I included Whirlpool dishwasher error codes because of the huge population of these units. There is a reason so many are out there. The main one is all about Whirlpool’s reputation. Another is their dependability.

All machines have their problems, regardless of price. That said, why not learn more about your dishwasher and repair it yourself? At the very least, if you would rather have it done for you, knowing the source of the problem puts you in a better position when the repairman gives you an estimate!

Please remember these codes can’t troubleshoot for you, but they should point you in the right direction to help you narrow down the part or section of the machine causing the problem. I promise to keep technical jargon to a minimum.

Note: On some non-digital display models, the codes display by blinking the “clean” light on the console. The first sequence represents the “F” code, and the second represents the “E” code. The clean blinks a certain number of times, pauses for two seconds, then blinks the second code. An example is if the light blinks seven times, then pauses for two more, then blinks once more, the code is 7-1 (heater related error). In this list, find 7-1 (F7E1) for the error. Others display the F#E#, hence the two styles of codes in this list.

1-1 (F1E1) – A stuck relay indication is the culprit, but don’t assume the board is bad. They’re expensive and a few minutes with a flashlight, good eyes, and a meter might save some big money. Use the tech sheet behind the toe-kick of the dishwasher as a guide. They show strip circuits to help troubleshoot problems like this.

Without a tech sheet, check point-to-point in the harness for continuity. If resistance checks don’t reveal the cause, and the harness isn’t damaged, you won’t have any choice but to replace the main control.

1-2 (F1E2) – In every case of this error that I’ve seen, the only fix is a new main control. The internal memory fails and triggers the error. As a last resort, remove power for 5-10 minutes and try again. In rare instances, the control works and doesn’t show any sign of problems.

2-1 (F2E1) – Stuck key on the user interface. When this happens, disconnect the harness from the interface leading to the main control. Leave the dishwasher open and apply power. Wait about 10 seconds and close the door.

If the drain pump runs, replace the user interface control. With no drain pump operation with the interface harness disconnected, the main control is at fault.

3-1 (F3E1) – This shows either a thermistor (water temperature sensor) or the OWI has failed (turbidity sensor for checking water clarity). Check the harness between the control and the sensor. If there’s any indication of high resistance, repair or repair the harness. Check operation again. If the error still shows, replace the thermistor/OWI sensor.

3-2 (F3E2) – Indicates a shorted (not open) thermistor/OWI sensor. Follow the same tests as F3E1, except if you find a short in the harness, repair or replace it. Check for proper operation.

3-3 (F3E3) – OWI (turbidity sensor) wasn’t calibrated during the last cycle, or the drain hose check valve failed (most likely), causing water to backflow into the dishwasher. A quick test is to remove the drain hose and inspect the check valve (one-way valve) at the drain pump end. If it’s damaged, stuck, or missing, replace the drain hose before doing further tests.

With a new drain hose attached, place the machine into a Service Diagnostics Test. Find the instructions in the tech sheet at the toe kick under the machine. There’s an OWI test procedure for checking its sensitivity. A low soil level indication is good; A high level requires cleaning the OWI and retest. The retest calibrates the OWI through the main control. If the code reappears, replace the thermistor/OWI sensor.

4-1 (F4E1) – Communication error between the main control and circulation pump. Check the harness and connections between the two and repair or replace as necessary. A good harness and solid connections could show the need to replace the sump/motor assembly (especially on older units). A quick test is to remove the sump assembly and try moving the wash motor impeller by hand. If it’s seized, replace the sump/motor assembly. If the motor tests ok, replace the main control.

5-1 (F5E1) – In later models, you’re given four seconds to close the door after pressing “Start/Resume”, after which you may get this error, but it’s not common. If either of the two door switches are faulty, a legitimate F5E1 occurs. Drop power and remove the door skin, then check the door switches with your meter. If they check good, check the harness for breaks or connection problems. Replace the door latch assembly because it’s possible the linkage isn’t actuating the switches when the door closes.

