Today’s washing machine is a high-tech appliance that, when working correctly, makes the task of doing laundry easy and efficient. With that said, as with all technology, failure is a possibility, which is when specific error codes are likely to appear on the control panel’s digital display. These error codes are designed to tell you (almost) exactly what is wrong with the machine, so you don’t have to guess the diagnosis.
One of the more common of these error codes we see is the Samsung Washer UB error code. This code displays when the appliance detects an imbalance somewhere in the machine. There are a few reasons a Samsung washing machine might be unbalanced, and I’ll explain them below.
What Does A UB Error Code Mean
When a washing machine is out of balance, it can quickly become a safety concern as the tub cannot spin smoothly, as it attempts to remove water from the clothes. An unbalanced tub tends to bounce around erratically, which can potentially damage various mechanical components that support the drum and in extreme cases result to flooding, fire, or significant damage to the machine itself.
To prevent this type damage, your Samsung washer pauses operation and displays the UB error code. Depending on the model you have, you may also see codes UE, UR, or E4 instead of the UB code. These codes all mean the same thing: your washing machine is unbalanced. In fact, the UB error code is sometimes misread as a U6 code, but this is simply a misinterpretation of the LCD display screen.
In the next section, I am going to cover the most common causes of an unbalanced washing machine and what you can do to fix them.
Fix Common Samsung UB Error Code Problems
The good news is that when your washer gives you a UB error code, it’s often simple to fix. To start diagnosing the error code, start by checking the clothes you put in the machine. Then I will take you through progressive troubleshooting steps working toward more complicated and less likely causes, including faulty suspension springs and shock absorbers.
1. Uneven Laundry Load
If go to your washing machine to find the UB error code staring you in the face, open the lid or door and check that the clothes are evenly distributed around the tub. If they are tangled, bunched up, or stuck to one side of the tub, the machine won’t be able to spin evenly around the central axis, triggering the error code. Simply redistribute the clothes evenly around the tub, close the lid or door, and the machine should resume its normal wash cycle.
Overloading or underloading your Samsung washing machine can also trigger the UB error code. With too many clothes in the tub, the machine has a hard time turning or agitating the tub, which could result in the imbalance error code. Alternatively, not putting enough clothing in the tub will cause the clothes to stick to one side of the tub, triggering an imbalance within the drum. If you suspect either of these reasons for your UB error code, simply remove or add clothing to balance the load properly. Once you do this, the machine should resume operation.
Finally, placing clothing items that have strings on them (shoes, hoodies, etc.) freely in the washing machine can sometimes cause the dreaded UB error code. The strings from these items can become stuck in the tub or agitator, making the machine think it is unbalanced. If you need to wash items with strings, either remove the strings before washing or use a mesh laundry bag to keep their strings from getting caught during the wash cycle.
2. Washer Is Not Level
Another common cause of a Samsung washer UB error code is the machine not being leveled on the floor. This happens most often when the machine has been moved to a new location or has been recently installed. With that said, even older machines that haven’t been moved in years can become unlevel due to the vibrations created during normal operation. To fix this issue, place a bubble level on top of the machine and check for levelness from side to side, and front to back.
If you find that your washing machine isn’t level on the floor, you will need to adjust its legs accordingly until it becomes level again. To do this, loosen the locking nut on the leg with a wrench. Turn the leg counterclockwise to raise it or clockwise to lower it. Make the necessary adjustments to all four legs until the washer shows the level and then tighten the locking nuts so the legs remain in place. Double-check that all four legs are solidly on the floor and unable to scoot around. If the floor is slippery, place anti-slip pads under the legs to keep the machine from sliding around during operation. You could watch this short 2-minute video to help guide you through the process step by step.
3. Abnormal Water Level
To function properly and get your clothes clean, your Samsung washing machine must achieve an adequate water level. If there isn’t enough water in the tub, clothing can become tangled or bunched up on one side, resulting in an unbalanced load.
If you suspect that your machine isn’t filling with water properly, check that all inlet hoses are free of blockage or damage, and clean any filters that might be clogged with lint or other debris.
