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FIXED EIFLW55HMB0 Electrolux Front Load Washer issues - Error code E21

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Edmeaux

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Louisiana
Model Number
EIFLW55HMB0
Brand
Electrolux
Age
6-10 years
For a few months the washer has been quitting without hitting the final big/fast spin. Usually you can try a 2nd time and it'll go through. Sometimes unplug and select a spin only and it'll do it.

A week ago the washer basically stopped in mid cycle and gave me the E21 code... Barrel still full of water and etc. I looked up the code (not draining) and disassembled the washer to find the drain pump was indeed bad as all of the fins of the impeller were gone. Simple solution, right? I ordered the new pump and installed it. While I was in there I checked the bellow and coin trap for obstructions as well as the drain hose. All were surprisingly clear and clean. Re-assembled the thing and figured all of my problems were solved. I set up a test load and I can hear water draining and etc, but them the washer goes into this situation of a few turns of the barrel to the right, pause, a few turns to the left, pause... and eventually taps out to an E21.

I take it apart again, inspect everything for blockages. Nothing, all clear. Start a load and taps out to an E21 again. During the cycle I noticed that in several places it actually added time on the display (I checked on it and it said 24 minutes remaining, I go back 10 minutes later and its reading 35 minutes remaining, crazy). I went through the process to wipe clean the error codes in the system and did a hard reset (unplugged machine for 5-10 minutes). Now I start the machine and it goes through the wash cycle, drains fine, but never gets to the high speed spin. Its like it tries to ramp up, but won't get to the big spin. I set it for a rinse and spin, it rinses, drains, but never can get to the big spin. Calls it quits at 5 min remaining but no error code. Just says finished.

So now I explore the door lock mechanism. Seems to work fine. I read about checking with an Ohm meter, but I never could find exactly what I should be on the lookout for. Anyway, I put it all back together and set for a spin only cycle (with clothes inside). She ramps up and spins just fine.

I think, great, problem solved. I throw another medium load in and set it for a normal wash and go to bed. I get up this morning and it tapped out with an E21 again. Hit cancel and started the normal wash again and it went through and even hit the big spin finale.

Next load of laundry. Its gone complete bonkers again. On a wash cycle, it gets about halfway in and just does nothing. You can hear the drain pump running. Sometimes you can hear water gurgle out, sometimes you can't. Taps out to E21 after a few minutes of that. I tried a hard reset and spin only and it did the usual, couple turns of the barrel here and there, drain pump ran almost constant, and taps out. I took the soaking wet towels out and set for spin only and the standing water drained and it ramped up and spun with now problem.

What kind of gremlin could I be dealing with here? Seems like the control features (Main control or motor control) should be the issue to me.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
108,940
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok,

Here's another one I helped on last year for this same E21 issue: Electrolux Doesn't Power On

Like I mentioned to him, this model has two control boards, this is a much newer model I haven't run across as of yet.

I posted the service manual in post #11 here: Electrolux Doesn't Power On - Page 2

The one I replace the most on the older models of this Electrolux brand, for the odd cycle issues like your having is the main control board in post #6.

Here is it:
134994900 Control Board


Jake
 

Edmeaux

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Louisiana
Before I try changing out the control boards let me throw this out there. I mentioned the problem of the machine not draining even after changing the drain pump, checking the bellows, filter, and drain hose for obstructions... All were spotless clean. Anyway, the machine stops to drain and I hear the pump running but no water is moving. Just out of curiosity, I grabbed the hose out of the drain pipe in the wall and pulled a suction on it with the shop vac and the pump caught and evacuated all of the water even after removing the drain pipe from the vacuum hose. From there the machine will again work fine for a few loads until it gets air locked or whatnot again.

However, the machine is only working for small to medium sized loads. Which I believe to be either the motor control board or the main control board. Is there anything I am missing that may be causing the drain pump to get air locked?

I have not explored that pressure sensor hose. What does that do?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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The pressure sensor hose goes from the outer tub to the pressure switch in your control panel, its controlled by air pressure from the outer tub as it fills with water then it sends a air pressure signal through the pressure sensor hose to the pressure switch saying I'm full, stop filling, and starts the motor to wash.

Where the drain hose goes into the drain pipe, is there an air gap? If not, that's possibly the problem, you need an air gap in there to stop an air lock.

Jake
 

Edmeaux

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Louisiana
Jake, yes there is an air gap where the hose sits in the drain. I've even shortened the hose so that there is no up hill and down hill between the machine and the wall drain. Here's what I noticed in my trials and tribulations on this issue (air locking). I was using a shop vac to pull on the water. I got daring and tried with my own suction. I sucked on it like a big straw and you can feel the fluid literally break free and start flowing. Once you break that air lock, suction, or whatever it is, the water flows like a garden hose at full capacity... You better have a bucket handy! It strange because it'll drain fine for a few loads (small to medium) and then it'll lock up again. And pretty much and big heavy load it locks up for an E21.

