How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (2023)

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (1)

Washing machines are a staple appliance in every household and are relied on to keep your family’s laundry clean and fresh which makes it frustrating when problems occur. While some issues will need to be consulted by a professional, there are a few troubleshooting options you can try on your own before calling for assistance. Read on to get tips for how to troubleshoot complications with your washing machine and possible do-it-yourself fixes.

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (2) How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (3)

What are common problems with washing machines?

Leaks, odors, loud noises and trouble with draining or spinning are all problems that can occur in a washing machine. If you have a front load washer, a common cause of these issues can be a dirty drain pump filter. You can try cleaning out the drain pump filter by removing lint, debris, or residual water before proceeding with the following troubleshooting steps. Be sure to reference your Use and Care Guide for cleaning instructions specific to your model.

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (4) How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (5)

Fixing a washing machine: step-by-step instructions

While these problems are uncommon with proper installation and regular cleaning, different washer models may need to be fixed in different ways. The following is a general overview of potential troubleshooting options. You should always consult your appliance’s Use and Care Guide or Installation Instructions before attempting any repairs.If you need professional assistance, Whirlpool brand offers a variety of repair services.

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Washing machine won’t drain

If your washing machine isn’t draining properly or your clothes are coming out wet, you may have a kinked drain hose, a drain hose that is installed at the wrong height, or an incorrect spin speed selected.

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (7)

Step 1: Check the selected spin speed

If you find that your clothing is coming out of the wash cycle more wet than usual, double-check the selected spin speed setting. Both gentle and delicate spin speeds use a slow spin to prevent fabrics from getting stretched or wrinkled, leaving more water behind in the load. To prevent excess water from being left behind, adjust the washer to a cycle with a faster speed, such as the Normal cycle.

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How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (8)

Step 2: Check to see if the drain hose is kinked or clogged

Locate the drain hose at the back of your washer. If the hose is crushed or kinked, straighten it out to allow water to flow through freely. To check for clogs in the hose or drainpipe, consult your model’s Use and Care Guide for instructions on how to remove the hose from the unit.

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Step 3: Check the drain hose height

Washing machines have minimum and maximum drain height requirements that allow them to work correctly. Most Whirlpool® washers require the drainpipe to be installed no more than 96 inches from the floor and no less than 39 inches. Drain pipes installed above the maximum height will cause water to flow back into the machine. Consult your washer’s Use and Care Guide for installation requirements specific to your model and adjust the hose height as needed.Whirlpool brand also offers professional installation services to avoid this problem.

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (10)

Washing machine won’t spin

A washer must spin in order to properly rinse clothes and drain water from the unit. If your washer is not spinning correctly, an unbalanced load, power failure, or leveling issue may be to blame.

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Step 1: Check to see if the load is unbalanced

Laundry loads should be loosely packed to prevent spin speeds from slowing. Clothing that is excessively damp at the end of a wash cycle may indicate that the load is too large. If this is the case, remove items to lighten the load.It is also recommended that similar items be paired with one another when washed to prevent the load from becoming unbalanced.

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Step 2: Check to see if there was a power failure

Power failures that occur during a wash cycle can prevent the washer from reaching its full spin speed. If a power failure has taken place, turn on a spin cycle to allow the residual water to drain from the machine.

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Step 3: Check to see if the washer is level

An unlevel washer can result in an unbalanced load and cause the appliance to spin incorrectly or make excessive noise during the cycle. Check to see that your washing machine is leveland make adjustments accordingly.Be sure to consult your user manual for proper leveling instructions specific to your model.

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (14)

Washing machine is leaking

If you notice that water is leaking from your washer, there are a few simple solutions you can try. Tightening the hose connections or cleaning out the door seal and drain pump filter are all possible fixes for a leaky washing machine.

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Step 1: Check hose connections

Ensure that both the fill and drain hoses are properly connected to your washing machine and check for any damaged, loose or missing rubber washers. Tighten any loose connections or washers as needed.