Check the Inlet Hose
- Switch off the inlet water shut-off valve and unplug the washer at the wall
- Pull the washer away from the wall, allowing access to the water inlet hoses.
- Place a bucket under the hose connectors and unscrew the inlet water hose.
- If you look inside the red or blue hose connectors fixed to the back of the washer you will see a small gauze filter. Remove and inspect the filter for debris and thoroughly wash it under the tap.
- Replace the gauze filter and reconnect the inlet water hoses
Clean the Drain Filter
- The drain filter is usually located at the front of the washer near the floor, where you will see a small access panel.
- Place an old towel on the floor to catch any drips or water leaks and then open the access panel and unscrew or pull out the water filter cartridge.
- Remove the drain filter and using a soft brush, thoroughly clean it with soapy water and rinse it under the tap.
- Place the filter back into the washer and close the access panel.
4. Reset the Washer
Sometimes, a UB error code occurs for no obvious apparent reason. It is often a glitch in the control board that requires resetting to clear the code so the machine can resume normal operation.
If you have checked all the issues mentioned above and can’t find a reason for the UB code, try resetting the machine. To do this, simply unplug it from its power source for several minutes. When you plug it back in, the error code should no longer display. Keep in mind, though, that resetting the machine to clear the error code may only resolve the issue temporarily. If the UB error code returns, there may be something more serious going on, which leads me to my next point.
If none of the methods I’ve mentioned above works to resolve your Samsung washer UB error code issue, we will need to dig a little deeper and consider mechanical problems. There could be some sort of mechanical failure happening that may require the expertise of a trained appliance technician.
5. Worn Drive Belt System
The drive belt is a rubber belt that runs via pulleys from the motor to the tub or drum of the washer. This belt converts the power from the motor to turn and agitate the drum. Over time, this belt can become stretched out or cracked, causing it to slip during operation, which can result in an unbalanced load.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to remove the access panel from the back of your washing machine, locate the belt, and inspect it to see if it looks worn or damaged in any way.
How To Replace The Drive Belt
- Replacing the drive belt is a simple task that will take less than 30 minutes. First unplug the washer from the power source.
- Remove the rear or front access panel (depending on the washer model), allowing you to drum and belt system
- Next, release the tension from the belt by loosening the motor or idler pulley.
- Pull the belt off the drum by hand, and replace it with a new belt, making sure to feed the belt through guides and pulleys.
- Adjust the tension and ensure the correct tension and belt alignment.
- Reassemble the washer and test it.
6. Worn Shock Absorbers
Front-load washing machines have shock absorbers between the tub and the frame of the machine. These shock absorbers can wear out over time, causing the drum to be unbalanced during operation. Check to see that each shock absorber is attached at both ends and look for signs of leakage, as these absorbers can leak hydraulic fluid when they wear out.
7. Damaged Suspension Springs
All washing machines have suspension springs to keep the tub in place and balanced. In some models, the springs are located under the drum, while in others, they are located above the drum. Locate yours and make sure the springs are in good shape. If any are broken or otherwise damaged, they will need to be replaced to fix the UB error code.
8. Damaged Dampening Straps
If your Samsung washer is a top-loading machine, it may have dampening straps holding the tub to the four top corners of the machine. If one of these straps stretches or breaks, the tub will be unbalanced – thus the UB error code.
9. Faulty Control Board
The control board is like your washing machine’s brain. It sends signals to the machine telling it what to do next. If the control board fails for some reason, it might throw the UB error code. If none of the fixes above seems to resolve your error code dilemma, you may have a faulty control board in your hands. In most instances, the board will need complete replacement to resolve these kinds of issues.
As frustrating as a Samsung washer UB error code is, the good news is that the fix is often a simple one. In most cases, all you need to do is redistribute the clothes for the machine to resume normal operation. However, if this doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to troubleshoot further following the advice I’ve given above. Good luck and happy laundering!
You may also be interested in reading Fix a Samsung Washer SC Error Code (5C) in 3 Easy Steps
Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.