Washing machines are crucial to our daily lives. That’s why when things go wrong with a washer, it can feel like the whole world has collapsed. New models show an error code for each problem to help everyone diagnose and fix the problem, whether it’s the average homeowner or technician. For a detailed explanation of the error code F20 and how to tackle it, read on.
What Does It Mean When the Washer Says F20?
When the F20 error code appears on your Whirlpool washer, it indicates that the machine has automatically killed the cycle due to a water supply problem. A water supply issue means that there isn’t enough water for the appliance to do its job.
The machine uses the pressure switch or flow sensor to detect that there isn’t enough water. That being said, sometimes, the problem’s in the flow sensor itself.
Regardless of the source of the problem, it’s essential to fix it once you see the error code on the display. Otherwise, the Whirlpool washing machine won’t work.
How Do I Fix Error Code F20?
You can resolve the F20 error code by checking every suspected problem.
Suppose there’s no water in the washing drum. In that case, the usual suspects are closed hot and cold water faucets, clogged water inlet valve screens, water inlet hoses kinked, low water pressure, non-HE detergent, and flood-preventing devices.
However, if there’s water in the drum, the suspects are a faulty pressure switch or a drain that’s not working correctly. Here’s what to check in both cases.
There’s No Water in the Washing Machine Drum
The lack of water in the drum leads to a water supply problem. Your job is to find the reason the water can’t get in.
Inspect Both Water Faucets for a Hot or Cold Water Wash
Contrary to popular belief, for the drum to fill up with water, both the hot and cold water faucets need to be properly connected to the turned-on water supply system, not just one or the other.
The reason is that the machine needs the cold and hot water pressure to optimize the temperature, even in a cold water wash. And the water in a cold water wash can’t be at the right temperature without hot water.
You’ll find the hoses and their connectors in the back of your front-load washer. If the connectors are loose, tighten them. But if they’re screwed correctly and the inlet valves are turned on, check to see if the hoses themselves are damaged. In that case, you’ll have to replace them.
Examine the Filter Screens for the Water Inlet Valves
Unfortunately, the water inlet valve is one of these things that can get clogged once the debris builds up. That’s due to small objects, mineral deposits, or just dirt.
Start the process by completely turning off the water and unscrewing the water inlet hoses in the back of the washing machine. Now, pull out the water valve inlet screens, and visually inspect them for any clogging. If you find the washer clogged, now is the time to rinse it under the tap to remove the accumulated film.
When it’s clean, you can put everything back in its place and turn on the water. Finally, check for any leaks; the installation instructions will guide you through this step in detail.
Have a Look at the Inlet Hoses
Do you know how your garden hoses get caught up in each other sometimes and that when they do, they don’t work properly? This is precisely the case for the hoses of your Whirlpool washing machine.
If you find the water inlet hoses kinked or twisted, all you have to do is straighten them out. In addition, make sure that no other appliance or object is accidentally standing on the hoses or blocking them. Sometimes, it’s the washing machine that’s doing the twisting and crushing.
Check the Water Pressure
One of the most common washing machine issues is low water pressure, which affects the water flow. So, check to see if the water pressure is okay with these methods that every homeowner must know.
The first is to check if there’s anybody else in the house using water. They could be showering or cleaning the backyard. The higher the number of household faucets running at the same time, the lower the water pressure gets.
Another method is to put a bucket under the water hoses so that it collects all the dripping. Then, disconnect the attached hoses, and inspect their openings for any debris or dirt. If you find any, clean the debris so that the water pressure returns to normal.
If it doesn’t return to normal, it’s time to get in touch with your local water company so that it can inform you of your exact pounds per square inch or PSI. Ideally, it should be higher than 11.
Switch to a High-Efficiency Detergent
If you’ve never heard of a HE detergent (high-efficiency detergent), it could be why your Whirlpool washer got an F20 error code. To elaborate, you need to choose the correct detergent, which is an HE detergent, if you want your front-load washer to function. If you don’t already have it, you’ll find it with the HE logo on the box.
The reason is that regular detergent is too soapy, leaving behind excess suds, soap scum, and bubbles. This build-up of excessive suds could get the machine clogged, making it unable to detect the incoming water. However, the high-efficiency detergent cleans without leaving a bubbly mess behind.
Look at Your Flood-Preventing Devices
Flood-safe devices are an excellent way to prevent a possible leak or flood. They do so through a water valve that’s installed inside the hoses to regulate the water pressure. When the PSI rises above a specific limit, which is two gallons per minute, it’ll shut off the water to prevent any leaks.
You may wonder when the water flow becomes too strong; you’ll notice the hose with flood-safe devices becoming too loose. The solution is to change these devices if they need replacement.
There’s Water in the Drum
There might be water in the drum, yet you still have an F20 error code. In that case, the issue has to be one of two things: the pressure switch or drain pump.
Get the Pressure Switch Checked Out
The pressure switch is located inside the Whirlpool washing machine, and it’s why the machine hasn’t flooded yet. It acts as a water supply pressure sensor that protects the appliance from overflowing.
That being said, the pressure switch is a nightmare when it malfunctions because the F20 error code won’t go away, and you won’t be able to fix it on your own. So, if you have a faulty pressure switch, contact the washer’s manufacturer.
Examine the Drain Pump
You’ll find this pump under the washer tub, and it’s essential to the operation of your appliance. Otherwise, if you’ve tried everything so far and the error code hasn’t gone away, the problem is with the pump. Therefore, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer to replace it.
While the F20 error code might initially seem intimidating, it isn’t the end of the world. Merely check the drum for water, and act accordingly.
On the one hand, no water in the drum means that something got clogged, such as the inlet valves or the whole machine (due to using the wrong detergent). Also, it could be that the hot or cold water line isn’t connected, as you need both hot and cold water. And maybe the flow of the water isn’t enough.
On the other hand, if there’s water in the drum, that means either the pressure switch or drain isn’t working:
The whole point of fixing washing machine problems is to ensure that everything’s connected, functional, undamaged, and unclogged. If all fails, there’s no shame in consulting with a certified technician or contacting the manufacturer directly to get everything checked out for you.