Maytag Washer Code F51 – Troubleshooting Guide

The water has filled your Maytag washer and then, all of a sudden, you get an F51 error on the display. Unfortunately, this is one of the more complicated problems that can occur with these washers. You can fix it yourself if you’re handy. Otherwise, you may consider calling a service technician.

A Maytag washer code F51 means there is a sensor and control board fault or connection issue. Technically, it’s called a motor rotor position sensor failure (RPS). This can be corrected by either cleaning the sensor, possibly reconnecting it or it may need replacement. 

What is happening is that the control board isn’t getting the right resistance on the motor circuit. It could also mean our rotor position sensor is bad

What Should You Do?

You need to get to the RPS and check the connection to the control board and probably clean it and all the contacts if there’s corrosion

Before you jump into that project, make sure you aren’t overloading the washing machine. There could be a piece of clothing or a towel stuck between the tubs or under the agitator.

Sometimes, especially if you are washing smaller items, things can get stuck. 

Checking the Agitator

To check under the agitator, you will need to remove the washer drum. This is a fairly simple task with a top load washer but the procedure would be the same for a front load washer as well. Turn off the power and water supply before you start any work.

  1. On top-loading washers, take the door shut with two strips of strong tape. Take a screwdriver and put in the slots under the top front panel so that the panel comes up. Then, you will see the panel surrounding the drum.
  2. Take a screwdriver and press in the tabs on the left corner. Use pliers to loosen the clamp on the water hose and disconnect the hose. Then, the top panel surrounding your drum should come off easily.
  3. Looking at your drum, take a screwdriver and pry off the circular cover in the middle. Using a socket wrench, unscrew the bolt in the middle. Remove the bottom section. Now, you will see a mechanism with six screws in the middle. Unscrew the six screws and remove that piece.
  4. You will see another mechanism with a circular portion in the middle called the tub hub. Take the small, circular portion off the bolt. It should come out easily. 

Now, you can pull the drum out. Set it aside. Look at the bottom. You will likely find clothing, socks, coins, and other items at the bottom. Remove items. 

You will see a white panel. Remove it. You will likely find money and other items in the little tray. This could be what is clogging the drain and circulation pump. Clean everything out and put everything back together as you found it.

Try your washer on a clean, empty cycle. The code should disappear. If not, you will need to start looking at the sensor.

Check the Voltage to the Unit

Checking the voltage will show whether your rotor position sensor is bad. You will need to plug your washer back in for this test but be careful because you could get shocked if you touch some wires. 

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On a top-load washer, you open up the control panel by prying up the part of the washer where the dials are. You do this by using a screwdriver to lift under the surface panel on the right and left. It will lift and you can see the control panel. 

  1. To check the voltage, put a probe of the voltmeter on the purple or number 1 connection and one on the last connection in the row. It is usually white.
  2. Your reading should be 120 if everything is working. Now, check the red and white connection and the white connection. The final check is the pink connection with the white one. All readings should be 120.
  3. If the readings are off, you will need to remove the connector and clean it so that all the corrosion is gone. Turn off the power before you do that. Reinstall it to the sensor. 

Try to run a cycle. The RPS will need to be replaced if the error pops up again. You can replace it yourself, but at that point, it may be best to call a service technician especially if your machine is under warranty. Maytags have long warranties and this type of repair may be covered. 


How can I reset my Maytag washer?

There are a couple of ways to reset your washer and clear the codes. The first way is to press the power/cancel button, then pick a wash cycle, and then press the start-pause button

The second way is to unplug it from the wall, wait a solid minute and plug it back into the wall outlet. You should see the codes are gone from your washer’s display.

How can I get into the diagnostic mode on my Maytag washer?

Running a diagnostic test should be done with caution because of the moving part and some safety features will be bypassed for the test to work correctly. For the test, the washer needs to be on and in standby mode. 

  • Hold down any of the buttons on the console for three seconds, except the power, start or stop buttons.
  • Release the button and then press it again for an additional three seconds. Do this a third time to get into the diagnostic mode.
  • The washer’s indicator lights will turn on and off after five seconds. An “88” will appear on the display.
  • Then the display will show fault codes. You will need to write them down. If there aren’t any errors, the lights will turn on, then off, and the “88′ will appear again Then the washer will start testing itself in five seconds.
  • Once the test is complete, press the stop or power button to exit the testing mode.

How do I clean my water inlet hoses?

Sometimes, you have to clean out your water inlet hose filters. First, turn off the water going to the machine. Disconnect the inlet hose from the bach of the machine. Look inside and you will see a rubber gasket.

You will remove this to get to the mess filter. Take it out and clean it under running water and put it back together. The other hose can be cleaned the same way. 

Why does my Maytag washing machine smell?

A drum that won’t drain can cause laundry to sit in wetness. Laundry that sits wet for a long time, like overnight, may cause an odor. Wet laundry is ripe for the growth of fungus and mildew. A dark tub with soaked clothes is the perfect breeding ground for odors and bacteria. 

You will likely need to wash your laundry a second time because drying only amplifies the smell. You may want to throw some baking soda at this time to cut the odor down. 

After you’ve done your laundry, trying running the machine on a clean wash with some white vinegar in the water to get rid of the smell from the tank. About a cup of vinegar should work. 

Can I drain my Maytag washer manually?

It’s pretty simple to drain your Maytag manually. All you need is some towels and a bucket or pitcher. 

Unplug your machine and turn off the water. Move the washer so you can get to the back of it. 

Remove your laundry. Take out as much water as you can with a bucket or pitcher. Then,  go to the back of the machine and disconnect the drain hose from the drain. Lower it into the bucket to get the rest of the water out of the drum.

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