5-2 (F5E2) – Door opening not detected between cycles by the main control. On newer models, the main control expects to see the door opened between cycles. You’ll see this code if you attempt to start a new cycle for say, a second wash to double-wash your dishes. Press Cancel, open and close the door, then start a new cycle. If that doesn’t work, the door switch might be defective. Refer to code F5E1 for more information about testing the door switches.

6-1 (F6E1) – Dishwasher won’t fill with water. This is a common problem caused by a stuck float. Look for something blocking the overfill float. The float sits on the floor of the dishwasher in the lower right corner toward the front. It looks similar to a three inch diameter disc with a raised center. Check for proper operation by gently lifting up or pushing down on the disc. You should hear a click when pulling up. If you pull too hard, the stem connected to the disc pulls out of the switch housing. It’s easy to fix, but it’s preventable if you’re careful.

After checking the float, verify the water entering the machine. The entry point is on the inside left wall of most dishwashers, a few inches from the bottom. If the float is fine, and you still don’t see water flowing, turn the water supply off, remove the water line and aim the hose into a bucket while turning on the water. A strong stream of water should flow into the bucket. If not, remove the water inlet valve. Check the screen inside the valve. If it’s clear, the valve is faulty and needs replacing.

Sometimes, the valve and water supply work fine, but still no water flows. It’s time to check connections and power from the control board. The valve vibrates when on, and water should pass through. No power to the valve means a break in the harness or the relay on the control failed. The latter requires a new control.

6-2 (F6E2) – Water inlet valve windings open. First things first. Check for obvious signs of a damaged wiring harness. You can repair these, but replacing the harness might be the best idea. Check the resistance at the valve terminals. Here, you should read about 1400 Ohms. A bad or open winding shows infinite resistance. Replace the valve. If the alarm shows with a new valve installed, your only choice is a new control.

6-3 (F6E3) – This is a SUDS alarm caused by excessive suds in the drain system. Drain pumps cannot drain sudsy water, so remove excess suds and water with a wet-dry vac or several bath towels to soak up the sudsy water. Using soap other than dishwasher soap causes excessive suds and becomes a nightmare if you don’t catch it in time.

Another easy to miss cause of a suds alarm is low water in the dishwasher. Low water causes air in the drain pump, tricking the control into thinking suds is the cause. A quick check of the water level is to confirm that the water is just touching the bottom of the overfill disc. Bowls and pans hold water if they’re loaded wrong (face up) triggering the suds alarm because of low water. Don’t forget to include checking the water fill valve as a possible cause of low water. If you find the inlet valve clogged, it’s best to replace it because part of the clog could lodge in the valve assembly forcing it to stay open and flood your kitchen!

6-4 (F6E4) – The control detected the float switch open. Once again, check the overfill float switch for obstructions or a malfunction. Confirm no water enters the dishwasher when it’s off. Check for a possible failed water inlet valve or bad overfill switch. Replace as necessary.

6-6 (F6E6) – Incoming water too cold. Confirm hot water to the dishwasher and check the temperature. Normal temperature on start-up is about 110-120F. In cold climates where hot water takes a few minutes to reach the dishwasher, unheated water can shock the thermistor/OWI into failure. It doesn’t happen often, but be mindful of the possibility. Use the tech sheet to reference the test for the thermistor. Failed parts include the thermistor/OWI sensor or the main control (rare).

6-7 (F6E7)  – Flow meter error. Not every WP dishwasher uses them. The magnetic reed switch failed, or it’s corroded. If the harness is good, replace the flow meter.

6-8 (F6E8) – Water Softener Models Only – A problem with the water softener regeneration valve is indicated. As always, check the harness first. If it’s ok, replace the valve or the main control, in that order.

7-1 (F7E1) – Open heating element. These heaters can look bad because of scale and discoloration. It’s best to check continuity with your meter. Dishwasher models vary, but an approximate reading for a new heater is in the 10 to 50 ohm range. You should see some resistance on your meter. If the meter shows resistance over a few hundred ohms, replace it.

