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Whirlpool Washer Troubleshooting: Ultimate Guide to Fix Common Issues

November 9, 2023

Discover simple DIY solutions to common Whirlpool washer problems in our comprehensive Whirlpool Washer Troubleshooting guide. Learn to diagnose and fix issues swiftly.

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Whirlpool is a brand that has been trusted for many years for its reliable appliances, washing machines included. Despite the brand’s dedication to high-quality reliable appliances, over time with regular use elements may wear down and you might encounter some concerns. This is where the need for a troubleshooting guide becomes crucial. This article serves as a comprehensive guide that addresses common issues that you may encounter with your Whirlpool washing machine, coupled with actionable advice on how to address these problems. The purpose here is to equip you with the knowledge and possible solutions to get your washing machine back to its optimal performance swiftly and safely.

Understanding Washer Basics

To effectively troubleshoot any appliance, including washing machines, it is crucial to first understand how these machines work. A washer operates through a combination of several essential components all working together. These parts include the motor, drum, inlets and outlets for water, and the control system.

The motor is an essential part of the washing machine, propelling the drum in which the laundry is placed. The drum spins to move the clothes around and clean them thoroughly with detergent. The machine’s control system plays the role of the ‘brain’ of the machine, receiving input from the user, and then controlling the movement and timing of the drum rotation, as well as water intake and drainage.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your Whirlpool washing machine is fundamental in ensuring it continues to operate effectively for a long time. This can include tasks like cleaning the drum and detergent dispenser, checking and replacing the hoses when necessary, and ensuring the drum is not overloaded with clothes. Undertaking regular maintenance can also preemptively highlight potential issues before they become serious problems, saving you both time and money on repairs.

Common Indicators of Washer Issues

When your Whirlpool washing machine starts to experience problems, those issues tend to manifest in a few common ways. One of the most apparent indicators to watch for are unusual noises.

Noises can range from loud bangs to high-pitched whirrs or even grinding sounds. These noises may indicate issues such as an unbalanced load, a problem with the drum or motor, or even a blockage. Leaking is another common issue which could point to problems with the hoses or seals.

Performance Changes

In addition to unusual noises and leaks, you might notice changes in your washing machine’s performance. These can include the machine not spinning effectively, not filling with water or over-filling, not starting at all, or not completing the wash cycle. These issues could indicate a whole host of problems from control system failure, motor issues, or blocked drainage. Once you understand these indicators, you can move on to troubleshoot these issues effectively.

Troubleshooting Noisy Whirlpool Washer

Dealing with a noisy washer is a common issue which could be due to various reasons. Initial assessment of these effects can be based on the volume of noise and when it occurs – during a specific cycle or continually throughout the wash.

If you notice banging or thumping noises, often during the spinning cycle, this could be due to an incorrectly balanced drum. This imbalance can be caused by over-loading the machine or using it at maximum spin speed for a prolonged time. To fix this, adjust the load evenly in the drum and try not to over-fill it.

Suspected Causes

Another common cause of noise could be due to faulty drum bearings, which can make a squealing or grating noise. Additionally, blockages in the pump can lead to a humming or rattling sound. The pump can get blocked by coins or other small objects mistakenly laundered in pockets.

Troubleshooting Leaking Washers

Leakage from your washing machine is an issue that should be addressed immediately to prevent any potential water damage to your home. Identifying the source of the leakage can often provide clues to its origin – the front of the machine, around the drum, or from the hoses at the back.

The door seal is a common cause of leaks, particularly in front-loading machines. If the seal is damaged or worn out, it may need to be replaced. Similarly, detergent dispenser leaks may imply that the dispenser is blocked with excess detergent residue.

Possible Causes

Leaks at the back of the washer are often related to the water supply hoses. Either the hoses are loose, worn out, or cracked and may need tightening or replacing. Leaking could also be due to a blocked drain or an excessively high water level in the machine.

Troubleshooting Ineffective Spinning

When your washing machine isn’t spinning effectively, it could signify a few potential issues. Often this could be due to an imbalanced load in the drum. Adjusting the clothes to distribute them evenly or reducing an overpacked load might resolve the problem.

Problems could stem from the motor too. If the motor fuse has blown or the belt has come loose or degraded, the drum won’t spin correctly. This will require replacement of the fuse or the belt by a professional.

