8 Common Error Codes in Whirlpool Washers and What They Mean - SimplySwider.com
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8 Common Error Codes in Whirlpool Washers and What They Mean

Written by

Jason Carter

8 Common Error Codes in Whirlpool Washers and What They Mean

Think of your Whirlpool washing machine’s error codes as its way of texting you for help. 

Like a friend in need, don’t leave them on “read” – understand, respond, and save the day!


They can be hard to read and interpret. But worry not; this post will help you decode the meanings, causes, and fixes. 

Let’s decode them together.

Whirlpool Washer Error Codes

About Whirlpool Washing Machine Error Codes


With countless errors to conquer, I reached out to our friend Joe Willis, a repair technician based in Columbus, Ohio, so that we could compare notes.

Before we dive into the depths, let’s lay a solid foundation for this topic.


There are two types of Whirlpool washing machine fault codes; active and stored error codes. 

Active error codes are the ones that display immediately if there is a problem.

On the other hand:

Stored or historical error codes can only be accessed through the diagnostic mode of the washer.

These error codes aren’t usually displayed during normal operation but are stored in the washer’s memory for diagnostic purposes. 

In short:

They allow service technicians and advanced users to access information about the washer’s previous errors or malfunctions.

Something else…

Almost every common function and part of a washer has its own secret code to reveal. For instance,

  • Water-related errors
  • Spin-related errors
  • Temperature-related errors
  • Door and lock-related errors
  • Sensor-related errors
  • Control board-related errors
  • Drainage errors
  • Load and Balance Errors
  • Dispenser and Detergent Errors
  • Control and Communication Errors
  • Sensor Errors

Let’s now meet the most common error codes in Whirlpool washers 

8 of the Most Common Error Codes in Whirlpool Washers

1. Error Code F21

Error F21
Meaning Drainage problem
Possible CausesClogged, damaged, or malfunctioning drain pump.
Kinked, clogged, or improperly installed drain hose. 
Clogged drain filter 
Excessive suds
Malfunctioning pressure switch 
Problems with the control board

What Does the F21 Error Code Mean?

F21 is the MVP of the error codes I’ve dealt with. This fault code indicates your washer has a draining problem.

Possible Causes:

According to Joe, “The F21 code will appear when the washer is unable to drain or is taking too long to drain.”

This means one of the key parts of the draining process is malfunctioning or faulty. 

Here, I am talking about the drain hose and the drain pump.


If the culprit is the drain hose, you are lucky since most of the issues are usually easy to troubleshoot and fix.

However, the drain pump is stubborn to troubleshoot and wallet-wrenching to replace.

Other possible causes include

  • Malfunctioning pressure switch
  • Communication problem between the control board and the drain pump

How To Troubleshoot:

  • Check if the drain hose is frozen, clogged, or kinked.
  • Ensure the drain hose is installed correctly. Not more than 96″ from the floor. 
  • Check if the drain pump is clogged with lint, coins, or any other obstructions.
  • Use a multimeter to check for continuity on the drain pump. 
  • Check if you are using a high-sudsing detergent, as excessive suds can cause drainage problems.
  • Reset the washer by unplugging and plugging it back in after a few minutes. 
  • Clean the drain pump filter. 


Most of our Facebook group members’ queries regarding the F21 error code are usually resolved by simply cleaning the drain filter. 

2. Error Code F22 and Error Code F5 E3 

Error F22 and F5 E3
Meaning F22 – Door lock issue
F5 E3 – The door is not unlocking properly 
Possible CausesDamaged door latch or lock
Obstructions, such as clothing or debris

Now that we have tackled the F21 error code, let’s address its sneaky cousins, the F22 and F5 E3 error codes.

What Do The F22 and F5 E3 Error Codes Mean?

According to Whirlpool, the F22 error code comes up when the door lock has a problem. 

Joe says…

“Your washer will display this error code after attempting and failing to lock the lid six times.

