Whirlpool Washer E1/F9 Error Codes: How to Fix It

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A Whirlpool washer error code E1/F9 occurs when the washer’s control board detects that the washer cannot drain. Therefore, to resolve the E1/F9 error code, the washer components responsible for draining will need to be checked and possibly replaced. If a drainage component is not causing the error code, you may be using the wrong kind of detergent, there may be a problem with the pressure switch and hose, or with the main control board.

Here’s how to diagnose and fix the Whirlpool washer E1/F9 error code.

1. Detergent

If your Whirlpool washer requires high-efficiency (HE) detergent, it is important to use it; otherwise, normal detergent can cause excess soap suds that restrict the washer’s ability to spin and drain. Likewise, if too much detergent is used, it can also create the excessive suds problem.

2. Drain hose

The next easiest component to check is the washer’s drain hose. If the drain hose is kinked, crushed, or clogged, it will affect the washer’s ability to drain and potentially cause the E1/F9 error code. The drain hose not being installed correctly could also cause the error code.

It should be easy enough to look behind the washer and make sure the drain hose is not kinked or crushed and that the standpipe or sink it empties into is 39 inches above the floor. If the drain hose connects to the sink or standpipe below 39 inches or above 96 inches, the washer will have drainage problems that can cause the E1/F9 error code. 

Note that different washer models or local regulations for the drain hose height may vary.

If you suspect that the drain hose may be clogged, it will need to be disconnected from the washer and cleared of the blockage. A drain snake tool or a narrow brush can be used to de-clog the drain hose.

3. Pump Filter

The next components to check are the pump and its filter. Depending on the washer model, the filter usually extends from the pump underneath the washer tub.

Before accessing the filter, you may want to bail out the water from the washer or prepare a large pan to collect the water when it drains out of the filter. If the pan fills quickly, you should be able to put the filter cap back on while you empty the pan.

Depending on the washer model, the pump and filter can either be accessed by removing a lower panel on the front of the washer or the washer’s rear access panel. If you have a top-load washer, the washer cabinet will either need to be removed, or the washer will need to be placed on its back to access the pump and filter underneath the tub.

Follow these steps to check the filter:

  1. Unplug the washer.
  2. Remove the relevant access panel, the washer cabinet, or put the washer on its back.
  3. Locate the pump and filter underneath the tub.
  4. Put a pan down to collect water from the filter.
  5. Remove the filter cap by turning it counterclockwise.
  6. Once the water has drained from the filter, clean out the debris that has accumulated in the filter.

The quantity and type of debris should allow you to ascertain whether a filter blockage is responsible for the E1/F9 error code. However, as you have already removed the access panels and located the pump, you might want to check the drain pump before re-securing the access panels.

4. Drain Pump

Often when a Whirlpool washer displays an E1/F9 error code, it is the drain pump that is causing the error code. The drain pump can become defective if it is clogged, the impeller breaks, or if an electrical fault causes the pump to fail.

If the pump is not clogged and the impeller is not defective, it will need to be tested with a multimeter for continuity to determine if the pump requires replacing.

The washer’s drain pump can be accessed by following the steps above to access the filter. Like the filter, the washer will need to be emptied of water, either by bailing the water out or by positioning a large pan underneath the pump to collect the water.

Follow these steps to check the drain pump:

  1. Unplug the washer.
  2. Remove the relevant access panel or the washer cabinet, or put the washer on its back to locate the pump.
  3. Put a large pan down to collect any water that comes out when accessing the pump.
  4. Inspect the pump and the hoses that connect to it for signs of damage that may be restricting the washer’s ability to drain.
  5. Compress the clamps to detach the hoses that connect to the pump.
  6. Use a flat-edge screwdriver to remove the spring clips that secure the pump.
  7. Remove the drain pump from the washer.
  8. Check that the pump’s impeller can turn freely and that the pump is not clogged. If the impeller does not turn freely, the pump has likely failed.
  9. Test the pump for continuity with a multimeter. If the pump fails the continuity test, it is defective and needs to be replaced.
  10. The pump can also be tested with a multimeter for resistance. Depending on the washer model, the pump should show resistance of 5-10 ohms or 10-20 ohms of resistance.

5. Pressure Switch or Pressure Hose

While less likely, it is also possible that the washer’s pressure switch or pressure hose is defective, in which case the washer may think that it is full of water when it is not. The control board could then signal the pump to empty, but without any water in the tub, the E1/F9 error code is triggered.

With most washers, the pressure switch is located underneath the control panel, where the pressure hose connects to it. The pressure switch can be tested with a multimeter to determine if it has failed and needs to be replaced. Likewise, if the pressure hose is damaged, it will also need to be replaced to resolve the E1/F9 error code.

The bottom line 

In most cases, the washer’s drain pump will need to be replaced to fix the E1/F9 error code. However, the drain hose, pump filter, or pressure switch can also cause the error code. If the issue still remains after checking these components, the washer’s main control board may be defective and falsely causing the E1/F9 error code to appear or the washer to drain when it does not need to.

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