Did you ever seen Whirlpool washer error code F21? and now you’re left wondering what it means? You’re not alone. Like you, I experienced this issue and found myself baffled and a bit frustrated. However, with a bit of exploration and patience, I discovered it was a drain error.
But here’s the good news! I discovered a direct solution to clear this pesky F21 code. As I found out, it’s usually related to issues with the drain filters, pump, or nozzles. By tackling these elements, I was able to fix the error and get my Whirlpool washer back on track.
I received a Whirlpool washer with error code F21.
And here’s the part that’s tough to swallow:
I couldn’t clear the F21 code, so I couldn’t drain it. My only solution to resolve the F21 was to unplug the washer, which also didn’t work as expected.
After checking on the internet, I realized it was a drain error.
The best part?
I ended up fixing the pump and clearing the code.
What Does Error Code F21 Mean on a Whirlpool Washer?
Code F21 on a Whirlpool washer means “drainage problem”. In short, the washer cannot drain well, or the drainage is taking too long. Since the F21 error code is a drainage problem, you’ll experience the following signs and symptoms on your washer:
- Your whirlpool washer will take too long to drain water from the tub
- You’ll have wet clothes at the end of the cycle due to water remaining in the tub.
These two are the only tell-tale signs that confirm you have a drainage problem that needs to be fixed. Your Whirlpool duet washer is unlikely to continue washing clothes until you fix the problem.
The following parts are responsible for triggering the F21 error code on a whirlpool washer when they’re defective:
- Drain filters
- Drain pumps
- Pump motor
Besides this, we also have pressure switch issues and a faulty wiring harness that can trigger the F21 error code. Sometimes it can be the control board, and the pump has lost its connection.
Before you repair that, you need to ensure that you don’t have a software fault. The way you do that is by resetting the whirlpool washer. Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Disconnect the whirlpool washer from the main socket and water outlet.
Step 2: Wait for 10 minutes for the Whirlpool duet washer to clear the error.
Step 3: Connect the Whirlpool duet washer and start the cycle again.
If the problem was solved, then you had a software glitch. This is what used to happen with my Whirlpool washer. But if the problem persists, you have a mechanical problem that must be fixed.
How Do I Fix the Error Code F21 On My Whirlpool Washer
Check the Drain Hose
The drain hose draws water out of the washer. It carries dirty water away from the washer into your household’s drainage system.
The drain hose is located at the back of the washer, closer to the bottom. The hose is detachable and flexible, so you can position it in any way you want in your laundry room.
Since your drain hose is flexible and detachable, it can get kinked or bent with time. But that’s not all.
The regular vibration and movement of the washer can push the machine to the wall making the drain hose get kinked further.
A kinked or bent drain hose can trigger an F21 error code. The solution here is simple.
Check the drain hose length for signs of kinks or pinched sections.
If you see any, you can straighten the house to see if that repairs the issues. However, if you want to secure the drain hose, ensure that you install a drain hose clamp/standpipe.
The U-shaped drain hose clamps will hold the hose in a bent position as it directs water into the drainage system and enhances a leak-free washer cycle.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The clamp will guide the drain hose into the laundry standpipe to keep the wastewater off the floor.
A drain hose clamp is a must-have in your laundry, and I recommend this one for better results.
The drain hose also collects dirt and water filled with lint and debris. As the clogs (dirt, lint, and debris) build-up, they block the drain hose.
And the result is:
The water becomes restricted, forcing it back into the washer, triggering whirlpool washer code F21.
Fixing this problem is straightforward.
First, you’ll have to get a drain snake. A drain snake is a long coiled cable with a corkscrew-type spring used to remove clogs in the drains.
All you have to do is to push the corkscrew end of the snake to remove any clogs (dirt, lint, and debris) in the drain hose.
You’ll have to flush the hose using a garden hose to remove the remaining clogs. Finally, wash it with soapy water and vinegar before reattaching it again.
Start the cycle to see if you still experience the F21 error code on a Whirlpool washer when you are done. If the error persists, you can diagnose the next part.
For those looking for a cheap washer:
Inspect the Drain Filter
Water passes through the drain hose and through the filter before it exits the machine. You’ll find the filter concealed behind a small door
at the back of the Whirlpool washer.
The device’s purpose is to catch lint, debris, dirt, or foreign objects like cans.
Like the drain hose, this one also gets clogged with time. When that happens, water fails to pass through the filter leading to a backward flow of water to the washer and triggering the F21 error code.
The solution here is simple.
First, drain the water out into the tray or bucket. Next, remove the drain filter, twist it counter-clockwise to get rid of the clogs, and clean it with water and vinegar in a kitchen sink. Finally, reinstall the drain filter back.
Check the drain pump if it’s faulty.
The drain pump can fail in two ways:
- Electrical failure
- Mechanical failure.
The pump can lack continuity, so it won’t even run when you have power. Besides that, its impeller can be damaged, or an object stuck inside. All these instances can trigger error code F21 on a Whirlpool washer.
Sometimes if the pump operates its motor, it can experience electrical failure. To confirm this, you’ll have to use a multimeter to see if it has continuity or not.
With the multimeter testing, the pump should show a reading of 5 to 10 ohms. The best way to repair a damaged drain pump is to replace it.
Follow these steps if you need to replace the drain pump:
- Disconnect the electrical plug and close the drain hose (hot and cold water supply) behind the washer.
- Using a nut driver, remove the two clips or screws holding the lower front access cabinet. Pull the cabinet and remove it. You’ll see a white nylon drain pump mounted behind a wiring harness.
- Remove the wire access over the drain pump and disconnect the wires.
- Find the red rubber mounting grommet securing the pump to the base. Unsnap the grommet and reach behind the drain pump to release the rear mounting grommet.
- Put a tray or bucket under the drain pump to collect the excess water that may spill out of the pump.
- Carefully remove and replace the old pump with a new OEM drain pump.
- Put everything in a reverse direction, close the front access cabinet, and turn on the washer.
If you change the drain pump, you will have a fixed whirlpool washer error code 21 as I did. Let me know in the comment below if the issue persists.