Getting an error code on your washing machine can be frustrating, especially when you have a load of laundry to finish. The Kenmore HE2 Plus front load washer is a popular model that displays error code F21 when there is an issue draining water from the machine.
If your HE2 Plus washer abruptly stops mid-cycle and shows code F21 on the display, don’t worry. In most cases, this error is relatively easy to resolve yourself without having to call in an appliance repair technician. This article will guide you through troubleshooting steps to get your Kenmore washer draining properly again.
What Causes the F21 Error Code?
F21 indicates a draining fault on Kenmore front load washers. Essentially, the machine cannot pump water out effectively during the drain portion of the wash cycle. There are a few common causes of the F21 error:
- Clogged or blocked drainage hoses or pipes
- Failure of the drain pump
- Blocked filters or obstructions in the drainage system
- Drain hose positioned too high or improperly installed
Checking these areas of your washer will help pinpoint why water isn’t draining out of the drum correctly.
Troubleshooting Tips for Kenmore F21 Error
Before calling for expensive washer repairs, try these DIY troubleshooting steps first:
1. Check Drain Hose and Pipes
Make sure the drain hose at the back of the machine is not kinked, clogged, or installed too high above the ground. Hoses positioned higher than approx. 4-5 feet can prevent proper drainage due to backflow of water.
Also inspect any drainage pipes, garburators, standpipes, and wall mounts that the drain hose connects to. Clean out any debris, lint, or obstructions throughout the path water flows out of the machine.
2. Clean the Drain Filter and Pump
Your Kenmore has a small filter screen attached to the drain pump to catch coins, buttons, lint, and other objects that may clog drainage. If this filter gets too dirty, water can’t exit the drum.
To access the filter, remove the lower front panel of the washer. Locate the drain filter inside and pull it out. Clean any trapped debris or lint buildup. You can also check the drain pump impeller here for obstructions.
3. Check Electrical Connections
If the internal drain pump itself is not working properly, error F21 can display. Make sure the pump is getting power by checking that wiring harness connectors are securely plugged in. Examine wires and connectors for any damage too.
4. Replace Defective Drain Pump
If wiring and connections check out ok, the drain pump may need replacement if clogged filters or drainage issues have been ruled out. The pump uses an impeller to push water out which can fail over time. Replacements aren’t too expensive and are easy to swap out yourself.
Resetting the Washer after Fixing F21 Issues
Once you’ve determined the cause of the drainage problem and corrected it, perform a reset on the Kenmore washer:
- Unplug the machine from the power source.
- Wait 60 seconds.
- Plug the washer back in and power it on.
This gives the control electronics a chance to reset statuses and will clear error code F21 from displaying. You can then safely resume washing cycles as normal.
When to Call for Service
If you’ve tried these troubleshooting tips but your Kenmore HE2 Plus washer still won’t drain and the F21 error persists, then it’s likely time to have a professional service technician inspect the repairs needed. There may be other mechanical or electrical faults that require advanced diagnostics and service.
In summary, F21 drain issues are commonly fixable yourself without needing major washer part replacements. Carefully checking the drain pump, filters, and hoses will resolve Kenmore washing machine drain faults in the majority of cases. Using the troubleshooting guide above will hopefully get your HE2 Plus washer draining properly and let you get back to finishing laundry day!