You’re happily doing laundry one day when your Whirlpool washer suddenly flashes an E1/F9 error code. Also, one of your socks is missing.
If I tell you that these two situations might be connected, you’d probably doubt me — but it just might be true!
An E1/F9 code points to a draining issue in your washer, and sometimes this issue is caused by stray clothing or pocket lint getting trapped in a part of your appliance.
Which part, you ask? This article will elaborate on it for you, as well as help you resolve the error code!
What does a Whirlpool washer E1/F9 error mean?
A Whirlpool washer will give an E1/F9 error code when the system detects an error in draining water.
This could be caused by a blockage in the drain hose or the drain pump and filter, or because there is excessive sud in the drum.
Whirlpool washers are known for their high efficiency and stellar washing performance, but they’re not above sending glitches, especially mid-cycle. When you get an E1/F9 error code, the first thing you might want to do is to ensure that it isn’t a misreading.
You can clear this error out by restarting the appliance’s control board. You can do this by unplugging your washer for at least 60 seconds and then plugging it back on.
This will clear any glitches your Whirlpool washer might be experiencing. But if the E1/F9 error persists even after resetting the appliance, you likely have a clogging issue on your hands.
An E1/F9 error appears in Whirlpool washers when the drum isn’t draining the water properly. The most common culprit to this issue is a blocked or kinked drain hose.
You can easily resolve this by checking the drain hose behind the appliance for any obstructions or damages.
But if your drain hose appears to be in good condition, then the next parts you need to check on are the drain pump and its filter, or even the soap you’re using.
In general, an E1/F9 error is a straightforward issue with only a handful of root causes, so it shouldn’t be too troublesome to resolve it. Just take a look at the solutions we prepared and you’ll see!
Common Causes of a Whirlpool Washer E1/F9 Error Code and How to Fix Them
A Whirlpool washer E1/F9 error can be one of the simplest issues you’ll have to fix, but depending on the complexity of its root cause, you might need to get a bit more hands-on with it.
Let us provide you with a list of fixes you can try to resolve this error, starting from the easiest and least complicated, to the ones that’ll require you to use some muscles.
|Clogged or Kinked Drain Hose||• Unplug the appliance and turn off the water supply.|
• Inspect the drain hose for any bends, kinks, or physical damages.
• Straighten out the bends in the hose. If the hose is physically damaged, replace it.
• To inspect the hose for any blockages, disconnect it from the appliance body.
• Use a snake tool to push out any debris that may be inside the hose. If the obstruction is too far to reach, replace the hose.
|Malfunctioning Drain Pump||• Unplug your Whirlpool washer and unscrew the back panel. If you’re using a top-load model, remove the top panel as well.|
• Locate the drain pump underneath the washer. If it is still warm to touch, let it cool down for a few minutes.
• Disconnect the drain hose from the pump. Make sure to prepare a basin or some towels to catch any water that might still leak or drain from the pump.
• Disconnect the mounting screws around the drain pump to remove it from its housing.
• Once removed, inspect the drain pump for any damages, particularly around its impeller.
• Replace the pump if it’s broken.
|Clogged Drain Pump Filter||• Unplug your Whirlpool washer and unscrew the back panel. If you have a top-load model, remove its top panel as well.|
• Locate the drain pump in the back panel. You can find the drain pump filter next to it.
• Lay down some towels or a basin to catch any leaks.
• Loosen the pump filter by turning its knob counterclockwise and pulling it out slightly. Do not remove it just yet; let all the water drain out of it first. If your basin overfills before the water stops draining, lock the pump filter in place and empty your basin.
• Then, loosen the pump filter again. Do this until no more water drains out of the filter.
• Once the draining is done, remove the pump filter and clean any debris on it. We recommend using a brush and/or mild soap and water.
• If there is any calcium buildup on the filter, soak it in a vinegar solution for 5 to 30 minutes.
|Excessive Suds||• Consult your user manual for a catalog of which detergents are compatible with your Whirlpool washer.|
• Only use high-efficiency (HE) detergent during wash cycles.
|Pressure Issue||• Unplug your Whirlpool washer and unscrew the back panel to locate the pressure switch.|
• If you’re using a front-load washer, unscrew its top panel to access the pressure switch on the side. Otherwise, you’ll find the pressure switch underneath the appliance.
