Whirlpool Duet Washer F21 Error Fix

If you have a Whirlpool Duet washing machine and you are getting an F21 error, have no worries, because this post will show you how to fix it.  The F21 error happens because your pump is taking too long to drain.  The two main reasons this error happens is because:

  1. Your pump is clogged.
  2. Your pump is broken

Other less common causes of the F21 error are:

  1. The wiring from the pump to the control board has either come loose or needs to be replaced.   
  2. The pressure switch is failing and isn’t communicating to the pump/control board that the water has been completely drained from the washing machine.

When troubleshooting a washing machine, we start with the most common causes and least expensive fixes first.  The pump starts to engage at the beginning of the spin cycle.  Do you hear the pump running?  If so, your pump is receiving communication from the control board and could either be somewhat clogged, there could be an issue with the pressure switch, or your pump is starting to fail and is just not draining the water out fast enough.  If you aren’t hearing the pump running, either your pump is completely dead and needs to be replaced, or it is not receiving communication from the control board/pressure switch.

In this post we will be focusing on the two most common causes of the F21 error.  We will cover the other causes at a later date.  Since a clogged pump is most likely cause of your F21 error and it is the cheapest fix, we will first check for a clogged pump.  So in this tutorial we will start with the clogged pump scenario and then show you how to replace the pump.  Know that regardless of the cause of the F21 error, this repair is pretty easy.  The Duet washer in the pictures and video in this post is a somewhat older model.  Your Duet may be slightly different.  Keep that in mind as you are doing this repair.

The first thing we are going to do is locate the screws at the bottom of the kick panel.  Your washer will have 2 to 3 screws that will need to be removed from the kick panel.  (See the picture below.)  You can access these screws easier by placing a board under the front of the washing machine.  Once the screws are removed, the kick panel is free to remove.

Duet Washer

Next we will want to remove some of this plastic channeling here so we can get our pump out of the machine so we don’t drain a ton of water inside the machine.  I did this repair in my garage and didn’t care if I got water on the ground.  If you put a board under the washer as I suggested above, you can get a low profile bowl to set under the drain to catch most of the water.  Have a towel ready too!

This picture was taken after I removed the pump on this machine, but you will want to remove this channel before you remove the pump.

Now that the plastic channeling is out of the way, you can unscrew this one screw shown in the picture below.  Now carefully pull the pump forward so that it hangs over the edge.

Next we will unscrew the this cap (counter-clock wise) shown in the picture below.  This is your drain trap.  It traps any junk that gets pulled into the pump.

 Sometimes there is so much junk in the trap that your pump can’t drain the water out fast enough causing the F21 error.  Clean out the trap, twist the cap back on, and screw the pump back into place.  You can remove the board that you have placed in the front of your washer also.  Now run a test load.  If your F21 error is gone, you just fixed your Whirlpool Duet and it only cost you your time!  If the problem still exists, your pump likely needs to be replaced.  If your pump is cracked and is leaking water, it needs to be replaced.

Here’s a good video that will show you how to replace your pump.  I recommend purchasing your pump from since they give you a 365 day warranty on any part that you purchase. Use the search box below to find the correct part for your washing machine.

Find Your Part Number 365 Day Warranty

You can purchase your pump here.


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