If you have a Whirlpool dishwasher that’s not running as usual it’s safe to say it’s probably developed a fault. Looking into the problem yourself may appear to be daunting, but if there’s an error code on your dishwasher display or the start button light is flashing your helpful machine is letting you know the area causing the problem.
Identifying Whirlpool Dishwasher Error Codes
Whirlpool dishwasher error codes are usually a two digit code beginning with F or a flashing start button light which pauses intermittently. You’ll need to count the number of flashes between each pause to establish which code your dishwasher is displaying.
These fault codes apply to most Whirlpool dishwasher models and some other dishwasher brands too.
Read on to discover which part of your Whirlpool dishwasher is causing the fault code to display.
F1 (or 1 flash) – Temperature sensor
The temperature sensor in your machine has detected the water temperature is too low (below -3°C) or too high (above 85°C). It could be the case that the water coming into your machine is an unusual temperature, but it’s most likely that the NTC temperature sensor has failed and will need replacing.
Josh explains in more detail about dishwasher leaking problems and also heating problems relating to the below error in our video:
F2 (or 2 flashes) – Water leak
You most likely have a leak in your machine if you see this error. You’ll need to drain the base, find the leak and repair it to fix the problem.
F3 (or 3 flashes) – Heating System
If your dishwasher is not heating or is heating too slowly this could be caused by:
- A faulty heating element – the most likely cause of the issue
- A faulty temperature sensor
- A faulty connection between the control board and the heater (check the relay connections on the PCB)
F4 (or 4 flashes) – Drainage system
This error indicates that your machine has failed to drain as expected. A blocked or faulty drain pump or hose could be the cause of this fault. If so the pump will need cleaning or replacing. The fault could also be caused by the machine siphoning if the hose is to low, an optical sensor or very occasionally the control board.
For more on dishwasher draining problems, see our video:
F5 (or 5 flashes) – Rotor blocked
There is a problem with the rotor part of the wash motor (the part which moves). You may need to replace your dishwasher motor if this fault occurs.
F6 (or 6 flashes) - Not filling
Water is not entering your dishwasher as expected. The inlet valve which lets water into your machine could need replacing or there could be a blockage in the inlet hose. There may also be a problem with the water supply to your machine (if the tap connecting to the hose is turned off or low for example) or the flow meter which monitors the water coming into your machine may have failed.
F7 (or 7 flashes) – Flow Meter
F7 relates specifically to the flow meter, but as well as a faulty flow meter it could be caused by similar issues to F6 including:
- A blockage or kink in the water inlet hose
- A faulty water inlet valve
- A closed water tap
F8 (or 8 flashes) – Water Level
If there is too much water detected in your dishwasher this error code will appear. The water level issue could be caused by:
- A blocked filter preventing your machine from draining
- A problem with the system that lets water into your machine
- Excessive foaming in the machine (possibly caused by adding too much detergent)
- A spray pump fault caused by a problem with the main wash motor
F9 (or 9 flashes) – Continuous water inlet
A dishwasher continuously fills with water for one of two most likely reasons. Either the inlet valve is faulty and is not closing or there is a short circuit on the main control board. The valve or control board may need to be replaced.
F0 (or 10 flashes) – Sensor failure
You may see this error code appear if you have run a test cycle to diagnose your dishwasher. (To see how to run a test cycle, consult your appliance manual; if you don’t have your manual you may be able to download it from our library.) You will need to test the sensors in your machine and their connections with the main control board to get to the bottom of this fault.
There may be sensors in your machine for water temperature, input flow or even water level/flow pressure.
FA (or 11 flashes) – Optical water indicator (turbidity)
This fault indicates an error with the sensor in your machine that monitors the water cleanliness. If this sensor detects ‘dirty water’ the machine may repeat a rinse cycle. If dirt has blocked the senor it may also show this error. Check the sensors and its connections with the control panel will need checking. There is also a chance excessive foaming of detergent in your dishwasher could give this sensor an inaccurate reading.
FB (or 12 flashes) – Motorised diverter valve
The dishwasher diverter valve controls the flow of water to the upper dishwasher spray arm. If it is faulty it will need checking and possibly replacing.
FC (or 13 flashes) – Water hardness sensor
Water hardness sensors monitor how hard the water is in your area and let you know when to add dishwasher salt to combat hard water. If the Salt reservoir is filled and adjusted correctly then the sensor in your machine may be faulty and you’ll need to fit a new one.
Establishing the fault with your dishwasher is only half the job! Once you’ve found out the cause of your dishwasher woes you’ll need to replace a part in your machine in most cases to get it working well again. You’ll find the information to source and fit your spare part on our site including help finding the model number of your appliance and step by step how to guides for a variety of dishwasher repairs. So we highly recommend fixing your dishwasher yourself to save a fair amount of money (and get a great sense of achievement)!