How To Repair Common Washing Machine Error Codes

how to troubleshoot and repair washer error codes
Table of Contents

Advance your washer repair general knowledge with our articles like “Should I Repair or Replace a Broken Washing Machine?” and “16 Common Washing Machine Problems and Solutions

Or for our comprehensive dryer repair guide, you can read our article:
Washing Machine Troubleshooting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tips to Avoid Accidents During Washer Troubleshooting

When it comes to troubleshooting your washing machine, safety should always be a top priority. Before diving into the world of fixing laundry machine errors and deciphering washer error code solutions, it’s important to take some precautions to avoid accidents during the process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Disconnect the Power: Before you start fiddling around with your washing machine, make sure to unplug it from the power source or turn off the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to it. This step ensures that you won’t accidentally get electrocuted while working on your appliance.

Pro Tip: Remember, even if your machine is turned off, there may still be electrical current running through it. 

2. Protect Yourself: This includes gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges or potential electrical shocks and safety goggles to shield your eyes from any flying debris. Additionally, wearing appropriate clothing can help prevent any accidental spills of detergent or water on yourself while working on the machine.

Now that we’ve covered some basic safety tips for washer troubleshooting, let’s delve into the fascinating world of fixing washing machine problems and understanding their error codes. Understanding these error codes will guide you towards effective solutions and facilitate smoother repairs for your beloved appliance

Common Washing Machine Error Codes and What They Mean

Washing machine displaying error code

F1 or F2 or NF Error Code (Water Supply Issue)

This means that there could be an issue with the water supply to your washing machine, leading to either no water entering the machine or not enough water being supplied for proper operation.

To troubleshoot this error code, start by checking if the water faucets supplying your washing machine are fully turned on. Sometimes, a partially closed faucet can restrict the flow of water and trigger these error codes.

If the faucets are open but you still encounter the error, inspect and clean the inlet hoses for any clogs or restrictions. Detach them from both ends and run water through them to ensure a clear flow.

Next, examine the inlet valve screens located on the back of your washing machine. These screens can accumulate mineral deposits over time and block water flow into the machine.

Gently remove any debris or buildup from these screens using a soft brush or toothbrush. If necessary, you can also soak them in vinegar for a few minutes to dissolve stubborn deposits.

Pro Tip: Remember that different manufacturers may use slightly different coding systems, so make sure you refer to accurate information related specifically to your washer’s make and model. Fixing washing machine problems doesn’t need to be daunting; sometimes it simply requires some DIY laundry repairs and troubleshooting skills.

E3 or E4 Error Code (Door Lock)

This can be frustrating as it prevents you from starting or completing a wash cycle. However, there are simple solutions to tackle this issue.

The door lock mechanism plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and proper functioning of your washing machine. When you see the E3 or E4 error code flashing on your washer’s display, it typically means that there is an issue with the door lock assembly.

There could be several reasons behind this problem, such as a faulty latch, damaged wiring connections, or even a malfunctioning electronic control board. To begin troubleshooting this issue, start by checking if there’s any debris or obstructions preventing the door from closing properly.

Sometimes, dirt and residue can accumulate around the latch area and hinder its smooth operation. Clearing away any gunk with a cloth or small brush might resolve the problem instantly.

If that doesn’t do the trick, inspect the latch itself for any visible signs of damage or wear. A broken latch will not engage properly and will need to be replaced to fix the issue entirely.

Similarly, check for loose or damaged wiring connections between the door lock assembly and control board. If you find any loose wires or frayed cables, reconnect them securely or replace them if necessary.

In some cases, though rare, the electronic control board itself may be faulty and need replacement. This typically happens if multiple error codes persistently appear on your washer’s display despite trying various troubleshooting steps.

Pro Tip: Always consult your washing machine’s user manual for detailed instructions tailored to your appliance’s make and model before attempting any repairs. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable conducting appliance repairs yourself, it’s always best to seek professional help from a qualified technician.

UE or DC or UL Error Code (Unbalanced Load)

When this happens, the machine may stop spinning or vibrating excessively to prevent any potential damage.

To troubleshoot this problem, start by pausing the cycle and redistributing the clothes inside the drum. Make sure that all garments are spread out evenly and that there are no heavy items on one side.

If necessary, remove some clothing to achieve a balanced load. Another possible cause of an unbalanced load error is when there are too few items in the machine.

