A faulty water pump will fail to send coolant to the radiator to dissipate the heat from the coolant.

How to Clean a Clogged Duet Washing Machine

by Chris Deziel

The Whirlpool Duet is a front-loading, high-efficiency washing machine that qualifies for an Energy Star rating, and if you have one of these, you probably don't have to service it often. One problem you may have, however, is that children's socks, coins and other small objects can get stuck in the drain pump. When this happens, the machine won't drain, and you won't be able to use it until you clear the obstruction from the pump. It's a simple problem to solve, because the drain pump is in the front of the machine, behind an easy-to-remove panel.

Unplug the washing machine.

Remove the mounting screws that secure the front panel, using a Phillips or T20 screwdriver, depending on the model. Some models have two screws -- one at each bottom corner -- while others have three screws equally spaced along the top of the panel. After removing the screws, pull the panel down and toward you.

Place a bucket near the pump and remove the lint trap, which is near the floor and on the right side of the machine. To remove the trap, turn its circular cover 90 degrees counterclockwise and pull. Catch the water that spills out in the bucket.

Remove obstructions in the trap, and set the trap inside. Inspect the pump impellers by reaching your finger into the pump orifice and feeling them. They should turn when you push them. If they're stuck, use a dental mirror to look inside the pump and pull out anything you see with bent piece of 10-gauge wire. A wire coat hanger works well.

Replace the lint trap and front cover when you're done clearing the pump. Plug in the machine and operate it to make sure it's working.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • T20 screwdriver
  • Bucket


  • When the failure of the washing machine to drain is caused by an obstruction, you'll see the F-21 error code on the control panel. If you see error code F-33, there's a problem with the pump itself, such as a broken impeller.


  • Failure to unplug the washing machine before servicing it could result in electrocution.

About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.

Photo Credits

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