Whirlpool Front Load Washer Problems

Before we get into what you should be aware of when it comes to whirlpool front load washer problems or any other front load washers, lets take a look at what they have to offer.

If you walk into any laundromat you will notice some of the best washing machines ever created. For those of you who actually own a washing machine that can rival those used in businesses, you know the difference between your average machine and a front load washing machine. Unlike your basic machine, a front load will go about spinning the clothes and taking advantage of a little thing called "gravity" to get the job done.

There are plenty of Advantages that come with this type of washing machine. When looking into these machines you will notice that they do not rely on an agitator to spin the clothes around. Because of this, you have much more space to use. You can fit much more clothes with every new load. In addition, it has been shown that these machines will save you a lot of money in the long run. They don't use nearly as much water as a basic top loading machine would. You will also save a lot on electricity because these machines spin much faster, getting your clothes dryer, which in turn results in a decrease in energy and heat consumption. And the great part is, you would think because they get the job done faster, the clothes would not turn out as dry, but really they actually come out much dryer when compared to other types of home based washers.

When looking into these types of washing machines you should expect to pay at least $800, and at most $2,500. Shooting for a number in between is probably best considering you won't get one that is cheap, with less features, and you won't get a top of the line one, which is what post people don't need. If you are looking into buying a new front load washing machine, consider buying one from the bigger brands out there. These include: Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, and GE. In this case, you really do get what you pay for. These machines, without a doubt, our work and out rank your average $400 top loading washing machine.

Front Load Washer Problems

Whether you are looking into problems for a Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, etc...the problems that occur will not differ greatly. They are built with the same mindset. They all encounter the same problems. The only difference is, when repairing them, the parts that will need to be replaced will look a bit different, and may be placed in different areas of the machine. This of course is because each company builds their machines as their own and hold no interest in copying one another.

Assuming you are on this website to read about washing machine problems, and not "repair", I will go about explaining some of the most popular washer machine problems that can usually be fixed with basic instructions.

Note: Before you start troubleshooting your washing machine, make sure you start out by turning it off. Be cautious and don't turn it on unless you are testing to see if you have fixed the problem by performing a certain task.

First problem: Washing machine just won't turn on! When this occurs, the first thing you want to do is obviously check if the washer machine is actually plugged in. If it is, you should probably take it out and test another device with it. This isn't necessary, but sometimes you might find that the problem isn't within your washing machine, but rather in the things that are supporting it. After you have checked that it is plugged in, plug it out, wait a minute and plug it back in. See if it works, if not, you can consider the following:

  1. Your washing machine has a bad lid switch.
  2. Your washing machine's timer may be bad.

If your washing machine just won't start, you should seek professional help (call your local home appliance repair company).

Second problem: the washing machine won't fill in with water! In this case, you might want to look a bit more closely towards your lid switch and timer upfront. They can be the main factor. In addition, checkout your washer's inlet hoses and make sure they have not been damaged. When considering this type of problem, you will find that the water switch is most likely to be the problem. You will find it in the machines control panel.

Third problem: the water won't drain from the machine! The first thing you should do here is check the hose in the back for any clogging. If the hose is not clogged and in good shape, consider the following problems: your machine might have a bad drive belt (or it could be just loose).

Fourth problem: The washing machine is leaking! Similar to what was provided in the Third problem, you should go about checking the hose (all of them). Look for anything that may appear to be loose or damaged.

The majority of problems that will occur in a washing machine will come from the timer, lid switch, water switch, drive belt or transmission. When looking into whirlpool front load washer problems or problems with other brand name washers, you will find that they are all fairly similar. This type of washer will not experience MORE or LESS problems than other washer machines. Front load washing machines are great solutions, and definitely much more efficient and advanced than your usual top load machine. You should consider, if these machines are used by laundromats, then you can't really go wrong getting one for your house.

A Good Looking Front Load Washing Machine

Comments 49 comments

Derrick 6 years ago

The common problem found in various brands of front loading washer is the molding on the lid. You can simply use a natural cleaner like lemon and water to wipe out the mold easily.


tronbot 6 years ago

Sears Kenmore Mod# 970-38802,Spider gear breaks shortly after warranty expires (5 years) because it is made of Aluminum and is attached to the stainless steel drum which cause corrosion - how would an engineer/designer not know this? Stainless steel drum has a 25 year warranty but you must replace both when failure occurs at a price of $250.00 for parts alone. Three extra long screws protrude through drum to ensure extensive damage to water tight container before you even realize there is a problem - again seems hard to believe that an engineer would make a mistake like this. I was lucky to get 10 years out of my washer but I thought spending over $1000.00 would last more than 20. I was told by the Sears repair man that they haven't changed this design and the problem still happens. Check out Kenmore Front Load washers on YouTube for more.


biguggy 5 years ago

Many posts on many sites claim that the corrosion of the spiders is due to galvanic action. I do not agree, I believe it is primarily chemical corrosion.

