Question about Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

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Whirlpool Duet Sport Washer will not drain - F-21 error

My Whirlpool Duet Sport washer wll not drain. It gives an F-21 error message. I checked the back drainage hose and it seems clear. I believe I hear something rattling within machine - perhaps kids hair pins somehow got stuck. Looking for help on how to open up machine to try to unclog it myself.

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30 Answers

  • 1 Answer

Perfect! Yes, they aer 1/4" 6pt screws. I didn't have to lift my washer, but the previous tech had put in 1 screw crooked, so that was FUN! I had cut out an opening on an old cracked tote and was able to hold all the water as long as I transferred some to a bunch of tupperware. Make sure you line up the upper mark on the white drain plug before putting back in. The tote was getting overloaded and I didn't notice the alignment marks until after having some water overflow. Just a heads-up if anyone has an emergency and HAS to get the plug back in in a hurry.

I found:
Wife's Victoria's Secret panties
2 dimes
4 pennies
some legos
a metal nut
pencil eraser
wall anchor
some legos

Posted on Jun 30, 2008

  • 1 Answer

Just had the exact same problem. Front panel screws hard to get at, (unit stacked) but used univeral on ratchet. Wow, how easy compared to our old stacking GE unit. Word of advice, unscrew the drain plug slowly. We had a LOT of water, and used a heavy duty garbage bag held around the drain to "catch" the water. Worked great-no wet towel mess. Thanks

Posted on Jun 08, 2008

  • 1 Answer

My washer had this same problem and error message. After removing the front panel, draining the water, cleaning out the filter, replacing everything and running a test load, it still failed to drain. So I took everything apart again and checked the pump motor (just to the right of the filter, it twists off). The motor had a small sock tangled in it. Now the washer is working perfectly. Thanks to those of you who offered help!

Posted on Jun 29, 2008

Karl Whisenand
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Disconnect the AC plug
Remove the bottom front access panel (3 screws on bottom front lip)
there you will see the filter access , have rags ready for extra water ,check the pump impellers that they freely move.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008

  • 1 Answer

F21, this was a big problem for us as well. Started with an "SD error" which indicates that it is taking 4 mins to drain water from the washer, after that when it takes up to 8mins the F21 error occurs.

The instructions to fix this were great and did the trick, would add a few suggestions:
1) Removing the front panel just under the washer door can be tricky, it is secured underneath by 3 1/4" hex screws, you may need a special hex driver or ratchet to remove (can get at home Depot for $4)
2) Make sure you check the tubing from the drum and out to the drain they can be clogged to
3) Twist open drain filter slowly, water will come out so put a heavy duty garbage bag underneath to catch water
4) When replacing filter make sure to line up notch at the top of filter with the groove inside and then slowly screw clockwise back in until tight
5)Make sure to replace front cover tightly, there is a drip fuse that won't let the washer run unless front cover is back on.

Socks are the most common I thing I found.

All took about 10 mins. Good luck

Posted on Aug 08, 2009

  • 1 Answer

When you take off the drain plug have a shop vac there and open slowly while sucking the water there is very little water leak that way really no mess

Posted on Jul 17, 2008

  • 1 Answer

I had the same F-21 error and thanks to others who have posted, I was able to solve the problem. F-21 is the code Whirlpool uses to signify that the machine has tried to empty the drum unsuccessfully for four minutes. This is telling you either the hose that drains to the wall is blocked or the filter for the pump is blocked. If your hose is kinked, you have solved the problem. If it is not, then you have to clean the filter. To do this, do just as the others have recommended...
1) Unplug the machine.
2) Remove the front panel(my duet had 3 1/4" sheet metal screws on the bottom of the panel.)
3) Unscrew the white cap you see next to the small little pump.(note, any water in the machine will flood out. Have about 20 towels or better yet...a wet/dry shop vac. Someone else suggested this and it worked great. Once you turn that white cap a revolution or two, water will come out slowly. You can use the shop vac to **** it up before it hits the floor)
4) Pull out the cap completely and look at your new treasure. Mine consisted of the following: Two collar stays, one small plastic jewel from a shirt, two pieces of orange plastic of unknown origin and the big slimey sock.
5) Carefully replace the white cap being sure not to cross thread the connection.
6) Replace the front cover(this was the hardest part, those small screws are a pain to work with)
7) Plug it back in and fire it up!!!

