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Mar 092011

Whirlpool Duet makes Maytag Epic and the Kenmore HE3 / HE4 / and HE5 front load washers are also made by Whirlpool. These front load washers often encounter an error code F21. If the washer’s drain time exceeds 8 minutes, the error code F21 will display on the front load washers control panel. If you receive the dreaded F 21 error code on your Whirlpool built front load washer, read on and I will explain how to make this repair yourself without calling an appliance repair man to come fix your washer. FYI a trained appliance service technician will charge in the neighborhood of $150 dollars to come to your home and clean the drain pump; you can do it for free in under 20 minutes.


Start by removing the lower access panel on the washer. Tip the unit back at a 45 degree angle and this will enable you to visually see the screws that hold the bottom front panel on. Once the screws are removed from the lower access panel, there are normally three 1/4 inch screws that hold on the panel. With the panel removed, the drain pump will now be visible. After you have bailed the water out of your front load washer, you can twist the front of the pump filter counter-clockwise and the filter will pull out. When the filter comes out, you will likely be surprised at what you find. I have been cleaning these pumps since the day they came out, and even to this day I’m still puzzled as to how an article has made it into the drain catch in the first place.

Now that your front load washer’s drain pump filter is clear from any foreign debris, you will need to reinstall the filter and start a cycle. Start a normal cycle and after several minutes and press cancel. Turn the dial to drain/spin and press start. This will send voltage to the drain pump, and the water should drain instead of having to wait to the end of a wash cycle.

Good luck with your front load washer repair. If you require further assistance repairing your washer or any other appliance for that matter, come ask your question in our forums or live chat.

  2 Responses to “Whirlpool Maytag Kenmore Duet HE3 / HE4 / HE5 Epic Z Front Load Washer Error Code F21”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the helpful advice. We did all the steps and all seemed to be working well, until we cancelled the first load and changed it to rinse and spin. It just sits there and makes a humming noise. Any advice? There wasn’t a ton of hair or debris that came out when we removed the filter. Should we be flushing the tube or doing anything else?


  2. Hi,

    You are more then welcome.

    Whirlpool makes it easy to clean the drain pump filter on these washers. If the humming noise is coming from the pump, that would mean the drain pump is blocked. Look inside at the impeller, often things will get clogged inside there. You may need to clean the pump out several times.

    Appliance Refrigerator Repair

    Front load washer repair made simple. Have a question? Ask a Factory Trained Technician.

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