If your Whirlpool washer displays an F21 washer code error, it means there is a drainage issue. The good news is that cleaning the drain filter or drain line frequently solves the problem. If the issue persists, a multimeter test of the drain pump and pressure switch will be required to identify if the part is damaged and has to be replaced. A reset should give a temporary workaround if you need to resolve the problem code immediately.
What Is the F21 Error Code Caused By?
The following are the most typical causes of the F21 error code:
- The drain pump is clogged or broken, and it has to be replaced.
- The drain pump’s drain filter is clogged or blocked.
- The drain hose is either broken or obstructed.
Other factors that are less common include:
- A communication issue exists between the drain pump and the main control board due to a malfunctioning pressure switch.
- The drain pump wire harness is either broken or doesn’t communicate with the main control board.
- The drain hose drains into a clogged or obstructed pipe.
How to Resolve the F21 Error
Restart the computer
If you wish to fast clear the error code, try pressing Pause/Cancel two times or performing a reset. Disconnect the electricity to the washer for 1 minute to reset it. The problem code should be gone when you restore the power.
A malfunction can sometimes result in an error code. If the power is turned off, the problem will be resolved, and the washer will resume regular operation. Disconnecting the power, on the other hand, may clear the error if it is not a glitch, but the problem will remain. Even if the error code is resolved, you should still check for drainage issues and rectify them to avoid causing further damage to the washer or your clothing.
Examine the Drain Hose
The drain hose may be kinked, pinched, or hindered by a small object if the washer won’t drain. It’s also possible that the drain hose outlet was submerged in water, limiting the washer’s capacity to drain. Another item to look for is a properly installed drain hose.
A spigot on the waste pipe, a waste trap, or a standpipe can all be used to connect the drain hose. The model and type of connection you have will determine how the drain hose should be fitted. For the criteria required for your hose to perform properly, consult the washer’s handbook.
The drain pipe will need to be changed if it cannot be unclogged or connected properly.
Examine the drain hose:
- Make that the blanking cover has been removed from where the hose attaches to the spigot if the washer was recently installed and is attached to a spigot.
- Make sure the hose is securely attached.
- Make sure the hose is free of bends and kinks.
- Check that the water that has been sucked from the drain hose has been able to drain sufficiently.
- Make sure the drain hose outlet isn’t clogged with water.
To unclog and remove the drainpipe, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the washer’s power supply.
- Turn off the washer’s water supply.
- Disconnect the hose from the washer’s drain. To detach the clamps that secure the drain hose to the washer on most models, you’ll need pliers.
- Drain hoses can be unblocked with a drain snake tool or washed in a solution of hot water, white vinegar, and baking soda.
- Replace the drainpipe if the drain hose is defective and the problem cannot be resolved. It’s better to replace a drain hose with holes or wear than to try to patch it up.
Drain Pump and Drain Filter Inspection
If the drain hose is not obstructed, the problem could be caused by a faulty drain pump or a clogged drain filter. Small foreign objects, such as an article of clothing, coins, or bobby pins, commonly clog the drain pump and drain filter. The impeller of the pump might potentially wear out or break, obstructing or damaging the pump. If an impeller fails, the pump must be changed to guarantee proper operation. It could have failed electrically if the impeller is not damaged and the pump is not jammed or obstructed. A multimeter must be used to test the pump’s motor for continuity (a continuous electrical route) to determine if it is malfunctioning.
The drain filter on many Whirlpool washers is attached to the drain pump. Small things can get stuck in the drain filter, much like they can in the drain pump, preventing the washer from draining properly. The drain filter should be easy to find and clear after the access panel is removed. Check the pump for clogs or damage after clearing the drain filter.
Depending on your model, you may have access to the drain pump and filter. If you have a top-loading washer, you’ll probably need to turn it on its back so you can get to the drain pump and filter underneath it. If you have a front-loading washer, you’ll almost certainly need to remove an access panel from the back or front. The location of the drain pump and filter for your specific washer can be found in the owner’s handbook.
To inspect the drain pump and filter, do the following:
- Disconnect the washer’s power supply.
- Turn off the washer’s water supply. To move the washer and gain access to the drain pump and filter, you may need to detach the water hoses, depending on the type.
- Remove the access panel from the washer by unscrewing it.
- Place a container on the ground to catch any leaking water (there may be 2-3 gallons of water).
- Turn the drain pump’s knob counterclockwise to remove it.
- The filter should be on the back of the knob when you turn it over.
- Clear the filter of any debris or lint.
- Look for a damaged impeller or a blockage in the drain pump.
- Examine the drain pump’s wire harness. Make sure the wiring is secure and there is no visible damage.
- Make sure the water drain lines aren’t kinked or obstructed, and that they’re connected properly.
If clearing the filter and drain pump does not resolve the problem number, you may need to use a multimeter to examine the drain pump motor to see if it is defective and needs to be replaced. The pump should read 5-10 ohms with the multimeter probes touched to the terminals, depending on the model. The pump will need to be replaced if the reading is 0 or infinity.
While you’re removing the access panel, make sure the pressure switch isn’t the source of the problem.
The Pressure Switch should be examined
The water level control or pressure switch regulates how much water is in the tub and informs the control panel whether it needs to be filled or emptied. Depending on your model, the pressure switch may be located in a different area. The placement of the switch should be found in the washer’s manual. A wiring harness is normally linked to the back of the pressure switch, which is usually circular.
Using a multimeter, check the pressure switch:
- Set the multimeter’s scale to RX1 or X1.
- Place one probe in the far left hole of the pressure switch and the other probe in the third hole from the left. The reading should be 0 at all times.
- The “suds detect” function of the pressure switch should be tested. Place one probe in the hole on the far right and another in the hole adjacent to it. The ohmmeter should show zero resistance.
- To test the rinse, insert one probe into the second hole from the left and the other probe into the third hole from the left. The reading should be 0 at all times.
- To test the overflow pressure, leave the probe in the third hole from the left and insert the other probe into the fourth hole from the left. The reading should be zero once more.
The pressure switch will need to be changed if it fails any of these tests.
Hopefully, these procedures have resolved the drainage problem and the error code. If the error code persists, a skilled professional may be required to ensure that the control board is not malfunctioning and causing the problem. See more at our Occupychristmas website!