Whirlpool Duet washers are one of the best front-load washers there are. However, even the most trusty appliance can break down every now and then.
Occasionally, your Whirlpool washer can stop working properly and throw you an F11 error code. But, what exactly does that code mean, and what can you do to eliminate it so that your washing machine can work as it once did?
We’ll tell you the solution and everything else you need to know. Keep reading!
What Does the F11 Error Code Mean on a Whirlpool Duet Washer?
The error code F11 is one of the trickier error codes to deal with. That’s because according to the series and model number of your washer, the F11 error code can mean different things on Whirlpool washing machines.
For a Whirlpool Duet washer starting with GHW in its model name, the F11 error code means a serial communication error between the motor control unit (MCU) and the central control unit (CCU).
Essentially, when something is wrong with one of these units or with the connections between them, they can’t communicate properly, and the washer won’t be able to work as it should.
On the other hand, an F11 error code on a Whirlpool Duet washer starting with WFW in its model name means that there’s an issue within the motor control unit itself. Thankfully, due to some redesigning and troubleshooting within this series, the central control unit was excluded from the list of problematic parts, making the main culprit almost always the MCU.
Causes of an F11 Error Code
The F11 error is either due to the CCU, MCU, the connections between them, or the parts they’re responsible for operating. Still, what can cause these parts to malfunction, and how can you know which part is the one responsible for the code? You’re just about to find out.
Faulty Central Control Board/Central Control Unit
The central control board is the part of the washer that controls all the washer’s functions from A-Z. If something goes wrong with one of its parts, the whole integrity of your washing machine is compromised.
And sometimes, its failure means the failure of the motor control panel as it’s one of the parts that the CCU controls. Therefore, if the F11 code appears, you can assume that you may have a failed CCU due to a short circuit or a burnt component. However, there’s a silver lining.
When a defective CCU causes the F11 error code, the error only appears sporadically, meaning that your appliance can occasionally complete a cycle, or the drum can spin a bit before the error occurs. Sometimes, you can even temporarily fix the CCU-induced F11 error if you hit the device from above.
Defective Motor Control Board/Motor Control Unit
Alternatively, the main control board is responsible for controlling the speed at which the washer spins. Without it, the drum won’t spin at all, and you’ll see the F11 error code as soon as the cycle starts. So, basically, your Whirlpool Duet washer will lock the door and begin to fill with water, then absolutely nothing.
Generally, any internal failure in this circuit board, such as repetitive over/under voltage or current surges, will necessitate that you replace the motor control board. Unfortunately, this can be quite costly.
Related: Bad Control Unit? Here’s what to do.
Damaged Drive System and Motor
The drive motor is the part that actually spins the drum, and the drive system is what connects it to the drum. So, if the motor or any part of the drive system has been worn or damaged in some other way, the washer won’t spin, and the F11 error code will pop up.
While they’re a bit uncommon, communication errors between the two control boards can occur. They can also occur between the motor control board and the drive motor. This is primarily due to a compromised wiring harness and connectors.
To clarify, these parts may have been broken or damaged by oxidation due to high moisture and humidity levels. They could’ve also come out of their place if the vibration of the washer was particularly powerful. Usually, this happens when users don’t correctly load their Whirlpool washer or if the washer is unlevel.
Tip: If the F11 error code is due to loose contacts, it’ll have an intermittent nature. So, some cycles will pass just fine, and others will stop after some point, similar to the CCU-induced error.
How to Troubleshoot and Fix the F11 Error Code
To fix the issue, first of all, check that the error wasn’t a fluke by unplugging your Whirlpool washer from the power source and restarting it after a minute or two. Then, clear your display by pressing the START/PAUSE button twice. If the error occurs again after you start the appliance, it’s time to look deeper.
Start by checking the wire harness connections to the MCU, CCU, and motor. Do so by disconnecting the wires and cleaning and tightening the contacts if you find anything out of place. Also, if you discover a broken connection, get a replacement, connect the appliance again, and see if the error code has cleared.
If it hasn’t, see if any worn or failed components in the drive system, i.e., the drum tub, pulley, belt, clutch, transmission, drive tube, and similar. Suppose you find any damaged part, repair or replace it, and try to rerun your washer.
If it still stops and shows you the F11 error, continue your examination by testing the motor. Run a continuity test on it and check it for powered rotations. If all is well, then the fault lies in one of the two control boards. And sometimes, if you’re really unlucky, both boards can be defective.
So, look at each circuit board and see if you can find any visual signs of damage, like black marks or burnt components. If you do, get a new board suitable for your Whirlpool washer model. Fortunately, replacement control boards are available everywhere, but they can be a bit pricey.
Lastly, if each circuit board is okay, go through the wiring harness and measure the resistance across the wires. Then, see if you can detect any broken or burnt ones. If you do find some, replace them at once, but know that you may have to change the whole wiring harness in some cases.
Other Whirlpool Duet Washer Error Codes
The error code F11 on a Whirlpool washing machine signifies some communications error or failures within the motor control unit or between it and the central control unit. Again, this will depend on your Whirlpool washer model number.
The average person can find it very challenging to access and determine the condition of these parts. So, call a professional repair service if you don’t know much about this area to get your washing machine repaired and fixed.
And if you do, don’t rush the process and go slowly through the suspected components, following the manufacturer’s instructions every step of the way.