How to Fix the Whirlpool Washer F9 E1 Error Code

Paradise Appliance
April 9, 2024
Washer Repair

The F9 E1 error code means your Whirlpool washer is taking longer to drain than expected. If you are encountering this problem, this guide will show you what steps you can take to resolve it. It’s usually an issue you can fix yourself without needing to call in a professional.

Whether you have a top load or front load Whirlpool washer, here’s what to check and how to fix the F9 E1 error code.

Make Sure the Drain Hose Is Not Pinched, Blocked, or Kinked

The first step is to unplug your washer and pull the appliance away from the wall so you can inspect the drain hose safely. Does the hose appear pinched or kinked? If so, straighten out any kinks and ensure it does not get pinched between the washer and wall when you put it back in place. If the drain hose is severely damaged, you may need to replace it.

Next, disconnect the drain hose from the washer and check inside the hose for any blockages. Have a bucket ready to catch any water that spills from the hose. You can shine a flashlight down the hose to help you see any clogs. If it’s blocked, use a drain auger or plumber’s snake to clear out the drain hose, and then run water down through it to check it is clear.

Is the Drain Hose Installed Correctly?

The drain hose needs to meet certain specifications to be installed correctly. For instance, the drain hose must empty water out into the drainpipe (standpipe) at the correct height range, which is between 39 and 96 inches. If it is lower or higher than this, the washer may fail to drain properly, triggering the error code.

It’s also important that the drain hose does not extend more than 4.5 inches into the drainpipe. Otherwise, a siphoning effect can occur, meaning drained water is drawn back into the washer. Using a U-shape drain hose form will help ensure the correct length of the drain hose extends into the drainpipe.

Finally, check that there is not an airtight seal between the drain hose and drainpipe. Sometimes, people tape the drainpipe and drain hose together to secure them, but this prevents airflow, which leads to suction and drainage issues; remove any tape if this is the case. There should be a gap between the drain hose and the drain pipe. 

Is the Drain Pump Filter Clogged?

Some, but not all, models of Whirlpool washers have a drain pump filter. If this filter becomes clogged, the washer will not drain correctly, causing the F9 E1 error code. It’s usually found behind the bottom dispenser drawer and will need cleaning every so often.

If your model has a drain pump filter, it’s worth checking to see if it’s clogged, and cleaning it by rinsing it under running water.

Try Cleaning the Door Seal

On many models of Whirlpool washers, particularly front load machines, small drainage holes are located within the door seal. If they become clogged over time, your washer will not drain as well as it should. Cleaning it will help to resolve the issue.

You can clean the door seal with a damp cloth or soft brush and water and mild detergent. Wipe and rinse around the entire door seal until it’s clean, gently pulling back the seal to reveal the small drain holes so you can clean them too.

Are There Excessive Suds?

Excessive suds in your machine can cause delays in draining, and the most common causes of excessive suds are:

  • Using the wrong type of detergent
  • Using too much detergent

For most modern Whirlpool washers, you should only use high-efficiency (HE) detergent. HE detergent is formulated to produce fewer suds, so if you try to use non-HE detergent in a modern washer, it leads to excessive suds.

Additionally, if you use too much of the correct detergent, it can also lead to excessive suds. It’s easy to accidentally use more than you need if you are just guessing how much to put in for each load and cycle. A simple solution to this is to always measure how much detergent you use.

If you think excessive suds could be the cause of the error code, check that you are using a detergent that is compatible with your Whirlpool washer model and that you are using the correct amount based on the detergent manufacturer’s instructions.

Try a Hard Reset

Sometimes, the F9 E1 error code (as well as other error codes) are caused by temporary software glitches that can be resolved by resetting the appliance. Performing a hard reset clears the memory on the control board, resolving any temporary glitches a bit like when you restart your computer or smartphone for similar purposes.

To reset your washer, follow these steps:

  • Unplug your washer
  • Wait for one minute
  • Plug back in your washer
  • Check to see if the error code is gone  

Still Having Problems?

If after following the above troubleshooting tips your Whirlpool washer is still displaying the F9 E1 error code, it could be time to call in a professional to give your machine a service.

The most likely cause at this point is a drain pump failure, although there could be an issue with another component such as the control board. If your machine is still under warranty, Whirlpool will replace the defective drain pump or any other faulty components for you. It’s not worth trying to replace it yourself, as this will void the warranty.

If your machine is not under warranty, contact a reputable appliance repair specialist to come and have a look at your washer. Most of the time, a drain pump failure doesn’t cause the F9 E1 error code, except in very rare circumstances. But since you’ve ruled out the most likely causes, it’s definitely worth checking.


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