How to Fix the Whirlpool Washer F5 E3 Error Code

Twin Cities Appliance
April 9, 2024
Washer Repair

The F5 E3 error code indicates that there is an issue with the lid lock on top load Whirlpool washers, or the door lock on front load washers. For top load washers, it specifically means that the lid is failing to unlock as expected. 

However for front load washers, the F5 E3 error code usually means the door is failing to lock properly, often because it was not closed entirely or something is obstructing it; however, it can also occur if the door latch is damaged.

To help you resolve this error code quickly, we’ve created this handy guide that goes through the most likely causes for both front and top load Whirlpool washers, and the steps you need to take to get the lock functioning properly again.

Front Load Whirlpool Washers – F5 E3 Error Causes & Solutions

Here are the primary causes of the F5 E3 error code on front load Whirlpool washers.

Cause #1: The Door Is Not Closed Properly

By far the most common cause of this error code on front load washers is simply that the door is not closed fully. Now, this might be because you accidentally failed to close it all the way, or because there is something caught in the door obstructing it, such as laundry items.

To fix this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Do not attempt to force the door closed, as this may cause permanent damage.
  2. Instead, gently open your washer’s door.
  3. Look for any items that may be obstructing the door and reposition or remove them.
  4. Ensure the load is not so big that the laundry inside pushes against the door. Reduce the load size if this is the case.
  5. Close the door firmly, ensuring it’s closed entirely.
  6. Run a cycle to see if the error has resolved.

Cause #2: Temporary Software Glitch

Sometimes, the error code needs to be removed manually by resetting the machine’s control board. Whirlpool recommends two things you can try to clear the error. First, try this:

  1. Press the ‘Pause’ or ‘Cancel’ button on your washer twice.
  2. Then, press the ‘Power’ button once.

If this doesn’t clear the error, perform a hard reset:

  1. Unplug your washer or turn it off at the circuit breaker.
  2. Wait for one minute.
  3. Restore power to your washer by plugging it in and turning on the circuit breaker.
  4. Run a cycle to see if the issue is resolved.

Cause #3: The Door Latch Is Damaged

If the latch is damaged on your washer it can prevent the door from securing properly, resulting in the F5 E3 error. However, sometimes the latch is not damaged but just gets stuck due to dirt and debris, so it’s worth checking this before replacing it. You can do this by inspecting the latch, giving it a clean, and pressing it gently with your hand to free it. 

If the latch appears damaged or broken in any way, it will likely need replacing. This is a job most people can do themselves, or you can call in a professional. A telltale sign of a broken latch is that the door freely slides in and out of the drum’s opening. To replace a broken latch, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the washer for your safety.
  2. Open the washer door and remove the mounting screws securing the door lock assembly with a screwdriver.
  3. Pull back the door boot seal so you can access the door lock assembly; you may need to use pliers to remove the metal clamp securing the seal.
  4. Pull out the old, broken door latch and disconnect any wires, then install the new door lock assembly in its place and connect the wires.
  5. Refasten the door latch mounting screws and realign the door boot seal on the front panel.
  6. Plug the washer back in, and test that the lock mechanism is now working properly and the error is cleared.

Top Load Whirlpool Washers – F5 E3 Error Causes & Solutions

Here’s how to troubleshoot the F5 E3 error code on top load Whirlpool washers.

Cause #1: Items Are on the Lid

Items on the lid, such as a washing basket full of laundry or a heavy box of detergent, can weigh the lid down, preventing it from being unable to unlock like usual. Remove any items that are on the washer’s lid and clear any obstructions.

Cause #2: The Washer Needs Rebooting

Resetting or rebooting a top load Whirlpool washer can often clear the error code and enable unlocking. There are two steps to try:

  • Step 1: Press ‘Power’ to exit the cycle, wait several minutes for the washer to drain completely, then press ‘Power’ again to unlock the lid. 

If this doesn’t work, try this next step:

  • Step 2: Reboot the washer by unplugging it from power, waiting for two minutes, plugging it back in, and starting a new cycle. 

Cause #3: The Lid Lock Is Faulty

If after trying the steps above the lid is still not unlocked, the lid lock is likely faulty or there may be an issue with the wiring or control board. Since the lid is likely locked shut, it’s important not to force it open as this could cause permanent damage to your machine.

Due to the complexity of this issue, it’s best to call in a professional to service your machine at this point. This is because the lid will need to be manually freed before any components, such as the lid lock assembly or its wiring, can be inspected and replaced if damaged.

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