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Step 2: Check the door seal

If water is leaking from the door of your front load washer, this is most likely a problem with the door seal. Wipe down the seal using a damp rag to remove debris and dirt. If this does not solve the problem, something may be stuck beneath it. Check for debris lodged under the seal by gently pulling it back. If you come across tears in the door seal, it will need to be replaced.

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Washing machine is giving off odors

Odors created by your washing machine are typically the result of a missed cleaning, a load being left inside for too long, or the use of excessive detergent or fabric softener. These can be easily corrected.

Clean your washer

Whether you own a Whirlpool® front load, top load, stacked or all-in-one washer, your appliance should be cleaned every thirty days or so to keep it smelling fresh and performing its best. You can use a cleaner likeaffresh® Washing Machine Cleaner tablets1, or other household items that can be used to clean a washer as well.

Remove loads immediately after each cycle

Laundry that is left in the washer for too long after a cycle is complete can become musty and cause odors. To prevent odors from forming, remove clothing immediately after it has finished washing.

Use less detergent in laundry loads

Using too much detergent can cause residue to be left behind in your washing machine and create unwanted odors. To prevent excessive detergent usage, follow the instructions provided on your detergent bottle and use the cap to measure the correct amount for whatever size load you are washing.

How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (19) How to Fix a Washing Machine | Whirlpool (20)

Washing machine is making loud noises

Certain sounds coming from your washing machine are normal and should not be cause for concern, while others may indicate a problem that needs repair.

Clunking and grinding

Some clunking and grinding are normal sounds and usually occurs when the drive system switches from agitation to full spin. If the noise is louder than usual and sounds like metal grinding on metal, you may want to contact a professional.

Rattling or vibrating

Rattling or vibrating is typically caused when the washing machine is off balance or unlevel. Learn how to stop a washing machine from shaking. Try removing items from the wash cycle to help lighten the load. If the sound persists, you may need to level the unit.

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Humming and gurgling

Continuous humming is a normal sound to hear while your load is being washed and is often accompanied by a periodic gurgling as water is removed during the spin and drain cycles.

Clicking or small metallic sounds

Clicking noises often occur at the start of a cycle when the washer lid is locking into place or when metal items on clothing like buttons or zippers bump against the machine during a cycle. Be sure to empty your pockets before loading items into the unit to prevent coins and other small items from falling between the basket and the tub.

If you own a Whirlpool brand washer and are still having trouble after trying these solutions, visit theWhirlpool® Repairpage for further assistance.

Shop popular Whirlpool®washers

When it’s time to upgrade to a new washer for your home, Whirlpoolbrand offers a variety of options to suit your needs.

(Video) How to Use Troubleshooting Mode on a Whirlpool, Maytag or Amana Washer AND Understand the Codes!

Learn more about Whirlpool® washers

  • How to Install a Washing Machine Need help with washing machine installation? Learn how to hook up a washing machine in this guide from Whirlpool. We’ll help you get your new washer ready!
  • Parts of a Washing Machine: A Quick Guide How does your washing machine work? Our guide to washing machine parts and functions features a diagram and definitions to help you learn more about this appliance.

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1. Affresh® and the recommending brand products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation


How do I fix my washing machine problem? ›

When a washing machine won't turn on or stops during a cycle, it's usually a problem with the power source. Check your circuit breaker first; it may simply need to be reset. However, if it is tripping every time you plug the washing machine in then you may have a bigger issue that an electrician will need to solve.

Why is my washing machine not spinning and making a noise? ›

If your washing machine is not spinning but is making noise, a broken drive belt, or a drive belt that has slipped off the pulley wheel, might be the culprit. To determine if this is the case, remove the back of the washer and visually check to see if the belt is still on the pulley.

What does LF on washer mean? ›

"LF" in the washer display indicates the unit is not sensing a full water fill. If this occurs: Verify both water lines are connected and the supply valves are turned on. Verify the water inlet filters are clear.