• Locate the pressure switch, then remove the wire connectors around it.
• Rotate the switch in place and pull it out, then disconnect the pressure hose from it.
• Test the switch for continuity. For this, you’ll need a multimeter that’s set to its lowest ohms setting.
• Touch the contacts of the multimeter to the terminals of the pressure switch. Depending on the nature of the terminal, you’ll get different readings.
• A closed terminal should display a value close to 0 ohms, while an open terminal should display the default ohms setting.
• If the pressure switch fails either of these tests, replace it.
|Defective Door Lock (Front-Load Models)||• Unplug your Whirpool washer and open its door.|
• Remove the clamp around the door seal using a pair of needlenose pliers.
• Pull a part of the seal aside to better access the door lock. Then, unthread the lock’s mounting screws.
• Pull the door lock assembly out of its slot and remove its wire connectors.
• Inspect the door lock for any damages. If there are any, replace it.
|Defective Lid Switch Assembly (Top-Load Models)||• Unplug your Whirpool washer and disconnect the fill hoses behind it.|
• Unscrew the control panel from its position and remove the wire harnesses connecting it to the lid.
• Then, carefully slide the top lid assembly off of the washer.
• On the top lid assembly, remove the screws that are securing the lid switch in place.
• From underneath the lid, unthread the screws and retaining clips around the switch and its tubing.
• On the top lid, depress the locking tabs of the switch and slide it out. Inspect it for any damages. If there are any, replace it.
As with every repair, ApplianceGeeked would like to remind you to observe safety measures first. As we’ll be dealing with a water-related issue, it’s best to disconnect the appliance from its power source and then turn off its water supply.
Clogged or Kinked Drain Hose
A kinked drain hose is usually the primary suspect in any drainage issue your Whirlpool washer experiences. This typically results from the appliance being pushed too far up against a wall or flat surface, which ends up bending the hose.
Bends in your drain hose can restrict the flow of water, hence the E1/F9 error code.
On the other hand, if your drain hose doesn’t have any visible damage or kinks to it on the outside, try checking for blockages along the inside of the hose.
Sometimes, tiny items like keys or cards or pocket lint can make their way down the hose and block the passageway.
Solution: Unplug your washer and check the drain hose for any bends, twists, kinks, or other damages. If there are no visible damages to the hose, straightening it out would fix the issue.
But if the hose has physical damage, it needs to be replaced.
In the event of a clogging or blockage, your user manual should have step-by-step instructions on how to disconnect the hose from the appliance body. This part will have to be removed to clear out the clog(s) more effectively.
Once the hose is disconnected, drain any residual water from it. Blockages near the opening of the hose can be removed by hand or using a snake tool.
On the other hand, if the blockage is out of reach, the hose will have to be replaced.
Your Whirlpool washer’s draining hose needs ample space to function. Whether it’s connected to a standpipe or sink, its exit point must be standing at a minimum of 39 inches above the floor. If the drain hose is connected to a standpipe or sink that is below 39 inches or above 96 inches off the floor, this will lead to drainage issues. For an exact measurement of this requirement, consult your user manual.
Malfunctioning Drain Pump
The main component of your Whirlpool washer’s draining system is a drain pump that expels the water from the appliance after every cycle.
What clogs your drain hose can also sometimes clog your drain pump. A stray sock or pocket lint can get trapped in the pump and block the water flow.
In some cases, blockage can also damage the drain pump’s impeller. This part of the pump is what helps remove the water from the tub by propelling it through the drain hose.
Aside from debris that could block it, the impeller could also fail due to electrical malfunction, especially if your area is prone to power outages. A failed impeller usually creates loud noises during the draining process.
Solution: Before troubleshooting the drain pump, exercise some precautions first. Make sure that your Whirlpool washer is unplugged and disconnected from its water supply.
If you’ve concluded that the drain pump needs to be replaced at the end of your troubleshooting, please refer to your user manual for the correct model to match your appliance.
After unplugging your washer, follow these steps:
- Step 1: If you’re using a front-load model, unscrew the back panel. On the other hand, if you have a top-load model, you need to carefully remove the top lid of the washer in addition to the back panel.
Set the washer lid aside, then put the appliance on its back to get to the drain pump easier.
- Step 2: Locate the drain pump underneath your Whirlpool washer. You can find it easily by following the drain hose.
