Troubleshooting E1/F9 Error on Your Whirlpool Washer: Causes and Step-by-Step Solutions

Addressing the E1/F9 error code in your Whirpool washer is crucial as it may disrupt your daily routine and be a source of your frustration. Furthermore, if the issue is not resolved, it can lead to more serious problems, which can ultimately cause costly damage. 
Troubleshooting E1/F9 error on Whirlpool washer.

Basically, the E1/F9 error code indicates some issues related to the drain pump system. This error is detected when drainage is experiencing significant delays. This prolonged drainage can be the consequence of a variety of causes. So here we will let you know all the causes and how to debunk those causes to resolve those problems.

Potential Causes of the Whirlpool Washer E1/F9 Error Code


The E1/F9 error code basically indicates a drain pump-related problem in your Whirlpool washer. It says the  Whirlpool washer is delaying draining out of the water. Many stimuli or events can actually trigger a drain pump issue. Specifically, the fundamental one is either using the wrong type of detergent or using too much of the recommended detergent. 

Most Whirlpool washers, especially the HE Whirlpool front-load washers, are designed to work with a special kind of high-efficiency (HE) detergent. The reason is these detergents provide efficient cleaning performance in situations with low water usage and high agitation while also generating fewer suds than regular detergents.

But if you use a regular detergent, ignoring or defying the recommendation, the washer might produce more suds and create a residual layer, which eventually becomes a problem for the proper functioning of the washer’s drainage system. Consequently, the Whirlpool washer will then display the E1/F9 error code as a result.

The error code might still appear even when using the suggested HE detergent. Given this situation, maybe you’ve used an excessive amount of detergent. Using more detergent than the recommended amount by the manufacturer can also lead to the formation of suds and soap residue. These buildups later accumulate to such an extent that they cause the E1/F9 error code to pop up on the display. 

Read your owner’s manual carefully and pay close attention to the section that outlines the right detergent. You should also be careful about using the right amount in proportion to the load. Your Whirlpool washer won’t face these issues when you follow these recommendations properly. Modern-day washers, including the Whirlpool’s, are designed to be so efficient that you should use no more than one to two tablespoons of detergent at the most.

Drain Hose Obstruction

We already know that the Whirlpool washer displays an E1/F9 error code when it senses any problem within the drain pump system. To be more specific, the Whirlpool washer takes too much time to drain out the dirty water after the wash cycle and possibly has difficulties pumping out the water effectively. That’s the time when the washer considers giving off an E1/F9 error message.

The issue of not being able to pump or discharge the wastewater can also be caused by the problematic drain hose. The drain hose is the tube through which wastewater leaves the washer drum. However, if the drain hose becomes twisted, compressed, torn, or obstructed by items like coins, hairpins, or lint, it can impede the smooth drainage of water. Consequently, this difficulty in drainage could trigger the appearance of the  E1/F9 error code.

Furthermore, if the drain hose is not correctly installed or becomes blocked, it can hinder the flow of water, leading to the display of the E1/F9 error code.

Clogged Pump Filter

The pump filter is typically located near the lower section of the washing machine, close to the pump that pushes the water out. This filter prevents larger objects like coins, lint, or hair from entering into the pump. 

However, when the pump filter within a Whirlpool washer becomes clogged or blocked by these objects, the washer initiates E1/F9 error code. Basically, what happens is that a blocked or clogged pump filter holds back the flow of water, and therefore, the water can’t leave or be drained out. This can lead to excessive water remaining in the washer, triggering the E1/F9 error.

Faulty Drain Pump

The drain pump serves as the primary mechanism for efficiently removing water from the washing machine. It works by drawing out the water from the machine’s tub and expelling it through a drain hose connected to your home’s plumbing or a designated drain area. 

The efficient water removal process is disrupted when this drain pump becomes faulty or clogged. Consequently, the washer’s control board detects a draining issue and shows the E1/F9 error code. In this case, you may also hear an unusual noise coming from the pump.

Water Level Switch

The water level switch, which is also known as a pressure switch, controls or decides the amount of water that should be in the tub during different phases of the wash cycle. It monitors the water level, sends the signal when to start or stop filling the tub with water, and initiates the draining of used dirty water. 

But when this pressure switch is not working properly, it may not send the signal to drain out or fill in the tub. Thus, it may initiate a drainage problem, which allows the Whirlpool washer to show the E1/F9 error code. 

How to Troubleshoot E1/F9 Error?

Here is how you can fix the problem considering the previous causes.

Get Rid of Too Much Detergent Suds

Excessive suds lead to drainage issues, resulting in E1/F9 on the display. To troubleshoot, you can check for too many suds and clear them out. Here is how you fix the issue of excessive suds and soap residue problem. 

If you’ve used too much detergent, and your washing machine is full of suds, you can consider adding some fabric softener to the wash to mitigate the level of suds present.

Another way of getting rid of suds and soap residue is an empty washing cycle without any clothes inside. Allowing the washer to operate for some time helps the existing soap residue to dissolve. After that, you can stop the wash cycle and then start the ‘drain and spin’ cycle to help remove any remaining soap residue.

Always try to use the appropriate quantity of detergent, which is merely one to two tablespoons in contemporary washing machines, including a Whirlpool washer.

After taking these measures, suds and soap residue will be removed, and possibly the E1/F9 error will go away.