Good luck and thank you to all who have saved me well over $100 I am sure!!!

Posted on Mar 16, 2009

  • 1 Answer

Regarding the F02 Error on the Front End Whirlpool Duet, I was able to resolve the problem with the instructions from here, just want to stress cleaning out the filter by removing the front panel. Very easy and the error code is now gone. (screws are underneath front panel at bottom, remove stacker drawer for easy access, remove screws, pull panel off, remove the filter cap, turn to the left and pull out—that's where you will locate the clog. Thank you so much! I had called whirlpool and Sears and neither source was helpful, they suggested using a local technician. THIS FIX TOOK 10 Minutes. DO IT!

Posted on Jun 29, 2008

  • 1 Answer

1) take (3) screws off front lower panel, remove panel.
2) unscrew ground wire off on right side and pop out the plastic crossbar by reaching behind and squeezing 2, one on each side, clamps together to get out of way. (can get to parts much easier by doing this) also disconnect (3) rubber boots from bottom of filter from the machine. Note: the front one pull up and toward you. the back two you have to work a little (not hard at all)
3) get 2-4 gallon bucket (I used an old kitty litter bucket, worked fine) set close to washer under filter.
4) put wash rag under filter (this will catch excess water) and remove white hose. (an adjustable pair of pliers works great) quickly turn filter unit to the right and pull a little toward you over the edge so the water coming out can go directly into the bucket. YOU WILL GET WATER" Note: if the sound and/or sight of running water makes you have to use the restroom, it would be a great time to go before step 4. Note: be careful not to disconnect and/or pull apart the 2 black wires on the filter.
5) after water drains disconnect black hose. (an adjustable pair of pliers works the best.
6) disconnect (3) screws and pull apart filter.
7) take trash out of inside of filter and go to sink to rinse and clean.
8) put filter back together and tighten (3) screws. Note: make sure the grooves line up (they are in a shape of an hourglass) if you look careful enough you can see what holes the screws were in before.
9)set filter inside of washer and hook black hose back up. Note: if you take the clamp and push it all the way to the back and position the squeezers at the top. you can hold the hose on with one hand and are able to get adjustable pliers in to squeezers easier.
10) hook up white hose (much easier than black)
11) slide and pop the (3) rubber boots back into position.
12) pop clamps back in place for crossbar and reconnect the ground wire.
13) replace front lower panel and replace (3) screws
congratulations you are finished. when I did this I became $0.11 richer and I found my grandsons missing sock. approx. time 20-30 min.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009

  • 2 Answers

I had the F-21 error message come up also. I tilted the machine back and propped it up with (4) 2X4's. Using a ratchet, I took off the three bolts on the bottom front panel. The drain is located on the right front of the machine. I loostened the big round filter access port and caught the water in a heavy duty trask bag (which I emptied three times). I found 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 2 pennies and a button. I stuck my finger into the pump motor and found a micro fiber lens cleaning cloth stuck in the impeller. I removed sais items and put the machine back together, and it now runs fine!
Since doing this, I have gained hero status here in the home front! It was very easy and I recommend doing it yourself instead of calling a service repair person. If you know how to use a screwdriver, you can do it!