Should the corrosion have been galvanic between the stainless steel drum and the aluminium spider the majority of the corrosion would have been at the junction of the two metals i.e. at the ends of the arms. I have seen no photographs of spiders corroded in such a manner, nor read of any similar descriptions.

Aluminium is corroded when immersed in an aqueous solution with a pH value above about 8.0. All detergents have to be above about 8.0 or they would not work. The Material Safety Data Sheets put out by Proctor and Gamble state that the pH for one of the liquid ‘Tides’ is 8.0 and for one of the ‘Tide’ powdered detergents as 11.0. Bleach, (sodium hypochlorite) is also very corrosive to aluminium. I should add that for corrosion of the spider to take place these levels are considerably above the levels found in a washing machine during the wash/rinse phases of the cycle.

Sodium carbonate and sodium percarbonate found in some laundry aids are also corrosive to aluminium, provided the required concentrations are reached.

I believe the mechanics of the corrosion are as follows.

Even after the fastest spin small quantities of water will remain on the shaft and towards the centre of the spider. Any recesses in the spider close to the centre will aggravate this situation. This water will contain very, very small quantities of laundry aids used, soil from the laundry and chemicals from the ‘tap’ water. Should this water be allowed to stand the water will evaporate until such time as sufficient has gone to allow the pH of the remaining mixture to rise above the threshold at which corrosion will occur.

Additionally the retained water will quickly become foul smelling leading to, I believe, many of the complaints about mold and mildew.


Sue826 profile image

Sue826 5 years ago from Albuquerque

From what I've read, the manufacturers are working on fixing the problem. Less standing water, etc.


jg56 5 years ago

the fabri softner is not draining out of my washer while washing


cj 5 years ago

cause them to accumulate mold and mildew and/or residue or growth within the machines,

produce a moldy or mildew odor that permeates the washing machines and/or the consumers' homes,

produce a mold or mildew odor on clothes and other items washed in the washing machines,

fail to clean the washing machines and remove moisture, residue, growth and/or bacteria that lead to the formation of mold, mildew and/or associated foul odors, and

be unusable in the manner, to the extent to, and for the purpose for which the Whirlpool washing machines were advertised, marketed, and sold.


PS 5 years ago

Retaining water in the bleach compartment.


Daniel 5 years ago

I have been an appliance tech for 14 years,and

I have to say the most common problems,1.pump, gets clogged with all types of debree/2.milldew on gasket or bellows,mostly caused from dampness after washing, leave door ajar after using/3.controll problems ,mostly control panel codes/


sue 5 years ago

I've had several problems with my whirlpool frontload washer...bellow needed to be replaced; belt needed to be replaced; drain was clogged and now my washer "eats" my clothes...it particularly likes anything made of jersey (sheets, tshirts, pjs). My clothes come out of the washer with huge holes in them. Obviously the design of this frontloader is horribly flawed and defective. Sears (from whom I purchased the washer in Aug 2010) has not been able to repair the washer. Whirpool wants me to pay a technician to "evaluate" the problem and then pay more to have it fixed! The washer has already cost me over $200 in the past 2 months to replace damaged clothing. I'll NEVER buy a Whirlpool again and will NEVER buy anything from Sears again.


Gary J. Hanson 4 years ago

Our Whirlpool front load HE washer quit draining water about a month ago. It was the big filter in the front of the machine. Cleaned it & was OK. Vibrating noise started when in spin cycle. It ate the plastic ring near the front of the tub. My wife called the repair-man, but he hasn't showed up yet. Our washer & dryer are 7 year's old. I'm very dissappointed in a washer that only last's that long B/4 falling apart. By the way, Whirlpool now own's Maytag also.


rosemary forette 4 years ago

what dise it mean when you washer says f21


candie66 4 years ago

I have a problem with my whirlpool front loader ... it sounds like its about to take off when its on the spin cycle its very loud !!! Does anybody know what could be causing this ??????


