How To Fix Kenmore Washer F21 Code

Has your laundry day turned into a soggy mess? This could be a result of your Kenmore washer showing the f21 fault code. While signaling a drainage problem, your Kenmore Washer f21 code doesn’t mean resigning yourself to a mountain of wet clothes.

Before decoding this drain issue, let’s find out which models show this error message. There are various models displaying this message, including:

  • Kenmore HE2 Plus-  Model number 110.47512600
  • Kenmore Elite HE- Model 790.6067
  • Kenmore Elite HE- Model 790.6068
  • Kenmore 110 Series- Models 110.26732
  • Kenmore 110 Series- Model 110.26752
  • Kenmore 90 Series- Model 904.6022
  • Kenmore 90 Series- Model 904.6042
  • Kenmore Model 110.46462501
  • Kenmore HE2T

What Does F21 Mean On A Kenmore Washer?

  • Meaning: The f21 error code on a Kenmore washer’s screen indicates a long drain error. This code usually appears mid-cycle.
  • Safety Feature: Like many error codes, the f21code acts as a safety alert. Your Kenmore washing machine halts the current cycle when it detects prolonged drain time. This automatic safety feature prevents potential overflowing.
  • Impact on Use: When this error message flashes on the washer’s screen, the cycle stops. This leaves you with a load of sudsy, undrained clothes.
  • Warning Signs: Besides the obvious error message, you may notice unusual pump spluttering noise during the cycle. Also, you may find excess water pooling around the base.
  • Importance of Addressing: Addressing the F21 error is essential to ensure your laundry routine returns to its regular rhythm. If you ignore this Kenmore washer f21 code, bigger problems will occur down the drain line. A persistent clog can strain the washer’s pump or even cause water damage.

Why Does Your Kenmore Washer Show F21 Code?

The inconvenience of a Kenmore washer f21 leaves you with a standstill laundry day. However, this is not a complicated issue, as it only signifies the appliance’s inability to get rid of water.

There are several possible culprits behind this predicament. Let’s take a look at them:

1. Clogged Drainage System

A stubborn clog in this system is the primary culprit behind the f21 error code. Excess lint, buttons, or even rogue coins can get trapped in the drain hose, preventing water from flowing freely. This tube channels wastewater away from the tub after the wash cycle is complete.

Moreover, a clogged drain pump filter can trigger this code. This tiny net catches loose threads, buttons, lint, or debris that might sneak past the inner drum during washing. So, your washer’s drain pump filter saves the drain hose from clogs.

2. Drain Pump Problems

Beyond clogs and similar culprits, the f21 error code can be an indication of a drain pump problem. So, a malfunctioning drain pump can be responsible for this f21 washer. In this case, you may notice unusual noises coming from the pump’s direction.

This tiny pump comes with a fast-spinning impeller to push wastewater out of the tub. A damaged impeller is the main reason for drain pump issues.

3. Excessive Detergent and Washing Machine Cleaner

Sometimes, you can trigger the f21 code by your eagerness to get the cleanest clothes.. Using too much detergent or even excessive amounts of washing machine cleaner can create a sudsy situation. While this action may trigger the s ud fault code, the oversuds can overwhelm the washer’s ability to rinse properly. This leads to the dreaded F21 error code.

From personal experience, one of the clearest hints to diagnose this problem is the sight of a lot of foam lingering even during the rinse cycle.

4. Defective Electrical Connections

While clogs and detergent issues are the usual suspects for the F21 code, there’s a small chance the culprit could be electrical (for clarification, these are less common). Loose connections to the thermistor (water temperature sensor) or the lid switch (detects closed washer lid) might confuse the control board, triggering the F21 code.

Rarer issues that may trigger your Kenmore washer f21 code include the fan heating element wire or fan cable (drying cycle components in some models).

While these could theoretically cause an F21 code due to control board miscommunication, they’d more likely trigger a different message like “pf error code” related to drying issues.

5. Water Flow Problems

While less common, water flow problems can contribute to the appearance of the F21 code on your Kenmore washer. Issues such as insufficient water supply pressure, clogged water supply line hoses, or partially closed water supply faucets can disrupt the normal flow of water into your Kenmore washer. This can trigger the F21 code as the washer’s water level sensor may not detect the correct water level for any selected cycle.

Additionally, a clogged drain plug or possible motor error can further impact water flow and potentially lead to damage.