Posted on Mar 29, 2009

  • 1 Answer

We also cleared our drain, bunch of change and 2 pencils, however it still wouldn't work! So we took the gray drain hose, and plugged it into the faucet; back-filled the washer up with water till it went into the tub. Then we unplugged hose from faucet and let it drain into sink by turning on power and setting drain/spin mode on. THE WASHER DRAINED!!! So we knew the pump and everything worked. There were no clogs in the hose. But it still wouldn't get out of pump mode and into a cycle---kept showing F21. My wonderful man read a little online about the pressure switch some other guy posted and this was the problem. The PRESSURE SWITCH is at the top of washer, right side, ( you have to remove top of washer). He unplugged the white connector to the switch hoping to reset it and also unplugged the tiny diametered black hose ( could fit only a B-B threw it). He blew his breath (air) into the black hose hoping to remove any blockage and then reattached it to the pressure switch. He also plugged back in the white connector pack and WOOOHOOO!!! The washer worked! FINALLY SUCCESS!!! Thank you so much to my WAYNE! LUV U!!XO

Posted on Jan 26, 2011

  • 1 Answer

We just fixed this F21 problem. It took us about a half hour and we found over $9.00 in change, about 20 hair pins, candy wrappers, lots of animal hair, and 2 buttons. Take the 3 screws off the bottom front panel, twist off the drain plug (need something to catch the water), and clean the plastic filter. We had lots of stuff in the black tube also.. so we decided to remove it and clean it too. The hardest part of the whole thing was putting the clamp back on the black hose. So, saved lots of money on a house call, spent a bit of time, and made $9.00!

Posted on Mar 03, 2009

  • 1 Answer

I used to get this F-21 error every time.

Funny I did not find and detailed instructions here on how to fix this. Then I found a manual ($FILE/8178558.pdf).

Followed instructions on page
4-11, # 10 - to open the lower access panel
4-17 # 1 to 4 - to open the filter

It is here I found one shredded cloth, couple of legos and a sketch-pen

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • 1 Answer

GREAT it worked! One additional thing. We did all the above, simple and painless!Be prepared for a bit of water and it might help if you use a pair of rubber gloves. In our case, almost 10.00 in change. Who knew!! So that was the easy part! We still had the error after removing the change. The pressure switch needed to be re-set. Simply remove the washer top. (Easy to do..If you can get to the back of your washer) After you remove the top of the washer you will see the pressure switch on the back right side towards the top. Again, easy to get to. Simply unplug the connection to the pressure switch (it has 2 tabs to depress and slides off the connection) Unplug the small back hose from the pressure switch and blow on the hose to make sure there is not any blockage. connect the hose and re-connect the connections. PRESTO! It works! You can run a diagnostics by setting the selector to "Clean Washer" and hitting the Xtra Rinse button 4 times in five seconds. The Washer will go through a full diagnostic test.

Posted on Oct 13, 2011

  • 1 Answer

Here is what I've learned from this experience...
1- a $20 "bucket head" shop vac is an incredibly worthwhile purchase! No mess, no fuss. (It fits on top of a 5 gallon bucket - how cool is that?!)
2- When you've cleaned out the filter, checked the pipes and the pump...and put it all back together...PUT THE FRONT COVER BACK ON!!! This may sound incredibly obvious, but I wanted to test the machine to make sure it worked before going through the ordeal of getting those 3 little screws back in, and it didn't! There is a trip switch which doesn't allow the pump to work without the cover.
3- A piece of 2x4 is an indespensible tool! Tilt the machine back and kick the 2x4 under the front of the machine, so you can get to those 3 little screws.
4- My knees really are too old for this!
5- I'm about as proud as punch that I did this by myself! No hubby, no handyman, just me! Yay :-)
6- The internet is a wonderful tool - thank you for everyone who has gone before and posted their experiences.

Posted on Aug 20, 2010

  • 1 Answer


I too have had the same problem as all of you. It turns out it was a clogged filter. SUPER easy to fix, and Sears wanted $400.00, I did it myself for free. Just unpluged the unit, opened the front bottom panel, and unscrewed the filter, drained the water, cleaned the filter, screwed it back on, replaced the panel, pluged it back in .... and as good as new. Thank you everyone for your input on this site! it truly helped me.