KDM1958 4 years ago

I had the exact same problem with it sounding like an airplane about to explode! They had to replace both inner & outer tub because of dirt that had filtered into the bearings. Now when setting up for a 50 minute wash, it takes over 2 hours to finish. Never again for me...


the hot side wont shut off and it over fills 4 years ago

The hot water don't shut off and it causes it to over fill


katie126 4 years ago

I have a problem with my HE front loader.. the thick rubber part between the tumbler and the door gets wholes in it everytime I get it replaced. and the smaller rubber one that is closer to the tumbler keeps coming lose and coming out. it also leaks and i have had someone come out to check it, they have told me that i am lying and that the problems are in my head. the leaking is so bad i have to bleach my basement floors to get rid of the smell. and my clothes too have been eaten by my machine. i also get this grey residue that gets on my clothes and stays in the washer just ruining everything.


Laverta with diry Laundry 4 years ago

Whirlpool Front Load HE washers. All complaints sound about the same. Mine was loud, sounded like an airplane, then a knocking on the inside of the machine, and then plastic or rubber gasket came out in the wash. Called Whirlpool because it was only six months old. They sent a repairman out. The warranty work is estimated at $1800 , but they are going to fix it. IN THREE WEEKS!!!!! Doesn't make a lot of sense , originally only cost $1100.Parts are out and back ordered , which leads me to believe they are well aware there is a problem with these machines. I have kids and work full time, no time for the laundry mat. That's why I bought a washing machine. Whirlpool just keeps saying they are sorry, but I am just out of luck. Never Whirlpool again.


Jim R 4 years ago

Our Whirlpool front loader (2.5 years old) on high spin makes loud noises like a hundred marbles going around. Repirman coming next week to check. Anyone else hearing these loud noises?


Vera Houze 4 years ago

I had a Whirlpool top load washer that lasted for 22 years never needing any repairs so I gve it away( and its still washing) and bought a front load washer. 0I hate it!!! My clothes stink when they come out of the washer. Softeners do nothing only when I do whites with clorox do they smell good. What can I do to have clean smelling clothes other than sending this one to the garbage dump????and going back to the top loader? Someone said I have to use Afresh tablets monthly which cast approx $3. per tablet. All the savings I get from using less water is wasted having to get these tablets Is there a generic solution to this problem?


Lee Smith 4 years ago

Our Kennmore front loader just failed for the 4th time in 8 years. Always an expensive repair. Front control panel. Water control solenoid. Spider support for the tub(with failed bearing). And now it leaks on the floor. Ive had it with front loaders. I'm getting top loaders from now on.


R Neas 4 years ago

Kenmore 80 series: Coupling keep breaking. It was a running joke at our house it broke always on a long holiday weekend. No vacation for years. The part isn't to high so after watching the repairman the first time my husband orders the part and fixes it himself. Probably bought enough parts to buy another washer over the years. We got tired of it and bought a Fisher Paykel.

Fisher Paykel: The sales woman said fewer parts to tear up. I can't argue with that; however, we've had the repairman out twice while under warranty to fix for balance problem. Never fixed; have to shuffle the clothes around manually to try to spin them. Takes 2-6 tries to balance the load; it shuts off when its not balanced. Can u imagine baby sitting your washer just to wash a load. We gave it to our son at least his laundry room is not in the basement. We went back to the Kenmore and have put 2 more couplings in. This weekend we'll try buying another brand. Sounds like we need to stay away from Whirlpool too.


missy 4 years ago

i have a brand new front loader and it eats my clothes like t-shirts pjs i have done had them bring another oe out here and its doing the same thing.


JD 4 years ago

Whirlpool front loading washers are lemons. I'm really sorry I bought one. Never again.

To the guy whose hot water would not shut off and the washer stayed full - it is a defective hot water solenoid. Costs about $30 if you fix it yourself. There are two solenoids that control the flow of cold and hot water into the washer and they are CHEAP CHINESE JUNK! Unplug the washer, open the top, towards the back left you will see two blue things attached to the incoming water hoses with an electrical connector attached to each. These are the solenoids. They are easy to replace. My cold water solenoid failed. Replace both at the same time because if one has failed, the other one will fail soon. Hope this helps. Never again, Whirlpool!


Carol 4 years ago

Does anybody have a problem with not being able to get the HE detergent out of their clothes - particularly towels? I have never used any other kind of detergent besides HE. I put my towels through several cycles (without detergent) after the initial washing. I only use half of the smallest amount on the cap and can still see bubbles (definitely soap). Not high efficient for me!