Safety tip: Always remove power from the dishwasher before checking the heater continuity. Also, use an adjustable wrench to remove the plastic nuts holding the heater in place. Remove one lead from the heater to check and don’t pull on the wire. Remove the connector without damaging the wire or the connector.

7-2 (F7E2) – Heating element stays on. Remove power for five minutes and recheck. If the code reappears, the control has a shorted heater relay causing the error. Replace the main control.

8-1 (F8E1) – Slow drain or no drain. Confirm the pump is running to rule out a power problem. Remove power and turn off the water supply. Your first check is to confirm that the knockout plug on the garbage disposal is removed. Next, remove the drain hose under the sink and check for a buildup at the end of the hose. If it’s clear, remove the hose from the drain pump outlet at the sump.

Check for obvious discoloration of the drain hose and suspect a possible clog at that point. Don’t assume it is a clog. Instead, confirm the check valve (one-way valve) hasn’t failed. If it’s ok, remove the drain pump to check for debris (broken glass, food particles, etc) inside the sump where the pump attaches, and clean.

The impeller (AKA fan blade) should turn with a little resistance. If the impeller appears jagged and rough, replace the pump because debris has worn the impeller blades down to a point where it can’t push water. Examine the filter and clean. Water won’t drain if food and debris block the filter screen.

If the drain hose, sump, drain pump, and filter appear to be in good shape, recheck the drain function by starting a cycle, then canceling it to force an automatic drain. If drain issues remain, remove the drain hose from the dishwasher and run a water hose from the drain pump end to check the function of the check valve.

Allow water to flow through the hose until you’re sure it’s clear. Another option is to replace the drain hose.  Reattach the drain hose, then recheck the drain system by turning the water on, power up, and run a cycle so water enters the machine and recheck by canceling the cycle.

8-1 (F8E2) – Drain pump electrical issue. Drop power to the dishwasher and check the wiring at the drain pump. If it’s ok, remove the pump and check the windings with your meter. An open winding triggers the same error code.

9-1 (F9E1) – The control cannot determine the position of the diverter disc. The disc diverts water to the spray arms, depending on the cycle chosen and the options of the dishwasher. If the control doesn’t receive confirmation from the diverter motor, suspect the motor or a possible leak in the diverter motor seal inside the sump assembly. The leak is easy to spot. Look for water below the motor as you look under the sump. The repair requires a new sump ass’y in this case. In rare cases, you might find this error caused by the main control.

9-2 (F9E2) – Control senses diverter motor has constant power. The diverter relay on the control is shorted, feeding power to the diverter at all times. Replace the control.

10-1 (FAE1) – Dispenser failure. To confirm the error, remove power, then remove the door panel (Phillips or Torx bit required). Check for an obvious problem such as a jammed door or soap buildup. Usually, this error is caused by a faulty dispenser and replacing it is your best option.

10-2 (FAE2) – Vent wax motor issue. Check the harness to the vent wax motor. Repair or replace as necessary. If the error reappears, replace the vent wax motor.

10-3 (FAE3) – Drying fan failure. Confirm the harness at the fan is ok. If there’s no damage, replace the drying fan. In rare cases, the main control is faulty.

12-1 (FCE1) – The WiFi module and the main control lost communication. It’s best to check the connections between the board and module. Sometimes reseating them is successful. More often, a complete power down for 15 seconds then restarting allows communication to resume. If that doesn’t work, the WiFi module is the likely cause.

12-2 (FCE2) – The link from your appliance lost its connection to the wireless router. Sometimes rebooting the router takes care of this problem. If it doesn’t, follow the instructions in your owner’s guide to link the WiFi module to your router.

12-3 (FCE3) – This is a total loss of Internet connection. Check or reboot the router to restore the connection.

12-5  (FCE5) – This is telling you the WiFi antenna failed. If the wiring and connections are good, the antenna needs replacing.

We hope the information presented here helps you figure out what’s going on with your dishwasher! Remember, we’re only a click away anytime you need us. Please feel free to add your comments below. Do you like the layout? Should something change? Is information missing? If so, please advise. We love to hear from you!

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