Beware that the drain pump might still be warm from its recent use. If it still feels hot to touch, let it cool down for a few more minutes.
- Step 3: Using a pair of pliers, remove the clamps connecting the end of the drain hose to the pump. Then, pull the hose off.
Be careful of water leaks. We recommend laying down a few towels below the pump or a small basin to catch any water that might drain out of the hose.
- Step 4: Disconnect the drain pump’s wire connectors, then unthread the mounting screws around the pump using a 5/16-inch screwdriver.
Once all of the screws have been released, you can now pull the drain pump free.
Once the drain pump is out of the washer, we recommend checking the drain hose previously connected to it and the drain pump inlet for any obstructions.
- Step 5: Inspect the drain pump for any damages. We recommend removing the plastic housing from the pump so you can check if the impeller is working properly.
Do this by releasing the screws around the plastic housing, and then turning the impeller by hand. A functioning impeller should have some resistance when you spin it.
But if it spins freely, this means the drain pump needs to be replaced.
We also recommend running a continuity test on the pump to detect any electrical malfunctions. For this, you’ll need a multimeter.
Put the multimeter on its lowest ohms setting and connect its contacts to the pump’s terminals, which are typically where the wire connector was previously plugged.
A working drain pump should have a reading above 100 ohms. If the reading doesn’t change, or if you get a lesser amount, the drain pump needs to be replaced.
- Step 6: To install a new drain pump, simply fit the new component into place and begin by reattaching the mounting screws. Reconnect the drain hose and its clamp, and then plug the wire connector back in.
Afterward, you can return the access panel to your washer and test your new drain pump.
Clogged Drain Pump Filter
When you worked on the drain pump, you might have noticed a small, tunnel-like part towards the rear of it.
That’s the drain pump filter, and depending on the type of drain pump your washer uses, sometimes it’s designed to be an extension of the pump itself.
The drain pump filter is what protects the pump from any debris that might flow into it during the draining cycle.
If you find no obstructions in the pump and its hose but suspect that something is clogging the draining system, you might want to check the filter. Who knows, you might find some missing socks in there!
Furthermore, if you live in an area with a relatively high water level, you might notice calcium deposits around the filter as well.
Solution: Similar to troubleshooting the drain pump, you’ll have to unplug the appliance first as a safety measure and disconnect the water supply to avoid leaks.
Afterward, you can retrace your steps in accessing the drain pump. To recount, here’s what you have to do:
- Step 1: For front-load washers, you only need to unscrew the back panel and set it aside. For top-load models, you need to remove the top lid of the appliance in addition to the back panel.
- Step 2: Locate the drain pump in the back panel. The filter is typically right next to it.
- Step 3: Prepare a basin or some towels as you will encounter water leakage or drainage as you remove the drain pump filter.
The filter’s cap is a knob mechanism. Turn it counterclockwise to loosen it.
We recommend letting the water drain out of the filter first before removing it.
Water will start flowing out of the filter once you remove the cap. If at any point the basin you prepared starts to overflow, simply replace the cap, empty the basin, and then remove the cap again.
- Step 4: Once all the water has drained out of the filter housing, slide the filter out to remove it.
Inspect the part for any obstruction. Lint and debris can be cleaned out using a brush and/or mild soap and water.
Calcium buildup, meanwhile, will require vinegar or lemon solution to eliminate.
Mix equal parts warm water and vinegar or lemon in a bowl and soak the filter in it for between five to thirty minutes, depending on the severity of the mineral deposits on it.
After soaking, wipe the filter clean with a dry cloth, and then rinse it with water. Remember that rinsing should come after wiping the solution off the filter.
Dry the filter thoroughly before reinserting in its housing.
- Step 5: Once the filter is clean, reassemble the back panel onto your washer.
If you cleared out some calcium buildup, we recommend running the washer on an empty cycle with a descaler before you wash another laundry load.
Lint and debris buildup around your Whirlpool washer is inevitable, especially if you live in a community where hard water flows. To avoid draining or leaking issues, clean the filter after every 30 wash cycles or at least once a month.
Does your regular cycle often leave you with too many suds to clear? If yes, then you might be using the wrong kind of detergent with your laundry.
Whirlpool washers are engineered to function at high efficiency and therefore need soaps that can keep up with their technology.