Kay 4 years ago

bought a front load washer. 1st time I used it socks got caught between the door and the tub in the rubber. soak & wet. once they fall in the rubber there is no way of getting back in the tub. fellow i bought it from had no idea why this happens, go home and try a few more loads & see what happens he said. anyone have this problem.


unione 4 years ago

I have a problem with my whirlpool front loader ... it sounds like its about to take off when its on the spin cycle its very loud. I'm having this problem right now. the repairman told me it was the barings and the tubs were loose. he told me that the barrings were most likely not greased enough when built. needed to replace all three parts. total repair bill $1145.00. machine is only 18 months old. All whirlpool can say is I'm sorry. seems a machine should last more than 18 months. no more whirlpools for me. funny, gotta pay big bucks for a machine and spend another $150.00 for a 1 year extended warranty.


anoraan 4 years ago

My Whirlpool Front Loader sounds like it's going to fly away and walks out to the opposite wall. Whirlpool people told me that my floor was unlevel so I had the floor built up and still does the same thing. I will never buy another Whirlpool anything.


Rhea 4 years ago

Water pours out of the drawer compartment, and out the bottom of the door of my whirlpool front loader after I start it up. I have read nothing about this anywhere and I have been searching!!! Has anyone else ever heard of this???


Deena 4 years ago

What does the code F35 mean on my Whirlpool Duet Front Load Washing machine? The manual doesn't say. It just stops running with the code flashing. I cancel the cycle and then restart as many as 4 more times before it will finally complete the wash cycle.


Mario Caracciolo 4 years ago

Yes my whirlpool he front loader is eating my familie's clothes leaving holes. I called whirlpool and they said I needed to have a specialist come and inspect it, I had just had someone come fix it cost $230.00. Now they want me to pay another $129 never whirlpool again they stink


jeannette dewit 4 years ago

Oh boy I am fed up!! This is my second front loader (Whirlpool replaced the first one) but I am still having the same problems. Basically it chews up my clothes. I am too tired to go through the same SH_T again with them. I am actually afraid to do laundry cuz I don't know what article I'll loose this load. I make sure I don't overload it (although they tell you when you buy it, 'if you can close the door your good!')


Bbenson 4 years ago

Have problem when washing rugs. Spin cycle does not get water out. Rug come out very heavy with water even after running through another spin cycle


kim 4 years ago

Just found out our 2 and 1/2 yr old whirlpool needs repaired for approximately $700. Wish I would have read these problems first. Mine also was very loud when spinning and got so loud I had to turn it off. It was the bearing and needed new tub. I will go back to top loader and have heard speedqueen is good. Not a happy camper:(


kj 3 years ago

I have a whirlpool front load washer. New 18 months ago. First it was the bearing that is way undersized and decided to do job myself because i didnt get extended warranty. Now the "thing" wont finish each cycle. After its done with washing it shuts off, then you have to select rinse, when that is done it shuts off, then you select rinse/spin to finish the load and the clothes are soaked. Going to call whirlpool tomorrow to see what they say about this bull$h!t. My advise is to stay away from anything Whirlpool because all of our other appliances were bought to match and say whirlpool and are $h!t. DO NOT BUY WHIRLPOOL. Waste of money for this offshore $h!t that breaks as soon its out of the box


TM 3 years ago

Just like a lot of these other posts we are on our third Whirlpool front load washer. Two were replaced under warranty for suds locking with 1/2 the amount of HE products required. Now this one is eating our clothes! Bought the orginial washer 2 years ago... Never again Whirlpool!!!


Dawn 3 years ago

Bought a Whirlpool Duet in 2010 and we are going on the 4th bellow being replaced! This is crazy. Thank god we paid for extended warranty to cover that. However, when the wahser gets an un-even load it is so loud and when I open it at the end of the cycle there is a powdery grey residue in the bellow and on my clothes. It feels like rubber and is as fine as sand. It almost appears as if the plastic bellow is actually falling apart before my eyes. I have torn clothes as well, lots of them. I have had to go to the laundry mat for loads becuase they state the bellow is on backorder for 3 weeks. I have spent a lot of money replacing clothes and using laundry mats and Whirlpool has done nothing to help reimburse me. I will never buy a Whirlpool again!


diane 3 years ago

it pauses in the middle of the wash and than all of a sudden the all the lights are flashing can take up to three or four tries to straighten it out i am very discouraged


JOANNE 3 years ago

I just bought MAGTAG FRONT LOAD WASHER AND DRYER iTS NOT DELIVERED YET THANKS TO ALL OF YOU IAM GOING TO CANCEL. MY OLD SET IS OVER 20 YEARS OLD STYLE STILL WORKS FINE NEVER ANY PROBLEMS I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO REPLACE I DONT NEED ALL THIS TROUBLE AND EXPENCE WHAT IS GOOD ANY MORE?


