Gone are the days of ambiguous washing machine errors. Now we have the revolutionary Whirlpool Duet washer, a fully electronic washer that gives you more control than before.
But with the advancement of washers comes a few caveats, the biggest of which is more parts that could become faulty and produce an error code.
Fortunately, the new Whirlpool Duet washers let you know what’s wrong, and one of the common errors you can get on the display is an F28 error code.
“What is an F28 error code?” we hear you ask. Well, read on as we explain what an F28 error is, what causes it, and how to repair your washer if you get it.
The Dreaded Whirlpool Duet F28 Error Code
What Does It Mean?
In layman’s terms, an F28 error code means there’s a serial communication error between some parts in your Whirlpool Duet Sport washer.
More specifically, the F28 error code means your washer’s central control unit (CCU) and motor control unit (MCU, also called a motor control board) aren’t communicating with each other, or there’s a loose connection between the two boards.
What Are the Central Control Unit and Motor Control Unit?
For those who don’t know, the CCU board is the brain of your washer, as it controls everything it does, from filling and draining to agitating and spinning.
On the other hand, the MCU powers the washer’s motor, as the name implies. Without the MCU, your washer would receive instructions but not have the ability to perform them. So in a way, it’s the muscle of your washer.
How Do These Boards Communicate?
Because we’re not yet in the age of Wi-Fi washing machines, the boards in your Whirlpool washer, such as the CCU, MCU, and front panel UI, send data through a set of wires called the serial communications cables.
During a data exchange, the parts have to verify the data before doing anything with it. During verification, any error discovered is known as a serial communications error, and your Whirlpool Duet Washer will throw you an error code to let you know.
What Causes It?
If the last part sounds like a big deal, don’t worry because it’s not.
Given the environment in which these boards operate, some moisture can interfere with the electricity, which can cause an electric mishap.
Again, this is very rarely a serious problem since even the slightest mishap can cause a confusing signal-to-noise ratio that disturbs communication between the different boards. In other words, it’ll throw you this error.
Could Either of My Washer’s Boards Be Broken?
Probably not. It’s a communication error, not a bad circuit board nor a faulty control panel that’s to blame here.
And yeah, maybe you know someone who faced the same error and told you they fixed it by replacing the main central control board or the motor control board.
But in almost all cases of error code F28, the boards are fine. Let me remind you of two things: first, the Whirlpool washer is an electronic washing machine with different boards that need to communicate with each other so that the washer runs smoothly.
Second, the error code description says it all: it’s a communications error, or in other words, a loose connection.
However, in some rare cases, the error will be caused by failed components, and we’ll cover that in a bit.
How to Fix the Whirlpool Washer F28 Error
As we said before, the F28 error isn’t a big deal in almost all cases.
However, it can be inconvenient because many different things can cause a serial communication error, and it’s not always going to be instantly apparent.
We’ll go over two possible solutions: rebooting the control board and fixing the wire harness.
First, Run a Diagnostic Test
OK, we know we said that the F28 error is rarely a problem with the boards. Emphasis on “almost.”
In some sporadic cases, a faulty CCU or MCU can cause a communication error, though most of the time, when one of these boards is broken, you should be getting other more severe errors instead.
Anyway, to verify CCU operation, you need to run a quick diagnostic test.
Pick three buttons apart from power, start, and cancel, and press these buttons in sequence three times in a row. For example, ABCABCABC. Note that this has to happen within 8 seconds.
If the test doesn’t return any errors, then your boards should be fine. However, if it does show an error, then you’ll have to replace the faulty board. There’s no way around this.
Solution 1: Reboot the CCU
We’ll start with the simpler solution. You don’t need to be an expert technician to do this, but you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver, then follow these five simple steps.
- Unplug the washer (always unplug before maintenance to disconnect power).
- Open the detergent tray on top of the machine, remove its screws, then pull it off.
- Pull the reset lever on the central control unit.
- Screw the detergent tray back on.
- Plug the washer to reconnect power and test it.
If you’re still getting the F28 error after this, then move on to the next solution.
Solution 2: Check Wire Harness Connections
This solution is a bit more advanced than the previous one, so if you’re still on warranty, call a technician to come to fix it for you. If not, then follow along to check the wiring connections.
You’ll need to access the insides of the washer, so unplug the washer from the wall outlet and unscrew the detergent tray on top again.
On the CCU’s left, you’ll see several bundles of wires, the furthest of which should be blue. This is our target, as it connects to the MCU.
Next, you need to disconnect the MCU wire to tighten the harness connection points. For this step, you’ll need something thin to poke with.
Do you see the gaps in the harness with three tines on each end? These are bendable, so use your poker to bend them down a bit.
Before you plug the harness back, check the metal pads that the harness connects to. An oxidized pad can disrupt communications and cause the error. If you’d like to channel your inner technician, you can take the CCU apart and use solder to remove the oxidized bits.
Last, put everything back together, plug the MCU wire back into the CCU, then shut the detergent tray. Plug the machine back in, and everything should be fine by now.
Other Whirlpool Duet Washer Error Codes
This is it for our overview on the Whirlpool F28 error. To recap, this error means there’s a connection error between the CCU and the MCU, which can happen because of an electric mishap or loose connections in your washing machine.
To fix this error, you can either try rebooting the CCU or tightening the harness connecting the CCU and the MCU.