Here is the thing:

By default, a Whirlpool washer cannot spin the load if the door or lid is not locked correctly. 

That’s why:

If this error code is showing just before spinning, this may be the cause. 

On the other hand:

The F5 E3 error code means the door is having trouble opening. This occurs when there is something preventing the washer lid from unlocking or if the lid lock mechanism has a problem.


On display, the washer will show a dU error code, but it will be saved as F5 E3 in the memory.

Possible Causes:


When dealing with error code F22, a few things could be at play.

  • The door latch or lock is faulty or misaligned.
  • Damaged or loose wiring. 
  • The door isn’t aligned with the lock.
  • There is an obstruction on the door, such as clothing or debris. 
  • Overloading the washer

How To Troubleshoot:

  • Ensure the door is latched securely. 
  • Check if there are obstructions preventing the door from closing.
  • Make sure the door is aligned with the latch assembly.
  • Repair or replace any damaged wiring connections.
  • Restart or reset the washer.

3. Error Code F20

Whirlpool F20 Error Code
Error F20
Meaning Water inlet problems, such as a blocked cold water inlet.Insufficient water supply 
Possible CausesKinked or clogged water hose
Blocked inlet hose screens
Water supply valves are not fully open 
A faulty water level pressure switch

The F20 or FH error code mostly occurs when the washer won’t start, which is the opposite of F21.  

What Does The F20 Error Code Mean?

This error code means the washer is not getting sufficient water to proceed with a wash cycle.

The washer displays this error code when the control board aborts the cycle you had selected.

Possible Causes:

“The F20 error code may be caused by simple issues such as a clogged or kinked water hose or a malfunctioning part such as a faulty water inlet valve,” Joe explains. 

The issue with the water inlet valve happens when the solenoids that open and close it are not working correctly. 

Other possible causes include

  • Hot or cold water supply may be off
  • Clogged inlet screens
  • Low water pressure 
  • Excessive suds
  • The washer is draining as it fills
  • Faulty water level pressure switch or hose

For instance:

This Reddit user had a similar problem with their Whirlpool Duet, Model WFW8300SW05. After troubleshooting, he found the drain hose was too low. By just raising the drain hose, the issue was fixed. 

Another user found it was the pressure sensor hose on their Whirlpool WFW9700VW01 Duet Washer that had holes, so it was not detecting the correct amount of water in the drum. 

How To Troubleshoot:

Troubleshooting and fixing the F20 error code is simple. 

  • Inspect both the hot and cold water hoses.
  • Unscrew the water inlet hoses and inspect the screens.
  • Check the water pressure.
  • Test the water inlet valve.
  • Inspect the water level pressure switch and the hose.

4. F03 E01 Error Code 

Error F03 E01 or F3 E1
Meaning The washing machine cannot detect the amount of water in the tub
Possible CausesA problem with the water level pressure sensor or connected components

What Does The F03 E01 Error Code Mean?

The F03 E01 or F3 E1 error code means your washer cannot detect the water level or the amount of water in the drum or tub. 

Possible Causes:

“The major cause of this error is a defective water level pressure switch”, Joe says. 


This is the component that monitors the water levels and communicates with the control board to either allow or close the water inlet valve.

This error can also result from a software bug or when the washer freezes. So, always start by resetting the washer.

How To Troubleshoot:

If resetting the washer did not resolve the issue, it’s time to locate the water level pressure switch.

  • Inspect if the water pressure hose is kinked or clogged. Disconnect it and blow air through it.
  • Inspect and test the water level pressure switch.
  • Inspect the wiring to the pressure switch. 
  • Reset the main control board. 
  • Clean the drain trap. 

5. Error Code 5d, Sd, or Sud 

Error 5d, Sd, or Sud 
Meaning Excessive sud 
Possible CausesUse of regular detergent 
Using too much detergent 
Clogged drain pump or drain hose

Sud or Sd, which appears as 5D or 5ud on the display, is a Sud error code.  

