if the Inlet Valve is not dirty or clogged with debris?

After testing water inlet, if you found no calcium buildups or any other type of blockage, then there is a need of another test. The solenoids on the water inlet valve should be checked for continuity. Use multimeter for this test.


This test will help you verify whether the solenoids are functioning properly and not the source of the problem.

How to test Solenoids on your Kenmore 500 Series Washer

  1. Remove the access panel on the cabinet of your Kenmore 500 Series Washer.
  2. Once you have removed the access panel, you should be able to locate the water inlet valve.
  3. There are typically two wires on the solenoid that need to be disconnected
  4. It’s important to remember where they go to avoid confusion during reassembly.
  5. To test for continuity, set your multimeter to the “OHM X1” setting, and connect a probe to each terminal.
  6. A good solenoid will show at least some resistance. It means it is working.
  7. However, if your reading shows either zero or infinity, this indicates the solenoid has burnt and not working.
  8. It’s essential to test both solenoids separately to verify whether either is faulty.
  9. If you find that one or both solenoids are not functioning correctly, then you should replace the water inlet valve to resolve the issue of Kenmore Washer Stuck on Sensing.

2. Defective or Malfunctioning Motor Shift Actuator Causes Kenmore Series 500 Washer To Stuck

Motor shift actuator changes the transmission in top-load Kenmore 500 Series washing machines from the WASH cycle to SPIN cycle and vice versa.

This mechanical component comprises a small motor and gearbox unit responsible for shifting the transmission ring to engage either the wash drive or spin drive.

However, if the motor shift actuator malfunctions, it can stuck the washing machine’s cycle.

At the start of a wash cycle, the Wash Control checks the position of the washer tub to ensure it has not been shifted from its default SPIN cycle position.

If the tub has been moved to a different position during a prior wash cycle or is in a different position than when the wash cycle was initiated, the control will prevent the washer from starting.

This is a safety measure to protect the washer’s mechanical components from potential damage.

If there’s an issue with the shift actuator in a Kenmore washing machine, one way to identify it is by checking if the “lid locking” light begins blinking.

This indication implies that there may be a problem with the shift actuator, and it’s essential to investigate and resolve the issue to prevent any further complications.

How Does Kenmore 500 Series Washer Sensing Cycle Works

The auto-sensing function on your Kenmore HE washer is an efficient way to save water while automating your laundry process.

This function of the Kenmore 500 washer ensures that the optimal amount of water is used to clean your clothes.

So how does it work?

When you hit the “START” button on your Kenmore washer, the machine begins by performing a self-test on the lid lock.

After this, it uses “sensing spins” to determine the load size.

It then adds water and moves the load quickly, allowing water to soak into the clothes.

It then periodically adds more water until it senses the right amount of water is present.

Now if your washing machine thinks that the water level is too low or is not filled correctly, the sensing function helps the machine stabilize the amount of water required for the wash.

Moreover, it’s important to note to never add more water to the load. Because this can cause your laundry to float and prevent your clothes from being cleaned properly.

Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

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