Just now, interestingly it gave me an E32. So my plan is to order a Main control board and a Motor control board and see what happens. While I have it all open, I am going to check the pressure sensor hose and what now.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Interesting.

E32= Pressure sensor calibration problem. Refer to TEST 4.

TEST 4: Inspect the wiring between the pressure sensor and the main control board.

If the wiring is good: Replace the pressure sensor. If this does not correct the problem, replace the main control board.

Here's the pressure sensor switch for your model:
Pressure Switch 134762010



Here's the main control board for your model:
Main Control Board 134640601


Jake
 

Edmeaux

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Louisiana
Update.

I changed the control board shown below. The machine is still up to its usual tricks.

frigidaire-control-board-134994900-ap4368793_01_m.jpg

Tomorrow night I will swap out the other control board and see what happens.
 

Jake

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That's odd,


Tomorrow night I will swap out the other control board and see what happens.
Ok, keep us posted.

Jake
 

Edmeaux

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Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Louisiana
I changed out the main control last night. No real change.

After changing each the front panel control and the main control I loaded up a medium heavy load of laundry. The cycle was shown to be 1:03 from start. I kept track and in both loads the machine seemed to keep pace with its time and real time up to about 25-30 minutes remaining in the cycle where its time seemed to begin to drag. And during the 1st half of the cycle the machine seemed to fill, agitate, and drain with no problems. It's not until the cycle gets under 20 minutes that the drain pump gets air locked. It does it every time on a medium heavy to heavy load of laundry. With light to medium loads of laundry, the pump and time both function fine for the entire load cycle.

I notice that the time countdown seems to hang up when the drain pump get air locked. If I notice that it is air locked and have a bucket on standby, I can pull a suction on the drain hose and the water evacuates just fine and the cycle goes on. What's causing this is beyond me.

My plan... Tonight I'll change the motor control board just to see what happens. If that doesn't change anything, I'll change the pressure switch and inspect the hose to the pressure switch.
 

Jake

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I notice that the time countdown seems to hang up when the drain pump get air locked. If I notice that it is air locked and have a bucket on standby, I can pull a suction on the drain hose and the water evacuates just fine and the cycle goes on. What's causing this is beyond me.
Yes, that's something I haven't seen happen, so I'm stumped as well, glad your persistent on your machine, as they say "persistence does pay off"!

Just to make sure, you do have an air gap in the drain hose where it goes into your house stand-pipe correct? Its not duct tapped is it? I see lots of people do that and it will cause this air lock issue as well.

Jake
 

Edmeaux

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Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
8
Location
Louisiana
Update.

Tonight I finally got around to changing the Motor control module and the pressure switch. And I'm sorry to report no change whatsoever.

As I've described before the machine works fine on a small/light load. But on a heavy load the machine stops draining water (evacuation pump gets air locked) inside the final 15 minutes of the cycle. If you pull a suction on the discharge hose when the pump is air locked, the water comes rushing out and the cycle goes on. Otherwise it gets hung up on time and never spins.

So far I've changed the Main Control board, the front panel control board, the motor control board, the pressure switch, and the water evacuation pump.
I also checked the belt and the pulleys. All seem tight and don't show any wear.
As Jake mentioned above, the hose is not so far down the stand pipe that it is in the standing water.

I can't really think of anything else to change. Except maybe trying a new water evacuation pump as if maybe this one has some kind of flaw? I doubt the door latch... but hell, maybe?

Otherwise I'm clueless. And recently my Maytag front loader at my office started a routine of not spinning heavy loads. But it seems to be draining okay. And my sister-in-law told me her LG is doing the same thing. I must have some kind of bad washing machine mojo.
 

Jake

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Error code 21 is a drain issue.

Pull the washer out from the wall then unplug it, then remove the back access panel then you will see your drain pump mounted on the base of your washer.

Sounds like your drain pump is bad then if you didn't find a clog in your drain motor. Try to get as much water out as you can, because when you remove the rubber hoses to the drain motor water left in your washer will gush out on your floor, get a bunch of big old towels to soak up water that comes out.

Here's the drain pump for your model:
Drain Pump 137038700


Wait, you said you already replaced the drain pump? Where did you get it at?

Jake
 

Edmeaux

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Messages
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Location
Louisiana
Yes, the drain pump was the first thing I replaced. The fins inside of the original were all torn up. I replaced it with a new one bought from a local appliance part dealer. It was a exact match to what I took out, same model number and etc. all I can guess is it has some kind of defect.