What Does The 5d or Sd Error Code Mean?

The 5d or Sd error code means your washer has excessive suds.

When the washer is struggling with excessive foam, it displays this error, indicating the current cycle will be longer than usual. 

According to Joe,

“Excessive foam makes it hard for the washer to extract and drain water from the load.

Possible Causes:

As mentioned above, the error is caused by excessive foam, which is mostly caused by using a non-HE detergent (regular detergent)

If this is the cause, you will see the foam in the tub.


If the washer is showing this error code and there is no excessive foam in sight, the potential cause is a malfunctioning foam sensor.

In this case, the foam sensor may be sending a false signal. 

Other possible causes include

  • Using too much detergent. 
  • Clogged drain system.
  • Foam in the pressure switch tube.
  • A problem with the control board.

How To Troubleshoot:

  • Give the washer time to eliminate the excess suds.
  • Inspect the foam sensor. 
  • If the problem is consistent, change the detergent
  • Use a high-efficiency detergent 
  • Reset the error code.
  • Run a clean cycle

6. Error Code E1 F9

E1/F9 Whirlpool Washer Error Codes
Error 5d, Sd, or Sud 
Meaning Long drain  
Possible CausesKinked drain hose
Drain hose is installed incorrectly
Clogged drain pump 

What Does The F9 E1 Error Code Mean?

The F9 E1 or F9E1 error code is very similar to the F20 error code.

Just like the F20, this error code means the washer is taking too long to drain. 

According to Joe…

“The washer will typically display this error if it takes more than 8 minutes to drain.”

Possible Causes:

The most common culprits for this error are the parts that are directly involved in the draining process. 

That’s the drain hose and the drain pump.


The drain hose may be kinked, clogged, or installed incorrectly. 


The hose should not extend too much into the standpipe or exceed 96″ in height from the floor. 

Other possible causes include

  • Clogged drain pump filter 
  • Excessive suds
  • Clogged drain filter
  • Faulty drain pump

How To Troubleshoot:

Troubleshooting and fixing the issue behind the F9 E1 error code is pretty simple. Inspect both the drain hose and drain pump for the issues mentioned above. 

7. Error Code F28

Error F28
Meaning A communication error between the central control unit (CCU) and the motor control unit (MCU)
Possible CausesFaulty central control unit or motor control unit 
Loose or faulty wire connections
Software bug

The next error is the dreaded, F28.

What Does The F28 Error Code Mean?

The F28 error code means there is a communication error between the CCU and the MCU

Possible Causes:

According to Joe…

“The cause can be faulty wiring connections between the two components, or one of the two components can be faulty.”


If the cause is the latter, you are lucky since it’s simple and cheap to fix. However, the control board is troublesome and costly to fix. 

Other possible causes include

  • Faulty motor 
  • Power surge 
  • Software bug 

How To Troubleshoot:

As I mentioned above, the most that the majority of people can do is inspect the CCU and the MCU for faulty connections and corroded contacts.

However, if the culprit is the control board, it’s time to call a professional. 

8. Error Code F70

Error F70
Meaning Communication failure between the central control unit and user interface control 
Possible CausesDamaged connections
Software bug
Faulty control panel or control board

What Does The F70 Error Code Mean?

The F70 error code is a communication error between the control board and the user interface

“This error code will appear when the washer control board isn’t receiving the right signals from the user interface,” Joe says. 


In some washers, you will find an F71 error code instead of an F70. 

Possible Causes:

The F70 error code has multiple suspects, including

  • Damaged wires. 
  • Loose or corroded connectors.
  • Malfunctioning or faulty control board.
  • Faulty or malfunctioning user interface.

How To Troubleshoot:

If you are dealing with the F70 error code, the first thing you should do is reset the washer. 

This can solve the issue if it was caused by a power outage or a software glitch. 


Inspect the control board and user interface for faulty wires, loose connectors, corroded contacts, and other damages.

