How to Fix Whirlpool Washer E1/F9 Error Codes

November 1, 2021
Washer Repair

A Whirlpool washer E1 or F9 error code (FP with some models) means that the washer is taking too long to drain (typically, over 8 minutes). If you have this error code, Whirlpool recommends checking that the drain hose is not kinked or clogged and that you are using a high-efficiency (HE) detergent, as it will reduce suds that may be causing the error code. If it is not the drain hose or detergent, your washer most likely has a clogged filter, defective drain pump or pressure switch, or loose wiring. If checking these parts fails to resolve the error code, there may be a fault with the control board.

To help diagnose the issue, check if the water is not draining or just draining slowly. If it is draining slowly, it points to a blockage rather than a part failure.

Follow the checks below to resolve error code E1/F9.

1. Try a Reset

Sometimes an error code is caused by a control board glitch, where resetting the washer is all it takes to resolve the error code. To reset the washer, you simply need to disconnect the power to the washer for a few minutes.

2. Check your Detergent

Occasionally, the E1/F9 error code can be caused by too many suds in the wash. The issue will usually develop over time as residue from too much dish soap builds up and eventually restricts the washer’s ability to drain. Washing away detergent residue when you see it, not using too much detergent, and using an HE detergent will stop suds and detergent residue from causing the E1/F9 error code and ensure your washer lasts longer.

3. Check the Drain Hose

As it is a drainage problem that causes the E1/F9 error, checking that the drain hose is not blocked or kinked may fix the issue.

Follow these steps to check and unclog the drain hose:

  1. Disconnect the power to the washer.
  2. Turn off the water supply to the washer.
  3. Disconnect the drain hose from the washer. On most models, pliers will be needed to release the clamps securing the drain hose to the washer.
  4. Unblock the drain hose with a drain snake tool, or wash the hose with a mixture of hot water, white vinegar, and baking soda.
  5. If the drain hose is defective and cannot be fixed, replace the drain hose. If the drain hose has holes or is worn, it is best to replace it rather than trying to patch it.

If the drain hose is not causing the issue, the next step is to check the filter.

4. Clean the Filter

If your washer has a removable filter, usually on the front of the washer, check to see if it is clogged. Wash the filter with soap and water, making sure to rinse and dry it before returning it to the washer. If there is a hose next to the filter, using the hose to drain water from the washer may help to resolve the error code.

If the washer does not have an easily accessible filter, there is likely one inside the washer connected to the drain pump. Access the drain pump using the instructions below and check that the filter on the drain pump is not clogged.

5. Check the Drain Pump

A defective or clogged drain pump will restrict the washer’s ability to drain. A clogged drain pump is usually caused by a small object or an article of clothing that gets through the filter and into the drain pump. The drain pump may also not be working because of a broken impeller or a loose connection.

If the drain pump does not have a blockage or loose connection, it may have failed electrically. If this is the case, a multimeter will be needed to test the pump for continuity (a continuous electrical path).

To check the drain pump:

  1. Disconnect the washer from the power source and disconnect the water supply to the washer.
  2. On a front-loader washer, remove the rear access panel. For a top-load washer, first secure the lid with tape so that it will not open. Then lay the washer on its front to access the drain pump underneath the washer.
  3. After accessing the drain pump, check that the wires or cables to the drain pump are properly connected.
  4. To access the drain pump, disconnect the drain pump wire connector.
  5. Use pliers to release the clamps that secure the drain hose to the pump. Remove the drain hose.
  6. Remove the drain pump mounting screws.
  7. Remove the pump from the washer.
  8. Check the pump for damage or obstructions.

If the pump does not appear to have any damaged components and it is free of obstructions, check if the pump has failed electrically. You can use a multimeter to determine if the drain pump motor has continuity. If the motor tests negative for continuity, the pump will need to be replaced.

6. Check the Wiring

The E1/F9 error code can be caused by a disconnected or damaged wire, cable, or terminal. The components to check for a loose connection are the drain pump, pressure switch, and control board. Before checking these components, make sure the power to the washer is disconnected.

The pressure switch is usually connected to a hose at the bottom of the washer. Check that the pressure switch does not have any loose or damaged connections. The pressure switch should also be checked to make sure the air hose is still attached to it. The pressure switch can also be tested with a multimeter for continuity.

Testing the control board with a multimeter can be difficult and will usually require a trained technician. However, you can make sure all the control board wires are connected and that there are no signs of burning or damage to the wiring. Instructions for checking the drain pump are listed above.


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