Posted on Oct 21, 2010

  • 1 Answer

First unplug power,get a big can of peaches or what ever is handy,to push under washer so you can get to the 3 screws on front panel......once I got those off,and did a little prying to remove panel,I found the manual in a plastic pouch on the other side.ok,you will see a good size plug ,have containers under there and ready to catch water.....turn toward your left,its hard at first,but turn slowly,the water will come out,after most of the water has drained keep turning and pull on out,you will be amazed at what you will find!look back in there to see if you see anything else,if you do,just pour some water in the tub ,squeeze black rubber bulb,it will milk the rest on out. good luck,hope this helps

Posted on Dec 31, 2009

  • 1 Answer

I followed the instructions on removing the 3 little screws. THANK YOU to whomever posted to make sure and have a HEAVY garbage bag ready to catch the water before removing the lid to the filter (I tucked part of the garbage bag edge under the filter to keep the water from going everywhere). Found a handkerchief, 3 pennies and a bead. Reran machine and it worked. THANK YOU ALL!!!! :) Happy Housewife

Posted on Aug 18, 2009

  • 1 Answer

The problem was clothing caught in the drain. Unplug and turn off hot and cold. If water is in the basin, pull the washer out a bit and tilt back to 45 degrees. Unscrew the three screws holding the bottom cover in place on the front. Once open, the drain plug is on the right and unscrews. This is where the clothing was located for me. I removed it, put the plug back, screwed the cover back on, and started a new cycle.

Posted on Nov 02, 2008

  • 1 Answer

Just fixed mine today. Took about 5 minutes. One thing I did that I have not seen listed was to put my washer on its back, that way when I undid the drain, there was no mess at all. I am sure that I didn't get ALL of the material that created the blockage, but I am sure that the time I saved in clean up will more than pay for doing this easy process again.

Tilt it on it's back...its the way to go!!!

Posted on Oct 16, 2008

  • 1 Answer

Thank you!!! I've been struggling FOREVER with this problem. Every repair person tells me to run the clean cycle... After two days of running the cycles - putting Draino in the drains - suctioning the drains... I was losing my mind! I finally got down on my belly and found the filter. I put a brownie pan in front of the drain and had my mini shop vac ready to catch the water... I opened the valve slowly and was able to control the water beautifully. My 5 year old and 9 year old daughters and I managed to fix the problem in minutes - with no mess!!! And yes, we found lots of change, panties, bandaids, rubber bands, erasers - the works... Amazing the machine worked at all.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008

  • 94 Answers
  • Moderator

Item number 200263553210 on eBay is a cheap PDF repair manual for that model.


Posted on Oct 17, 2008

  • 2 Answers

Here is a tip to deal with the water when uncloging the filter. I used it, and it worked great. Before you start the repair, empty the washer of all garments, and clean off the end of the drainage hose. Then Blow backwards through the drain hose. Set the washer to drain cycle, and let it drain until it stops. You may have to do this more than once, but blowing through the drain hose will temporarly unclog the filter, and allow it to drain some of the water. After the drain cycle finishis, complete the repair as listed. I only had about 32 ounces of water come out, not bad at all. I did Find lost of hair, about $3.00 in change, and several air soft pellets. Hope this helps.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008

  • 1 Answer

I tried all of this and it did not work. I found water and sludge in my pump housing. The seal let this in to the tubular magnet area behind the impeller. So if you pull the motor out you can see that the front of the house will twist to separate from the motor. Then pull the pump impeller out of the plastic housing and you may find water and sand which interferes with the rotation of the magnet. I cleaned, put some lube on the o-ring and now it works perfectly again!