In such cases, add some additional clothes or towels to create a more balanced load. It’s important to remember that washing machines work best when they have a sufficient amount of laundry inside them.

If redistributing the load doesn’t solve the issue, check if your washing machine is level. Uneven flooring or an incorrect installation can cause an imbalance during spin cycles.

Pro Tip: Make sure to clean out any lint or debris from around and underneath the drum regularly as these can affect its balance. By following these steps and keeping your laundry loads properly distributed, you should be able to resolve most UE, DC, or UL error codes on your washing machine without needing professional assistance.

LE or L2 Error Code (Motor Issues)

The motor is responsible for driving the drum and agitating your clothes during the wash cycle. If you hear unusual noises coming from the motor or if it fails to start altogether, there could be a problem with its functionality. Start by inspecting the drive belt that connects the motor to other components of the washing machine.

Over time, belts can become loose or worn out, causing them to slip or break. Check for any signs of damage such as fraying or cracks on the belt’s surface.

If you notice any issues, replace it with a new one according to your washer’s specifications. Additionally, make sure that the pulleys connected to the motor are not jammed or obstructed in any way.

If replacing the drive belt doesn’t solve the issue, it’s possible that there might be a problem with either the motor itself or its control board. In such cases, consulting a washer repair service is recommended as they have specialized knowledge and equipment for diagnosing home appliance malfunctions.

SE or CE Error Code (Sensor Errors)

Understanding what these error codes mean and how to troubleshoot them can save you from unnecessary frustration and potentially costly repairs. When you encounter the SE or CE error code, it typically means that there is a problem with one of the sensors in your washing machine.

Sensors play a crucial role in detecting various conditions during each cycle, such as water levels, temperature, and load balance. Any malfunction in these sensors can cause your washer to stop working properly.

If you notice any broken wires, they will need to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, inspect the sensor itself for any signs of damage or corrosion.

If there are visible issues, you may need to replace the sensor entirely. In some cases, cleaning the sensors can resolve the problem.

Dust and dirt accumulation can interfere with their accurate readings. Carefully wipe down all accessible sensors using a soft cloth dampened with mild detergent or rubbing alcohol.

Be cautious not to damage delicate components while cleaning. If DIY repairs do not solve the issue and you are still encountering the SE or CE error code, it may be necessary to consult a professional technician for further assistance.

Pro Tip: Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and maintaining your washing machine’s sensors regularly as part of routine care. By understanding how sensor errors manifest themselves through SE or CE error codes and taking appropriate action through DIY repairs when possible, you’ll be well-equipped to address this particular washing machine malfunction and keep your laundry routine running smoothly.

OE or DE or 5E Error Code (Drainage)

Firstly, check if there are any clogs in the drain hose or pump filter. Start by turning off your washing machine and unplugging it from the power source.

Locate the drain hose at the back of your washer and detach it carefully. Inspect the hose for any obstructions such as lint buildup or foreign objects that may be blocking the flow of water.

Similarly, check the pump filter for any debris that might be hindering proper drainage. If you find any clogs, gently remove them using a pair of tweezers or a small brush.

If clearing out potential blockages doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that there could be an issue with the drain pump itself. In some cases, debris may have lodged inside the pump causing it to malfunction.

To inspect and clean out the pump, you’ll need to locate it on your washing machine (typically found at the bottom front). Consult your appliance manual or manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on how to access and clean out the pump.

Pro Tip: Remember to have towels handy as water may spill during this process. By following these troubleshooting steps for an OE/DE/5E error code associated with drainage problems in your washing machine, you can often avoid calling a repair technician and save yourself time and money in DIY laundry repairs.

HE or H1 Error Code (Heater)

To diagnose this issue and find a suitable solution, start by ensuring that there are no visible blockages or obstructions in the heating element. Sometimes, debris or mineral deposits can accumulate over time and hinder its performance.

Gently clean any buildup using a soft brush or cloth. Additionally, check if any wires are loose or damaged that may be causing an electrical connection problem.

If cleaning and inspecting the heating element do not resolve the issue, consider testing it with a multimeter to determine if it has completely failed. If the multimeter shows no continuity, it’s likely that you’ll need to replace the heater altogether.

Pro Tip: Before attempting any DIY washer repairs, make sure to unplug your machine from its power source and take necessary precautions such as wearing protective gloves and goggles. If you feel unsure about diagnosing or repairing your washing machine’s heater malfunction on your own, don’t hesitate to seek professional help for efficient and reliable resolution of the issue.

