Error Code FP On Whirlpool Washing Machine? (here’s why)

If you own a Whirlpool washing machine, and it develops a fault, it will display a 2 letter error code to indicate what that fault is. In this article we take a close look at the FP error code on a Whirlpool washing machine.

We explain what it means, what can cause it as well as offering the best ways to solve the problem and get your Whirlpool washer working properly again.

What Does The FP Error Code Mean On A Whirlpool Washing Machine?

open washing machine door

The FP error code on a Whirlpool washing machine indicates a problem with drainage. If your Whirlpool washer is displaying this error code it will almost certainly still have water inside.

With that said, it could be caused by an electrical glitch which causes the PCB (printed circuit board) or control board to think there’s water stuck inside. There is also the possibility that there is a fault within the pressure system.

Please Note: On some Whirlpool washing machines, the FP error code indicates a power failure, this is particularly true in the US & Canada. This article relates to UK specific problems.

How To Remove Water From A Washing Machine

Before you investigate the likely causes of your washer not draining, you’re going to need to remove the water from the machine first. Otherwise you’re likely to flood your kitchen.

There are a few ways that you can remove the water stuck inside your washing machine which include;

Using The Drain Tube

By opening the small flap at the front on the bottom of your washing machine, you should expose the filter and a small drain hose. You can gently pull the drain hose out from the body of the machine and place it in a large bowl.

Then remove the cap on the drain hose to allow the water to flow out of the drum of the machine. This might take a while because the pipe is small and there will most likely be a large amount of water that needs draining.

Using The Filter

If your washer doesn’t have a drain tube, or it is taking too long to drain the water from the appliance, you can use the filter as a means of draining the water from the machine.

Place a large shallow tray under the filter and then remove it by twisting it anti-clockwise. Once removed, the water should flood out. You will need to regulate it by replacing the filter when the tray is full. Then empty the tray and remove the filter again until all of the water is drained.

What Can Cause The FP Error Code On A Whirlpool Washing Machine?

Once all of the water has been removed from the washer’s drum, you can start investigating the cause for the drain failure. There are a number of things that could cause the water to fail to drain away which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Electrical GlitchReset the washing machine
Twisted Or Blocked Drain HoseStraighten and remove any blockages from the drain hose
Blocked Sink Waste PipeRemove any blockage from the sink waste pipe
Blocked FilterRemove blockage from the filter
Blocked ImpellerRemove blockage from the impeller
Defective PumpContact a technician
Defective Pressure SwitchContact a technician
Wrong Or Too Much Detergent Used Only ever use the correct type and quantity of detergent
Wiring FaultContact a technician
Defective PCBContact a technician

Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues;

Electrical Glitch

A power surge or fluctuation in the power supply could lead to an electrical glitch which could be enough to trigger the FP error code. This can often be cleared by resetting the appliance.

To reset a Whirlpool washing machine, press the start/stop button once and turn the dial until you see the rinse, wash and stop lights illuminated. Then unplug the appliance and wait for 10 to 15 seconds before restoring the power.

Alternatively, press and hold the start or pause button as well as the cancel or power buttons for 3 to 5 seconds.

If this doesn’t work, try disconnecting the power supply for 10 to 15 minutes before restoring the power supply. If the error code returns, the problem is more than just a glitch and will need investigating further.

Twisted Or Blocked Drain Hose

washing machine drain hose

The first place to check is the drain hose, look for any kinks or twists in the hose that could be restricting the flow of waste water from the appliance.

If the hose is straight, it could still be blocked which can be cleared using a plumber’s snake. You will need to disconnect the drain hose from the machine end after pulling the machine away from the wall to gain access.

If the hose isn’t clogged, move onto the next possible cause.

Blocked Sink Waste Pipe

If your washing machine’s drain hose is connected to the waste pipe under your kitchen sink, it’s possible that this is where the blockage could be.

Try filling the sink with water and watch how it drains away. Does it flow away fast or slowly? A slow draining sink could indicate a partially blocked waste pipe which could cause the washing machine to time out when draining.

If the sink waste is clogged, you can clear it using a plunger, plumber’s snake or a commercial drain cleaner.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Washing Machine Makes Your Kitchen Sink Smell (and how to fix it)

Blocked Filter

Washing Machine Filter

Take care when removing the filter from the washing machine because if there is still water in the drum it will gush out through the filter housing. Place a large shallow tray beneath the front of the machine before removing the filter by twisting it anti-clockwise.

Once the water has drained and the filter is successfully removed, check it for any foreign objects like;

  • Keys
  • Screw
  • Nails
  • Buttons
  • Pins
  • Hair Clips
  • Coins

Or anything else and remove them. This could be the cause of the problem. Try the washer again and if the error code has gone the machine should be OK. If not, move onto the next step.

Blocked Impeller

While the filter is out of its housing, try turning the pump impeller with a finger. The impeller is located inside the filter housing and can be reached by placing a finger inside.

Turn the impeller and see that it moves freely if not, it could have something blocking it. Try to dislodge any visible blockage by hand, if this isn’t possible or you can see no visible evidence of a blockage, contact a technician to investigate further.

Defective Pump

The drain pump forces all of the wastewater from the washer, if it becomes defective or develops a fault, it can prevent the washer from ejecting all of the water.

Unless you know what you’re doing, this is a job best left to a technician.

Defective Pressure Switch

Washing machines rely on a pressure switch to notify the PCB when the appliance is full (or empty) of water. The pressure switch works by detecting the air pressure in the washer.

The air pressure changes in direct relation to how much water is present in the drum. This then notifies the PCB which adjusts the water level accordingly.

If the pressure switch becomes stuck or develops a fault, the washer could detect water in the drum when there is none. This could lead to the FP error code being displayed.

Accessing the pressure switch can be a step too far for many users which is why we recommend getting a technician to investigate this possibility for you.

Incorrect Or Too Much Detergent

A person putting laundry detergent into a washing machine

Using too much detergent or using the wrong type of detergent can create too many soap suds which can trigger the FP error code. The soap suds trick the sensors into thinking there’s excess water in the drum or float pan.

You should only ever use Whirlpool approved detergent and in the correct quantity. 

Wiring Fault

It is possible that one of the myriad wires or connectors in your washing machine has shorted or burnt out or become loose or disconnected. This could lead to the appliance not being able to perform certain functions including draining properly.

If you suspect a wiring fault is to blame for the washer’s inability to drain, we recommend getting a technician to investigate further.

Defective PCB 

If you have ruled out every other possibility, the only thing left is the PCB or control board. It is possible for one of the circuits to have shorted or burnt out.

As the PCB is a delicate and expensive component, we recommend getting a technician to investigate and repair or replace if necessary.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Error Codes (the full guide)

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the FP error code mean on a Whirlpool washing machine in the UK?

The FP error code on a Whirlpool washing machine in the UK indicates a drainage issue.

What causes the FP error code on a Whirlpool washing machine?

The causes for the FP error code on a Whirlpool washing machine are related to drainage and can typically be caused by; A twisted or blocked drain hose, a blocked sink waste pipe, a clogged filter, a defective drain pump, a defective pressure switch, using too much or the wrong type of detergent, a wiring fault or a defective control board.

Do Whirlpool washers have a reset button?

Many Whirlpool washers do have a way to reset them which involves pressing and holding the start & power button for 3 to 5 seconds. Consult your user manual for more specific reset instructions.

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