Likely Causes

On some occasions, the ineffective spinning could be due to the washing machine’s lid switch not working correctly. The machine won’t spin if the lid switch signals that the lid isn’t properly closed for safety reasons. If the lid switch is faulty, replacing it should ideally resolve the issue.

Troubleshooting Washer Not Filling

When your Whirlpool Washer is not filling properly, it usually leads to improper cleansing of your clothes. This situation could be due to a variety of factors, and identifying the root cause is the key to rectifying the situation.

If your washer machine takes too long to fill up or, in some cases, does not fill at all, there might be an issue with the water level switch, also known as the pressure switch. It controls the water level based on the size of the load. If it’s faulty, it could lead to a washer not filling accurately.

Probable Causes

Water inlet valves that are blocked or faulty can also lead to this problem. These valves influence the entry of hot and cold water into the washer. Another cause might be bent, blocked or ruptured water hoses, restricting water flow to the machine. Checking and rectifying these components can resolve this issue effectively.

Troubleshooting Washer Overfilling

Having a washing machine that overfills can be just as problematic as one that does not fill at all. An overfilled washer can leak water, leading to potential damages in your laundry area. Identifying the reason for overfilling is crucial for a proper fix.

If the washer overfills irrespective of the load size, it could often be traced back to a faulty water level or pressure switch. This switch shuts off the inlet valve when the required amount of water has filled up. If defective, it will not signal the valve to close, leading to overfilling.

Common Causes

The water inlet valve, if stuck open due to a malfunction or a blockage, could also lead to the washer overfilling, as the valve regulates the water flow into the machine. Checking these two components should usually resolve situations of overfilling.

Troubleshooting Non-Starting Washer

A washing machine that simply won’t start is a striking problem. This can be due to an array of causes ranging from simple to complex. Resolving this requires methodical troubleshooting to identify the source of the issue.

Initially, it’s advised to check if the washer is getting power through – this can be quickly determined by observing any lights or other signs of activity. If power isn’t an issue, you might need to assess the timer control, thermal fuse, and door switch, as any of these components malfunctioning could inhibit the machine from starting.

Typical Causes

In some cases, the problem could lie in the drive motor; a faulty drive motor will prevent the machine from starting. A detailed electrical check or a professional inspection may be necessary if these checks fail to pinpoint the problem.

Troubleshooting Washer with Non-Functioning Dials

Dials on your Whirlpool Washer play a crucial role in allowing you to select the desired washing function and cycle. A washer with non-functioning dials may prevent you from selecting or changing settings, drastically affecting the washing performance.

If the washer dials aren’t functioning, it could be due to mechanical issues such as a broken dial knob that needs replacement. However, it could also be due to more complicated internal issues like a faulty electronic control board.

Regular Causes

A timer or circuit malfunction can also prevent the dials from working properly. In some cases, faulty wiring may also lead to non-responsive dials. If a simple knob replacement doesn’t fix the issue, it’s advisable to call a professional or utilize Whirlpool’s customer service for more advanced troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Washer Not Draining

One of the essential functions of your washing machine is to drain the dirty water post the wash cycle. A washer unable to drain the water effectively can leave your clothes dripping wet and soaped. It’s essential to identify the reason to ensure effective washing.

A clogged drain pump or hose could commonly be the culprit of draining problems. Items like coins, cloth threads, or other small objects can block these components and inhibit the water from draining off.

Likely Causes

Other causes could include a faulty drain pump, a maladjusted or broken lid switch, or a damaged belt. Checking for clogs and assessing these components can mostly solve the draining issues. Remember, always to disconnect power before starting any checks or repairs.

Troubleshooting Washer Shaking/ Moving

A shaking washing machine can be unsettling to witness and can be damaging over time. An excessively vibrating washer can harm itself, the surrounding walls, and even the floor beneath it. The uneven distribution of the load inside the machine can cause such issues.

Also, check if the washing machine is leveled properly- an unbalanced setup can cause unnecessary movement. High spin speeds can also contribute to shaking, try reducing the spin speed in such cases.

Common Causes

If the washing machine continues to shake excessively despite a balanced load and reduced spin speed, the problem may lie in the internal parts such as worn-out tub dampening straps or a faulty shock absorber. This problem ideally needs professional attention if the simple checks and fixes do not help.