You might think that the more suds there are, the cleaner your laundry is going to be, but what those extra suds do is actually prevent water from properly spinning and draining out of the appliance.
Whirlpool washing machines require high-efficiency (HE) detergents. This type of detergent is formulated to produce suds using less water and to quickly disperse the stains in clothes.
On the other hand, regular detergent is formulated to hold onto the stains and suspend in the water, therefore creating and leaving more suds behind.
Regular detergent residue can also stick to the walls of your washer drum and add to the suds in your next wash.
Excessive suds can lead to blockage because high-efficiency appliances like your Whirlpool washing machine aren’t meant to pump out a lot of water in the first place.
Using the wrong kind of detergent on a high-efficiency washer often leaves the drum smelling musty. If you find your Whirlpool washer emitting a strange odor, consider double-checking the compatibility of the soap you use.
Solution: Consult your user manual for the type or brands of detergent recommended for your washer model.
Likewise, keep an eye out for the right amount of detergent that your washer needs. Even HE soap can lead to excessive suds if you put too much of it in a single wash.
Aside from the compatibility of the soap you’re using, you should also double-check the type of wash cycle you’ve selected. Cycle settings are determined by the type of fabric in a single load, and some fabrics may require slower spinning with more water. These types of fabrics, particularly your delicates, drain less water.
Your Whirlpool washer works closely with a pressure switch that can identify how much water is in the drum.
This switch signals the control board whether the drum needs refilling or draining. If the latter is applicable, the control board will then activate the drain pump to begin the draining cycle.
This component could fail or short circuit due to power surges. When this part fails, it won’t be able to read when the tub needs draining.
Solution: To inspect the pressure switch, you’ll need to unplug your washer first. Afterward, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Unscrew the back panel of your Whirlpool washing machine and set it aside. Pressure switches are usually placed underneath the top panel of front-load washers, so you’ll have to remove that panel as well.
For top-load washers, the switch can be found underneath the washer, near the control panel. Set your washer down on its back for better access.
- Step 2: With the respective panels removed, locate the pressure switch.
- Step 3: Once you’ve identified the pressure switch, unplug its wire connector.
- Step 4: With the wire connector out of the way, rotate the pressure switch to release it from the panel, then disconnect the pressure hose from the switch.
- Step 5: Test the pressure switch for continuity.
Grab a multimeter and set it to its lowest ohms setting. Touch its black contact to its common terminal.
You can identify the terminals by referring to your user manual. There are three terminals to a pressure switch: common, normally open, and normally closed.
The black contact of your multimeter should always be touching the common terminal, while the reading will change depending on which terminal the red contact is touching.
If the red contact is touching the normally closed terminal, the reading on the display should be close to 0 ohms.
When the red contact is touching the normally open terminal, it should display no continuity (i.e. revert to the default ohms setting).
If the pressure switch fails either of these continuity tests, it needs to be replaced.
- Step 6: Make sure to consult your user manual for the appropriate model of pressure switch that your washer uses. Once you have the replacement on hand, attach it first to the pressure hose.
- Step 7: Insert the new pressure switch sideways into the slot on the side panel, then rotate it to secure it.
Afterward, reconnect the wire connector you removed.
The hose connected to your Whirlpool washer’s pressure switch is an air pressure tube. When enough pressure is inside this tube, it will cause the switch to open or close. When troubleshooting the pressure switch, take a look at the pressure hose as well. Make sure there aren’t any kinks or bends along it, or any lint or debris that might obstruct air circulation.
Defective Door Lock (Front-Load Models)
Whirlpool washers are engineered with a safety feature that shuts off any operation when it detects that the door is open. A functioning door lock will signal your washer’s control board to proceed with its cycle accordingly once you close the door.
However, a defective door lock can misread the status of the appliance’s door, thus stopping the appliance without warning. This could happen during both spinning and draining cycles.
Alternatively, a damaged door lock could also prevent the door from closing all the way. In some cases, your door might look like it’s closed even though the door lock hasn’t properly shut.
Always listen to a clicking sound when you close the door. This is an indication that the door lock has been engaged.
On the other hand, the door lock can fail electronically, in which case you’ll need a multimeter to test it.
Solution: Observe precautions and unplug the appliance first. Afterward, you can follow these steps to take the door lock out for testing or replacement.