PF or E8 Error Code (Power Supply )

This error code could mean that your washer is not receiving a consistent flow of electricity, causing it to malfunction. To diagnose this problem, start by checking if the power cord is securely plugged into the electrical outlet.

Ensure that there are no loose connections or frayed wires. If everything appears to be in order, try plugging another device into the same outlet to see if it functions properly.

Next, inspect the power cord for any visible damage such as cuts or exposed wires. If you notice any issues with the power cord, it may need to be replaced. However, if the power cord seems fine, move on to inspecting the control board of your washing machine.

A faulty control board can also cause power supply errors. Before attempting any repairs on your own, always remember to unplug your washing machine from its power source for safety reasons.

Pro Tip: If you feel comfortable working with electrical components and have some experience in appliance repair, you can try replacing the control board yourself using manufacturer-provided instructions or online tutorials specific to your model. If DIY repairs aren’t up your alley or if you’re unsure about tackling electrical issues yourself, it’s best to call a professional technician who specializes in repairing home appliances.

FL or F9 Error Code (Overfilling)

With a bit of DIY washer repair know-how and troubleshooting skills, you’ll be able to tackle this issue head-on. First and foremost, you’ll want to check if there’s actually an overflow happening.

If you notice water pouring out of your machine during a cycle or if the water level seems unusually high, then it’s likely that your washing machine is indeed overfilling. In such cases, the most common reason is a faulty pressure switch or water inlet valve.

The pressure switch is responsible for sensing the water level inside the machine and signaling the valve when to stop filling. If either of these components malfunctions, it can result in excessive water entering your washer.

To troubleshoot this issue, start by turning off your washing machine and unplugging it from the power source for safety reasons. Next, examine both the pressure switch and water inlet valve carefully for any visible signs of damage or blockages.

Pro Tip: Remember, understanding appliance error codes like FL or F9 can save you time and money on unnecessary repairs. By following these DIY laundry repair tips for an overfilling washing machine, you’ll be well-equipped to diagnose and resolve this common washer malfunction effectively.

PE or E6 or F8 Error Code (Drain Error)

When you encounter a PE, E6, or F8 error code on your washing machine, it signifies a water drain error. This can be frustrating, as it prevents your washer from completing its cycle and leaves you with a tub full of soapy water.

Firstly, check if there is any visible blockage in the drain hose or the drain pump filter. These areas tend to accumulate lint, debris, and even small objects like coins or hairpins over time.

Fixing washing machine problems related to clogged drains often just requires removing the blockage manually. Carefully detach the drain hose from both ends and inspect for any obstructions.

If there are no visible blockages in either the drain hose or pump filter but you’re still encountering the error code, it’s possible that there may be an issue with the drain pump itself. In some cases, it might have malfunctioned or become clogged internally.

To troubleshoot this further, consult your washer’s user manual for instructions on accessing and testing the drain pump. Depending on the model of your machine, some require professional assistance to resolve such complex issues while others allow for DIY washer repairs by replacing faulty components.

Pro Tip: Remember that these are general steps in fixing laundry machine errors related to water drainage issues; specific instructions may vary depending on your washing machine brand and model. By understanding these common error codes and their meanings – as well as familiarizing yourself with basic troubleshooting techniques – you can navigate through washer malfunctions more effectively and save both time and money by avoiding unnecessary service calls.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Washing Machine Error Codes

With a few simple maintenance tips, you can ensure your washer runs smoothly and efficiently, saving you time and money on unnecessary repairs. 

First and foremost, regularly clean the inside of your washing machine. Over time, detergent residue, lint, and dirt can build up in the drum and hoses, leading to clogs and reduced performance. Start by running an empty cycle with hot water and a cup of white vinegar once a month.

This helps break down any residue or mold that may have accumulated. Additionally, wipe down the drum and door seal with a mild cleaning solution to remove any dirt or grime.

Next, pay attention to the water inlet screens. These small filters are located on the back of most washers where the hot and cold water hoses connect.

Simply detach the hoses from the machine (be sure to turn off the water supply first), remove the screens using needle-nose pliers or a small brush, rinse them thoroughly under running water, and reattach them. In addition to cleaning your washing machine regularly, it’s essential to use the right amount of detergent for each load.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding detergent quantity based on load size or consult your washer’s user manual for specific guidelines. Furthermore, be mindful of how you load your washer.