Troubleshooting Washer that Won’t Finish Cycle

A Whirlpool washer failing to complete its washing cycle can be due to several issues. This can be frustrating, as it might result in dirty or wet laundry and can disrupt your scheduling arrangements significantly.

There could be different reasons for this problem. For instance, an overloaded washer might struggle to balance the load, causing it to stop mid-cycle. Alternatively, an underloaded washer might cause similar problems due to lack of balance.

Typical Causes

More complex issues could include a faulty lid switch or timer, a bad water inlet valve, or a defective motor. Some solutions involve redistributing the load, ensuring that the lid switch is clean and functional, or checking the washer’s timer and motor. If these checks and balances don’t back normalcy, professional assistance or advice is advised.

Troubleshooting Error Codes

Error codes on a Whirlpool washer aren’t simply problems themselves, but rather, they indicate a problem somewhere within the machine. Reading and understanding these error codes are crucial for effective troubleshooting.

For example, the “F20” error code on some Whirlpool washers indicates that the machine isn’t receiving enough water, whereas “F21” suggests a drainage issue. You can find a detailed explanation of various error codes in your Whirlpool washer manual.

Common Error Codes

Common error codes could range from F01, indicating a main electronic control issue, to F11 pointing to a motor control error. Understanding these codes can help you navigate the troubleshooting process more effectively and help identify when professional help is needed.

Precautions Before Troubleshooting

Before beginning any troubleshooting, it is vital to take necessary precautions to ensure safety. The first thing to remember is to disconnect the washer from the power source. Washing machines work with both water and electricity, which can be a dangerous combination if handled improperly.

Keep your work area clean and organized, and if you are removing parts, keep track of how they were installed to make reassembly easier. Plus, always use the recommended tools and wear appropriate safety gear as required.

Importance of Power Disconnection

Neve attempt to service or troubleshoot your washing machine while it’s plugged in or running. This is a significant danger and might lead to severe injuries or even damage the appliance. The appliance should not be operated until the repair or check is completed and everything is back in its place.

Routine Washer Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your Whirlpool washer can prolong its lifespan, improve its performance, and prevent many common issues. Basic maintenance can often be performed at home and typically includes tasks such as cleaning the interior and exterior of your washer, inspecting the hoses and water lines, and checking for any visually apparent problems.

Another essential aspect of maintenance involves the washer’s drum. Over time and use, soap scum, grime, and mold can build upon the drum resulting in odor and declining performance. You can easily address this issue with a washing machine cleaner.

Lubricating Moving Parts

Another crucial maintenance task involves lubricating the moving parts, particularly if your washer has been squeaking during operation. It’s important to use a recommended lubricant and apply it correctly to avoid causing further problems. This can support the smooth functioning of the components and prolong their durability. Be sure to check the user manual for any specific instructions when doing this type of maintenance.

Understanding Whirlpool Washer Warranty Scope

Whirlpool offers a one-year warranty on most of its washing machines, covering any defects in materials or workmanship. This includes parts and labor but does not cover any damage due to misuse or improper installation. If the machine is used for commercial purposes or if the customer has installed the machine themselves, the warranty might be voided or limited.

Post expiration of the standard warranty, some customers might have opted for an extended warranty too. Always ensure that you’re aware of your warranty details to make the best use of it.

Claiming Warranty

Claiming your warranty involves contacting Whirlpool’s customer service and providing them with necessary details such as your machine’s model number and the nature of the defect or performance issue. In some cases, the company might provide in-home service, but this depends on the machine’s location and the nature of the fault.

Tools Needed For Troubleshooting

Having the proper tools at your disposal can make the process of troubleshooting your washer easier and more effective. Basic tools like a screwdriver, pliers, multimeter, and a socket set are often necessary for most tasks. These can be used for removing and installing parts, checking for electrical continuity and adjusting components.

Specialist tools might also be required depending on the specific issue. For example, a washer belt tool can help with removing and installing the drive belt on some models. Investing in a handheld vacuum can aid in cleaning out lint buildup from the internal parts.

