Stumped on error code FH for Whirlpool Duet front load washer

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  #1  
Old 10-15-13, 06:13 PM
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Stumped on error code FH for Whirlpool Duet front load washer

Model GWH9150PWO:
When my wife started a cycle, it initially added water, but after about 10 minutes, the cycle had stopped and it was displaying the FH error code (apparently after the second time in the cycle when it tried to add water). Subsequent attempts to run a cycle did not add ANY water, and would display the FH code within a minute or so.

I verified the water supply valves are on, the inlet screens are clean, and the pump strainer/filter is clean.

I ran the diagnostic test, and at Step C:01 (tests flowmeter and cold water inlet valve), the test displayed code FH. I restarted the test and skipped over this step so the rest of the tests could be run. It next stopped at C:03 (tests hot water inlet valve)--FH code. I restarted and skipped past C:03, and it stopped at C:05 (test heater if present (not on mine), and if there is not enough water in the tub, it adds water)--FH code. I restarted and skipped past C:05 and it completed the remainder of the diagnostic tests with no error messages. Since the only steps flagged were those where water was supposed to be added, it sounds like a bad water inlet valve, right? No--I replaced that and get the exact same symptoms.

Since I had similar symptoms about 2 months ago, that ended up being a bad drain pump motor, I tested the motor resistance (OK) and that it was getting voltage (OK), and could see that it tries to pump a small amount of residual water in the drain line, so it is turning. Don't think it's the drain pump.

I then tested the voltage going to both the hot and cold water inlet valve solenoids, and neither is getting voltage when they should be opened. I unplugged and replugged the wiring harness into the control unit to ensure a good connection. I notice that when starting a cycle, the drain pump is running continuously until the error code stops the cycle. The manual description of the pressure switch says "If an overfill condition is detected by the pressure switch, the CCU will turn on the drain pump and attempt to stop filling." So, could the pressure switch be falsely detecting an overfill, and therefore running both the drain pump and stopping water from coming in? I had dismissed the pressure switch because that is only noted as a possible problem for code FH if there is water in the unit, but it is not adding any water.

Could the pressure switch fail like this--falsely detecting an overfill rather than just not detecting any water?

Any other thoughts?

Jim
 
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Old 10-15-13, 06:56 PM
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The fact that it happened at the second fillup leads me to believe it may be a pump issue. Is the unit draining completely ?

The flow meter reads actual water movement and the pressure switch activates when the unit has a certain amount of water in it.

If the unit doesn't drain completely......and then goes to fill up... it could receive an early activation from the pressure switch.
 
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Old 10-15-13, 07:08 PM
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Oops, my correct model number is GHW9150P.

It did seem to drain pretty well...just the small amount of residual water that can't be pumped out once the pump starts sucking air. Also, after I vacuumed all the water out to open the filter/strainer and I knew it was completely empty, it still won't add any more water.

I've since checked the pressure switch and the only pair of contacts where there is continuity is the two that would indicate an empty tank.
 
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Old 10-16-13, 02:11 AM
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Not sure if I remember right but try unpluging pressure switch and see if you get code. I think code is either pressure switch or flow meter. Did you clean the screen in the cold water fill valve?
https://www.google.com/search?q=GHW9...x&channel=fflb google this and came up with many answers.
 
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Old 10-16-13, 06:42 PM
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I disconnected the pressure switch tubing and blew through it. It is not clogged. I attempted a cycle with the tubing disconnected...same error code. When I blow into the pressure switch, I hear one click with light pressure and a second click with a little more pressure, and it clicks similarly as I release the pressure, so it sounds like the low level and overflow levels are activating and deactivating properly. I do get continuity across the terminals that should be connected when the tank is empty (per the manual), so the pressure switch seems OK.

Does anyone know how to check the flowmeter, which is one of the things recommended to check for the FH error code? Neither the manual nor tech sheet say how to test this. I tried to ensure it was properly connected, but when I pulled the connector plug, a little circuit board came out with some sort of sensor on it. I presume this sensor detects revolutions of the internal paddle wheel as a way to measure flowrate. How can this be tested other than replacing it?