Avoid overstuffing it with clothes as this can put strain on various components such as belts and motors while also preventing proper agitation during the wash cycle. Instead, load the machine with a balanced and reasonable amount of laundry to ensure optimal performance.

Replace any worn-out or damaged hoses promptly with high-quality replacements to prevent potential problems down the line. By following these maintenance tips, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering frustrating error codes on your washing machine.

Recommended Tools for Error Codes Troubleshooting

recommended tools for washer error code repair

Here are a few recommended tools that can come in handy when diagnosing and repairing washer issues. 

1. Multimeter: A multimeter is an essential tool for any DIY appliance repair enthusiast.

2. Pressure Gauge: If your washing machine is displaying error codes related to water inlet or drainage problems, a pressure gauge can be invaluable. By connecting it to the water lines or hoses, you can measure the water pressure coming into the machine and ensure it falls within the recommended range.

3. Drain Snake: To tackle these issues effectively, a drain snake is an excellent tool to have on hand. It allows you to remove any clogs or blockages from the drain hose easily, ensuring proper draining of water during each cycle.

4. Detergent Measuring Cup: While it may seem simple compared to other tools on this list, having a proper measuring cup for detergent is crucial for maintaining your washer’s performance and preventing overfilling errors like FL or F9. Using too much detergent can cause excessive sudsing and lead to draining problems or unbalanced load errors.

5. Service Manual: Although not necessarily a physical tool per se, obtaining the service manual specific to your washing machine model is essential when troubleshooting error codes effectively. These manuals provide detailed information about each error code and their possible causes, making it easier for you to diagnose the problem and find the appropriate solution.

Pro Tip: By having these tools readily available, you’ll be better equipped to tackle common washing machine error codes with confidence. Remember to always follow safety precautions when working with electrical components and consult professional help if you’re unsure about any repairs.


Troubleshooting and fixing common washing machine error codes can be a daunting task, but armed with the right knowledge and tools, it is entirely possible to overcome these challenges. By understanding the meaning behind various error codes and following the appropriate solutions provided in this article, you can save time and money by avoiding unnecessary service calls or replacements. Remember that regular maintenance is key to preventing washing machine errors.

Follow the washer maintenance guide provided by the manufacturer, which typically includes cleaning the drum, checking hoses for blockages or leaks, and ensuring proper detergent usage. By taking these proactive steps, you can extend the lifespan of your appliance and minimize the chances of encountering error codes.

Whether it’s a water inlet problem (F1 or F2), door lock issue (E3 or E4), motor malfunction (LE or L2), or any other common error code mentioned earlier in this article, armed with knowledge on washing machine troubleshooting techniques and washer error code solutions, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any problem head-on. Remember: You have the power to diagnose and fix your home appliances!

With determination and a little bit of guidance from resources like this washing machine error code guide, you can become a master at repairing home appliances. So roll up your sleeves confidently next time your washer acts up – after all, there’s nothing more satisfying than successfully resolving a household issue on your own.


How do I interpret error codes displayed by my washing machine?

Interpret washing machine error codes by referring to the appliance manual or checking online resources provided by the manufacturer. Error codes typically indicate specific issues with components, functions, or system malfunctions.

Can I resolve error codes on my washing machine without professional assistance?

In some cases, you can resolve error codes on your washing machine by following the troubleshooting steps provided in the manual. Check for issues such as loose connections, reset the control panel, or address simple malfunctions. However, for complex issues or if uncertainty persists, professional assistance may be necessary.

Are there online resources to guide me through specific washing machine error messages?

Yes, many manufacturers provide online resources, including error code guides, on their websites. Reputable appliance repair forums and community-driven platforms can also offer insights into specific washing machine error messages, providing troubleshooting steps and solutions.

Should I replace a part indicated by an error code immediately?

Not necessarily. Error codes may indicate issues that can be resolved without immediate part replacement, such as resetting the control panel or addressing a blockage. Attempt to troubleshoot and address the root cause first. If DIY methods fail or the problem persists, then consider replacing the indicated part or seek professional assistance.

How can I prevent recurring error codes in my washing machine?

Prevent recurring error codes by regularly maintaining your washing machine, cleaning components, and ensuring proper usage. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning, avoid overloading the appliance, and promptly address any issues indicated by error codes to maintain optimal performance and prevent future problems.

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