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How To Fix Slow Cycle Time For Whirlpool Duet Washers


My wife and I love our front-loading Whirlpool Duet washer/dryer.

Whirlpool Duet GHW9400SU0

My Whirlpool Duet GHW9400SU0

It has many features but we really appreciate the sanitary wash cycle that is absolutely necessary if you have young children around the house.

Unfortunately, we started noticing that our washer was taking longer and longer to run as the time went on.

For example, tt should only take about 45 minutes to run a normal cycle but it was taking over 1.5 hours! To boot, the clothes didn’t quite smell clean either.


Prolonged wash cycle time for 2+ year old Whirlpool washing machine ( model # GHW9400SU0 )


Simple internet search pointed to a clogged drain pump cap as the possible culprit. Whirlpool wanted to send a technician out for $175 so I decided to take it apart myself to find out what was going on inside.


Most Whirlpool Duet washers (GHW9400)

Required Tools and Materials

I used to not be able to walk pass a bargain tool bin. But over the years, what I learned is that it is a royal pain to have one of your tools fail in a critical point during a DIY project (i.e. plastic screwdriver handle that spins independent of the shaft rotation). So whatever you do, please save some time, headache and money by avoiding those $5 bargain tools. I used to buy Craftsman tools exclusively but I also buy Milwaukee, Kobalt (Lowe’s brand) and Husky (Home Depot’s brand) as well.

step-by-step guide

  1. Using a torx ratchet or screwdriver, carefully remove the bottom two nuts from the access panel;
  2. There is a service manual taped on the bottom; carefully remove it and set it aside; if you don’t see one, you can download a copy by (clicking here)
  3. Open up the plastic bag and position it under the drain cap (drain pump assembly will have approximately a cup of residual water inside);
  4. Place few towels inside and outside the plastic bag;
  5. Using the adjustable pliers, twist the drain cap counter-clockwise; this tool is needed to initially “break” the seal; the drain cap can be removed by hand afterwards
  6. TIP: Be ready with extra rags to catch water and DO NOT unscrew the cap all the way yet! Unscrew the cap 1/2 turn, let the water trickle out, catch it with your rags, then repeat the cycle
  7. Clean off all the debris;
  8. Use some Clorox wipes to get the gunk off;
  9. Clean around the drain cap and threads to ensure that they will mate properly without leaking;
  10. Re-install the drain cap, using adjustable pliers to tighten the final quarter turn (do not over tighten)
  11. Remove the wet towels and plastic bag and dry off the area;
  12. Lay down 3 or 4 sheets of paper towels underneath the cap assembly;
  13. Run a normal cycle and observe the papertowel to see if there is any leak (if there is a leak, repeat from Stepa #8-11);
  14. Reinstall the access panel.

Final Words

I ran a normal cycle to wash out any small debris and was satisfied to see that my cycle time went back down to 45 minutes.

There is no way to avoid this from happening (well, I guess I can empty out my pockets before dumping the clothes into the washer 🙂 ) so I just need to check on this cap every month or so as a preventative step.

You may also want to read another article titled How To Eliminate Mildew or Moldy Smell From A Whirlpool Duet Washer

Please let me know if something is unclear and I will try my best to answer your questions.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

By the way, if you found this article to be helpful, would you please do me a favor and sign up of my free my newsletter? The signup form is located on the upper right corner of the page.


Karen Biedronski

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

Thank you! Had to wash our corgi's bed cover last night, and the spin cycle took double time. I thought the timer was shot, but now I'm 99% sure it is dog hair clogging the pump filter.


Thursday 16th of January 2020

Thanks for this article. Ours was slowing down and I followed your instructions and found it almost totally plugged. I cleaned it out and rand affresh and seems to be working a lot better! Thanks you again. It saved us a service call. This should be on a scheduled maintenance. anything in the pockets get into this filter. Clean your pockets.


Saturday 23rd of September 2017

This article is fantastic! Easy steps to follow. I heard about the Duet mould issue and although mine is only a year+ old, I thought I'd investigate the filter anyway. I cracked the back of my machine open and didn't find any gunk...instead I found a 6" flatworm of some sort! *vomit* I am the cleanest person I know, and I don't own any pets either. I have no idea how that little turkey got in my filter...


Monday 25th of September 2017

@ Blair-

Make sure to run your washer with affreshonce in a while. I found that it tends to keep the "un-seen" parts clean.

P Vachon

Monday 12th of June 2017

my whirlpool front loader take 1hr 1/2 and more to complete a wash cycle


Monday 19th of June 2017

have you tried the clean out solutions provided in the article?

How To Eliminate Mildew or Moldy Smell From A Whirlpool Duet Washer

Tuesday 12th of February 2013

[...] What I did not realize is how much of it can get caught in the washer drain pump filter (most front-end loaders have this filter as part of the drain cap). Just look at Fig 4.1 (click for a larger picture). All that hair impedes the water flow into the drain (making the cycle run longer), the smell can get downright nasty! A clean filter should resemble something like Fig. 4.2. See the difference? A simple solution is to undo a cover panel, remove and clean this drain cap/filter. For more detail information on how I did cleaned it on my Whirlpool machine, click here [...]