Frigidaire Washer Code E21 [Quick Solutions]

My clothes were left soaking wet because of the Frigidaire washer error code 21. My Frigidaire Affinity washer sat on sensing for 15 minutes before giving the code E21. When we got the code a few months ago, we tore the washer apart but found no blockage on the filter. We put the washer back, and it worked.

I almost gave up on diagnosing the washer before realizing that the washer could have miscommunication between different boards. Checked the control board and I realized that the drain circuit was the issue. 

I bought a new main control board, replaced it, and the washer worked. I have given you a breakdown of how I diagnose my Frigidaire washer to fix the issues. Most importantly, I have included places where you get the parts at a discount. I hope this article helps you resolve the Frigidaire washer code 21.

What Does E21 Mean On A Frigidaire Washer?

The E21 error code means the Frigidaire washer takes a long to drain water. Sediments, lint, and other objects accumulate in your washer inlet valves. Eventually, they’ll restrict the flow of the washer in the Frigidaire washer. A slow Frigidaire washer can cause leaks and standing water when you want to wash. Ninety-one percent of the time, the problem will be related to dirty water inlet screens, clogged filters, faulty drain pumps, or control boards.

You’ll likely take a long to complete a cycle that would have taken you 30 or 45 minutes. At some point, your washer won’t drain as fast as it used to. 

If your washer won’t drain properly, you’ll be confronted with a mess of clothing, gray water, and suds. As a service technician with 11 years of experience, the E21 code is my favorite repair because it’s easy.

Before you fix the E21 code, you need to reset it to determine whether you have a false or not. Here’s a quick way to do it:

  • Disconnect the Frigidaire washer from the power socket and water supply
  • Wait for twelve minutes
  • Reconnect the Frigidaire washer to the power and launch a small cycle when the time is over.

If the error appears, then you don’t have a false alarm. To fix the E21 code on your Frigidaire washer, you’ll need to diagnose each part and fix where you see the problem. As a service technician, I have been doing this for 11 years, and I have the exact process you can follow. E20 and E21 codes are closely related.

How Do I Fix Error Code E21 on Frigidaire Affinity Washer?

Faulty Drain Hose

The drain hose carries gray water and suds to the standpipe or sinks from the washing machine. It’s connected to the back of the Frigidaire washer, where water flows out. Foreign objects are likely to accumulate inside your drain hose, forcing it to fail to drain the water. 

When it happens, it triggers error code E21. The washer’s hose is also likely to wear and tear as they age. High water pressure causes wear and tear. That said, you’ll need to buy a new drain hose. Hard water coming through the drain hose also corrodes hoses leading to the building of sediments.

Fixing the drain hose is simple. Check it for clogs like dirt, lint, sediments, and other foreign substances. Ensure that there’s nothing blocking hoses.

  • Correct the drain hose position. Ensure it is more than 30 inches above the floor but no higher than eight feet. If you use a standpipe, pull the hose out and ensure it’s not more than five feet. The hose won’t drain if it’s more than five feet away from the Frigidaire washer.
  • Ensure there’s enough air gap between the drain hose and standpipe. A too-snug fit can have a suction effect causing the washer to drain slowly.

Defective Drain Pump

The drain pump is found at the bottom of the Frigidaire washer, and it carries wastewater out of the washer. If your pump works well, the washer won’t have challenges draining the water. When clogged with toothpicks, coins, wires, dirt, and other foreign substances, the pump fails. 

When those things get stuck, they affect the functioning of the drain pump and trigger Frigidaire washer error code 21.

A faulty drain pump can make an impeller or agitator break from the shaft, which you can clean or replace. To fix a defective drain pump, you need to check it for clogs and other foreign substances. Follow these simple steps:

  • Remove the panel of the Frigidaire washer to access the drum
  • Detach the pump’s electrical  components and remove it
  • Have a bucket or tray to collect water that may flood from the drum.
  • Check to see if the drain pump has any clogs or foreign objects.

If you still get an E21 error code on a Frigidaire washer after cleaning the pump, you’ll have to go to the next stop. Testing the drain pump using a multimeter will make you certain that the problem lies in the drain pump. 

After you have confirmed that it’s the drain pump, that’s when you can move forward and replace it. Here’s my process of testing the drain pump.

Make sure that the washer is not connected to a power outlet when you are doing this to avoid electrocution.

  • Please turn on the multimeter and adjust it to scale dial zero
  • There are two wires on the side of the pump that you need to pull away from the terminals.
  • Place the probe on each terminal on the drain pump. Take the ohmmeter readings. The reading should range from five to ten ohms. A zero reading tells you that you need to replace the drain pump.

Faulty Main Control Board

The main control board in a Frigidaire washer controls and ensures that all the different circuits in the washer work efficiently. If you are getting error E21, you’ll have to check the drain circuit because it is responsible for performing the drain function. It isn’t easy to test the main control board and its components. If you face a challenge here, the only option is to replace the whole board.

To access the board, you need to remove the panel and locate it. The tricky part about replacing the board is the electrical connectors. Make sure you label each connector to have an easy time when doing a replacement. There are so many connectors that numbering them is so important.

How To Reset Frigidaire Affinity Washer?

Once you have diagnosed and fixed everything, you can reset it first to see if it’s working. Since your washer isn’t draining properly, you’ll have to pay attention to the drain function towards the end of the program.

  • Unplug the Frigidaire washer from the power circuit breaker for ten minutes
  • Plug the power back on to reset the Frigidaire washer to default settings
  • Press the Cancel button to cancel all commands
  • Press and hold the spin speed together with soil level for five to nine seconds
  • Hold the three buttons until you hear a signal sound, and leave the three buttons.
  • Open the washer’s door for more than three minutes and close it again. After this, the washer will work properly again.

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