A short while ago, my wife came to tell me our Kenmore high-efficiency washing machine showed an "F24" error on the front panel, but the manual didn't provide any information. I downloaded a copy of the manual, so I could quickly search it for "F24," but I got only "Not Found" for my effort. A Google search located a page that offered assistance in diagnosing the problem -- a faulty temperature sensor.
The troubleshooting information noted a sensor resistance of about 10kohms under ambient conditions but also noted that even a good sensor resistance wouldn't rule out a problem with wiring or a control board. The Web page also noted, "The F24 error code indicates that the water temperature sensor reading is out of range (below 23F or above 217F)." So if our household water supply has frozen or turned to steam, the washer will not work. I suppose it wouldn't work under those conditions anyway, but it's one of those high-efficiency washers, so there's always a chance.
Given the operating limits controlled by the sensor, I thought seriously about bypassing the sensor with a 10kohm resistor, encasing the "fix" in heat-shrink tubing, and placing the assembly away from anything wet. Then I looked at an exploded view of the washing machine and decided I had no time to pull it out of its spot in our small laundry room and take it apart. The Sears service person will do that tomorrow.
Seeing an error code we humans can read surpasses the flashing LED in our furnace that blinked out an error code akin to a Morse code transmission. Or the LED on our TV that simply flashed on or off. The TV manual explained that this condition meant we should have the TV serviced. Gosh, the TV wouldn't turn on, so we figured out that problem on our own. We rigged the TV to work but eventually replaced it.
Our water softener has indicated errors on occasion, but the cryptic manual does not clearly explain how to reset the softener or determine whether we need to call for service. The last time the service person worked on the softener, I wrote down the steps to clear the error and get the unit started again. No more $90 service calls.
All too often, service manuals provide incomplete error or malfunction information and fail to include information about what to do. Even if the washer instructions noted only, "F24 indicates a temperature-sensor error. Please call for service," it would have saved time and energy in figuring out what problem existed and the steps needed to solve it.
There's a lesson here for product designers and manual writers. Give consumers error or fault messages they can understand. The Sears washer did that. Then ensure the product manual explains in one section all the possible error messages, what causes them, and what to do about them. Also, on your company's Website, include a one-click link from product information to a list of error codes and warning messages. I had to find a description of the F24 error on a non-Sears site.
Now for the good news: The washer stopped in the middle of a rinse cycle, so my wife turned off the washer, turned it on, and set the controls for a rinse-and-spin cycle only. It worked fine. She'll put in another load later. I'll still have the repair person visit tomorrow. Then I can watch how to disassemble the washer and know how to insert that 10kohm resistor the next time we get an F24 error code.