What Does an F2 Error Code Mean on a Whirlpool Dishwasher?
No one wants to walk into their kitchen and discover a big puddle on the floor! Not only is there a mess to clean up, but it also means that your dishwasher is going to need some maintenance. Or perhaps you’ve woken up in the morning to discover the cycle never finished and there’s an error code flashing on your dishwasher’s display. If you are seeing “F2” or two flashing lights from your Whirlpool dishwasher, it means that you have a leak. Unfortunately, this won’t tell you where the leak is coming from, you’ll have to open up the machine and inspect further for that. The information below will help you troubleshoot the source of your leak, show you how to replace any damaged parts, and get your dishwasher back in action.
Please note that this information is related to correcting an F2 error code concerning a leak. Depending on your model, this error code will show up on your display as “F2” or you may see two flashing lights. Newer models of Whirlpool dishwashers have larger displays, and more detailed error codes. If your Whirlpool dishwasher is displaying “F2E1” or “F2E2” this is related to a User Interface issue, and not a leak.
How to Prevent a Whirlpool Dishwasher F2 Error Code
The first item you should check in your Whirlpool dishwasher is the filter. If you have not been regularly cleaning out the filter, food particles will begin to clog it up, and water will not drain from your machine properly. Keeping the filter clean will help keep other components of your dishwasher, like the drain pump, running more efficiently. If this task isn’t currently part of your cleaning routine, add it to your list at least once per month! If you scrape your dishes before loading, you can help prevent these clogs from happening.
The next item to check is if your dishwasher is level. If the machine wasn’t installed properly, water could be pooling, it won’t drain fully, and could cause a leak. Check that the machine is level from front to back, and from side to side, and make adjustments to the leveling legs if necessary.
The final preventative maintenance item to avoid dishwasher leaks is to ensure that you’re using the proper detergent. Excess suds will lead to leaks, so it is important to use the correct quantity of detergent in your machine. Whirlpool recommends pods or tablets for their machines, but powder or liquid detergent will also work. If you have hard water, a powder detergent works well against mineral buildup, whereas soft water supplies may clean better with liquid or pods. Note that liquid dishwasher detergent is different from the dish soap you use in the sink – it is designed to not bubble and suds up. Using dish soap in your dishwasher will create way too many bubbles, and those bubbles will likely leak out of the machine all over your floor.
Finding the Source of Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Leak
If you are able to catch the leak in action, the location the water is coming from can give you some clues as to what is causing the leak. If the water is leaking out from around the door, it is likely an issue with the door gasket or seal, the spray arm, or the float. If the water is coming from underneath the machine, there is likely an issue with the drain pump, the hose or its connections, or the water inlet valve.
Parts to Inspect to Clear a Whirlpool Dishwasher F2 Error Code
Before you begin inspecting any components of your Whirlpool dishwasher, begin by disconnecting the power and turning off the water supply.
A clogged pump, or one that has become defective, won’t be able to drain the water from your dishwasher, which may result in a leak if there is too much water in the machine. If the leak is coming from underneath the dishwasher, it is a good indicator that the pump may be the problem. The drain pump is normally found behind the access panel at the bottom of the dishwasher.
How to Inspect a Drain Pump
If the drain pump is clogged up with food debris, you can clean this out (along with the dishwasher’s filter) and your machine should drain normally again. If there are no visible clogs, you can use a multimeter to test if the pump is faulty. Set your multimeter to Rx1 and touch the terminals with the probes to test for continuity. If you get a reading of anything besides “zero” you will need a replacement drain pump.
How to Replace a Drain Pump on a Whirlpool Dishwasher
If you need to replace the pump on your dishwasher, this video will walk you through the steps of that repair.
The door gasket on your dishwasher is used to create a watertight seal when the door is closed. The gaskets or door seals are typically made of rubber or vinyl, both of which can become brittle and crack over time and won’t create a proper seal, allowing water to leak out of the dishwasher.
