Whirlpool Washer Error Code F21

Whirlpool washer error code F21 indicates that the drain hose or the drain pump is clogged, causing the washing machine to have problems draining water out. When this happens, the washing machine takes longer to drain out water from the tub than it typically does and does not finish cycles. The electronic panel on the washer displays cycle features and error codes when the washer experiences problems such as water issues. So, what causes washer code error F21?

Here are the Possible Reasons for Whirlpool Error Code F12

  • Faulty drain pump that needs replacement
  • Serious blockage in the drain pump that is at the bottom of your washing machine
  • Clogged or blocked drain pump’s filter
  • Damaged wiring harness. Sometimes the wiring harness has a poor connection with the main control board
  • Poor or no communication from the main control board to the drain pump. Sometimes due to a bad switch
  • The washer drain is blocked
  • Blocked or bent drain hose at the back of your washing machine

Troubleshooting Whirlpool Washer Code Error F21

Step 1

Ensure that the drain hose (view on Amazon) is not blocked, bent or clogged in any way by inspecting it closely. The drain hose is at the rear of the washer. Closely examine it for any traces of lint blocking it that is hindering it from draining the water. Don’t forget to also check the drain in the wall to be sure that it is not blocked or clogged.

Try clearing the drain hose off the clog and straighten the bends if you found it clogged or bent. Test it by running the washer to confirm if the F21 error is now corrected.

Step 2

Unplug the washing machine. Take off the lower bottom access panel; this should give you a free way to the drain pump, the wiring harness, and the drain filter. Take out the screws securing the front lower panel and access these parts.

Step 3

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After turning off the power and removing the bottom panel, put a big towel on the floor to absorb water trapped in the drain filter. Remove the screws securing the drain filter and let out the trapped water. Remove blockage, clear the residue, and put back the cap.

Reinstall everything back in place and perform a wash test to confirm if the washer error code F21 is now clear.

Step 4

Inspect the wiring harness found on the drain pump and confirm that it is firm and has no noticeable faults. Power will stop getting to the drainpipe if the harness wiring is faulty, resulting in the drain pump not draining.

If you fixed a faulty wiring harness, reassemble everything and perform a wash test to confirm if washer error code F21 is gone.

Step 5

Inspect the drain lines connecting with the drain pump, ensure that nothing is blocking the lines. Lint clogs the water drain lines hindering the process of drainage. Debris also blocks the lines.

Step 6

Inspect the switches and confirm if they are functioning well. Water level switch and the pressure switch should all be working for smooth water draining process. To access the pressure switch, put off washer power, remove the water panel, unscrew the three screws securing the rear of the wash. The pressure switch is located upright. It resembles a little disk. On its side, there is a small hose connector.

Step 7

After inspecting the switches, clearing the filter, unclogging the drain lines, and securing your harness wiring, put back the panel, turn on the washer power and perform the wash test. If the washer error code F21 goes, you have successfully fixed it

If the error is not gone, then your washer has more serious problems. The drain pipes could be blocked on the insides.

Step 8

After troubleshooting all the possible causes unsuccessfully, inspect the water pump to confirm if it receives power at the beginning of the drain cycle. The pump has to receive 120vac voltage to pump efficiently.

The control board could equally be the culprit. If the control board is bad, it won’t send power to the drain pump at the start of the drain cycle.

If the drain pump receives power at the beginning of the drain cycle, then the drain pump is the problem. You may need to replace it.

Removing the Error

If the cancel or pause button does not work

  • Unplug and disconnect the power.
  • Plug the washer back and reconnect the power.
  • Restart the cycle.

If, after troubleshooting the causes and trying to remove the error code but still futile, consider calling a professional technician.

How to Fix a Washer that Won’t Drain

Fixing a washer that won’t drain is doable so long as you have the proper tools needed, and you are handy with the tools.

Tools required

  • Nut driver
  • Clamps
  • Needle nose pliers
  • 4 in 1 screwdriver

Materials needed

  • Sponge
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Paint cans

Step 1

Unplug your washing machine and empty the water. Using gravity, drain the tub.

  • You will need to place the drain hose in a bucket and clamp it. This prevents water that was left from running out.
  • After emptying the washer, use paint cans to support the front.
  • Support the washer and take out the screws securing the front panel.

Step 2

Open the washer. Unhook the top of the panel’ slower edge by pulling it outward. You may need to take off the shell for easy access to the pump.

