Newer Whirlpool dryers use an electronic code system to indicate operational errors. However, you must understand what the codes mean before repairing your dryer, such as the F-01 and F-26 error codes. If your dryer is operating erratically or the drum is not turning after the power comes on, these codes may indicate the problem.
The F-01 error code indicates a primary control failure. The primary controls are located inside the main control panel where the dryer cycles and settings are displayed. Any burns or arcing on the motherboard where the wires are connected could mean the primary control was shorted out. Since the failure occurs in the motherboard and not a specific wire, a broken primary control could result in inaccurate commands or intermittent dryer operation after you turn on the power.
When the F-26 code comes on, it indicates a problem with the motor drive system. This system is what operates your dryer's drum after receiving specific commands from the primary control panel. The motor drive system includes the drive motor switch, belt switch, door switch and wiring to the primary control panel. You will have to use a multimeter and a wiring diagram to test for resistance and amperage between connections from these switches to the control panel.
Control Panel Access
Before doing any work on your dryer's electrical system, unplug the appliance from its power source. Accessing the primary control panel or the motor will require some small tools, such as a socket set and screwdrivers. While Whirlpool models differ in style, the main control housing is typically attached to the dryer with long screws and retainer brackets. The housing may also be attached with retainer hooks to keep it from moving during operation. Once you detach the main control housing from the dryer, you should see a wiring harness that connects to the primary control panel.
Motor Drive System Access
Since the motor drive system wiring all leads to the primary control panel, ensure you already have access to the control panel. The drive motor is typically located at the bottom of your dryer toward the back. Some Whirlpool models allow access to the motor through the back panel, which is usually connected by hex screws. Models with bottom access panels require a putty knife so that you can pop open the retainer clips. From there you will have to follow the wiring diagram in your owner's manual to access any related motor system parts for testing.