High-efficiency washers today can get great. They save on water and energy and have many features that alert you when something is wrong. However, their codes can be both annoying and confusing.
The Maytag washer code F21 means there is a long drain problem. The symptoms are that the washer stops in mid-cycle, the door won’t open and the drum won’t drain.
It may be an aggravation when this code happens but this article will tell you all you need to know about identifying the source of the problem and fixing it without needing to call a service technician.
Diagnosing the issue yourself will also help your service technician if they do come out because it will save them time and effort trying to sort out the issue. That will save you money in the long run.
Why Does My Maytag Have a Drain Problem?
Three common reasons exist why your washing machine is having a long drain issue. It could be that the drain hose is kinked or there is a clog. It could also be that you aren’t using high-efficiency detergent.
Understand that the issue is the water isn’t draining. That is why your machine stopped in mid-cycle. The pressure sensor messages the control panel that the water has reached the proper level and to stop water from entering the drum.
Likewise, it sends messages of when water is drained so the next cycle can start.
Your Maytag is programmed to drain the water within eight minutes. The water inlet valves will automatically shut off if it takes longer than that. The issue you need to figure out is why it is taking longer than that to drain.
The door lock is also merely a symptom of a drain issue. The door lock will not open as long as there is water in the drum. Drain the drum and the door lock will work fine.
How Do I Fix the Problem?
First, make sure you are using the right kind of laundry detergent. You need one that is made for high-efficiency machines. Those made for standard machines tend to make too many suds that block the drain.
If you are using the correct detergent, the next thing to do is to make sure the pump works. You turn the washer on to do that. It should come on but still may not drain. Turn it back off.
Check Drain Hose
The next thing to check is the drain hose. Sometimes, it can get repositioned where it is kinked or blocked in some way after years of use. Make sure it is straight.
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You will also want to check the drain hose for clogs. You can do this by putting a tool called a “snake” into the open end of the hose that was in the drainpipe. A snake is a long coil that can be used to unclog pipes and drains.
You can also try blowing into the open end hard to unclog any debris that might be up in there. However, make sure you drain out all the water from the drum before you disconnect the drain hose from the drain. Get a bucket to catch water when you do or you will have a mess.
Checking Other Components
Once you’ve checked the drain hose, unplug the washer from the outlet and turn off the water to the machine. You need to check the pump and the pump filter.
The pump is always located near the floor in the Maytag washer. Some models have it in the front left portion of the machine while others locate it at the back of the washer. In some models, like the front load washers, you can access the drain pump by removing the lower front panel. In top load washers, you must remove the back panel.
Use a voltage meter to test the drain pump’s electrical connections to make sure it is producing enough voltage.
Check the drain pump filter for any foreign objects. The filter is the round turn knob on the drain pump.
Twist it out counter-clockwise and remove it to check for debris. Be sure to check the cavity also because it can also collect lint, dirt, and grime. Clean it under running water and put it back.
Once you have everything back in place, plug the washer back in and turn it on. Select your cycle and press start to see if it works.
You will need to unplug it and call a service professional if the code keeps coming back.
Should I clean the drain filter regularly?
Yes, most experts advise cleaning your drain filter about once a month depending on how much you use your washer. Dirt, sand, grime accumulated from clothes over time and end up in the filter, along with coins, buttons, and material threads. It’s good to keep a check on it.
A clogged filter is a common problem to many Maytag washer draining issues. It’s such a simple thing to remedy that you should do it regularly to keep your washer running well.
What do I do if I used the wrong detergent?
You can remove suds by manually scooping the suds out with a pitcher or bucket. After you do that, put the washer on a rinse cycle to dilute the remaining suds. It should work if suds are the problem.
How do I clean my water inlet hoses?
Water inlet hoses are easy to clean. Turn off your water source. Now, unscrew the inlet hose from the back of your washer.
Look inside the inlet hose. Remove the rubber gasket. Take out the mesh filter and clean it.
What do I do to reset my Maytag washer?
It takes only three steps to reset your Maytag washer.
- Press the power/cancel button.
- Pick the wash cycle you want.
- Press the start/pause button again.
Your Maytag washer is now reset and you can continue with your cycle.
How can I get into the diagnostic mode on my Maytag washer?
Although most appliance experts don’t like non-service technicians to get into the diagnostic mode, it is a good way to test your machine occasionally.
Running a diagnostic test should be done with caution. There are moving parts working and the tests bypass some of the machine’s safety features.
- To get into diagnostic mode on a Maytag washer, first, make sure the washer has power and all the indicator lights are off. It should be in standby mode.
- Hold down a button on the console for three seconds. Pick any button except the start, power, or stop buttons. Release it and then hold it down for three more seconds. Do this process one more time.
You will now be in diagnostic mode. The lights will turn on and that will last about five seconds. You will also see an “88” on the display. If none of this happens, go through the process again using a different button.
Now that you are in diagnostic mode, the display will show all the fault codes. If there are no fault codes, the lights will turn off again and come back with the “88” on them. The washer will start an automatic test in five seconds.
Write down any errors to give to your service tech. Press either the power or stop button to exit the program.
Can I drain my Maytag washer manually?
Maytag washers can be drained manually if you have a drain problem and are waiting for a service technician.
- Get a bucket and some towels. Turn off the power, unplug it, and turn off the water taps. Move the washer away from the wall.
- Remove your laundry. Take a pitcher or bucket and remove as much water from the drum as you can.
- Then, disconnect the drain hose from the drain and lower it into the bucket to get the rest of the water out of the drum.