This is a real-life example of how to diagnose and repair a Maytag F20 error code on a commercial washer. Specifically, it is Maytag model number MAH22PDAWW0.
When you have rental property, you are most profitable if you can do a few maintenance tasks yourself. In this instance, the tenants texted me that the washer in the common area was not working.
Here is how I fixed the Maytag F20 Error Code.
While technically it is not an emergency, it is a huge convenience for a tenant that needs to have clothes washed for the next day. Sure, you can turn underwear inside out a few times and go a few more days, maybe even get another week out of the same pair, but what if you have already gone that full week?
I really wasn’t planning on doing a bunch of maintenance work at that time, as I had a furnace to install the next day and needed to do some prep work for that. I did figure I could troubleshoot it quickly, or call the maintenance company out to fix it. Perhaps a simple fix I could handle easily and get everything back on track. Perhaps ordering a part to get it on the way. Often, resetting an error code fixes things. That often works if it was a simple, one-time fluke error.
When I got to the washer, it had a blank display. It was just dashes across the screen. I immediately suspected the control board. I am not sure why, other than I have had to replace a couple of those in the past. To be honest, I did not have a clue, so I opened up the service door with the barrel key, to see if any error would show up. Sure enough, a Maytag F20 error code was displayed.
Smart Phone to the Rescue “Maytag F20 error code”
I do not know all the Maytag Errors off the top of my head, but this one sounded familiar. I suspected that it was a water intake or drain issue. Those are my most common errors with these machines. So, with my trusty smart phone, I Googled “Maytag F20 Error code”.
Several options came up, and the one I clicked on was for a Whirlpool machine. Since Maytag and Whirlpool are the same company, I suspected that they use a similar error code set, maybe even some of the same software for both kinds of washers.
Check the Obvious First
If you have a Maytag F20 error code, that says that there is a water intake issue. I checked the faucets to make sure that they were on. Both were OK. I had an issue a while back where a tenant disconnected the washer hoses to wash a car or something. They put the washer hose back on, but forgot to turn the valve back on. That caused a similar error. In this case, both vales were open, so it was something else.
I started the washer. Once I cleared the codes, the washer would attempt to start until it encountered the same error, or not. In this case, since it was a water intake blockage, once the water started filling the washer, the water came out the front and went all over the floor. Not a bad issue where I was, on a cement floor with a floor drain, but in an upper floor apartment unit it could be really bad.
A common thing I run across in this type of machine is a sock or small piece of clothing gets caught up in the water inlet tube. That is exactly what the issue was.
Somehow, that piece of cloth gets past the small space between the drum and rubber bellow, and gets between the stainless-steel drum and the plastic outside water container. After it gets in that ‘between area’, during the spin cycle, it finds its way into the water inlet valve from the inside of the washer. It is located at the 10:00 position of the drum.
The Maytag F20 Error Code Fix
Fixing this issue is relatively easy, and fairly quick if you cheat a little. If you go by the service manual, you should remove the front of the machine, remove the outer bellow attachment spring, unhook the water inlet tube, clean it out and put it all back together. That takes an hour.
I removed the top of the washer which requires the removal of several T20 tamper proof torx screws. Once the top of the machine is off, this is where a previous bit of experience helps. I had to do this all by feel as I could not see very much, if at all.
I was able to reach down to the water intake tube and pull the tube off of the water drum. It has an attachment like a grommet. From there, I could feel a piece of cloth inside the hole of the outer drum of the washer. It wanted to slip back down into the depths of the machine, but I was able to get a grip on it with my fingers. I had to keep pulling it back and forth to get it out of the hole.
The Fix is In – and Fast
It all took about 30 minutes from start to finish, and the tenant was able to do the wash. Actually removing the obstruction took less than two minutes. It was a washer used by multiple tenants, so it could have save a bit of aggravation for many.
Here is what the tube looks like with the front removed. I changed the bellow on a washer later, and took some pictures with the front removed. You have to snake your hand around and get this tube, un-attached it, remove the obstruction, and put it back on.
If you can do that, it saves removing (and re-attaching) the outer bellow retaining spring and a lot of time.
I saved at least $125 in that 30 minutes. Every time you can create a savings like that as a landlord, your profitability goes up dramatically. Some people do not even make $125 a month on their rental property.
Have you ever been frustrated by an appliance not working? Have been helped by this article?