Why is my cabrio washer not working? ›

The most common causes of a Whirlpool Cabrio not spinning are: Defective lid switch. Broken drive belt. Loose drive pulley nut.

What is the common problem of a washing machine? ›

A washing machine not draining is one of the most common problems we encounter. It can be caused by one of the following: - The drain hose or pump is clogged with a small item of clothing, residual gunk or other debris. - The washer is malfunctioning and not engaging the drain/spin cycle properly.

How do I know if my washing machine is clogged? ›

Observe the washing machine as it pumps water into the hoses and up into the standpipe. If you see water back up and out of the standpipe, your washer's drain is most likely the issue. The amount of time it takes for the standpipe to fill up and overflow helps you diagnose where the clog is located.

Why won't my washing machine finish its cycle? ›

Some of the most common faults that will make your washer stop mid cycle include thermostat failure, problems filling up with water for the rinse cycle, or even pump problems that prevent your washer from draining. One thing that you can check yourself is the lid switch.

How do I know if my washer drain hose is clogged? ›

An easy way to check that the drain hose is clear is to blow air through it. If nothing is obstructing the drain tube, the problem is most likely at the washing machine pump. If the hose is worn or badly kinked, replacing the hose may improve the ability of the machine to pump water.

Why does my washer keep saying fl? ›

Error Code F8 E1, LF, or LO FL all indicate that no water is detected entering washer after 13 minutes. Depending on your model, you could see any one of these error codes.

How do I fix my Lo FL on my washing machine? ›

If the washer has an F8 E1 error or LO FL error, the door may be locked, and the control may be unresponsive. Press the power button, and the washer will start a drain routine, which takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes, during which the pump will run continuously.

Why does my washer say fl? ›

If the door fails to unlock after seven tries once the washer cycle is complete, you'll get the LO or FL code. Begin by unplugging the washer, and force open the door. Check the wiring connections to the door lock/switch, and tighten if needed.

How do I fix the LF code on my Whirlpool dryer? ›

An LF (Lint Filter) Error Code indicates that the HybridCare™ filter has been removed. Place filter into dryer and make sure the handle is properly seated.

Why is my Kenmore washing machine flashing LF? ›

When "LF" is displayed, there could be an issue with the water flowing into the machine. Check the water inlet hoses to be sure they are not clogged or kinked. You may also need to check the screens on the washer water inlet valve.

Why does my washer say ol? ›

If OL (overloaded) appears in display, the load too large. If an overload is detected, the washer will drain any water and detergent in the washer. Remove several items and add HE detergent. Close lid and press START/PAUSE.

Why wont my Whirlpool washer start but clicks? ›

If your washing machine won't start and just clicks, there may be debris in the washer drain. Check the drain to see if there's any debris (particularly large items, like coins) that may be stuck inside.

What stops a washing machine from spinning? ›

Drain pump blockage

One of the most common reasons why your washing machine has stopped spinning is when it can't drain properly due to a blocked drain pump. This can happen when something gets stuck in the outlet pipe, preventing the steady flow of water in and out of the machine.

What does error code f5 E1 mean on a Whirlpool top load washer? ›

The F5E1 Error Code indicates that there may be an issue with the door switch/door lock. The door is unlocked during a cycle when it should be locked. Try resetting the washer/dryer by unplugging it from the outlet for at least 1 minute, and then plugging it back in.

Is there a reset button on a Whirlpool Cabrio washer? ›

If your washer is still not working correctly, you can try the Cabrio reset procedure. Touch any button that you see on your display pad. This will clear the error code.

