How to Fix a DL or F Error on a Whirlpool Duet Washer

The Whirlpool Duet washer has a series of error codes that indicate specific problems. The F/dL code indicates a door lock error on the machine. When the door fails to lock to allow the cycle to begin, it attempts to lock itself at least six times before the error appears on the digital display screen. When the door fails to lock, the machine won't run at all. Common problems that result in this error code include:

  • door not fully engaged or closed
  • items caught between the door and the boot or gasket
  • torn or broken boot
  • items caught in drain pump filter
  • communication failure or
  • or a faulty door switch.

You can fix these errors yourself with a Phillips and flat-bladed screwdriver.

Fixing the Door

Open the door and check to ensure that nothing is caught between the door and the gasket. Examine the boot seal carefully for any rips or tears that could interfere with the door's closing. Attempt to close the door again and restart the washer. If the door lock does not engage, you will hear the machine click at least six times before the error code appears. Replace a faulty seal boot after unplugging the machine from the wall.

Step 1 Remove the Toe Panel

Remove the toe panel by unscrewing the three screws on its bottom edge.

Step 2 Remove the Top Panel

Remove the three screws from the back of the machine that hold the top panel in place. Pull the panel back and off the machine, taking care not to cut yourself on its sharp edges.

Step 3 Detach the Trim Ring

Unsnap the trim ring that encircles the front door by hand, pulling until it releases.

Step 4 Remove the Dispenser Drawer

Open the dispenser drawer and push down on the locking tab to free it from the unit. Set it aside. Unscrew the two screws that hold the dispenser housing in place. Gently pry up the front control panel with a flat-bladed screwdriver. Lift the control panel up and place it on top of the unit, carefully so as not to unplug it.

Step 5 Detach the Retainer Spring

Pry the retainer spring loose from the machine by placing a flat-bladed screwdriver in the slot in the ring. The retainer ring holds the boot in place.

Step 6 Detach the Boot Seal

Detach the boot seal from the front door's lip and then remove the front panel's screws at the bottom and top, setting the screws in a can. Slide the front panel down to access and detach the door lock wires from the front panel.

Step 7 Slide the Boot Off the Dispenser Tube

Pull the boot off the large plastic detergent and softener dispenser tube on the front left of the machine.

Step 8 Detach the Boot Clamp

Loosen the screw on the right of the machine that locks that clamp and boot against the washer tub. Detach the clamp and remove it and the boot.

Step 9 Align New Boot and Reinstall

Align the tab on the boot in the 12 o'clock position on the tub, slipping the back part of the boot over the ring of the opening. Run your finger along its edge to ensure it's snug against the lip. Replace the ring and everything else in the reverse order of removal.

Filter Pump Clean out

The machine comes equipped with a large object filter at the bottom of the machine behind the front toe panel. Remove the three screws on the bottom of the toe panel; lift it up and out to remove it to access the filter. Turn the handle on the large object filter counterclockwise to remove it and access the contents. To prevent these issues, clean out pockets of clothing items before putting them into the washer.

Communication Failure

When the door switch doesn't communicate with the control board because the plug has come loose through vibration, you simply need to open up the top of the washer and reinsert the plug into the control board. To do this, first unplug the machine from its power source and remove the top panel from the washer. Three screws on the back of the washer secure it to the unit. Remove them and set them in a can so you don't lose them, carefully lifting the top from machine. Verify each wired plug is inserted fully into the circuit control board at the top of the machine near its fron, and then reinstall the top.

Faulty Door Switch

When everything else checks out OK, you might have a faulty door switch. Remove enough of the boot to access the door switch following the previous steps. Detach the three screws that hold the switch and set them in a can. Gently push back on the door switch to remove it from its slot, unplug it and replace it. Reinstall everything in the reverse order you removed the individual pieces.