Basic Tool-Kit Description

A basic tool kit should ideally contain a set of screwdrivers in various sizes, both flat head and Phillips head, a pair of pliers for small or hard-to-reach places, a multimeter for testing electrical components, and a socket set for removing and tightening nuts and bolts. Remember, always handle these tools responsibly and use them as intended to prevent injuries or additional damage to the appliance.

Do-It-Yourself Vs Professional Services

The decision between undertaking a DIY solution or availing professional services depends on several factors. Factors that are crucial to consider include the complexity of the issue, access to required tools, understanding of the appliance, and the potential risks involved.

DIY repairs can help save on the costs of hiring a professional technician. They can also be a quicker solution if you have a basic understanding of the appliance and can identify and resolve the problem on your own. DIY repairs also offer the satisfaction of having solved a problem personally. However, they can be risky if one is not comfortable or experienced with appliance repairs, potentially leading to more damage or even personal injury.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Service

Hiring a professional service ensures that the task is carried out by trained individuals with an understanding of various appliance mechanics. It eliminates personal risk and offers a broader range of repair options patented to the specific model. The cons of hiring a professional service could be the costs involved, and in some cases, the time taken for the service personnel to respond and fix the issue.

Cost of Professional Repairs

The cost of professional repairs can vary widely based on factors such as the complexity of the issue, the cost of replacement parts, the time required to correct the problem, and the rates charged by different service providers. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100 to $500 for professional washer repair service.

Note that the initial inspection fee may not be included in the quoted repair price, and there could be an additional cost for any required replacement parts. Ultimately, the total cost of repair should be weighed against the cost and benefits of buying a new washing machine.

Finding Whirlpool Replacement Parts

If a particular component of your Whirlpool washer has failed, you may need to find a replacement part. Authentic Whirlpool parts can be purchased directly from the manufacturer through their online parts store, at appliance parts retailers, or through online marketplaces.

It’s critical to ensure the replacement part is the correct one for your specific model. You can usually find this information in your washer’s user manual. If you are uncertain, it’s best to consult with a professional or Whirlpool’s customer service before purchasing.

Installing Replacement Parts

Once you have the correct part, the installation process will depend on the specific component. Some parts may be easy to install with basic tools and a little know-how, while others may require more advanced skills or specific tools. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional to ensure the part is installed correctly.

Preventing Future Issues with Whirlpool Washer

Proper care and maintenance of your Whirlpool washer can extend its lifespan and prevent many common problems. One of the first steps towards prevention is using the washer correctly. Following the user manual instructions on load size, detergent type and amount can protect your machine’s components. Also, try not to overload the machine as it can stress internal parts leading to premature failures.

Scheduled regular maintenance is important too. This includes cleaning the washer drum, filter, and detergent dispenser to prevent build-up which can affect performance. Regularly inspecting the hoses and connections can help identify any potential leaks early.

Finally, don’t ignore the early signs of malfunction. Unusual noises, strange error codes, or a change in washing performance should be addressed promptly to avoid further damage to the machine.

Troubleshoot vs Replacement

Deciding whether to repair or replace a malfunctioning washer can be a financial and environmental consideration. From a cost perspective, if the repair costs 50% or more of the cost of a new machine, it may be more economical to replace it. Consider the machine’s age too; washers have a lifespan of about 8-12 years.

You also want to consider environmental factors. Replacing a washer means the old one becomes waste, and the production of a new washer has its own environmental impact. On the other hand, repairs keep the existing appliance in use and prevent adding to landfill waste.

Always analyze both immediate and long-term costs and benefits before deciding. Sometimes, a slightly more expensive repair that extends the appliance’s life can be a more sustainable choice.

Troubleshooting Whirlpool Top Loaders Vs Front Loaders

While the fundamental mechanics of washing remain similar, top loaders and front loaders can have distinct common issues and fixes based on their design differences.

Top-loading machines may have problems related to their lid switch (preventing the machine from starting), agitator (affecting the wash cycle), or water level switch (causing overfilling or underfilling).

On the other hand, front loaders are more likely to have issues with door locks (preventing the door from closing properly), drain pumps (leading to ineffective draining), and drum bearings (causing loud noises during operation).

The tub seals found in both types can also fail, leading to leaks. Considering these typical problems in each type of machine can tailor your troubleshooting process. Always remember to refer to the specific model’s user manual for the most accurate information and guidance.