If you suspect water flow problems, it’s better to check the water supply, measure water pressure, and consult the owner’s manual or a professional technician for appropriate troubleshooting steps.

How To Fix Kenmore Washer F21 Code

If resetting doesn’t give you a clear error screen, you should shift to troubleshooting the potential causes. Let’s dive into the possible fixes.

1. How To Fix Clogged Drainage System

When addressing blockages in the drainage system, here’s what to do:

  1. Start by cleaning the drain pump filter.
  2. Find the pump filter cover at the front bottom of machine.
  3. Bring a screwdriver (for regular or Torx screws depending on the model) to remove the cover and access the filter.
  4. While you’re at it, check the drain hose for clogs or potential damage by disconnecting it from the back of the washer.
  5. If it is damaged, you’ll replace it with a new hose. But if it has obvious blockages, clear them out with a long object or a hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Pro-tip: Maintaining a clean drain pump filter can help prevent future clogs and F21 errors.

2. How To Fix Drain Pump Issues

Tackling drain pump issues requires consulting an appliance expert. The pump may malfunction due to a defective impeller or a failed motor. DIY fixes won’t be useful in this case, as you might need to replace the entire pump or the whole motor assembly.

3. How To Fix Excessive Detergent and Washing Machine Cleaner

The presence of excessive suds during the dry cycle points to excessive use of detergent and cleaners for causing problems to your Kenmore washer.

To avoid excessive foam from the incorrect use of detergent you should stick to the recommended detergent dosage for your Kenmore washer load size.

Also, run an empty rinse cycle with just water to clear out any excess detergent buildup.

4. How To Fix Defective Electrical Connections

If you suspect the thermistor or lid switch is causing the F21 error, it’s time to inspect these components. The best way to do so is by using a multimeter. If they fail the continuity test, it’s time to let them go.

You can try looking for them inside the washer’s front part. You will need to remove the screws holding the front access panel and look for each component.

You can identify the thermistor from its appearance. Look for a small probe near the washer tub with a wire harness connected to it.

Also, locate the lid switch near the top, close to the washer lid hinge. Look for a small rectangular box with a lever or tab that gets pressed when the lid closes.

5. How To Fix Water Flow Problems

  1. Check the Water Supply: Ensure the water faucets are fully open and there are no kinks in the types of hoses connecting the washer to the water source. Address this by making the suspected faucet fully open, straightening, or replacing the hoses.
  2. Measure Household Water Pressure: Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended water pressure for your Kenmore washer model. If the pressure seems low, contact your water provider to investigate.
  3. Clogged Water Inlet Filters: Some models have washer’s water inlet filters located where the hoses connect to the washer. Check your manual for instructions on cleaning these filters if applicable.
  4. Seek professional help for complexities: If you’ve checked the water supply and pressure and the problem persists, consult your user manual or call a technician to diagnose the issue. There could be a clogged drain plug at the bottom of washer or a defective motor causing this dilemma.

How To Reset Kenmore Washer F21 Code

Resetting your Kenmore washer might be useful for clearing the F21 code and resuming normal operation. Here’s how to reset it:

  1. Find the control buttons on the front panel. Press the pause button to stop the current cycle time.
  2. Before proceeding with the reset process, check the drain discharge for blockages. Also, consult the manual in case your specific Kenmore washer model has different resetting instructions.
  3. Disconnect power by unplugging the washer for approx 30 seconds or a minute.
  4. Reconnect the power, and start a new cycle.
  5. During the spin cycle, observe if the F21 code reappears.

This process helps ensure your washer functions efficiently. It is also helpful in clearing any oe, ie fault codes or fault code d.


In conclusion, your Kenmore F21 error code often stems from clogged drainage systems or pump issues, as detailed in this article.

Other possible, yet less common causes include excessive detergent and washing machine cleaner usage, defective electrical connections, and water flow problems.

To address these issues, the manufacturer and reliable repair technicians recommend cleaning the drain pump filter, consulting an appliance expert for drain pump repairs, adjusting detergent usage, inspecting and replacing faulty electrical connections, and checking the water supply, pressure, and filters.

Seeking professional assistance and referring to the manual may be your best bet in some complex issues.

Experiencing further front load washer error codes, including te error code or ue code? Check out these articles for proper insight: LG Washer TE Error and LG Washer UE Code.

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