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Why is My Washing Machine not Draining?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Don’t Panic If You Find Your Washer Is Not Draining

Your washing machine not draining can spell trouble in your daily routine. As a machine that helps make life easier for you when it comes to washing laundry, it’s inconvenient when your washer stops working properly. There are several reasons why a washing machine stops draining. We’re here to discuss them and give you tips on what you can do to fix the problem.

Appliance Repair Washing Machine Not Draining repair solution
Check out the list below for the most common solutions for washing machine drain issues.

What Are the Common Causes of Washing Machines Not Draining?

Below are some of the most common reasons why your washing machine isn’t draining:

Clogged Drain Hose

The number one possible cause of a washing machine not draining is a blocked drain hose. Inside the drain hose, lint and debris accumulate and block the flow of water. This affects the washer’s performance, sometimes causing water to pool at the bottom of the washing machine drum. The good news is it’s an easy enough fix.

Clogged Drain Pump Filter

The drain pump evacuates water from the washer drum once it’s done washing and rinsing. If your washing machine isn’t draining, it could be because the drain pump filter is clogged. You’ll know if there’s a problem with the pump when it appears to be running but the water is slow or doesn’t go down at all.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, has provided a list of common reasons why your washing machine’s not draining, along with some suggested solutions and DIY tips to fix it.

Faulty Drain Pump

Does water sit in the tub of the washer after you’re done washing your laundry? This could be because the drain pump is faulty or something’s obstructing the drain line. You’ll also likely hear a whirring or grinding sound, another indicator of a failed pump. You or a plumber can investigate the washer further to know for sure if the pump is faulty.

Clogged Drain Line

A clogged drain is another one of the most common indicators of a washer with drain issues. Before you make any attempt at fixing it, check the drain line first. The origin of the problem could be a buildup of minerals in the pipes. If it’s mineral buildup, fixing it involves cleaning and clearing whatever’s blocking your drain system.

Worn Out Drive Belt

A worn-out drive belt could be one of the possible reasons why the washer doesn’t drain during a wash or rinse cycle. You will find this component at the bottom of the washer, which helps the pump function. This means the drain pump can’t work properly if the drive belt is damaged or torn. Often, the solution to this is to get a replacement drive belt.

Appliance Repair Washing Machine Not Draining fix tips
If you’re noticing water buildup in the washer consider checking the load distribution.

Poor Load Distribution

If a load of laundry is not properly distributed, it can throw off the machine’s balance. This results in vibrations when the washer spins, causing clothes to not be cleaned properly. Besides improperly washed clothes, poor load distribution can damage the washing machine’s components and cause draining problems.

Improper Drain Height

Washing machines must be placed on the floor at a certain height. It can’t be too high, or the machine won’t drain well. Prevent this from happening by making sure you read the instruction manual before installing. Be sure to learn about the drainpipe height, which affects the machine’s drainage rate.

What to Do if Your Washing Machine Is Not Draining?

Is your top-load washing machine not draining? Or is it the front-load washing machine that won’t drain? Whichever the case, you can try the following troubleshooting tips to fix the washing machine before you call an expert.

Appliance Repair Washing Machine Not Draining DIY
There are a number of DIY solutions for washing machine’s that don’t drain.

Reset the Washer

It’s possible that the washer could be restored to function by performing a master reset. Doing this will send the machine back to factory settings, which could fix control panel issues. Most washing machines have a reset button, which you only need to press to reset the machine. However, you should still read the manual before doing this.

Straighten the Drain Hose

Check the drain hose and see if it is kinked. If it is, straightening it might help with the machine’s draining problems. Adjust the hose so that water can flow through it easily. You should also check if there’s a blockage inside that could be blocking the water.

Clear the Drain Pump or Hose’s Clogs

As we said before, a clogged drain pump or drain hose is a common cause of a washing machine not draining. This happens because small pieces of clothing like socks get into the drain system. To fix this, you’ll need to open the washer’s front panel and check for any blockages there.

Remove anything you find inside the panel. Keep in mind, however, that it’s going to be a mess when you remove the hose to get the clog out. The water will probably pour out of the washer, so be sure to remove as much water from the drum as possible. Do this before disconnecting the drain hose.

Replace the Drive Belt or Lid Switch

If the problem with the washing machine has to do with the drive belt or the lid switch, you are probably going to replace them. You can buy the replacement and install the new components yourself. But if you want it, you can enlist a professional’s help, who can obtain the parts and install them too.

Clean the Coin Trap

There are washing machines that have a coin trap meant to catch items that shouldn’t be in the washer. This ensures that the foreign objects don’t flow down the drain. If your washing machine isn’t draining properly, there could be too many things in the trap. You should be able to solve the problem by clearing out the coin trap.

Balance the Load

If the drain issue has to do with the load distribution, you can fix it by balancing the load. Make sure not to overload the machine but don’t start a cycle that’s completely empty either. In addition, check that the washer’s feet are properly adjusted and leveled. This will reduce the vibrations that can ruin the machine.

Schedule a Washing Machine Repair

If not one troubleshooting trick we mentioned worked with your washer, it’s time to call for help. Hire the best appliance repair technician in your area and schedule a washing machine repair. They will be able to inspect your machine more thoroughly and fix the problem more efficiently, plus some benefits like the manufacturer’s warranty.

Washing Machine Drain FAQs

How Do You Know That Your Washer’s Drain Pump Is Clogged?

You can check if it is clogged by removing the drain hose. Unscrew the clamps that keep the drain hose to the pump outlet. This allows you to look inside the hose to see if there are any blockages. If there’s nothing, then the pump could be faulty or blocked. Confirm this by disconnecting the belt from the drive motor. It’s also likely that the drain pump is clogged if the washer isn’t draining properly.

How Often Do You Need to Clean the Washing Machine’s Drain Pump?

For front load washers, it’s recommended to clean the drain pump every few weeks, or if you notice any problem. If your washing machine is having water drainage issues, getting wet clothes after a spin, taking longer cycle times, or showing excessive vibrations, you should go ahead and clean the drain pump.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Washing Machine Not Draining?

It depends on the cause of the problem, but if it’s the drain pump, the price ranges from $30 to $40 for a new pump. However, you can expect to pay about $300 for the labor. Fixing a washing machine has an average cost of somewhere between $50 and $450. You will know a more accurate price by discussing it with an appliance repair technician.

Hire a Local Appliance Repair Pro

The methods above are effective DIY tips if your washing machine’s having trouble draining. But if you need professional help, then don’t hesitate to contact a local appliance repair service pro using the phone number or form on this page.

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