bought expensive junk 3 years ago

we bought the whirlpool duet after a couple of months of use a very bad order was coming from it even our cloths smelled awful . I always used the HE detergent .found out I had to buy tablets to get rid of the order .So I went and purchased the expensive afresh tablets .the more I use the washer the more tablets I had to use .I even kept the door open to help air it out plus wiped it out after every use . well error numbers started popping up .I researched on you tube the number error 21 that I had. thanks You tube repair men is another expense these washers cost .so we tore into the washer ourselves to fix it. found all the error codes paper inside the bottom of the washer go figure. every week this error would come up.it would stop working the door locked with water and cloths inside . I had had it we went to sears where we bought it on top of the horror our warranty just ran out . I would not recommend the whirlpool duet to anyone they were an expensive problem .I now own a G E washer that loads from the top .for a year now I have not had to buy the first tablet or wash a bleach cycle and have not had to call a repair man or work on it ourselves. my cloths and house smells fresh.


David 3 years ago

Whirlpool Duet is down for the second time in 6 months. Patiently waiting a month for the main control board. Sears parts keep telling us the part is on back order. Never buying Whirlpool or a product from Sears.


cathie 3 years ago

We have a problem with mild collecting on the plastic piece between the drum and door, NOTHING gets it off, and there is no reason for it to be gathering on there.......nasty!!!!!


LAKSHMI KOTHAKOTI 3 years ago

IBought a Whirlpool Duet in 2010 and we are going on the 4th bellow being replaced! This is crazy. Thank god we paid for extended warranty to cover that. However, when the wahser gets an un-even load it is so loud and when I open it at the end of the cycle there is a powdery grey residue in the bellow and on my clothes. It feels like rubber and is as fine as sand. It almost appears as if the plastic bellow is actually falling apart before my eyes. I have torn clothes as well, lots of them. I have had to go to the laundry mat for loads because they state the bellow is on backorder for 3 weeks. I have spent a lot of money replacing clothes and using laundry mats and Whirlpool has done nothing to help reimburse me. I will never buy a Whirlpool again!


LAKSHMI KOTHAKOTI 3 years ago

I have a whirlpool front load washer. New 18 months ago. First it was the bearing that is way undersized and decided to do job myself because i didn't get extended warranty. Now the "thing" wont finish each cycle. After its done with washing it shuts off, then you have to select rinse, when that is done it shuts off, then you select rinse/spin to finish the load and the clothes are soaked. Going to call whirlpool tomorrow to see what they say about this bull$h!t. My advise is to stay away from anything Whirlpool because all of our other appliances were bought to match and say whirlpool and are $h!t. DO NOT BUY WHIRLPOOL. Waste of money for this offshore $h!t that breaks as soon its out of the box


brian 3 years ago

Dude, I have no idea why you even wrote your little story. front load washers are not efficient. You spend more money to buy them. You spend more money on repairing them and you throw them away way sooner than the older top load washers especially when the spider breaks after just a few years. And they don't work any faster. The front loads you buy for your house do not even compare to the front loads in the laundry mats.


gilbert 2 years ago

every time I wash sheets they go into a balls the fisrt services guy saided do not wash sheet in a front loader the sec service guy saided move the front of the machine up 1 in now it does not wash right spots have washer evey load 2 or 3 time be for it is clean stay away front whirlpool loader washer waste of time and money


samantha baird 2 years ago

so looks like many of us have the same problems with the whirlpool washers. bought in 2010 from sears first one they replaced within a week. mine eats my clothes, only works on certain modes, has had water come out the bottom before and so on will never buy another front load again.


Maryann 2 years ago

My sister -in-law and I both have whirlpool front loaders. I have a problem with F-21 showing up, washer stops, and door locking. Means a drainage problem. My sister-in-law says she had to have the bottom panel opened, and there is a bottle like container with a screw on top that has to be emptied every 6 months or so. She said it is full of a sludge like substance. Has anyone ever had this happen? With the F-21 there is a sewer odor. I am tired of trying to get the washer to restart and finish the wash.


Turkan 2 years ago

I bought mine in 2012 August my husband replace the rubber ring because it got ripped, it was a big hole cost me $169 and it eats my clothes they have holes, never again I called them they say sorry I will never buy front load machine again the top load is the best.


mia 2 years ago

Same problems here, although we've gotten 10 years out of this whirlpool front loader, but never again. researching different brands now...


jim 2 years ago

Samsung front load washer 2 year old made loud noise in spin cycle tub bracket/spider broken corroding made of cast aluminum, called Samsung the will not do anything its out of warranty.

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