How to Inspect a Door Gasket
First check that there isn’t food or debris stuck in the gasket. Crumbs can prevent the door from sealing properly, which may be causing your leak. If cleaning the gasket doesn’t fix the issue, check to see if there are any cracks or damaged pieces. If a new part is required, you can find a replacement gasket here.
How to Replace a Door Gasket on a Whirlpool Dishwasher
If you need a new door gasket, begin by removing the damaged piece and cleaning the channel of any debris before installing the new gasket.
Water Inlet Valve
The purpose of the water inlet valve is to connect your main water line to your dishwasher. If the leak is coming from underneath the machine and the drain pump wasn’t to blame, there may be an issue with the water inlet valve. A faulty valve may be letting too much water into your machine, causing a leak to happen.
How to Inspect a Water Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve can be found behind the access panel at the base of your dishwasher. First check to ensure that the water supply lines are connected properly. Next check the valve for any signs of cracks or other damage, or indications that the valve is leaking. If you notice any of these, you will need to get a replacement water inlet valve.
How to Replace a Water Inlet Valve on a Whirlpool Dishwasher
To replace the water inlet valve, you may find it easier to remove the dishwasher from underneath the cabinet. The water supply line will have to be disconnected from the valve, be sure to have the water turned off prior.
If the spray arm in the dishwasher is clogged or damaged, it can alter the direction that the water sprays out of it. This can result in water hitting the dishwasher door at an abnormal angle, and water can leak out. This is more likely to occur along the bottom of the door where there isn’t a gasket to seal against the water.
How to Inspect a Spray Arm
The spray arm easily removes from the bottom of the dishwasher. Visually inspect the holes on the spray arm for clogs and clear out the debris if necessary. If it is cracked or warped, you will need a replacement spray arm.
How to Replace a Spray Arm in a Whirlpool Dishwasher
Depending on your dishwasher model, the lower spray arm may be threaded in place or simply just pull right out of the machine.
Float and Float Switch
The float and float switch work together to prevent your dishwasher from overfilling with water. Once the appropriate water level has been reached, the float trips the switch to signal the machine to stop filling. If either of these components are faulty, the dishwasher may continue to fill which would result in a leak.
How to Inspect a Float Switch
You will need to use a multimeter to inspect the float switch for continuity. Set the multimeter to Rx1 and touch the probes to the switch’s terminals. The reading should be either zero or infinity. With the probes still in contact, press the button on the switch – the reading should now be the opposite (zero to infinity, or infinity to zero). If you do not receive these readings, then it is faulty and you will need a new float switch.
How to Replace a Float Switch in a Whirlpool Dishwasher
If you need to replace the float switch in your dishwasher, you may find it easier to work on if the dishwasher is pulled out from underneath the cabinet.
Hoses and Clamps
The hose clamps are used to secure the drain and circulating hoses to the dishwasher’s pump. If the clamps have become loose, or the hoses are cracked, this may be the source of your leak.
How to Inspect the Hoses and Clamps
Since the hoses and clamps are attached to the pump, you can find them behind the access panel at the base of your dishwasher. Check the clamps to ensure they’re secure and tighten up if necessary. Inspect the hoses for any cracks or damage. You could remove the hoses from the machine and run water through them to see if there are any leaks. If you discover any issues, you’ll want to replace the hoses and clamps.
How to Replace a Hose Clamp on a Whirlpool Dishwasher
It will be easiest to replace the dishwasher hoses and clamps if the machine is pulled out from underneath the cabinet.
While seeing water on your kitchen floor may be unsettling, resolving the F2 error code on your Whirlpool dishwasher isn’t a difficult task. Many of the causes of a leak are preventable with regular cleaning and proper use of your machine, and parts that may have failed are a simple DIY repair. If working through the above list still hasn’t cleared the F2 error code, the next step would be to call in a certified appliance technician to diagnose your dishwasher.