I'm leaning toward the flowmeter being the problem by process of elimination, but still puzzled how this will prevent water from entering even at the beginning of the cycle before the CCU determines it is not measuring any water flow. I wonder if the unit does some kind of diagnostic at the beginning of a cycle before allowing any water to enter, that prevents the water valve from opening if it detects a fault in, say in the flowmeter, pressure switch, and/or the drain pump (I had similar symptoms a couple months ago when my drain pump motor crapped out). Or maybe it just remembers from the previous cycle if something isn't working right, and prevents any new water input after that.

I called Whirlpool customer support hoping to talk to a tech person that could answer these types of questions, but they only have people that read the troubleshooting tips straight out of the manual, so no further insight there into the logic of the control system.
 
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Old 10-17-13, 01:38 AM
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Flow meter are extremely rare going bad, Have seen only 2 in the 10 years they have been out but does happen. Did you try the the pressure switch with the wires disconnected? I think the test for flow meter is on the tech sheet but it is not very good. some test good when bad.
 
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Old 10-17-13, 04:31 AM
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Sorry...I misunderstood you about unplugging the pressure switch. I just tried it with the wire harness disconnected, but it still FH'd. I'm picking up a flowmeter today, so we'll see if I'm one of the rare lucky ones to have this part fail.
 
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Old 10-18-13, 01:53 PM
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Nope, wasn't the flowmeter. But for everyone else's benefit, a properly working flowmeter will show zero ohms when idle, and if you blow through it, it goes up to 3-4 ohms (or maybe 30-40 or 300-400...not sure now what setting the ohmmeter was on) for a few seconds, then will go back to zero. Both the old one and new one did the exact same thing. Wish someone could have given me that info...all the tech sheet said was to blow into it and measure the resistance, without stating what it should do if working properly.
 
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Old 10-19-13, 04:54 AM
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Not a good test for pressure switch, I usually have one on truck and plug it in to check. You already have blown out hose and it's clear. Unpluging test is one but not sure it works on your model.
 
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Old 10-22-13, 06:53 PM
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I received a new pressure switch and a new central control unit, which I also ordered because I was pretty sure the pressure switch wasn't the problem, and needed a plan D if that didn't fix it. My wife was getting extremely impatient with not having a working washer. [Unlike my local appliance parts store, RepairClinic.com will let you return ANY part within 365 days, even electrical parts. I now have both an overpriced spare water inlet valve and flowmeter that the parts store won't take back. Not wanting to risk yet another unneeded and nonreturnable part, I ordered the CCU and pressure switch from RepairClinic.com so I could return either or both of them if they didn't fix the problem.]

THE NEW CCU FIXED IT!!! My final theory that the reason the control wasn't sending voltage to the inlet valves to open was because of a CCU malfunction rather than some other control input to the computer (bad pressure switch, bad drain pump motor, bad flowmeter, etc.) preventing the control from signalling for water, turned out to be correct.

Lesson learned: Don't rule out the CCU just because the self-diagnostic test doesn't flag it.

I hope this thread helps someone else with the FH error code.
 
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Old 10-22-13, 08:46 PM
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The control module can never be just "ruled out" but all the senors that run it need to be checked first. It's too expensive to just replace the board.

Unfortunately this is the way all appliances are going.

Thanks for the update too.
 
  #12  
Old 04-06-15, 02:26 PM
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The flow meter has a spinner with a magnet (in which particles could get stuck, preventing it from spinning), and a reed switch on the outside, with electrical connection. On my washer, I kept getting HF messages, and found that the reed switch remained open (no conduction), even when a magnet was held against it. Rather than replace the whole unit, I replaced just the reed switch (they're about one or two dollars).

It was surprising that the reed switch wore out, but by my calculation, it opens and closes about 2,000,000 times per year, with our usage, as the little rotor spins during each fill cycle. Since the replacement, the washer is working well.
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