Fix Whirlpool F21 Error Code in 5 Easy Steps

Seeing the Whirlpool F21 error code doesn’t mean that you have to immediately contact a repair technician. Although that is an option, there is another solution that will save both money and time. You can follow the instructions provided in this article to resolve the problem yourself.

What Does The F21 Error Code Mean

When you see the F21 error message on your Whirlpool washing machine, it signifies that there is a complication with the drainage system. Numerous problems can initiate this error code- from a congested drain filter or pumper to low water pressure to an obstruction in the drain line – fortunately, you can resolve this issue effortlessly by following these 5 simple troubleshooting steps!

What Triggers A Whirlpool F21 Error Code?

1. Drain Filter Is Clogged

The drain filter works to safeguard the drain pump, trapping sediment contained within the water draining out of the drum. To guarantee that your washer operates at its best, you must clean the filter regularly, at least once per month, or after 40 loads if used two times a day. 

Failing to clean it properly will reduce your washing machine’s lifespan significantly!

Debris and lint can clog the drain filter, which then leads to drainage problems and the F21 error code appearing on your washer control panel.

2. Blockage in the Drain Line

If your washer isn’t able to fully drain, the chances are there could be a clog in the drain line preventing any water from draining. Your washer will view this as a potential hazard and trigger the F21 error code.

A buildup of dust and lint can accumulate over time if not adequately cleaned regularly – leading to an eventual blockage. Other objects such as hair and small objects that have fallen from clothes pockets can accumulate and cause blockages.

3. Clogged Drain Pump

The drain pump itself can also get blocked or damaged if small clothing items somehow find their way to the component during a cycle. There is also a chance that the pump stopped working due to a mechanical failure and needs to be replaced. You will need to test it with a multimeter for electrical continuity to see whether it is still working.

4. Low Water Pressure

Finally, low water pressure can trigger the F21 error code. Or more specifically, the problem might be in a faulty water pressure sensor. This component is found at the top of your Whirlpool washer and is responsible for sending signals to the control board. It essentially lets the machine know when it should be emptied or filled.

Fixing A Whirlpool F21 Error Code in 5 Steps

1. Reset Your Whirlpool Washer

When your Whirlpool washer displays the F21 code, it’s a signal of an issue in the drainage system. During or before any drain cycle, this warning appears and resetting the machine can help it get through that particular process – even if only temporarily. Of course, manually draining might still be necessary in some cases but with a successful reset maybe you can avoid further hassle.

Resetting your Whirlpool washer is simple. Depending on your dryer type and model, you can try any of these three methods.

  1. Unplug the machine for 5 minutes, then plug it back in. 
  2. Press the Pause/Cancel button twice followed by the Power button – you’ll either hear a beep or notice that the display panel flashes; both are signs that it’s been reset!
  3. Spin the mode dial in a special sequence. Start by rotating it one click counterclockwise, then three clicks clockwise. Next rotate that same dial one click counterclockwise once more and end with a single flip clockwise; when finished press down on the “Start” button to complete the process! 

If any of this sounds confusing, check out our video guide below for step-by-step instructions – no worries and easy as can be!

Whirlpool washer reset calibration

2. Check the Drain Hose isn’t Kinked or Blocked

The flexible drain hose can be found at the back of your washer, and easily be disconnected by hand. If during a draining cycle your machine malfunctions, it’s likely to still have water in its drum which is why you should get ready with a bucket before detaching the tube. It will be clamped down; simply loosen this clamp to access and unhook the pipe – watch out for any overflow that may come gushing out!

Carefully examine the hose for any signs of deterioration. Spend sufficient time inspecting every inch to identify potential cracks or bends. Additionally, inspect the inside for a buildup of dirt and grime as it is important that this be cleared out – using a drain snake is your best bet! By taking these simple steps you can ensure your flexible pipe remains in good condition and continues to provide reliable service.

3. Check the Drain Pump is Working

The drain pump is located behind the bottom access panel on your Whirlpool washer. Here’s how to remove it from the machine.

  1. You should begin by unplugging the washing machine to prevent any potential safety hazards.
  2. Take a screwdriver and remove the screws that hold the bottom access panel.
  3. Remove the bottom access panel and you will see a small hose that you’ll have to remove.
  4. After you do that, you will notice a small retaining flap on the right-hand side of the drain pump.
  5. Lift the flap up with a screwdriver and pull the pump to the right. This will allow you to remove the pump from the machine.

When you remove the pump from the washer, you’ll be able to test it for electrical continuity to check if it’s still working. You will need a multimeter to do this test. Connect the leads of your multimeter to the pump’s terminals. In case the drain pump is working, it will show some continuity. You’ll get a reading in the range of 5-10 ohms. If you get a reading of infinity or zero, it means that the drain pump is no longer working.

In the event that the drain pump in your washing machine is faulty, you should watch the video below to learn how to replace this component.

Washing Machine Repair - Replacing the Drain Pump (Whirlpool Part # W10130913)

4. Check The Pump Filter for Blockages

To access the drain pump filter of your Whirlpool washer, open up the dispenser drawer located at the bottom. To ensure the proper functioning and remove any clogged particles, here’s what you must do to clean it:

  1. To begin, lay a towel beneath the dispenser of your appliance to catch any water leakage. It will also be beneficial to place a bowl near you in case it’s needed for additional liquid capture.
  2. There’s a small hose next to the drain filter. You’ll have to remove the plug from the hose and then drain it into the bowl. Do that until the water stops leaking completely.
  3. You should now remove the filter by turning it counterclockwise. Remove big pieces of lint and debris with your fingers.
  4. Clean the filter with running water before inserting it back into the machine.
  5. Close the dispenser drawer.

5. Inspect the Water Pressure Sensor

To access the water pressure sensor, simply unscrew the screws that secure the control panel and pull it off. The water level sensor is easy to identify since it’s the only one equipped with a rubber tube.

Carefully inspect the tube connected to the sensor. Any cracks or holes need to be identified right away. Make sure that nothing on the inside is blocking it, and then remove the component from your machine for further testing with a multimeter. Put each lead of your device onto both terminals of the said sensor; if you receive an extremely high reading, or infinite, this indicates that you must replace the water pressure sensor as soon as possible.

Watch the video below for more info.

How to Test the Pressure Switch on your Washer - Not Filling or Overfilling with Water

Whirlpool Washer Models Covered

If you have one of the following Whirlpool washer models and are experiencing a drainage system issue, this article will provide helpful guidance to fix it. The F21 error message is displayed on these specific models:

  • 2LA5700XMW0
  • 2LA5700XMW1
  • 2LSR5233BN0
  • 2LSR5233BQ1
  • 2LSR5233BW0
  • 2LSR5233BZ1
  • LSC8244EQ0
  • LSC8244EQ1
  • LSC8244EZ0
  • LSC8244EZ1
  • LSR6132EQ0
  • LSR6132EZ0
  • LSR7233EQ0
  • LSR7233EW0
  • LSR7233EZ0
  • LSR8233EQ0
  • LSR8233EZ0
  • LSR8244EQ0
  • LSR8244EQ1
  • LSR8244EZ0
  • LSR8244EZ1

Verdict: Whirlpool F21 Error Code

If the Whirlpool F21 error message appears during the draining cycle, attempt resetting your machine. Once it has concluded its process, you can then investigate various components to evaluate what is causing such issues with drainage. Consider analyzing the drain hose, pump, filter and water pressure sensor in order to uncover why this issue initially occurred.

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and