If you’re looking to replace the door lock assembly, refer to your user manual for the type of door lock that your washer model uses.
- Step 1: Open the washer door. Using a pair of needlenose pliers, remove the clamp beneath the door seal.
- Step 2: Pull a part of the seal aside. You only need to disconnect the part nearest to the door lock.
- Step 3: Use a t20 Torx screwdriver to release the mounting screws on the door lock. You can find one on top and one on the bottom of the latch.
- Step 4: Once the screws are removed, pull the door lock assembly out and disconnect its wire connectors to remove it from the appliance.
- Step 5: Inspect the lock for any physical damage, especially around the latch area. If you find any, replace the assembly.
If you want to test the component for electrical continuity, simply grab a multimeter. Set it to the lowest ohms setting then touch the contacts to the door lock’s terminals.
The reading on the display should be between 50 to 150 ohms of resistance. Otherwise, it has no continuity and needs to be replaced.
- Step 6: To install the new door lock assembly, first reconnect the wire connectors to the component. Then, place the assembly back into the slot and secure it with the mounting screws.
Realign the rubber seal and carefully replace the clamp over it. Ensure that the rubber seal is tightly fitted along the lip of the door.
This seal is important in keeping the door shut and preventing water from leaking out.
Once you’re done, you’ve got yourself a new door lock assembly!
Defective Lid Switch Assembly (Top-Load Models)
The door lock safety feature isn’t exclusive to front-load washers. Top-load Whirlpool washers also have this feature — except it involves the top lid.
Instead of a door lock assembly, top-load models have a lid switch assembly that performs the same function as its front-load counterpart.
If the lid switch detects that the lid is open or isn’t closed all the way, it would stop any ongoing operations or would not start the appliance at all.
Likewise, a good lid switch will produce a clicking sound when you close it.
Solution: The same method in troubleshooting a front-load washer’s door lock should also apply to inspecting a top-load washer’s lid switch assembly, with the only difference being where it’s located.
For top-load washers, the switch assembly can be found underneath the appliance’s top lid cabinet.
Before proceeding to disassemble this part of your washer, make sure that the appliance is unplugged first.
- Step 1: Disconnect the fill hose(s) on the back of your Whirlpool washer. If your appliance uses two hoses for hot and cold water, mark them as necessary so you don’t mix them up.
- Step 2: Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the control panel’s mounting screws. You can find them behind the panel.
- Step 3: Slide the panel forward slightly to loosen it from its position, then rest it upward so you can remove the retaining clips securing the panel in place.
We recommend using a flathead screwdriver to remove these clips faster.
- Step 4: Once you’ve released the clips, disconnect the wire harnesses connected to the control panel. Afterward, gently slide the top cabinet off the washer.
Be careful as this part might be heavy.
- Step 5: Place the top cabinet down on a flat surface you can work on. Two screws to the side of it secure the lid switch.
Remove these screws.
- Step 6: Underneath the top cabinet, you will now see the lid switch held in place by a 5/16-inch screw. Unthread this screw as well as the retaining clips securing the tubing around the lid switch.
- Step 7: Once the lid switch assembly and its tubing are free, release the assembly’s locking tabs from on top of the cabinet.
Then, slide the switch assembly out of the slot.
- Step 8: If you want to test the switch assembly for continuity, take a multimeter and set it to the lowest ohms setting. Touch its contacts to the lid switch’s terminals.
If the display shows you a reading of any value between 50 to 150 ohms of resistance, the lid switch has not failed electrically. You might still need to inspect it for physical damage, particularly around its status switch.
If the lid switch is damaged, replace it.
- Step 9: When installing a new lid switch, note that the flat side of the switch should be facing the front of the washer.
Insert the new switch into the slot from the bottom, then retrace your steps back into reassembling your washer — and you’re done! You can now take your new lid switch for a spin.
An E1/F9 error from your Whirlpool washer can happen to the best of us. For some, it might even happen more often.
In regular cases, it’s a matter of maintenance. Maybe you’ve forgotten to clear out the drain filter that month, or maybe a piece of your laundry wandered too far away.
Either way, it doesn’t take much to resolve the issue.
But if your troubles don’t go away even after clearing blockages, there’s likely a more technical issue causing this error.
If you’re not confident enough to disassemble the panels of your washer, don’t hesitate to call for professional help.