Step 3

The translucent housing of the pump allows you to see exactly what’s blocking it, such as a piece of cloth.

  • Remove the clamp holding the hose below the tub. Put a bucket so that the water that was left behind will be contained.
  • Take the belt off the pulley below the water pump and pull out the clogs that you can see.
  • Twist and pull out the pulley as you unwind the fabric.
  • Whatever is blocking the pump could be at the outlet where the bottom of the hub connects with the hose if you don’t find it in the pump or in the drain hose close to the pump.

Step 4

Inspect and remove the pump if no-clog was visible. The pump may be shot if there is no blockage or clogging. Faulty pumps produce notices and leaks if not detected and replaced immediately. The pump has three screws that secure it to the washer, take off the screws, and remove the pump from the machine.

Buy a new matching pump to replace the faulty one. You can search for it online, through its model number stamped on the pressure plate. Install the new pump, screwing in the screws and tightening them firmly to the hoses.

How do You Clean the Washing Machine?

Maintaining your washing machine by keeping it clean is very important. It is recommended that you clean it at least every 30 days to protect it from detergents and soils from building up, which may eventually clog or block the drainage system.

Step 1

  • Clear the tub off anything that might have been left there.
  • Put a washing machine cleaner tablet below the tub to ease debris. In some washing machines, bleaches can be used. However, you have to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.
  • Close your washing machine door and start a normal cycle. Do not use cold water.
  • Run a spin and rinse cycle for the top loader to wash away cleaners left after the cycle ends.
  • Allow your tub to get some air and dry by leaving the door open.

Step 2

  • A dispenser drawer in your machine should be washed after every 30 days. In some machines, the drawer can be removed while in others it can’t
  • Try pulling the dispenser drawer out until it resists.
  • Thoroughly clean all the surfaces using a machine cleaning wipe. Damp clothes can also function well.

Step 3

  • Clean the areas surrounding the door.
  • Takeout absolutely everything from the washer.
  • Wipe the inside metal or glass, for front and top loaders, with cleaning wipes for machines.
  • The rubber door seal can be scrubbed with the wipe’s rough side.

Step 4

Wipe off dirt and dust debris from the outside of the engine. Use a soft sponge to wipe any spots that could have been caused by spillage. Only use mild cleansers and soaps. Non- HE detergent causes excessive suds that slows down or completely stops draining of water from the washer.

Step 5

Regularly use hot water to help break up detergent and soil build-ups that could end up blocking your drainage system. To prevent bad smell in your washing machine, open the lid or door to let in the fresh air and dry.

Learning exactly how to use your washing machine properly will save you a lot of headaches and help you avoid some problems with your machine that are caused purely out of ignorance. Knowing how to use your machine will also significantly increase its lifespan.

You Need to Know This About Your Washing Machine!

If you’re noticing problems with your washing machine, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the washing machine repaired or replaced. Having a working washing machine is crucial for any home, and fixing it is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Using a Washing Machine


  • Pre-treat stains and separate colors by selecting and dividing clothes by color to avoid color run issues then pre-treat stains to avoid rewashing later.
  • Carefully read care labels on your clothes; knowing exactly how a cloth should be handled enables you to choose the right wash cycle for the cloth.
  • Delicate garments should all go in the laundry bag, including a pillowcase that can also be used as a laundry bag for inner wears.
  • After use, leave the door open to allow in the fresh air and prevents mildew and molds from thriving.
  • Regularly clean your washing machine because cleaning the machine will prevent build ups of residues and dirt, which causes clogging and blocking.
  • Ensure that detergent is put in the right place.


  • Don’t overload. Check the pockets of your garments before putting them in the washing machine. Look out for hard objects such as toys.
  • Don’t use excessive detergent. The excessive detergent will leave that would end up blocking your drainage. Also, detergent residues don’t give clean results.
  • Do not let wet clothes overstay in the washing machine. Moisture enables molds and mildews to thrive in the drum of your washing machine and clothes.
  • Do not fix major faults. Light problems such as blockage can be easily corrected without the help of a professional. However, serious issues, such as electronics and plumbing, will require professional expertise.
  • Don’t pour fabric conditioner on clothes.

When the Whirlpool washing machine displays error code F21, your water drainage system has a problem. The machine might function well in other modes, but the washer won’t just complete a cycle. If you are a DIY enthusiast, the fixes are completely doable.