Many of today’s modern washing machines include lid locks to make the unit safer during operation. These locks, when functioning properly, prevent the lid from being opened while the machine is in use. When the washer is started, the lid automatically locks and will not unlock until the wash cycle has finished.
Many of today’s washing machines also include digital displays, which show user-specific information about the cycle the machine is in as well as error codes if something goes wrong. These error codes are not self-explanatory, which is the reason for this post.
The Whirlpool washer F5 E3 error code indicates a common issue many users have faced. It can be frustrating when this code appears, but rest assured the fix is relatively simple. You can DIY the repair yourself, or you can call for a service tech if you aren’t comfortable fixing the machine on your own.
Below, I am going to discuss what the F5 E3 error code means and give you several things you can do to resolve the issue. By the end, you should have your Whirlpool washer back up and running again.
What Does Whirlpools F5 E3 Error Code Indicate
The Whirlpool F5 E3 error code indicates an issue with the machine’s lid lock. It is the same error code as the DU error code, which signals a ‘door unlock’ problem. When this error code appears, the washer usually will not open. The lock stays engaged, and the washer does not function.
It is important to note here that when you see this error code and the lid to your washer will not open, you do not try to force the lid to open. This may damage the lid or the lock assembly, requiring extensive repair and added expense. Instead, follow the tips outlined below to fix this Whirlpool washer error code.
How To Fix Whirlpool Washer F5 E3 Error Code
Whether your machine displays an F5, E3, or DU error code, they all three mean the same thing. Use the recommendations below to resolve this issue.
Use Power Button Reset
The first and simplest thing you can try to resolve this error code is to do a power button reset. Start by removing any objects sitting on top of the washing machine. Next, push the POWER button once to exit the cycle the machine is in, and then press the POWER button again to unlock the lid.
If the washer lid does not unlock, try doing a full reset.
Unplug For Full Reset
Doing a full reset reboots the machine. This will clear the error code and possibly resolve the lid lock issue.
Unplug the washer from the power source for two minutes. Plug it back in and wait at least 30 seconds before turning it on. Test to see if the error has been resolved. If not, the problem could be caused by a worn or faulty part.
Faulty Lid Lock Assembly
If the lid lock assembly malfunctions, it will either fail to lock the lid when the washer starts, or it will lock the lid and stay locked no matter what you do. You will need to replace the lid lock assembly if this is the case.
Replacing The Lid Lock
Replacing the lid lock on a Whirlpool washer is not difficult, but it does require that you follow a multitude of steps to do it right. Also, you will need the part number of the old lid lock assembly or the model number of your washer to get the correct replacement part. You can order replacement parts from the Whirlpool website or your local home improvement store may have them.
For a step-by-step guide to replacing the lid lock assembly, watch this video.
Replace The Main Control Board
If, after attempting all the recommendations above, your Whirlpool washer still displays the F5 E3 error code, the issue is likely the main control board, or more specifically, the lock circuit on the main control board is bad. You will need to replace the control board to resolve the problem.
Replacing The Control Board
Replacing the control board on a Whirlpool washer is an easy task, but the steps you need to follow depend on whether you have a front-load or top-load machine. On a front-load model, the control board is located under the top cover on a side panel. On a top-load model, the main control board is located under the control panel assembly. Replacement control boards for Whirlpool washing machines can be found on the Whirlpool website, at many big box home improvement stores, and even on Amazon. Just make sure you have the correct part number (found on the old part) or the model number of your washer when purchasing a new control board.
It can be frustrating when your washer doesn’t function properly. We often don’t realize how much we depend on these appliances until they stop working. Hopefully, if you are experiencing the Whirlpool washer F5 E3 error code, the solutions I’ve outlined above have resolved the issue and your machine is back up and running smoothly.
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 Yahoo.com.