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Repair guides and support for top and front loading Whirlpool brand washers.

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Why does the water drain only when it’s empty?

I have a 4 year old front load washing machine. If I run it empty (with no clothes), it goes through the entire cycle and drain perfectly with no issues. If I add clothing, it stops toward the end of the cycle, clothes are still soaking wet and there is water that has not drained. The machine beeps with an error message E21. I have had 3 people look at it. Drain is not clogged. Can’t figure out why it runs fine with no clothes but not with clothes.

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Is it noisy during the drain cycle?


I am having the same problem with my Kenmore front loading washer only I get Code OE. It will fill and drain fine when empty but not with clothes in there.


@kj25 did you ever get resolution to your issue? I’m having the same problem. Cleaned out all hoses, ball valve, and bottom drain filter and my washer will not drain and spin with clothes in it. Sometimes I can get it to spin, but won’t drain. Even if it’s half of a normal load. I replaced the water level pressure switch and the washer worked for about 3 loads and then started with the f21 error again. Pull all the clothes out or run a cycle with no clothes and it works.


I have the same problem with front load Whirlpool. Washer. Only spins or drains when empty load. Just one towel in the tub and then error F3 E5. Replaced thermostat, worked for three or four loads then started with error. technician is stumped. 2 year old washing machine.


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@kj25 this could be caused by the weight of the laundry. If you have a bad clutch or a bad motor coupler it will not spin the drum with the additional weight. This will leave the laundry soak and it will not drain the tub. Let us know what model your washer is and what you have checked.

The washer error code F21 means the washing machine has a “water draining issue”, and the washer is having problems draining the water out.

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Same issue with hoover front loader. Clothes in it stops near end of cycle with error E03 but no clothes in it with work fine.


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