Clean Out the Drain Pump Filter

Drain Pump filters can be clogged or blocked by many objects and debris, which as a result, affects the proper functioning of a drainage system. So the solution is very simple: you have to clear out those obstructions and accumulated clogs. Here is how you clean the filter within a Whirlpool front-loading washing machine. 

  1. Unplug the washing machine for safety reasons.
  1. Find out the exact location of the filter, which may vary from model to model. You can get help from your Whirlpool manual.
  1.  Remove the rear panel of the washing machine to access the filter. The filter is positioned near the pump. Use an impact wrench with a quarter-inch driver to unfasten and take out the screws. 
  1. When you locate the filter, turn the filter counterclockwise to remove it from the machine. Water might drain out, so slow down the process if needed to avoid excessive spillage.
  1. Put a container under the filter area to collect the water as you remove the filter.
  1. As you remove the filter, rinse it under fast-running water to remove any lint, debris, or residue. You can also use a cloth and a brush for scrubbing the stubborn clog to be dislodged.
  1. Once cleaning is done, you can reinstall the filter by turning it clockwise. And also, put the rear panel back on properly by fastening the screws.

After you clean out the pump filter, the E1/F9 error code will probably vanish.

Clear Drain Hose

A drainage system can’t function properly if the drain hose is kinked, obstructed, or clogged. Once you have figured out that the hose is kinked or twisted, you can check if the error code is gone after straightening out the hose. 

Besides, you should also check if the hose is clogged or obstructed by some object or debris. The drain is typically located at the back of your Whirlpool washing machine and connects to your household plumbing system. You will need to detach the hose and remove the blockage using the appropriate tool.

First, run this detached drain hose under the rapid flow of water to wash out any debris or other buildups. You can do this in a utility sink, bathtub, or outdoors, and all the light particles and debris will be removed. 

If there’s a stubborn clog, gently insert a plumbing snake or a straightened wire hanger into the hose to break up the blockage. Inside the hose are possible accumulations of minerals that are difficult to remove. You can create a solution vinegar, which effectively removes the mineral buildups. Soak the drain hose into the solution of vinegar, and the mineral deposits will be dissolved.

Once you clean the hose, reattach the hose securely to your Whirlpool washing machine. Ensure that the hose is straight and doesn’t have any sharp bends or kinks that could lead to future clogs. Plug the washing machine back in, and run a short cycle to ensure the E1/F9 error is no more. 

Replace the Drain Pump

Drainage issues and, subsequently, the E1/F9 error coming up can also stem from the faulty drain pump. If the error code persists after properly trying all the solutions discussed above, you should check the condition of the drain pump. If the drain pump is damaged, you should replace it

Here is how you replace the drain pump in a Whirlpool top-loading washing machine. If your Whirlpool washing machine is different, read the owner’s manual to replace the drain pump of your washing machine.

  1. Stop the water supply and unplug the washing machine cord from the power source.
  1. The pump will be accessed from the bottom panel. So, tip the washing machine backward so that its rear panel rests on a towel or blanket. You may need assistance in doing it.
  1. Identify the drain pump assembly at the bottom rear of the machine and disconnect any hoses and wires connected to it. If there are spring clamps securing the hoses, use channel lock pliers to release them. 
  1. After unthreading the mounting screws, gently pull out the old drain pump assembly from its position.
  1. Attach the new drain pump assembly in the same position as the old one. Make sure it’s properly aligned.
  1. Reattach the hoses and wires to the new drain pump assembly. Secure the hoses with spring clamps if necessary. Then, turn the real panel on, turn on the water supply, and plug the washing machine’s power cord back in.

When you replace the damaged drain pump, your Whirlpool washer should work just fine; hence, the error code will disappear. 


Does a Whirlpool Washing Machine Have to be 100% Level to be Error Free?

Answer: Proper leveling ensures that the washer’s internal components, including the drain pump, work effectively. An unlevel washer can lead to drainage issues, which then triggers the E1/F9 error.

Is It Safe to Troubleshoot and Fix the E1/F9 Error Myself?

Answer: If you properly follow our guide and are pretty much experienced in handling small mechanical issues, it can be absolutely safe for you. However, troubleshooting by yourself requires proper tools, and you need to have them at your disposal. However, if you’re unsure or if the issue persists, it’s advisable to consult the user manual, contact Whirlpool support, or seek professional assistance.

How can I Prevent the E1/F9 Error in the Future?

Answer: Use the recommended HE detergent in the right amount every time you wash. Also, avoid overloading the washer, or else it can lead to drainage issues. Plus, always check the drain hose to see if it is installed properly and not kinked, twisted, or torn.


We have comprehensively covered the complete resolution for the E1/F9 problem, spanning from identifying the root causes to implementing effective solutions and even how you approach step by step. 

The potential causes and their solutions should be more or less similar regardless of any Whirlpool model. However, there might be slight variations depending on your specific model when it comes to the detailed step-by-step procedures for cleaning and removing different parts.

In such a case, we recommend you open up your owner’s manual and find the dedicated section outlining the specific processes. A straightforward process will be given in every manual you have. 

This way, you can ensure accurate and model-specific guidance for addressing the issue effectively. If you don’t have a physical copy of the manual, you can easily access the digital version online through the manufacturer’s website or other reputable sources.

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