Posted on Jul 02, 2013

  • 1 Answer

Super easy to fix, and thanks for the info on the 1/4" screws (since I had to go buy a screw nut driver). In my case it was a rubber band (probably left in some pocket, grrr) caught in the spinner to the right of the filter, which I could remove with my fingers without needing to disassemble further.
One quick tip that worked for me to deal with the water: grab a 1 gallon ziplock bag and hold it tight with one hand around the filter while you unscrew the cap slowly with the other hand (easy to see the cap since the bag is clear), let it fill about 3/4 of the way, then close the cap to stop the flow and empty the bag in your sink. I repeated this 4-5 times until no more water came out and I had very little water spillage...Much easier for me than garbage bags, which can tear, and not as heavy. Still put a towel on the floor to catch any errant spills.

Posted on Jun 14, 2013

  • 1 Answer

Thanks to all who posted on the Whirlpool Duet F-21 problem. It works!. The wife called me at work Thanksgiving eve that washer stopped. Of course no repair folks available until Monday with family wash to do for a weekend. Taking off lower panel is the toughest. I propped up front of washer with books and used channel lock pliers and small crescent wrench to take off screws. I tried to use two Tupperware containers to catch water when filter plug unscrewed but water drains out into bottom of washer and onto floor.. Large trash bag must be best way to go. After towel clean up I found a quarter, gnarled old penny, lint and a few pebbles. Not as much treasure as some have posted but enough to cause hiccup. After replacing plug, (make sure top notch aligned so filter tray is level inside filter) and panel, washer works fine. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Posted on Nov 22, 2012

  • 1 Answer

Same problem, F21. Thank you all for the advice. Our tools of choice were a 13" X 15" shallow pan (cookie sheet) slid under front of the washer and a wet/dry vacuum (shop vac). We vacuumed out the water on the inside of the drum, then we loosened the filter slowly (about a quarter turn or less) and vacuumed the water as it came out, excess drips went in to the cookie sheet. After the water quit flowing, we unscrewed the filter the rest of the way and pulled it out. We found coins, screws, bobby pins and a woman's knee high hose lodged in the inlet to the pump and it must have stopping the pump from working. We put a light film of petroleum jelly on the rubber gasket of the filter and screwed in back on, all is well, thanks again.

Posted on Jan 09, 2011

  • 1 Answer

Great solution. One additional suggestion: For our machine, the 3 screws were not 1/4 inch but, rather, metric 7MM. A 1/4 inch socket wrench was too small and a 5/16 wrench too large. Only with a metric 7MM wrench could I get them off.

Posted on May 15, 2010

  • 1 Answer

The error on my machine was F-- and no number. It was, however, getting stopped on alternate cycles with an SD error. Once I got here, I thought what the heck. I tried it and it worked!!!
1) The screws for the panel are the three that run parallel to the floor.
2) Our machine doesn't have a pedestal, so we had to tilt it back to get the screws out. This makes it a two person job.
3) It was really hard to turn the drain valve to the left to get it open. In part, because we couldn't get the proper leverage as it was so close to the floor.
4) The garbage bag solution was brilliant. Just empty the water out of the bag and you're done with no other clean up.
5) Found a lot of dog hair, pencil, broken plastic toy and some change.
6) We also discovered that the funky, musty smell in our basement from time to time was actually the washer. The sitting water in the drain combined with the dog hair was the culprit.

Thanks for saving my Sunday, and my week ahead, by helping me get to seven loads of laundry.

Posted on Nov 01, 2009

Save yourself money . . .follow the instructions to remove the front panel screws with a ratchet, and unscrew the drain plug . . have a bucket or two ready . . .A LOT of whater will come out, as well as whatever is clogging the drain. . . in our case, 4 quaters, 10 pennies, a hair clip, a pen, a stocking, several air soft gun pellets, wads of fuzz, a green unidentified object (looked like wax that you use when you swim so you don't get water in your ear) the tag to something from pacsun, and a bullet .. . if i hadn't have seen it myself i wouldn't have believed all that stuff could get stuck in there . . .cleaned it out, and save at least 100 bucks . . b/c the instruction manual basically says if you check the drain hose and it's clear, and you still keep getting the F21 error, call a repair man . . .did the whole job in 15 minutes

Posted on Aug 12, 2008

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