Finally, test the control board and user interface.

Other Common Whirlpool Washer Error Codes


The above error codes are the most common. Below is a table with other codes that you may come across and their meaning. 

Error CodeMeaning
F01A problem with the main electronic control board
A communication error between the Central Control Unit (CCU) and the EEPROM onboard the CCU occurred
F5 E2The door is not locking properly
F8 E1Low flow of water.
drnWasher is not draining properly,
LdLLdULid is not lockingLid cannot unlock.
LF, Lo FL F8 E1The washer is taking too long to fill
F25Tachometer issue, the control board doesn’t detect the motor speed
F08 E01The washer is not detecting water entering it
F26F5E1Door switch error
F07An issue with the Motor Control Unit
F09The washer is detecting that water is overflowing
F06Drive motor tachometer error, this indicates a problem with the motor or motor control
F24Water temperature sensor error, indicating the sensor is out of range or faulty
F10F31Motor control unit heat sink thermal trip, which could mean the heat sink on the motor control board got too hot
F08 E03Overflow condition, the washer is detecting that water is overflowing
F13Dispenser circuit error, indicating the dispenser is not able to move into position
F01 E02Motor control error, the motor control unit has reported a failure
F29Door unlock error, the door is unable to unlock
F30Dispenser system error, the dispenser cannot move into position
F32 Pressure switch failure 
Sud Sud lock
F3E1Water level system error
F3E2Temperature system error

Compatible Whirlpool Models

These error codes and explanations apply to most Whirlpool washers, including the following. 

  • Whirlpool Washer Model GHW9300OW4
  • Whirlpool Washer WTW5500XW0
  • Whirlpool Washer WTW5000DW0
  • Whirlpool Cabrio Washer Wtw6600sw2
  • Whirlpool Washer Model WFW70HEBW
  • Whirlpool Washer WFW72HEDW
  • Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer WED9600TAO
  • Whirlpool Cabrio
  • Whirlpool Duet Steam
  • Whirlpool Duet Sport
  • Whirlpool Calypso
  • Whirlpool Duet HT
  • Whirlpool Washer WFW9050XW00
  • Whirlpool Neptune
  • Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum
  • Whirlpool Epic

In Summary

There you have it, a handy guide to the common error codes that your Whirlpool washer may flash. 

Think of these codes as friendly signals that your washer sends out to guide you in the right direction during troubleshooting. 

Remember that these codes may differ from one model to another, so always refer to your owner’s manual for specifics. 

Whether your washer boasts a display or communicates in beeps and blinks, understanding how to read and interpret these errors will save you a lot of trouble. 

Sometimes, error codes can be a little cryptic or require skills beyond our DIY spirit. So, if you’re ever in doubt, dial up a technician. 

Also, check out our Simply Swider Appliance Repair Community for free advice and consultation about your appliances. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Call A Professional For An Error Code On My Whirlpool Washer?

There are two instances in which I recommend you contact a professional.

First, if you are unable to interpret the error code. Secondly, if you realize the cause is a complex problem—for instance, control board and user interface issues.

12 thoughts on “8 Common Error Codes in Whirlpool Washers and What They Mean”

    • Hi Nidhi,

      What is your washer model? The method described below is commonly used for many models, but it isn’t universal.

      Power Reset:

      • Turn off the washer using the power button or switch.
      • Unplug the washer from the wall outlet.
      • Wait for about 1-2 minutes.
      • Plug the washer back in and turn it on. This action can help reset the machine and exit the test mode.

      Cancel or Stop Button:

      Some models have a feature where pressing the “Cancel” or “Stop” button exits the diagnostic or test mode. You can try pressing it repeatedly or holding it down for a few seconds.


    • FH error code points to an issue with the machine’s water filling process. Begin by examining the water supply connected to the machine. Next, ensure that the hose isn’t kinked or inadvertently lodged under the machine.


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