Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Maytag Repair Man

Some time back I bragged up our front load washer.  We have had the washer for nearly 2 years without problems.  A month of so ago we began having problems with it not wanting to finish a wash cycle.  It kept flashing a code of F21.  I searched online for others having this problem and possible fixes.  I found a few discussions about it but nothing concrete. 

I put off repairing the washer, I had visions of hours spent lying on the floor trying to get my hands in tiny places only to have my attempt end in frustration and a need to purchase an expensive part.  After spending hours yesterday trying to wash a few loads of laundry and having to repeatably drain the tub my wife had enough and it was time to repair this thing. 

Prior to working on any electrical device unplug the device from the wall and/or turn off the breaker supplying power to the device.
I started out by getting my toolbox out.  I then took a look at the washer to see if I could determine how to take it apart.  By lying on the floor I saw three machine screws along the bottom edge of the front cover.  I used a long 1/4" socket to remove the screws as seen in this picture.

Removing the three machine screws with a 1/4" socket with an extension.

Once the front cover was off I found the drain pump on the right side of the washer.  By pushing on the washer drum I could hear water inside so I took a cookie baking sheet and placed it on the floor under the front of this drain.

Disconnect the power supply prior to working on the unit.

Notice the power supply to the pump.  It is on the right side of the pump.  Simply lift the plastic cover and remove the power plug from the drain pump.

Turn counter clockwise to remove.

18 months of nastiness was found.  Pull the filter straight out.

Notice the mold and mildew.  Do not forget to clean this with bleach.
Washing the filter.

Simply pull the top away from the bottom to clean the inside of the filter.

Spray a bleach solution into the housing to kill any mold or mildew.

Replace the filter into the housing.

Tighten by turning clockwise.

Keep turning until the green tabs meet.

Reconnect the power supply.

 What a weird place to find the service directions.  On the back of the front plate.

Replace the three machine screws at the bottom edge of the front plate.

Plug your washer back in and you are ready to wash.  You will want to watch for leaks.  Total time for repair was ten minutes and that was with me taking pictures of each step. 

As you can see it was pretty straight forward in fixing the F21 fault code on my Maytag front load washing machine.  The repair manual found behind the front plate has instructions for running diagnostics and also outlines what steps to take for each of the other possible fault codes.  You would think that when you purchase a front load washer that someone would tell you that you should clean the filter periodically.  We are going to clean ours each time we set the clocks forward or back for daylight saving time.  This is also when we change out batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

Good luck, I hope your fix is as easy as mine was!

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