This project has me baffled. Like I've mentioned before. The drain pump works fine for small and light loads. But it's really strange how it only gets air locked in the last drain cycles leading up to the final spin. Usually in the last 15 minutes of the cycle is where it gets air locked.

When I changed the drain pump, the bellow and filter in there were all surprisingly clean and clear of objects, debris, & gunk.

My trick for changing the drain pump is to have a shop vac on stand by. As soon as I pull that hose off I stick the vacuum nozzle onto it and make a very limited mess this way.
 

Jake

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I wish I knew what was going on, I've never run across this particular problem like your having.

Only thing I can suggest now is having Electrolux come out to see what's going on.

Jake
 

Edmeaux

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Messages
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Location
Louisiana
Interesting development... On a whim I decided to take the washer apart and look at the drain pump again. All was hooked up correct.

On a whim, I wondered if maybe that red rubber flap on the output side of the pump was getting hung up and making the pump air lock or whatever its been doing where its not moving water. Remember, I said if I sucked on the drain hose I could get water to move again properly... Anyway, I just took the damned rubber flapper check valve thingy off for a test load. I loaded a pretty heavy load and the cycle went perfectly flawless. GO FIGURE. After months of this... A rubber flap.

So, my question... Is there a downside to running the machine without the rubber flapper/check valve thingy?
 

Jake

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Yes, there is a downside to running the machine without the rubber flapper/check valve, if your drain pipe backs up you can get a backflow into the tub, but if you have an air gap between your drain hose and drain pipe then if the drain pipe backs up the water would go on the floor instead of back into the tub.

Lots of the older machines didn't have a check valve, but the installation instructions said it much have an air gap at the drain pipe, so yes if you have an air gap at the drain pipe then I don't see a problem of running it without the check valve flapper.


Yes, the drain pump was the first thing I replaced. The fins inside of the original were all torn up. I replaced it with a new one bought from a local appliance part dealer. It was a exact match to what I took out, same model number and etc. all I can guess is it has some kind of defect.
So apparently the new water pump, which included a new check valve flapper, you got is defective and caused all this to happen. I'd check the warranty on it, if you got it from a local appliance parts supplier they should have at least a 90 day warranty on it.

That's why we only use 2 parts suppliers here because both have a 365 day warranty on all parts you order and also when you order parts from AppliancePartsPros or RepairClinic, you have a 365 day warranty.

I'm glad you found the problem though, I was extremely puzzled as well to why it was still throwing the E21 error code.

Jake
 

Gramps1967

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Dec 22, 2019
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Location
Ann Arbor
I know this thread is a few years old now but I wanted to update it with something I found today.

My son came home from college for a few days and the first thing he did was to throw in a heavy load of laundry along with what I can only presume is a literal metric ton of liquid soap...both in the "wash" and "prewash" cups. The cycle ran normally at first but then during the spin and empty cycle the machine threw an E32 error code. I tried to clear it via the factory reset and then running the installation test but no matter what I did it wouldn't drain. A few months ago when both of my college age kids were home for Christmas I began receiving the same E32 and E21 error codes. I replaced the pressure switch (shown in a previous post) thinking that it was somehow bad (right about the time the kids went back to school) and my problems seemed to disappear. So, when this started happening again a few days ago I put two and two together that it was happeneing when my son was home....and apparently using a lot of soap. I tried to run the rinse and spin cycle repeatdly to get the tub to empty but with no luck. I eventually had to use a small hand pump to empty the tub into a bucket and take it outside. I pulled all of the soaking wet clothes out and put them in the wash sink next to the washer to let them drain. I turned the power off and on, performed the factory reset and installation set up and the machine kept throwing E32 codes at me. For some reason I remembered previously reading that sometimes the machine will air lock and that causes the cycle to hang up. So....I pulled the dischage hose from the drain pipe and blew hard into it with sealed lips and could hear the air bubbling back in the machine. Then I pulled the small black hose off of the pressure switch and blew into that (the small hose NOT the sensor) to force any liquid back out of the hose and effectively "recalibrate" it. I then ran a "rinse and spin" cycle on the single garment I left in the machine and let it run until the cycle first emptied. It took 6 full runs with no added soap for the garment and tub to not be full of suds from left over soap. 6 freaking loads!!!! I then ran a 7th cycle with no soap and let it run to completion....and voila....no error codes of any type. I think what's happening is that the overuse of soap is effecively airlocking the machine by causing a "misreading" in the pressure switch....and causing the tub not to drain. Or....it's really airlocking the pump and won't allow it to drain completely.
I hope this post may save someone a few hundred dollars by allowing them to not have to replace a drain pump or control board. Run the rinse cycle a few times until the water runs clear and isn't soapy and perhaps it'll solve your problem.

V/R
Gramps
 
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