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How to Fix a Washer That Won’t Drain

If your washing machine doesn’t drain, you probably either have something stuck in the drain hose or pump or the pump is broken. If you are handy, you can check to see if there is a clog and clear it yourself by following the instructions below. If this sounds too daunting or you find that your pump is broken, contact Home-Tech today! We are here to help, 7 days a week – even on holidays.

1. First Check the Lid Switch

Your washing machine won’t drain if the lid switch isn’t working. You can check to see if the lid sensor is broken by finding the piece on the lid that presses into the machine when the lid is closed and tells the machine that it’s closed. With the machine on, press into where that piece meets the machine and listen for a click or look for a Lid Locked or Lid Closed light on your machine depending on your model. If it doesn’t seem to be working, you will need to contact us so we can replace it for you. (Please note: our highly trained technicians will need to go to your house and diagnose the problem themselves, which could be something else or a combination of things.)

2. Unplug the Washer Before Checking Anything Else

You will most likely have to move the washing machine away from the wall to access the power cord.

3. Check the Drain Hose

On the back of the washer you will see hoses. Look at the largest hose, inserted into the drain in the wall, to see if it is damaged or bent. If the hose is damaged or bent your washer won’t be able to drain properly. If it looks fine, remove the hose from the hole in the wall and try to see if water can be vacuumed out of it with a shop vac. If there is no water in your shop vac after vacuuming the hose, you probably have a clogged drain pump.

4. Empty the Machine

Remove clothing and empty the water. You will need to bail the water out of the washer tub using a bucket or something similar. A shop vac can be used to remove the rest of the water.

5. Remove the Access Panel

CAUTION: This is not always an easy task so please take caution if you decide to do this step. The pump is at the bottom of the washer, either in the front or the back. Look for 2 small screws at the bottom of the front panel. If you don’t see them, your access panel is probably in the back (although some washing machines require removal of the entire shell). Check your owner’s manual for the most accurate information on accessing the pump.

The panel can be heavy so get a good grip on it with one hand (so it doesn’t fall) and remove the screws from the bottom of the access panel with the other. With two hands at the bottom holding firmly, pull the bottom of the panel out toward you and then slowly lift it, unhooking the panel from the top of the machine. Set the panel aside.

6. Check the Pump

At the bottom, inside the washer, you will find the clear or white plastic round shaped pump with the drain hose going into it as well as another hose attachment. Have a bucket handy and possibly a shop vac. There is still a lot of water in the tub even though you cannot see it. When detaching the hoses, remove the one between the washer and the pump slowly and drain it into the bucket. Inspect both the pump and the hoses for a clog. If you cannot see one, insert your finger to feel for one. Usually a small piece of clothing or lint causes a clog.

Remove the clog if you find one using a needle-nose plier. If the clog is in the pump, feel underneath the machine to find the pulley below the pump and twist it to help unwind the clog, pulling the clog out slowly so you don’t damage the pump.

If there are no clogs, insert your fingers into the pump to feel for damaged pieces. Of course if you see any cracks, warps or broken pieces on the outside of the pump, contact us to replace it. (Please note: our highly trained technicians will need to go to your house and diagnose the problem themselves, which could be something else or a combination of things.)

Reattach the hoses to the pump making sure they are not loose so you don’t end up with a leak while the machine is on.

7. Test the Machine to See If It Works

After clearing a clog and reassembling the pump, plug in the machine and test it to see if it works. Allow the washer to run through a rinse and spin cycle to see if it drains. If it still isn’t draining, contact us.

Need Professional Help?

If you decide it’s time to call the professionals, please contact us! We can get your washing machine back up and running again 7 days a week – even on holidays. With on-site monthly training, Home-Tech’s technicians are always up to date on the latest appliance repairs. They are highly trained in their field and can repair ANY brand.

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