What are the codes for a Cabrio washer? ›

Cabrio Washer Fault Codes
Fault CodeWasher Problem
oL (F70)Overloaded
Sd (F71)Suds Detection
lid (F81)Open/Close Door Lid
Po (none)Pump Out (lid opened)
17 more rows
Jul 6, 2022

What is the first step in troubleshooting a not functioning washing machine? ›

A first step when troubleshooting any appliance is to confirm that it's drawing power. If your washing machine isn't showing any signs of life, check that the machine is plugged in. You can also test the outlet with another appliance, such as a phone charger.

Can you give two examples of common problems in washing machines? ›

My Washer is Leaking

Leaking water could happen due to simple issues such as: The washer is not balanced or loaded properly. Hoses are not attached/inserted properly. Hose washers are worn.

What unblocks washing machine? ›

Use a funnel to pour about a quarter of a cup of baking soda into the pipe. Next, empty a baster full of vinegar into the drain hose. Top tip: If the blockage is not completely gone, you can repeat the above process. Once you have cleared any debris from the hose, pour hot water in to flush everything out.

How do I know if my washing machine drain pump is bad? ›

The most common complaints are all obvious, and all involve wastewater. A common complaint is that the water in the washing machine drum will not drain, or that the washing machine has stopped mid-cycle with it still full of water.

Why does my washer stop mid cycle and won't do anything? ›

If a washer stops mid-cycle, it could be because the pump or the motor that runs it has failed. When this happens, it cannot remove the water efficiently, pump water in, and thus the sensors won't allow it to move to the next cycle.

What causes washing machine not to spin or rinse? ›

The most probable cause is a clogged pump filter. The pump filter should be cleaned every three months or when it's clogged. This filter is installed to catch foreign items like buttons or coins and to prevent these items from entering the drain hose. It's located at the bottom right-hand corner of your machine.

Will vinegar unclog a washing machine drain? ›

If you don't feel prepared to manually take apart your laundry unit and use a drain snake to clear dense debris from your clogged washing machine drain, you can also try flushing out your drainage systems with non-caustic home cleaning mixtures, typically made of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

What is the error code LF on a Whirlpool Cabrio washer? ›

Cabrio Washer Fault Codes. LF flashes when the water level does not change for a period of time after the valves are turned on OR when water has left the drum but the control panel does not detect a water level change.

How do I reset my Whirlpool Cabrio error? ›

Try the Cabrio Reset Procedure

Touch any button that you see on your display pad. This will clear the error code. Or you can press PAUSE/CANCEL. Choose a cycle and press START.

Why won't my Cabrio washer finish the cycle? ›

If the washer stops mid-cycle, the first thing to check is if a circuit breaker has been tripped or a fuse has blown. Alternatively, the washer stopping mid-cycle could be because the lid switch has failed. A fault with the control board can also cause the washer to stop mid-cycle or to stop and start.

How do I know if my washing machine control board is bad? ›

A failed front-load washing machine control board has several symptoms, including the washer not starting, filling, spinning or draining.

How do I reset my Whirlpool control board? ›

Some models require you to shut off the power to the dishwasher either by unplugging it or shutting off the circuit breaker. Others are reset by pressing and holding the Start/Reset button on the control panel, then waiting a few moments before attempting to start a wash cycle.

What does error codes F5 e1 mean on a Whirlpool Cabrio washer? ›

The F5E1 Error Code indicates that there may be an issue with the door switch/door lock. The door is unlocked during a cycle when it should be locked. Try resetting the washer/dryer by unplugging it from the outlet for at least 1 minute, and then plugging it back in. If unsuccessful, call for service.

What happens if the water inlet valve stops working in a Whirlpool washer? ›

The water inlet valve controls your washer's fill function. If the valve is faulty, it won't open, meaning water won't enter your appliance's tub. Replacing the damaged inlet valve is the only way to fix the issue.

Why is my Whirlpool Cabrio washing machine not filling with water? ›

If you find your Whirlpool Cabrio washer not filling with water, the inlet hoses and screens may be at fault. The hoses connect the main water supply to your machine. Metal screens attached to both ends of the inlet hoses protect the water inlet valve from sediment and debris.


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