Using Whirlpool Customer Service for Troubleshooting

Whirlpool offers comprehensive customer service for helping with washing machine issues. They offer numerous resources including user manuals, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides. You can also contact their customer service via live chat, email or over the phone for assistance. They can provide guidance on potential issues, repairs, and parts replacement.

Whirlpool’s customer service can also offer virtual support, guiding you through the troubleshooting process remotely. You can also schedule a service repair directly with them if your issue can’t be resolved by basic troubleshooting or if it relates to a more complex repair that requires a professional technician. This ensures that repairs are done by authorized professionals using genuine parts, thus maintaining the quality and longevity of your washer.

Advanced Whirlpool Washer Troubleshooting

Beyond the basic troubleshooting, some Whirlpool washer problems may need advanced techniques. These typically involve issues related to electronic controls, servo, motor, or water heater. For instance, if your electronic control is malfunctioning, reset the washer by unplugging it for several minutes and then plugging it back. If this does not work, you may need to replace the entire control board.

Motor and servo problems usually exhibit symptoms of ineffective spinning or agitation. These are complex components and may require expert diagnosis and repair. Similarly, if your washer has an inbuilt water heater and it’s malfunctioning, it could cause problems with your washing cycles and may need professional servicing.

Always remember, while you can diagnose some of these advanced issues, it’s best not to attempt complex repairs without proper tools, knowledge, and skills, as it can cause more damage or void your warranty.

Whirlpool Washer Troubleshooting by Model Series

While some troubleshooting steps apply to most Whirlpool washers, it’s important to keep in mind that there can be differences based on the specific model series. Different series will have varying specifications, design elements, and features, hence may encounter unique problems.

For example, the Duet series of front-load washers may have more issues with door locks and seals compared to the Cabrio series of top-load washers, as the design and operation of these components differ greatly. Each series will also have its set of error codes that indicate specific issues, requiring understanding their meanings and relevant fixes.

Therefore, always refer to the user manual or troubleshooting guide specific to your Whirlpool washer model series. This tailored troubleshooting can increase the chances of accurately diagnosing and fixing the issue.

Resources for Whirlpool Washer Repair

Whirlpool provides a plethora of resources that users can utilize when it comes to repairs and troubleshooting. The user manual that comes with every appliance is a prime resource, containing detailed instructions, diagrams, and common trouble codes. It’s an excellent primary source of information for initial troubleshooting.

Online, Whirlpool’s official website has a dedicated support section where users can access digital copies of user manuals, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and more. This section allows you to search for information by entering your model number, ensuring the provided info is specific to your washer.

For DIY enthusiasts, there’s a wealth of support available online outside of Whirlpool’s official channels. Online forums, blogs, and video platforms like YouTube boast thousands of step-by-step guides and tutorials offering detailed instructions on diagnosing and fixing various washer problems.

Summary of Whirlpool Washer Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Whirlpool washers involves a systematic approach to diagnosing and resolving common problems like unusual noises, leaks, spinning problems, filling and overfilling, start-up issues, and faulty dials, among others. Using this guide, you can understand these common issues, their probable causes, and potential solutions.

Though every effort has been made to cover as many issues as possible comprehensively, it’s essential to remember that troubleshooting can vary depending on your specific washer model. It’s helpful to refer to resources and manuals specific to your Whirlpool washer model for more specific guidance.

It’s also crucial to take safety precautions when troubleshooting, including disconnecting power and avoiding attempting advanced repairs without the necessary tools or expertise. Always consider professional services when in doubt, to maintain the quality and longevity of your washer.


Whirlpool washers, like any appliance, may sometimes face issues due to various reasons. Understanding the common problems, identifying their causes, and knowing the appropriate fixes is vital to keep your washer functioning optimally and prolong its lifespan.

Whether you’re tackling the problems yourself or seeking professional help, the key is prompt action. The sooner the problem is addressed, the lesser the chance of it escalating into a bigger, more costly issue. However, DIY repairs should only be an option when you’re confident you have assessed the situation correctly, and the necessary fix falls within your comfort zone of technical capability and safety.

When appropriately maintained and promptly repaired, your Whirlpool washer can offer excellent service for years to come. So, invest time in understanding how to troubleshoot common problems and ensure regular maintenance for a seamless washing experience.