Model #WFW8500SR01, this front load washer displayed an F21 error after the last wash cycle, and has not worked properly ever since. When the next load was started, the unit seemed to wash as it normally does, but again showed an error when finished. The customer was concerned something was seriously wrong with the washer, but confused as to why it still worked. I told her I would stop by if she wanted to have a look, then proceeded to explain what this error message is indicating.
The F21 error on this line of washers is the machines way of saying the water took to long to drain from the tub. This could be a problem with one of the washer parts including the drain pump itself, how the drain hose enters the stand pipe, or maybe even something is stuck somewhere in the drain system and is preventing the water from flowing properly. Not quite an emergency, but it is an indication of a problem and a problem that can lead to something bigger if not looked into.
In talking with the customer, I found out the last load before all this started to indicate a problem was a rug from the house. Rugs can be troublesome to was as many of them used in laundry and bath rooms have rubber backings that can come loose when washed. When the backing comes loose, it can find it's way into the drain system and cause a problem, or the rug fibers can come loose and do the same thing. Figuring this was the problem, I explained to the customer how to get access to the drain pump by removing the three screws that hold the lower access panel in place. Here you will find the pump and the all important sump clean out, or as we like to call it, the coin catcher. Inside she found many fibers from the rub along with a few other things that found there way out of her kids pants pockets.
With the sump cleaned out, I asked her to try another load then to give me a call and let me know how everything worked out. A phone call a couple hours later told me the problem had been solved, and now this customer knows a bit more about her washer.
Many of the front load washers on the market have a user accessible clean out for just such an occurrence. Just be aware that if you open it up, any water that is still inside the tub will quickly be in your lap, so plan accordingly.
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