Electrolux Washer Code E21 -Troubleshooting Guide

Do you see error code E21 light on your Electrolux washer? It happens during the cycle and beeps or flashes twice. What does it mean? You see your washer isn’t draining, the drum isn’t turning and there is an unusual noise. How to fix it?

Go to the bottom of this article for other relevant Error Codes on Electrolux Washers.

The Electrolux washer code E21 code is telling you that water isn’t pumping out of the tub quickly enough. The noise you hear could be from a blocked drainpipe. Other associated problems could be a faulty drain pump, pressure sensor, or mainboard. 

The reason why your tub stopped spinning is that the Electrolux has a safety feature that stops the machine if something isn’t working correctly. This isn’t a big problem and is something you can diagnose and fix yourself. All you need is some information and the step-by-step guide listed below to help you through the process. 

What Do You Need to Do? code E21

There are several checks you will need to do to figure out exactly what is wrong and follow through with the solution. Start with the draining hose first. 

Check the Drain Hose

The problem could be a drain hose blockage. Drain hoses can get moved as the washed is used so it could be in the wrong position to function correctly.

The hose should be no more than 4 inches (10 cm) into the drain. It should have a height level of between 2 feet (60 cm) and 4 feet (100 cm) above the washer’s base. Also, look to see if the drain hose has a kink or twist in it. Straighten out the hose and see if that works.

Check the Drain for Blockage

Noise is almost certainly a blocked drain, so you should check it. To do that, look at the hose connected to the sink trap. Look to see if the sink is draining normally. Then, look to where the drain hose is connected to the water. That is most likely where the blockage is.

You may have to clamp off the hose and remove it to check for a blockage. Be sure to have a bucket and towels ready for spillage. 

Take a Break

This would be a good time to switch off the washer’s power and let it sit for a couple of hours before trying out the wash cycle again. Sometimes, a bimetal fuse cuts power to the pump if the pump is blocked. It works normally after the pump cools down.

If that doesn’t get your washer started again, move on to check the pump and filter for clogs and broken pieces.

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Look to the Pump and Filter


The next thing to check is whether the pump and filter are blocked. Cleaning this system includes also cleaning the pump blade. Visible blades can be rotated with a pencil. 

Once you’ve cleaned the pump and filter with clean water, check to see if the washer works. If it does, run it through a small cycle of only water to clear out the drainage system. Afterward, run a diagnostic cycle to pick up on any other codes and warnings. 

What Do I Do If It Doesn’t Work?

The next few steps involve a serious look at the drain pump and mainboard. It may take some time to go step-by-step but doing so will get you to a resolution. 

  • First, check the input power supply to the drain pump. It should be 120 VAC.  Anything less than that should prompt you to check wiring connections.
  • Assuming that is at proper levels, you will want to look at the resistance measurement of the drain pump. You do this by measuring it with a multimeter on the main board’s connector between J4-3 and J4-4. It should be between 13 Q and 16Q.

You can buy one of the devices to check the resistance at a local hardware store. 

  • A bad resistance number should prompt you to measure it directly on the pump. A bad number there means you need to replace the pump. A good number should lead you to check and replace the pump’s wiring.
  • A good resistance number on the mainboard should prompt you to check the pump rotor. It may be blocked or broken. Clean it and see if that works. If not, then it will need to be replaced. 

You may not like the idea of digging around in a drain pump but it may be something you need to do to figure out the problem.

  • First, unplug the machine. Now, take out the screws holding the panel. Take out the panel. You’ll have to tilt it out and lift it out too.
  • Now, the drain pump is connected to the hose and you should be able to visiually find it by looking at the panel’s bottom area. 
  • Undo the clamp on the pump and take off the drain hose.
  • The next step is removing the belt from motor. You can take the belt off the pump’s flywheel using just your fingers. It should stretch enough for you to remove it.
  • Now, turn the flywheel. A failure to turn easily means it’s blocked by something. To find out what, dig down the drain outlet with your finger and touch around the impellers to see if they are broken or blocked.
  • Use your other hand to turn the flywheel. You may want to look inside with a flashlight to see if there are broken pieces.
  • Remove any clogs. You will need a pump replacement if you see it’s broken. A broken pump means you will need to call a repairman to replace it.

Electrolux Machines Reviews

Unique features in this washer include SmartBoost, a feature that mixes detergent and water before the cycle starts. It uses a lot less water than other machines, totaling an average of 4,154 gallons a year. It is smart with energy too, using just 85 kilowatts an hour. This water is Energy Star rated with the title of Most Efficient Clothes Washer 2021.


How do I reset the Electrolux washer?

All you need to do is reset your Electrolux washer is unplug it, wait a solid 30 seconds, and plug it back into the outlet.

How to run diagnostic mode on an Electrolux washer?

Running the diagnostic cycle is one of the easiest things to do with this washer. However, getting into the diagnostic mode can be confusing if you’ve never done it before.

Yet, the diagnostic mode is where you want to go running a diagnostic testing cycle. To enter the cycle, press the cancel button and then any other button within 10 seconds.

  • You now have five seconds to turn the selector knob far left. That gets you into the control board. Next, you have to get into the diagnostic mode.
  • The far left button and the cancel button must be held down at the same time for three seconds. The lights will flash to show you are in the diagnostic system.
  • You will be turning the program knob clockwise from the starting position to check various aspects of the washer.
  • Once activates the hot water solenoid.
  • Two runs the bleach water solenoid.
  • Three checks the wash water and bleach solenoids.
  • Four starts the prewash solenoid.
  • Five deactivates the door look. This will allow you to open the door and check to see if the light is on.
  • Six locks the door again. The washer will start tumbling and the boost heater will work.
  • Seven makes sure the drain pump works.
  • Nine lists any error codes. E00 means everything is fine. Write the codes down to give to your repairman.
  • Turning the knob 10 clicks will allow you to get the latest software.

To finish up, turn the knob clockwise back to the start position. Press the far left and cancel buttons at the same time and hold until the lights stop.

How Do I force the Electrolux washer to drain? 

A bucket and your fingers are all you need to force your washer to drain. Put a large bucket near you to dump the drain hose into. Wiggle the drain hose from the pipe. Hold it in the air until you are ready to dump water. Then, lower the hose into the bucket. Gravity will take over. 

You may need to pause during this process to empty the bucket. No problem. Just reattach the drain hose to the pipe and empty the bucket. Be sure to continually hold the hose lower than the water level in the washer tub for it to keep draining. Drain the entire washer basin.


Fixing drainage issues is a yucky job but it’s easy to do with your Electrolux front-load washer. If you start looking at hoses and external elements first, you are likely to resolve the problem before you must get into the bowels of the drain pump. 

You will find there aren’t too many serious issues with this washer and many things can be fixed as a DIY project. That makes it easier and cheaper to own. You can also look in the manual for step-by-step instructions to fix many things. That makes the Electrolux washer a great washer to own.

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