How to Resolve Error Code F20 on a Whirlpool Washer -
Appliance Troubleshooting

Simply Swider’s Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide: Resolving the Whirlpool Washer Error Code F20

Written by

Jason Carter

Simply Swider’s Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide: Resolving the Whirlpool Washer Error Code F20

Here’s the thing:

Error codes, like the F20 error code, are a valuable diagnostic feature in modern-day appliances.

But what problems does the F20 error code hint at, and how can you troubleshoot them?

That’s what I’m here for!

With my experience repairing household appliances, I will provide all the answers you need.

I have also enlisted help from Brandon Scott, an appliance technician with over 20 years of experience from Phoenix, Arizona.

So, let’s get started!

Whirlpool Washer F20 Code

Error Code F20: What Does It Mean?

According to Whirlpool, the F20 error code is indicative of a water inlet issue, typically a lack of water or insufficient water supply. Usually, it is caused by a kinked or clogged water inlet hose, excess laundry detergent, clogged inlet valve screens, or a faulty pressure switch. And on other occasions, improper drain hose installation will produce this error code.

Moving forward:

I will give more in-depth information on the possible defects that trigger the error code F20 and precise steps to troubleshoot them.

So, unplug your washer, wear your safety gear, and find out what I mean.

Common Reasons and Troubleshooting Tips for an Error Code F20 on a Whirlpool Washer

Commonly Affected PartsEstimated Cost
Water inlet hoses$15 – $60
Water inlet valve screens$6 – $18
Pressure switch$16 – $95
Drain hose$10 – $40

1. Kinked or Clogged Water Inlet Hoses

PartWater inlet hoses
LocationThey are located behind the washer and are connected to the water supply faucets.
Ease of troubleshootingEasy
Cost$15 – $60
RepairableYes – if it is clogged or kinked

You already know this:

Your Whirlpool washing machine will display the F20 error code if there’s a problem with the water supply. And the main components responsible for bringing water into the washer are the hot and cold water inlet hoses.

As such:

If the water inlet hoses are clogged, kinked, or damaged, your washer will not receive sufficient water.

Take it from a member of our Facebook community who made a post concerning his Whirlpool Duet HT washer displaying an F20 code.

According to him:

“No water comes out, but it does spin briefly before the error code displays.”

Immediately, I asserted that the water inlet hoses should typically be the first components to inspect when faced with this error.


You must examine the hoses for kinks or bends and straighten them by repositioning the washer or shortening the hose if it’s too long.

Then, check for clogs, and clear the hose with a wire or pressure washer to enhance the water flow. 

Brandon adds:

“Because the fill hoses are connected to the water supply faucets on the wall, it makes sense to ensure the faucets are turned on.”

2. Clogged Water Inlet Valve Screens

PartWater inlet valve screens
LocationIt is situated at the back of the washer behind the control panel.
Ease of troubleshootingEasy
Cost$6 – $18
RepairableYes – if it is clogged


The water inlet hoses are connected to valves fitted with screens to prevent debris from passing through.

Sure enough, these water inlet valve screens are another likely culprit behind the F20 error code your washer is displaying.

You see:

This Reddit user’s Whirlpool WFW9750WW01 Duet Steam washer stops the wash cycle abruptly with the F20 error code. In response to this complaint, another user advised to check the screens in the inlet valves for build-up.

And I agree!

A clogged water inlet valve screen will prevent water from passing through the valves. Luckily, the fix is relatively simple.

Here’s what to do:

Turn off the water faucets and detach the inlet hoses from their corresponding valves. Then, gently remove the clogged screens with a pair of needle-nose pliers.


The rest is pretty elementary. Simply wash out the accumulated debris and reattach the screens to the water inlet valves.

This should solve the problem.

Brandon emphasizes being careful while removing the screens. The last you want is to have to replace a damaged valve screen.

3. Excess Laundry Detergent

Here’s the thing:

Whirlpool washers are sensitive to the amount and type of laundry detergent you use during a cycle.


Using too much detergent will lead to oversudsing, which is another likely reason why your washer displays the F20 code.

In line with this observation:

Whirlpool recommends using only High-Efficiency (HE) detergent with HE washers, as non-HE detergent produces excess suds that could contribute to this issue.

Furthermore, even with HE-detergent, using excessive amounts will certainly cause oversudsing.

As such:

I suggest you follow the detergent manufacturer’s recommendations for use depending on the size of the load as well as the extent of the stains.

Brandon pipes in:

“If you’ve accidentally exceeded the recommended detergent amount, you can eliminate excess suds by pouring a cap of fabric softener into the load. You can also run an extra rinse cycle for good measure.”

4. Malfunctioning Pressure Switch

PartPressure Switch
LocationIt is typically found inside the control panel and is attached to a small plastic or rubber tube.
Ease of troubleshootingModerate
Cost$16 – $95
RepairableNo – if it is damaged
Yes – if the tube is obstructed


The pressure switch is essential to the washer’s water inlet process. It monitors and regulates the water level in the drum by sending signals to the control board.

You see:

When water fills the drum, some air is let into a compartment connected to a tube that activates the pressure switch—allowing the cycle to begin.

But if the pressure switch is malfunctioning, your Whirlpool washer will not start and will only display the F20 error.

Here’s what I mean:

A Simply Swider reader, Josh, reached out complaining about his Whirlpool WFW8400TW00 Duet Sport washer displaying the F20 error code during every load.

I advised him to replace the pressure switch after testing it with a multimeter to confirm its lack of continuity.


On a good day, this ought to have done the trick. However, he reported that the F20 code was still showing up.

At this point:

Brandon weighed in on the matter, asserting that the tube attached to the pressure switch could be the culprit.

He explained:

“Blockages or damage in the tube will prevent air from activating the switch.”

As such:

You should detach the pressure switch and examine the tube for signs of damage or obstructions. Then, blow through the hose to clear out any lodged debris.

Note that:

If you need to replace your pressure switch due to electrical failure, the Whirlpool online parts store sells authentic replacement parts.

However, you might not need to pay for parts if the one-year warranty covers your washer.

5. Improper Drain Hose Installment

PartDrain Hose
LocationIt is situated behind the washer, close to the bottom, and connected to the drain pump or outer tub.
Ease of troubleshootingEasy
Cost$10 – $40

Get this:

The drain hose is located at the back of the washer and is typically connected to the drain pump on one end.

On the other end, the drain hose is passed through a standpipe to expel the wastewater from the washer.


Guess what happens when the drain hose is improperly installed into the pipe? Yes, you thought right; your washer will show the error code F20.


This Reddit user had the worst of it. After installing a new drain hose, his Whirlpool WFW8300SW05 Duet washer refused to fill and displayed the F20 code after eight minutes.

You see:

He figured that the hose was too low, resulting in a siphoning effect preventing the washer from filling. He had to reinstall the drain hose higher to solve the problem.

The thing is:

Whirlpool’s dimension guides recommend installing your drain pipe higher than 39 inches but not more than 96 inches.

Brandon further explained that your machine would drain without filling if the drain hose is installed lower than the recommended height. 


Be sure to follow the installation guidelines when replacing a damaged drain hose to avoid getting the error code F20.

Models Most Affected

By general account:

These specific models have the most user reports concerning the error code F20. I have also included their model numbers and the prevailing problem triggering the code.

Dig in.

Model NumberModel NameReason
WFW8300SW05Whirlpool DuetImproper drain hose installment
WFW9400SWOOWhirlpool Duet HTMalfunctioning pressure switch
WFW9500TW03Whirlpool Duet SteamKinked or clogged drain hose
WFW9200SQA10Whirlpool Duet HTMalfunctioning pressure switch
WFW9750WW01Whirlpool Duet SteamClogged water inlet screens  
WFW8400TW00Whirlpool Duet Sport  Malfunctioning pressure switch


All in all:

The error code F20 points at a water inlet challenge. And although it might give you a proper scare, resolving this Whirlpool error code is not as difficult as you imagine.

The thing is:

You must simply troubleshoot the underlying reasons for the water inlet issue. To this end, I have highlighted common trouble spots to keep an eye on.

These include:

  • Kinked or clogged water inlet hoses
  • Clogged water inlet valve
  • Excess laundry detergent
  • Malfunctioning pressure switch
  • Improper drain hose installment


These problems are relatively easy to repair, as a simple cleanse or replacement often does the trick.

However, in the rare event that you find the repairs challenging, you can seek personalized professional guidance by using our Ask the Expert feature.

Brandon says:

Consistent washer maintenance is the key to great washer health.” He believes it makes the issues causing the error code F20 largely avoidable. 


I’d love to know how your repair process goes. Remember to share your experience, questions, and additions in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Reset the F20 Code on a Whirlpool Washer?

The F20 error code indicates a water inlet issue and can be cleared by a simple resetting process. Click the “Pause/Cancel” button twice to end the cycle, then unplug the washer, wait about a minute, and power it back on.

Where Is the Sensor Positioned in a Whirlpool Washing Machine?

The water pressure sensor in a Whirlpool washing machine can be found close to the water inlet valve. I recommend consulting your washer’s user manual to determine the model-specific location of the sensor.

Can You Manually Fill Water into a Washing Machine?

Although it is possible to fill your Whirlpool washer with water manually, it is not recommended. This is because the water level sensors in the washer are designed to regulate the water intake based on the selected cycle.

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